11 things experts wish you knew about caring for skin in winter.

Like ice cream melting in the heat, it’s a simple fact of life that “winter” and “great skin” rarely go together. Scales, dry patches, breakouts and oil are all to be expected when the weather turns chilly. But it doesn’t have to be. Mamamia spoke to some of Australia’s top skin experts about making your skin happy this winter.

1. Wear sunscreen rain, hail, or shine.

“Despite the absence of sunshine, there’s still the presence of damaging UVA rays. In fact, 80 per cent of premature ageing is sun-related and the cooler months are no reason to stop using daily sun protection. Our guiding dermatologists advocate the use of a physical sunscreen (such as City Block Sheer SPF15 or Supercity Block SPF30+) that is safe and effective to use daily under makeup or on its own. Invest in your skin throughout the winter months and you will reap the rewards.” – Melissa Elvin Jensen, Clinique’s National Head of Education Australia.

2. Make friends with an exfoliator.

“Skin’s natural function is to shed dead skin cells every second of every day and, if not regulated, can lead to a build-up of skin cells on the outer layers of the epidermis that prevents important treatment moisturisers from absorbing. Removing these lifeless epidermal cells and regulating cell turnover can be achieved with daily-use formulations (such as Clinique Clarifying Lotion, $29, or a daily exfoliator such as 7 Day Scrub Rinse Off Formula, $47) to gently lift away dead skin cells, uncover smoother brighter skin, and enable moisturisers to do the job they are designed to do. As skin can be drier in winter, exfoliation is often omitted, but again, a crucial step, especially in the colder months.” – Melissa Elvin Jensen

"Invest in your skin throughout the winter months and you will reap the rewards." Image via iStock.

3. Don’t forget your body.  

“Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can take your foot off the body care peddle. Apply your Tonic Body Oil ($68) at the end of a long hot shower or bath and show winter what you’re made of by turning the shower on cold at the end to firm and tone the skin.” - Charlotte Turner, Head of Training at Clarins

4. Moisturise at the right time.

“Moisturise immediately after coming out of the shower. Don’t give your skin time to get dry. Seal the moisture in as soon as you have towelled off.” - Braun expert Dr Natasha Cook of Darlinghurst Dermatology.


5. Change your routine to cater for sensitive skin.

“Skin tends to be more sensitive in winter due to factors such wind and heating. To protect your skin from the elements, opt for hydrating and nourishing products and perform a facial massage to help detox the skin, improve circulation and plump the skin.” - Amy Erbacher, Olay Skin Expert.

"To protect your skin from the elements, opt for hydrating and nourishing products." Image via iStock.

6. Apply a thicker moisturiser to nourish skin.  

“Dry skin can become sensitive and vulnerable over winter. Take a preventative approach and coat the skin in protective, comforting moisture, which ensures that your skin behaves impeccably throughout the season.” - Charlotte Turner


7. Mask it up.

“Use a nourishing mask two to three times per week to boost the hydration but also increase the production of natural lipids keeping the skin glowing plumped and hydrated.” - Pamela Nicol, L’Oreal Luxe Training Manager

8. Be mindful of time spent around air conditioners.

“Both heaters and air conditioning in the home, office and car are absorbing moisture in the air which results in a ‘dry air’ environment. The effects on the skin are displayed quickly and visibly. Dry skin feels tight and uncomfortable, and it can possibly have a rough feel to the touch especially on the body. To combat these side effects, I would suggest a moisturiser that has a higher texture, a richer texture. Swap over to more nourishing masks and increase the frequency of use.” - L’Oreal Luxe Training Manager, Pamela Nicol.

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9. Use an oil to seal moisture in.

“The Renewal Oil ($320) mixed with a La Mer Moisturiser ($240) at night time helps to seal in moisture resulting in hydration, hydration, hydration. Our lips are so sensitive to the cold, the lipids found in the The Lip Balm ($90) strengthens the moisture barrier to help prevent future moisture loss.” - Fiona Pereira, National Education Manager and skin expert for La Mer in Australia.  


10. Add moisture-boosting ingredients to your skin routine.

“To keep the skin feeling plump, apply a daily dose of Hyaluronic Acid, it’s an amazing ingredient, it holds 1000 times its own weight in moisture, this great ingredient can be found in serums, masks, toners and moisturisers like Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, ($85).

Feed and nourish the skin topically with a complex of Vitamins A, C, E and B5. They will assist in restoring and repairing environmentally damaged skin, especially the dry sensitive areas around the corners of the mouth, nose and eyes. These ingredients are generally found in multivitamin serums, masks, eye care products and moisturisers.” - Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica

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11. Avoid scalding showers - even though they’re very tempting.

“Try to avoid using too-hot water in showers and baths, this will prevent increased dehydration and sensitivity. Apply your moisturiser within five minutes of vacating the bath or shower to prevent excess dehydration.” - Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica

How do you care for your skin in winter?