As winter settles in Down Under, the battle for healthy skin begins: biting winds, steamy showers, dipping temps, and drying indoor heat can suck the life right out of your skin and hair.
To keep your complexion hydrated, there are certain products you should introduce into your beauty regimen and some that you should put on pause.
1. DULL COMPLEXION
COLD CURSER: Dehydrated skin cells turn over more slowly, causing a buildup of dead skin, which hinders light reflection. Circulation also gets sluggish — and just like that, your glow is gone and fine lines look more pronounced.
SOOTHING SOLUTION: Bolster your beauty from the inside out by drinking lots of water and loading up on omega-3s (essential fatty acids found in foods such as salmon and walnuts).
Your daily skin regimen should start with a milky, oil cleanser which contains fewer stripping surfactants than gel formulas do. And, follow with a cream or balm instead of a lotion. They’re richer and better at holding water in the skin. Look for those that contain emollients (nut butters or oils), humectants (hyaluronic acid or glycerin) and antioxidants (green tea or niacinamide). These richer face creams insulate the skin, which is key when you’re constantly going between the cold outside and the drying heat indoors.
Still feeling the chill? Add two drops of face oil – like Rosehip by Essano Certified Organic Rosehip Oil – and mix into your foundation. Your base will not only glide onto the skin but keep your face hydrated for hours. Winning.
2. LACKLUSTRE HAIR
COLD CURSER: If we were to personify winter worn hair, we’d probably describe it as dull, depressed, and apathetic. Plus, we know the side effects of dry hair (static cling, anyone?) make it extra hard to manage.
SOOTHING SOLUTION: Conditioner, conditioner, conditioner. Yes, silicones will lock down the outer cuticle layer and seal in moisture, however, if you prefer a silicone and sulfphate-free formula. Another option is to warm 2-3 drops of argan oil in the palms of your hands and smooth over ends while hair is still damp. Your mane will be full of shine post blow-dry. Cha-ching.
3. DRY SCALP
COLD CURSER: White flakes falling from an August sky: glorious. White flakes falling from a dry scalp: gross. Itching and flakes can be symptoms of both dandruff (a condition caused by a yeast-like fungus) and dry scalp (run-of-the-mill dry skin).
SOOTHING SOLUTION: Try a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. If they don’t soothe your scalp after a week, use an intensive-care product. (Part your hair down the middle and apply the mask to your exposed scalp. Make a new part every half inch and massage the oil in as you go, until your scalp is saturated. Wash after 15 minutes.) If flakes still persist, you have dandruff. Switch to a medicated shampoo containing pyrithione zinc. It will kill the fungus, and stop the itching and flakes in their tracks. Take that, dry scalp!
4. DEHYDRATED SKIN
COLD CURSER: Too many hot showers and not enough body cream can make your skin resemble a desert. Sure, it might seem all too hard to moisturise on a cold winter’s morning but remember: arms and legs have fewer oil glands, so they tend to be drier and scalier than other parts, especially in the winter. If you’re going to moisturise your face, then the extra fifteen seconds spent moisturising your bod won’t kill you.
SOOTHING SOLUTION: Milk does you good — inside and out. The natural fats and lactic acid in moo juice can soften skin, lightly exfoliate, and soothe irritation. Draw yourself a nourishing bath by adding two cups of milk to warm (not hot) water. Soak for about 15 minutes, pat skin dry, and apply a milk-and-honey cream to boost the benefits.