HOW TO | Keep your skin in top form this winter

WITH EACH winter I plunge into a grumpy, hopeless state over what happens to my grown-up complexion, thus gifting me with my own special version of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m affected by the seasons, alright, but it’s because of my seasonal skin problems not the lack of sunlight. Winter plunges me into despair with rosacea in full ruddy bloom, spots that never heal, skin that’s dull and papery. Creams seem to be futile weapons against the onslaught of bone-dry air in my flat. I slather on a thick, butter-like layer before falling asleep and inevitably wake up to find that not only has my skin (and, yes, maybe my pillow case) drunk the entire lot, but it’s still the same dry mess it was the night before.

Over the years, I’ve been honing my artillery of skincare weapons and this winter I’m ready to go to war with the weather to save my skin. Here are the best tips I’ve gleaned from the experts and my own trial-and-error experience over recent rosacea-afflicted years.

1. Vitamin C

A notoriously useful brightener and anti-oxidant, Vitamin C can take your skin from dull to radiant in seconds. The trick is actually finding Vitamin C that’s in its active form – no easy feat (read more about that here). Most of the products touting Vitamin C have so little in such a degraded state that they’re just paying this wonder-vitamin lip service and not providing you with a useful amount in any sort of useful form. Vitamin C should be stored in powder form (or another un-activated form) until used (to contain its potency or it degrades with speed).

2. Exfoliate

Do this a few times a week to rid skin of dead skin and debris build-up. A scrub is fine, so is a gentle peel, mask or liquid exfoliator with gentle acids or Vitamin A derivatives. They’ll help keep your skin looking fresh even before you put on your skincare or makeup, which is the best sort of canvas to start with during any season. Plus – added bonus – Vitamin A creams and peels will help diminish fine lines.

3. Massage

While you’re applying your creams, serums or oils, really massage them into your skin. It’s a great way to get the blood to the surface of your complexion to create a healthy glow. And it feels good, relieves tension and means your really working in those products.

4. Highlighter

Many foundations and lotions now come filled with light-reflecting and brightening particles. Use these on well-moisturised skin instead of a tinted moisturiser or matte foundation. To make your own, add one part highlighting cream to two parts foundation (a non-drying formula), mix it in your palm and then apply it, starting at the center of your face and fanning outwards.

Product suggestion: La Prarie White Caviar Illuminating Cream

FIND OUT the other 5 winter skincare tips in my column at Looking Good No Matter What. Do you have any suggestions for keeping your skin in good form during winter months? Share them here!