Use the cooler months as the time to get your skin in tip-top shape.

 The cooler months are the best time to get your skin glowing. Bondi Beauty spoke to Emma Hobson from the International Dermal Institute.

Autumn/winter beauty tips

1)   Do we need to change our skincare routine in autumn/winter and why?

A: Skin experiences subtle changes to our environment. For some it is barely noticeable, for others much more so. Winter brings a harsher climate and a decrease in humidity.

The colder weather increases the chances of dehydration, dryness, skin sensitivity and irritation.

When we switch on the indoor heating we find it harder to keep our skin moist and plump, instead we experience dull, dry, taught and flaky (an impaired barrier function) skin that is environmentally sensitised.  Because of this for those experiencing changes they need to adapt their skin care routine accordingly.

2)    What are the products to consider changing?

A: For more nourishing and hydrating skin care routine for autumn, there are five quick and easy ways you can adapt your regimen by incorporating :

•     A milky/creamy cleanser, one that has a light vegetable oil base such as safflower oil to keep the skin soft and supple after cleansing.

•    Exfoliate with hydroxy acids, ideally Lactic and Salicylic Acids and or digestive enzymes. You can find these in cream exfoliants or skin boosters that applied under your moisturiser, uses these two to three times per week. For sensitive, irritated skin, avoid the use of scrubs and opt for microfoliation, a gentle and super mild skin ‘polish’ using rice bran and rice extract.

Exfoliation will prevent the skin feeling taught, rough and flaky and it will help eradicate any dry patches you may be experiencing.

•  Pick up your masking to once or twice a week, best options are a multivitamin (Vitamin ACE & Panthenol) or a hydrating mask, preferably applied directly after exfoliation for optimum performance:

a) Multi-Vitamin Mask: a multi-complex of vitamins for the skin which act like a ‘power pack’ for a stressed, environmentally ravaged skin. I like to think of this type of mask as an ‘ambulance in a tube’ since they often contain Beta Glucan (from oats) and Panthenol (B5).

b) Hydrating Mask: these cooling gels often contain Hyaluronic Acid which binds moisture to aid a thirsty skin.

•   A hydrating spritz toner to alleviate unpleasant dry patches. It reduces the quantity of moisturiser you’ll need (added bonus!) and can be used throughout the day to give a real surge in moisture levels.

•  A hydrating booster, these super hydrators often contain Hyaluronic Acid, a wonder ingredient that has the ability to hold a 1,000 times its own weight in moisture, certainly able to keep dehydration lines and flakiness at bay.

•  A moisturiser that has a slightly higher oil content, but note only slightly. It’s not necessary to use a ‘heavy weight’ moisturiser now we have such fantastic ingredients and formulations. Look for moisturisers that ‘work smart’ and contain a complex of Vitamins A, C, E, Panthenol (B5), essential fatty acids, peptides, anti-oxidants and a great ingredient to combat winter skin is Betaglucan.

If you have an impaired barrier function (really dry, irritated, flaky skin) try one of the high tech moisturisers that have a silicone base, they are formulated with super charged skin protectors fighting dehydration and environmental assault. These ‘velvety’ moisturisers melt on contact with the skin, then form an invisible barrier to prevent water loss and allergen invasion (irritants).

They soothe skin and feel incredibly smooth. There are also some great foundations containing added moisturisation which are not heavy or oily on the skin, again look for ones that contain silicones.

•   A night-time serum if you feel your skin needs that extra nourishment and TLC whilst you sleep. Apply an overnight repair serum. Ingredients such as Argan, Rosehip Seed and Rose Oil, blended with essential oils combined with sophisticated actives such as Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 which deeply replenish lost oils and give lacklustre skin a fresh, dewy appearance.

3)    Do our skin cells re-generate more or less? And therefore do we need to exfoliate more or less?

A: Your skin cells can regenerate at a slower pace in winter due to the dry skin being retained on the surface for longer, exfoliation is the perfect remedy to slough off the old, dead skin and allow fresh, plump cells to be made underneath. (see extra notes on exfoliation above).

4)  What about our hair?

A: Your hair being dead keratin can definitely be affected by the dry, cold climate. Less humidity can make the hair feel more brittle, less smooth and dry to touch.

5)   What about facial treatments?

A: Winter is a great time to receive a skin treatment, either for deeply hydrating and nourishing properties or to rid yourself of the uneven blotchy pigmentation received over the summer months.

A great skin reviver for all skin conditions is a really good professional strength exfoliation treatment, getting rid of the dry, dull, pigmented skin cells makes such a difference, your skin will feel energised, luminous  as well as polished. Winter is ideal for pigmentation therapy as the skin needs to be screened from UV rays during the duration of the skin treatments.

Try treatments with essential oils, they revitalise and have an uplifting effect on the senses. If you have traumatised winter skin ask for a skin treatment that uses Clinical Colloidal Oatmeal, it’s an instant calmative and rescue therapy.

Try treatments with essential oils, they revitalise and have an uplifting effect on the senses. If you have traumatised winter skin ask for a skin treatment that uses Clinical Colloidal Oatmeal, it’s an instant calmative and rescue therapy.

6)    Do we throw out the products we replace or keep them until spring?

A: As long as you follow the POA (period after opening) guide on the packaging of the product, it’s a symbol that indicates for example 12M which means can be used after opening for 12 months, then it is fine to keep your original products until Spring.

What is your winter skin saver?


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Renae Leith-Manos

Editor and Founder of Bondi Beauty

Renae Leith-Manos loves fitness, new beauty products, long chats and long flights. She is at her best when traveling the world writing about luxury hotels and Michelin Star restaurants ( She has had a colourful media career as a journalist inmagazines and newspapers, in Australia and Asia. She spends her time writing, cooking, consulting to new businesses, running and working out.

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