How to winter-proof your daily routine

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Words | Leila Petersen Images: Supplied

Taking care of your skin is a year-round necessity but like your wardrobe, your skincare routine should change with the seasons. As soon as the chill sets in, you will discover that those lightweight gel moisturisers and charcoal cleansers that worked just fine in December might not cut it come June.

With it’s chilly winds and low humidity, winter months can be especially harsh on your skin - think a dull and dry complexion, chapped lips and blotchy patches (thanks, indoor heating). The solution? Aim to make simple adjustments and product changes that will help keep your skin protected, nourished and radiant as the colder weather approaches.

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Using a foam or gel cleanser in the summer makes sense, as these are ideal for removing extra sweat and grime. However, in winter, switching to a more gentle and nourishing cleanser will provide a deep clean without compromising the skin’s barrier and stripping it of its natural oils. A cleansing oil is particularly great as it contains both purifying ingredients as well as natural emollients which enables them to dissolve dirt and cleanse the skin while leaving it feeling nourished, hydrated and ultimately glowing.

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Dullness and blackheads are often caused by dead skin cell build-up and the easiest way to slough these cells away is to exfoliate at least once a week in winter. When it comes to choosing an exfoliator, opt for one’s with cell melting substances like glycolic or lactic acids. These not only remove the top layer of dead skin to reveal a brighter complexion but will also help with pigmentation. Added bonus? Serums and creams are absorbed more deeply into the skin as all the dead skin’s have been removed, thereby amplifying the benefits of the rest of your routine.

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The quickest way to combat dry, flaky skin is to give it a boost of radiance with a moisture-packed mask. Used once a week this super-moisturising step boasting serious restorative properties is all you skin needs to brighten and rebalance your complexion.

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The same way we increase our vitamin C intake in winter to help fight off cold and flu, we should also be applying this brightening booster topically. A potent antioxidant, this wonder ingredient is not only a saviour for dull skin but also encourages cell production and can help minimise pigmentation and scarring.

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The easiest way to replenish moisture stolen by cold air is to up your moisturiser game. Look out for thick, rich formulas fused with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, fatty acids and antioxidants as these will ensure your skin is kept hydrated and help reinforce your skin’s natural moisture barrier. For extra nourishment and to help lock in the skin’s moisture, layer your moisturiser over your serum or face oil.

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During the colder months it can be tempting to skip your daily SPF. But as any dermatologist will tell you, protecting skin against UV damage is a year-round commitment. And, despite low temperatures, the sun is still strong during the winter period. So, applying a lightweight sunscreen on your face daily will not only protect your skin against the elements but can also deliver an extra layer of hydration making your complexion look instantly brighter.

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Even though achieving a nourishing and glowing complexion starts with skincare a little help from you makeup never goes astray. Dry air and biting winds can really suck all the moisture from your skin and so when it comes to makeup a simple switch of your foundation to formulas enriched with hydrating ingredients is all it takes to give your skin the added nourishment it requires.

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As the days become shorter and nights longer, now is the perfect time to indulge in an overnight treatment and take advantage of your time spent under covers. Because skin repairs itself naturally at night, slathering on a night-time treatment specifically designed to support, boost and even mimic the skin’s nightly repair process will ensure you make most of your beauty sleep.

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