It is a cruel quirk of fate that as the clocks go back and we shiver as winter looms, our skin protests as well. It feels dry — thanks to the heating and the colder air — so you slather on more moisturiser, or use a thicker one. Then you get spots. So you stop using so much moisturiser and your skin feels tight and scaly. Join the club — you’ve got Office Skin. And somehow every year it comes as a nasty surprise, just in time for the party season.
Rather than reaching for the heavy creams, think in terms of treating your skin with light layers of protective products. A creamy cleanser that leaves skin supple is a good start, followed by a hydrating serum to plump up your skin cells with a reservoir of moisture. To stop all this watery goodness escaping into your Sahara-like office atmosphere, you need your usual moisturiser to seal it in.
Joanne Evans, one of London’s best facialists, has other tips, too, “It is so important to exfoliate! People tend to slow down or stop routines because it’s cold and dark. When you exfoliate, any serum you are using will be better absorbed. And remember your hands. Colder air will really dry them out.”
She is also keen on omega-3 supplements (three times a day), which help keep the membrane around each skin cell in good nick — if these membranes are doing their job, they lock moisture in the skin.
If you ask acupuncturist Annee de Mamiel, there is a larger picture to think about. She works with the principles of Chinese medicine that see life and health entwined in a series of seasons and cycles: in autumn, seasonal symptoms of lethargy and vulnerability are likely to show up in the skin.
“Adding an extra level of moisture to your routine will help prevent dehydration and give you extra protection and nourishment,” she says.
Annee advises choosing ingredients rich in essential fatty acids like natural vegetable oils such as evening primrose oil, blackcurrant or Argan and seabuckthorn. Her own hand-blended oils can be used neat on damp skin in the evening, or a couple of drops can be used to super-charge your morning moisturiser.
And if you find your skin dries out during the day, take your skincare with you. One of the top dermatologists carries a vial of Shinso Mist in her bag to spritz on as needed. It’s full of moisturising and anti-ageing ingredients which, because they are in nano-sized particles, vanish into her skin straight through her make-up.
Category: Body & Soul