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There’s no escaping the jarring effects of winter on your complexion. The confluence of chilly temperatures, heated environments and soap-based products can leave you feeling as dry as the Nullarbor. Aside from swapping out your moisturiser, the most literal of skin salves, there are a host of other tweaks you can make to ensure a supple, hydrated glow. The Memo reached out to three renowned facialists, with A-list fan bases and in-demand ranges, for their seasonal tips when the mercury drops.
There’s a reason you’re hearing about the nourishing benefits of facial oils: they lock in moisture. “In the winter, I’m a huge fan of switching to an oil-based moisturiser, cleansing balm or cleansing oil,” says Angela Caglia, the Bel Air aesthetician adored by Naomi Watts, Chrissy Teigen and Minnie Driver. “They protect the barrier, keep skin soft and calm inflammation.” Caglia’s Souffle Moisturizer features goat’s milk to reduce irritation and meadowfoam seed oil to plump fine lines. For oily or combination skins, she suggests a balancing oil to regulate sebum and remedy skin. “Apply a few drops to your regular moisturiser at night,” Caglia adds.
At her West Palm Beach salon in Florida, Tammy Fender is known for her hands-on holistic treatments and small-batch concoctions rated by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore. One winter strategy Fender swears by is cocktailing restorative products. “In the palm of my hand, I blend a pea-sized amount of Intensive Repair Balm or Spontaneous Recovery Crème with a drop or two of Quintessential Serum to optimise the combination, allowing skin to drink in the benefits of each,” she says. Everyone has their signature brew. Mila Moursi combines her Oxy Cellular Renewal Cream, Rejuvenating Serum and Aromapure Oil for triple-threat hydration. “Perfect for dry and devitalised winter skin,” she says.
At her Los Angeles spa, Moursi is also a proponent of facial massage, dry brushing and lymphatic drainage. It’s a hallmark of her French training, intended to lift and firm skin, and has earned her fans like Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron and Jane Fonda. At home, she practices what she preaches. “Every morning I always start with five minutes of facial massage to get the blood flowing,” she says. Caglia, meanwhile, extolls the virtues of her La Vie En Rose Facial Roller to promote drainage and boost radiance. “In my treatment room, I dip rollers in hot water for 30 seconds to heat them,” she says. “I’ll then do a facial massage with them to help a serum or sheet mask penetrate more efficiently.” Similarly, Fender is a fan of warming up creams in between her fingers before applying them with a gentle circular massage. “It brings a little subtle heat and reawakens the skin,” she says.
In winter, we bounce from bone-chilling exteriors to sweat-inducing interiors, and these temperature swings exact a toll on your skin. Reconsider heating your boudoir to tropical levels. It’s not doing your complexion any good. “In the wintertime, I always sleep with the heat turned off or at a minimum level since it reduces the oxygen level in the air and extracts moisture from the skin,” says Moursi, who relies on weighty blankets and a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to dry winter air. Don’t forget your pillow advises Fender. “I recommend that clients treat winter skin with real tenderness,” she says. “You might consider the small luxury of a silk pillowcase, which feels so good.”
Assess how your skin looks at daybreak. Both Moursi and Fender suggest skipping cleanser if your skin appears dry. “Since I do a double cleanse in the evening, I don’t cleanse in the AM as it can deplete skin’s natural oils,” says the former. “Sometimes I use my Bulgarian Rose Water to purify the skin instead of cleanser,” adds the latter. Skin should not feel tight after washing—if it does you might need a gentler formula, such as a balm or milk. Exfoliation still has a place in winter but opt for less abrasive ingredients, like lactic acid. “Epi-Peel, our natural micro-exfoliating mask and peel, whisks away dullness and maintains the skin’s natural protective barrier,” says Fender. And you still need a daily SPF: UV-ageing is a constant, regardless of dark clouds.
Everyone knows to imbibe lots of water, but Moursi has ways to make H20 less mundane. “I drink it flavoured with fresh mint, cucumber and lemon,” she says. “To warm up and hydrate, lemon tea with ginger and Australian Manuka honey is a wonderful option.” She avoids inflammatory (read: processed) foods. “If your diet focuses on green vegetables, omega-rich proteins and antioxidant fruits it will show in your skin,” she adds. Fender gravitates to detoxifying turmeric drinks to ward off the cold and provide an antioxidant high. “Use freshly juiced turmeric root if you can. But it’s also easy to pack a little jar with Manuka honey blended with powdered turmeric, clove, cinnamon and ginger. Just add a spoonful to hot water and a big squeeze of fresh lemon.” It’s your winter skin elixir.
Words by George EpaminondasJune 2019
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