If it’s (sadly) cold enough to crank up the heat at home, it’s time to start thinking about changing your skin-care routine. If you’re prone to rosacea, psoriasis or eczema, this season can be harsh because low humidity and chilly winds can cause flare-ups. Here’s what skin-care experts do for themselves when the fall—and furnaces—kick in.
Skin care advice: Cold plates
“This is the time of year when I try to eat more salmon and drink blueberry-pomegranate juice whenever I can,” says Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, a Toronto-based dermatologist. The omega 3s in the fish may boost collagen production, and the antioxidants in the juice protect against free radicals and environmental damage. While it may not be freezing yet, when the wind picks up and the humidity goes down, it’s time to switch up your go-to products, adds Skotnicki. “Don’t use anything that foams or lathers or has a smell,” she says. “The agents that give the most luxurious lathers can also be tough on your skin’s moisture barrier, and fragrances may be tougher to tolerate now that your skin is drier than it was last season.” It’s also time to amp up your moisturizing routine. Skotnicki recommends choosing products that are ceramide or lipid based, which help to replace skin’s lost oils.
Skin care advice: Water log
The main reason we swap the UV index for the wind chill factor in winter is to get a sense of just how dry it’s going to be. “When your moisture barrier disappears, irritants that are normally repelled can cause reactions that result in rashes, a worsening of rosacea or folliculitis [inflammation of the hair follicles],” says Dr. Jaggi Rao, an Edmonton-based dermatologist. Like many of us, Rao barely needs a moisturizer in the summer, but come fall he reintroduces it into his daily routine. “It’s easier to maintain healthy skin than treat skin problems.”
More great expert tips on the next page…
Skin care advice: Brush up
“There tends to be a buildup of toxins in our skin in the summer,” says Meredith MacLean of the Stillwater Spa Calgary. “Our pores are stimulated by exposure to sunshine and clogged from hot temperatures, making our skin more oily. Dry body brushing in the fall helps to remove these toxins so you can start winter with clean, healthy skin that can absorb moisturizers and serums more easily.”
Skin care advice: Royal flush
Dr. Dominique Mandeville cuts back on her lattes and vino when autumn sets in. “Caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict so this inhibits circulation, which means we don’t naturally flush out toxins as well as we could,” explains the Montreal-based dermato-aesthetic doctor. And those rum toddies? Soothing, yes, but they rob you of moisture. “Alcohol is a diuretic, so it dries you out,” she says.
Skin care advice: Food court
It’s normal to crave carbs as the winter months set in—but Tom Hays, wellness concierge at the Ritz-Carlton’s Lodge Spa at Vail, in Colorado, says that it’s easy to curb this seasonal urge. “We can’t really beat ourselves up for wanting to hibernate at this time of year,” he says. “Even if our vanity wants us to keep our muscle tone, our bodies want us to put on weight.” Hays, who is a personal trainer and former chef with a background in holistic nutrition, cautions against random noshing; the seasons and the temperature should dictate your choices. “When it’s hot out, you need cooling foods; when it’s cold, you need warming foods,” he says. In this context, warming foods have nothing to do with temperature and everything to do with their effect on the body. Most animal proteins and slow-growing produce fit the bill (think autumn harvests like carrot, sweet potato, onion and garlic). Fats and protein take longer to digest, and that’s what our bodies crave now. “You can give your body what it needs without resorting to a cheeseburger,” says Hays.
Photography by Geoffrey Ross. Shiseido Benefiance Full Correction Lip Treatment ($38, at department stores, select Shoppers Drug Mart, and the Bay); Fresh Sugar Passion Sugar Lip Treatment ($26, at fresh.com).
Chapped, cracked lips are not only painful but also clash terribly with the on-trend ruby-red lip you planned on trying. Keep lips smooth with a balm enriched with natural humectants, like marine collagen or beeswax, or opt for a tinted balm that will keep lips hydrated and add a pop of colour.
The Body Shop Bronzing Powder in S03 ($17, at thebodyshop.ca); Stila Sun Bronzing Powder SPF 15 in 1 ($28, at stilacosmetics.com).
Instantly brighten a gloomy day and your dull complexion with an iridescent bronzing powder. Look for a formula with an SPF to add an extra layer of protection.
Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream ($17, at weleda.com)
A rich (non-greasy) hand cream is to your winterizing beauty routine what a chunky-knit sweater is to your wardrobe: a necessity. Look for a formula that has shea butter and nourishing essential oils, such as avocado or pomegranate.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter