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Winter is coming
Date: 12 january 2017

Actually, it’s here already. When it comes to caring for your skin during the cold, don’t be a know-nothing like Jon Snow. Knowledge is power, and we’ve got some key frosty-weather tips - By Parizaad Khan Sethi

Layer up

For dry and dehydrated skins, it’s important to lock in layers of moisture at every step of the skincare routine. Read more about that here.
It all starts with the shower: use a mild cleanser like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, as the last step in your bathing routine. According to some skin experts, you should try and moisturize within 60 seconds of washing your face, as that’s how long it takes for vital moisture to evaporate, leaving skin dry. We don’t always win that race, so to compensate, spritz on a hydrating mist before toning, moisturizing and serum. Forest Essentials Facial Tonic Mist Pure Rosewater and Avène Thermal Spring Water are eternal favourites. (In fact, we tend to use face mists more in winter to replenish lost moisture, than we do in summer, when skin is well-lubricated anyway.)
Follow the mist with a good dose of a do-gooder toner like M.A.C Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion. This antioxidant and Vitamin C-rich spray will repair skin, while giving a slight moisture boost. Seal that in with a serum of your choice (a hyaluronic acid one is good for dry or oily faces), and top it all off with a cream that has humectants and occlusive, like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. (To know why those mystical-sounding ingredients are important for dry skin, click here


Fight sun and smog

During winter, the smog and pollution is more apparent as it gathers closer to the ground and isn’t expelled into the atmosphere as quickly as it is during warmer months. This means you need antioxidants in your skincare to be your knight in shining armour. They help negate the effects of free-radicals which destroy skin’s lipids, as well as proteins like elastin and collagen that keep our skin young. Don’t ease up on sun protection either—according to some estimates, 80% of damaging UV rays can penetrate through clouds, so winter is not a time to cut back on SPF. We love Clinique Super City Block Daily Face Protector SPF 40 for its high sun protection plus a bunch of antioxidants packed in to make it a perfect shield for people who are always on the go. Estée Lauder Daywear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 is a great option if you’re only spending time at home or at the office. Alternatively, a lightweight antioxidant-rich serum like Estée Lauder Perfectionist CP+R can go on under your moisturizer and sunscreen as additional protection.


Don’t forget the AHAs

The constant moisturizing in winter leads to sticky, lifeless skin that’s unable to shed its dead cells. An AHA serum or toner will help blast dullness and dryness, revealing fresh baby-soft skin that’s receptive to hydration and will absorb skincare better.
Those prone to clogged pores can opt for BHA toners or serums and avoid rich, buttery creams.


Hold the hand creams

Hands really take a beating in the cold, and we compensate by swaddling them in layer after layer of lotions and thick gloopy creams. But hands come in contact with the face a lot more than we imagine, and soon you’ll have transferred some hand lotion to your visage, resulting in blocked pores and zits. One way to combat that is to treat your hands to the same skincare that goes on your face. Or look out for these comedogenic ingredients and use such hand products with caution: coconut oil, cocoa butter, panthenol, palm kernel oil and wheat germ oil.


Look for these keywords

Skin that has become dry and sensitized by the cold needs some TLC, so look for some of these reparative ingredients: evening primrose oil, rosehip oil, ceramides, squalane and jojoba oil.

Winter is coming
Parizaad Khan Sethi

is a beauty and wellness editor based in New York. She was the former beauty editor at Vogue India and now serves as a contributing editor for the magazine. At age 5, Parizaad fell in love with an old cream blush she found in the back of her mother’s drawer, and has been in awe of the transformative power of beauty ever since. When she’s not writing about beauty, she researches advances in skincare as a hobby, and is constantly guinea-pigging herself in the name of beauty.

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