Keep your skin smooth and radiant right through winter.
Your skin works as a barrier against the elements, and not surprisingly can suffer when it is exposed to extreme weather changes. Cold weather can be the catalyst for some worrying complexion complaints, and can leave the skin looking less than its best all over.
And your hair and nails can suffer, too. So now is the time to start thinking about staying one step ahead at this chilly time of year by taking preventative action against the cold with our easy 10-step checklist.
1. Rough stuff
Skin produces less oil in winter, making us prone to dry skin, which can turn rough and flaky. This usually happens on exposed areas, such as the face, hands and legs.
Protection strategy: It's important to exfoliate all over at least once a week. Use a moisturising shower gel, and treat both face and body to a richer moisturising cream than the one you use in summer.
2. Red alert
Continual transition from cold outside air to indoor heating can be bad news for rosacea suffers, a condition where the skin becomes red and inflamed with small white pustules or bumps.
Protection strategy: cool skin with a refreshing spritz, and avoid excessive alcohol or overly spicy foods.
3. Big thirst
Less moisture in the air coupled with the drying effects of cold winds and indoor heating makes skin susceptible to dehydration.
Protection strategy:"Get a humidifier as it hydrates the skin," says Anita Simmonds of Australia's Academie Skincare. Also, drink lots of water, and use water-binding moisturisers. Hyaluronic acid is a good ingredient to look out for.
4. Dull days
Less activity coupled with more time curled up in front of the heater may leave your skin pale and dull-looking.
Protection strategy: Boost radiance with vitamin C and other anti-oxidants, and remember a fake tan is a great tool all year round.
5. Too sensitive
Sensitive and eczema-prone skins are normally dry, so tend to worsen in the cold.
Protection strategy: Avoid hot baths or showers, which worsen irritation. Keep skin well moisturised, and try to avoid synthetic or 'itchy' type fabrics.
6. Off colour
Now is the perfect time to target irregular pigmentation, which often appears due to hormonal changes, and is likely to be exacerbated after the summer months.
Protection strategy: Dermatologist Dr Jo-Ann See recommends using glycolic acid creams or peels to help shed pigmented cells, and hydroquinone products to 'bleach' affected areas.
7. Lip soothers
The winter wind chill-factor is notorious for causing dry, cracked and sore lips.
Protection strategy: Invest in a treatment lip cream with a vitamin A derivative, such as retinol, to help cell turnover, and prevent build up of dry, dead skin. Keep lips well moisturised both indoors and out.
8. Hands on
Hands and nails are likely to dry out when over-exposed to the elements.
Protection strategy: make gloves a key accessory this season - invest in a couple of new pairs, and make it a habit to apply hand cream before you put them on. Always keep a small size hand cream in your bag for regular use, and keep nails and cuticles nourished with nightly use of an oil or balm.
9. Tress stress
Hair can become dry and brittle, resulting in lack of shine and lifelessness, particularly if subjected regularly to heat from a hair dryer or other styling aids.
Protection strategy: hairdresser Oscar Cullinan recommends a shampoo and conditioner formulated for dry hair, and cutting down on the number of times you wash your hair at this time of year. Use a conditioning treatment at least once a week.
10. Scale down
In winter our immune system tends to slow down, making us more prone to dandruff or an itchy, flaky scalp.
Protection strategy: choose a shampoo, conditioner or treatment designed specifically to combat dandruff.