How to take on red, flaky skin and win…
This is the season of the flake – no not some lovely fluffy white snowflakes but your own skin shedding thanks to central heating and plummeting temperatures. Nice.
With the first signs of dry patches it’s all too tempting to just reach for the thickest moisturiser you can find and then wonder why it’s not working (and why you’ve broken out).
Instead, try running through this checklist of tips. See how many you tick off and what you can introduce into your routine.
Consider Your Cleanser
This is the time of year where anything drying that strips the skin of moisture isn’t your friend. Try and avoid foaming cleansers and opt instead for cleansing milks, oils or balms – just be sure to use a damp face cloth to get all the oil off the skin so any other products you add after cleansing aren’t prevented from getting deep into the skin. Double cleanse (ideally you’re already doing this) but if not, consider washing your face with cleanser twice to remove the first layer of makeup and grime and the second wash allowing your cleanser to really get to the skin.
If might feel like the last thing your face needs but all that central heating and cold air causes dry flaky skin. So take it off. Use gentle acid exfoliation. If your skin is not used to glycolic, start with lactic acid.
Up Your Serum Game
If you’re not already using one, invest now. This is the area of your routine where you should shell out. Serums, because of their liquid format, can hold a higher percentage of actives than a moisturiser can. They’re the ideal product to help add more moisture to your skin. Serumns should be good for the whole face, you might just choose to apply less in certain areas if you find that you’re dry in patches and oily in other areas.
If your routine doesn’t include a moisturiser and you’re still finding your skin is parched, try adding a moisturiser after your serum. Wait (somewhere between 10 mins) before adding your moisturiser after a serum.
Beauty sleep gets a helping hand with a sleep mask that can work overnight to replenish and resurface the skin. Alternatively try a hydrating mask twice a week. If you’re wondering what mask to go for, if in doubt go for ones labelled hydrating as they’ll be most effective for all skin types.
The first place to really feel the weather change and tell you if you’re dried out are your lips. Plant based oils are the most effective types of lip balm. Mineral oils feel silky but simply coat the skin rather than treating it. They leave a film providing a little protection but also stop moisture getting in. Look for coco butters, avocado oils, shea coconut and glycerine.
Check Your Diet
Consider what you’re actually putting in your body. Up the fish oil (if you’re Veg/Vegan go for flax), up your water intake. All those products are going to have to work extra hard if you’re stuffed full of sugar and junk.