Revealing a healthy glow when temperatures drop

  • PublishedOctober 15, 2013

Cold weather makes your skin behave differently. Being out in chilly and windy weather will not only get your cheeks flushed and gooseberries forming in all exposed areas, but it can also dry you out as cold weather dehydrates the skin. When skin is not well hydrated, the process of cell turnover is disrupted, allowing flakes to pile up – and skin to be robbed of its sheen. Using make-up to cover up just exacerbates the look of flakey skin because it sits on top of it, making your face appear pale and lose its glow. However, you can get a freshfaced glow even in cold weather with the following tips.

1. Exfoliate

To uncover healthy skin, you must buff the cold-induced dry stuff away. Removing dull cells reveals the new skin underneath, helps keep pores clear of trapped debris, and makes moisturisers and other skincare products penetrate the skin better. To get rid of this rougher, tougher skin, you need something stronger than a cleanser, like a weekly home exfoliation, using good products and a facial sponge.

For normal and combination skin, an exfoliator with crushed crystal particles is a good choice because it effectively whisks away dead cells without stripping the skin of its protective oils. If your skin is oily or acne prone, look for a product with salicylic acid to cleanse the pores as well. For sensitive, easily irritated skin, choose something gentler preferably with more refined grains.

You can ask a beauty therapist to recommend a suitable product, or just walk into a beauty shop or beauty products aisle in a supermarket, examine the range available and carefully read the labels before you buy.

When exfoliating, avoid overdoing it or over-rubbing as this may irritate the skin. Be very gentle and use circular movements, avoiding pulling or dragging the skin. Also, avoid the eye area. If skin is red, stinging, or burning, avoid exfoliation until the condition is resolved, as it will only further irritate the skin.

2. Add hydrating mask

Another effect of cold weather is the dip in the production of lipids (skin oils that seal in moisture). A simple way to replenish this loss is using hydrating masks. They contain humectants like urea and lactic acid that attract moisture, as well as occlusive ingredients that seal in moisture so skin stays hydrated longer. Again, a beauty therapist will recommend a suitable mask or you can make one at home using avocado and olive oil. Twice a week after cleansing, apply a mask to damp skin and leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse off and apply your normal toner and moisturiser.

3. Moisturise regularly

A moisturiser is food to the skin. You must use a moisturiser each time after cleansing and toning, both morning and night. A night moisturiser should be rich as the skin rejuvenates itself when you are sleeping. A day facial moisturiser that contains sun protection will not only give your skin a glow, but will also offer protection against the UVA and UVB rays which are present even on a grey overcast day.

4. Use face mist

Cold and wind can leave your skin feeling taut because of low humidity levels. Thirty five to 40 per cent humidity is considered optimum for skin to stay hydrated. One way of giving your skin a hydration boost is using a hydrating facial mist. Several of these are available in the market. The best ones are formulated with ingredients that perk up your complexion but are light enough that your makeup won’t be ruined, so you are safe to spray as needed throughout the day. Choose one that contains vitamin C, soothing aloe, and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid and moisturising ingredients.

5. Brighten up with powder

A quick solution for a cold-weary complexion is ingenious use of highlighting or sheer powder. Apply the powder with a brush to your skin, paying attention to your cheeks, forehead and chin and pat gently with your fingers to blend completely. A good powder replenishes the glow depleted by the cold and helps restore colour, albeit temporarily.

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