10 tips for winter skin care

Your complexion endures a blizzard of challenges in winter. When not blasted by freezing winds, it’s dried out by heating or ignored under layers of clothing. But a few pivotal changes to your routine can keep skin glowing, youthful and hydrated in this most challenging season. We asked five MECCA skin specialists to share their tips for dealing with fluctuating temperatures, dry skin and chapped lips. Read their advice for saving face when the mercury drops.

1. Switch to a chemical exfoliant

“I’m a huge advocate of chemical exfoliators, especially in winter when skin is dehydrated and more sensitive. Unlike physical exfoliators, they don’t cause micro-tears, but they do break down that dry surface layer of skin and give the cellular regeneration process a kick. They come in a variety of different treatments, so they are easy to slot into any routine. My go-tos are the Skyn Iceland Nordic Peels, which are great if you’re travelling, Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Glycolic Night Serum, which I apply at night to my face, neck and chest, and Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic in the mornings. And don’ t forget your body. You can use a chemical exfoliant here, too, which is great at getting rid of dry scaly skin, so it can better absorb moisture. Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap is my favourite.”—Simone, MECCA Maxima Marion, SA

2. Add a splash of oil

“Winter puts so much of stress on your skin, making it less able to defend itself. By adding oils into your routine, you are strengthening your skin barriers, preventing moisture loss, and locking in hydration for a plump and glowy complexion. Don't let anyone tell you oils are not for you. They are suitable for all skin types. I love adding three drops to my moisturiser, morning and night, and I do the same for my body moisturiser. On my face, I use Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil and Goldfaden MD Fleuressence because they are both dry oils, which means they absorb quickly, and they’re unscented which I really like.”—Simone

Codage The Oil will take your skin from scaly lizard to juicy plump, and it can be used from head to toe, so full points for versatility. For my face, Omorovicza Miracle Oil is incredible. It’s an anti-ageing powerhouse of botanical oils, which comforts irritated winter skin, rehydrates and brings your complexion back to life when the weather has you feeling over-exposed. Even my husband likes this one for a bit of extra nourishment.”—Lynette, MECCA Cosmetica Emporium Melbourne, VIC

“When I’m suffering from dry, sore winter face, I spike Darphin Redness Relief Recovery Balm with a few drops of marula or RMS Beauty Oil. It makes the rich cream even more gorgeous to apply. Make sure to use it on your neck too.”—Libby, MECCA Cosmetica Mosman

3. Give some thought to your scalp

“The scalp is an extension of the face, the skin cells are alive and they need a little extra love in winter. It can be as simple as slowing down in the shower and taking a moment to massage your head, and even better, using a treatment oil. Abhati Suisse Chambal Sacred Hair Oil is a favourite of mine. Spend five minutes massaging it into dry hair before bed. It calms and strengthens the skin on your scalp and adds shine and lustre to your hair. Plus, it smells so good it will give you sweet dreams.”—Lynette

4. Reach for a mask (or two)

“You lose so much water in winter from hot showers and heating, so I recommend sleeping in a hydrating mask twice a week to lock in as much moisture as possible. My favourite is the Eve Lom Moisture Mask, but if you want some added anti-ageing benefits, Chantecaille Biodynamic Lifting Mask is amazing.”—Katrina, MECCA Cosmetica Fortitude Valley, QLD

“When you feel like winter has chewed you up and spat you out, I always suggest reaching for the award-wining Eve Lom Rescue Mask. It is the best decongestive treatment. It has a kaolin clay base and is abundant with calming ingredients. It feels like cocooning your face and décolletage in silky, deep cleansing comfort. It’s my all-time deep cleansing warrior.”—Lynette

“If your face is easily irritated by cold weather (like mine) my ultimate skin saver is
Origins Mega-Mushroom Mask. It’s instantly soothing, calms redness and balances sensitive skin. You can almost hear your skin sighing in relief! It also increases skin’s resilience, so you’re less likely to react in future. I leave it on for 10 minutes, or overnight in an emergency, and it’s never failed me.”—Niamh, MECCA Maxima Joondalup, WA

“I love a morning mask. I lather on This Works Stress Check Face Mask before breakfast. It only takes a few minutes and with its antioxidant-rich turmeric oil and peppermint extract it really helps shield skin from external stressors you’ll face during the day.”—Libby

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5. Layer your hydration

“After cleansing, I take the time to press and roll La Mer Treatment Lotion into my skin to aid absorption. It’s expensive, but you only use a little at a time, so it lasts for ages, and, well, you only get one face! Then I spritz with either Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist or Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray. Then it's time for a hydrating serum: Codage N°01 or Clinique Moisture Surge Concentrate really help secure more precious moisture. I finish with Clinique 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Moisture Surge (an amped-up version of the original) or Drunk Elephant LaLa Retro Whipped Cream.”—Niamh

“Hyaluronic acid is the best addition to your skin care regime to boost your moisture intake. Slot it into your morning and night routine and feel the difference. I recommend Dr. Barbara Sturm’s or Chantecaille Vital Essence.”—Katrina

6. Calm sensitive skin

“Winter makes most people’s skin a bit sensitive, and I recommend switching to an oil or balm cleanser so you can get clean without stripping. I like Radical Skincare Hydrating Cleanser, Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm and Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. I also recommend popping on Perricone MD Pre:Empt Refreshing Shower Mask, which is activated by the steam in the shower. It soothes weather-battered skin and protects from heat stress.”—Niamh

7. Don’t forget SPF

“This is my ultimate tip. The less intense winter sun lulls us into a false sense of security and makes us think we don’t need to wear SPF, but it’s still capable of wreaking havoc. While UVB rays (the ones that cause sunburn) are weaker in winter, UVA rays (which cause premature skin ageing) remain the same all year round. I apply To Save Face SPF 50+ as my final skin care step every morning. I take it down onto my neck and any excess goes onto the backs of my hands.”—Niamh

8. Avoid overheating

“We’re all guilty of trying to get cosy with the heater in winter, but resist the urge to sit or work under a vent. Dry heat is just as bad as harsh winter wind. It puts stress on your skin’s defence barriers, increasing the loss of hydration and giving you that horrible tight skin feeling. Stay warm, just out of the direct line of heat. Rug up with warm clothes instead.”—Simone

“It’s so tempting to have hot showers when you’re cold, but they really hurt your skin, drying out the moisture and causing broken capillaries. It’s especially important to avoid washing your face in too-hot water as it will irritate already sensitised skin.”—Nimah

9. Repair chapped lips

“Lips are often the first to suffer in cold weather as the skin is so thin there. To combat this, I reach for really nourishing lip balms. My favourites are Bobbi Brown’s lip balm—it’s super thick but not claggy—and By Terry’s Baume de Rose. I used to think that lip scrubs were a waste of money until I tried the GlamGlow PoutMud exfoliator and now I’m obsessed. I use it before lipstick to remove any flakes and it works an absolute treat.”—Niamh

10. Give eyes extra TLC

“With eye cream, you really need to work it into the area to get the most out of it. Especially in winter. My trick is to hold the eye area with your thumb and forefinger and really work the cream in, smoothing away any fine lines. My go-tos are La Mer Eye Concentrate and Goldfaden Bright Eyes.”—Libby

Compiled by Alexandra Whiting
May 2018


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