Cold weather is harsh on skin and central heating dries it out. We wrap up in coats, scarves, and gloves, but leave our faces exposed, and while wearing a mask isn’t the solution, skin does need extra protection at this time of year to avoid getting rough, chapped, or red. Here is our advice to keep it at its best.
Protection and hydration
Make sure your cleanser is non-drying—creams and oils are kinder than alcohol-based wipes for removing make-up, and water-based cleanser should be non-soap-based. Start exfoliating every other day or twice a week to prevent any flaky areas from forming, and use a more intensive moisturizer to protect the skin. Look for rich oil-based balms with SPF and vitamin K to counteract redness and increase your hydration. Pat it into cleansed skin and let it sink in before you put on make-up.
FACE Consider switching to a heavier-coverage foundation—on thoroughly moisturized skin a cream foundation won't cake or look too thick. Apply it sparingly with fingers or a sponge and work it into the skin thoroughly. Your skin will probably get paler, and you should change your foundation or concealer to reflect that. Avoid using too much powder, which can be drying—an overly matte look is easily spoiled in the rain.
EYES Eyebrows should be strong to provide a confident frame for the face, so consider having yours shaped professionally at the start of the season and invest in a brow kit to keep them tidy and defined. Eyes often water in the cold and wind, so avoid eyeliner or mascara that is likely to run.
CHEEKS Put bronzer away—the sunkissed all-over shimmer of spring/summer should be replaced with matte, nude colors. Buy a matte blush a shade or two darker than your natural color. If your skin is very dry, cream blush will be more moisturizing than powder.
LIPS Carry a wax balm and reapply frequently. Look for a lipgloss with moisturizers or vitamin E to protect the lips while adding shine. Treat yourself to a flattering red lipstick. preferably matte rather than gloss, so it is less easy to smudge. A stain is perfect for those who want just a wash of red on their lips rather than a full-on red pout.
MONSOON SKIN—PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
CHAPPED LIPS Lips don't produce their own oil, so they tend to dry out and crack. Avoid lip balms that contain mineral oil or glycerine— although these feel silky, they actually leave lips drier. Look for balms containing beeswax or shea butter.
DRY FLAKY SKIN Temperature extremes deprive the skin of moisture. This slows down the renewal process—the shedding of dead skin cells to make way for new skin—leaving a dry, flaky surface. Gently exfoliate twice a week or even every other day, and use a good moisturizer.
RED SKIN Pale, sensitive skin can suffer from redness. Icy winds weaken the moisture barrier, leaving skin prone to inflammation. Keep skin hydrated and protected with gentle cleansers and SPF moisturizer.
LINES AND WRINKLES Skin needs moisture to look plump and line-free, so the drying effects of cold weather mean that fine lines and wrinkles become more visible. For an intensive moisture boost, apply a hydrating serum underneath your moisturizer.