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Changing seasons means serious adjustments for your skin as it tries to adapt to different conditions, whether it’s extreme cold, high humidity, heat or harsh winds. But whatever aggressors the environment throws at you, following a smart skincare routine will help your skin weather any conditions. Vogue asks experts from humid, cold, dry and hot climates to share their smart skincare rules.
Different conditions require different types of hydration (hot as well as cold conditions can dry skin out), and in all seasons, it’s key to keep lipid barriers functioning at their best by replacing depleted levels.
If you’re battling cold conditions and freezing temperatures, it’s vital to keep the skin barrier strong and nourished. “The climate in Iceland can often cause dry, dehydrated, flaky, irritated and cracked skin, where the lipid barrier function is impaired. In turn this often results in dull, wrinkled and parched skin,” says Sarah Kugelman, founder of Skyn Iceland, a brand established in sub-zero conditions.
“My goal has always been to create formulas that deliver on intensive hydration without petrolatum and without being heavy and greasy,” says Kugelman, who advises topping up your usual skincare routine with deeply hydrating masks. “Skin in such extreme temperatures and wintry conditions needs deep nourishment and lasting hydration without a greasy, pore-clogging veil,” she says.
Nicolas Travis, founder of Singaporean skincare brand Allies of Skin, has noticed customers’ hydration needs and skin concerns vary according to regions. “In comparison to Asia, our customers in the West are more focused on hyperpigmentation, as well as dehydration lines. Instead of reflecting light, they would rather look matte, but still want to feel nourished and hydrated. They prefer heavier creams that absorb instantly and usually use one serum,” he notes. Climates in Europe and America often mean colder, dryer, windier conditions that strip the skin of moisture. While in Southeast Asia there’s far more humidity in the air, meaning lighter textured moisturisers that leave skin with less shine are more popular.
Skyn Iceland, Arctic Face Oil – an omega-rich, easily absorbed oil that will balance and hydrate the skin all day long.
Allies of Skin, Triple Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum – a multitasking hydrating serum that simultaneously calms skin as it tackles daily aggressors and dryness, all without a sticky residue.
Check the ingredients
In warmer climes, rising temperatures will lead to higher levels of sweat, which means “products should have a very light texture to penetrate deeply into the skin and not to clog the pores even in extreme heat conditions,” says Jamila Askarova, co-founder and creative director of London-based skincare brand Gazelli.
In hot, dry climates, concerns may include clogged pores, congestion, sun spots, pigmentation and dryness. Renchia Droganis, founder of holistic South African brand Africology, says, “It’s key to remember to avoid petrolatum or mineral oils. These ingredients may have an instant hydrating effect, but they tend to block pores and can cause even more skin inflammation. Our skin needs to be able to breathe and excrete and absorb to function properly.”
Another synthetic ingredient to watch out for is silicone, a filler used in many formulas to improve texture and make it feel more luxurious. It is also used to trap ingredients into the skin. But, says Allies of Skin’s Travis, “From my personal experience with acne, I find silicones to be very clogging and absolutely unnecessary.” Instead, he advises looking out for formulations that are biocompatible with the skin, which means they will be easily absorbed.
Africology, Absolute Rose Serum – a calming, natural formula with non-irritating ingredients that won’t leave the pores clogged or irritated.
Dr Hauschka, Revitalising Day Cream – super-natural blend of botanical ingredients including jojoba and sweet almond extracts.
Embrace exfoliation with caution
Skin that’s been exposed to the elements will need a boost in buffing away dead skin cells from the surface, but abrasive exfoliants can cause irritation, so clarifying masks offer a great alternative to help retain moisture.
When it comes to hotter climates, steer clear of anything too aggressive. “Any abrasive or skin-traumatising treatment such as lasers and peels should be avoided in these conditions as skin will be especially susceptible to sun damage,” says Gazelli’s Askarova. “The best treatments to try during hot weather are those that boost skin hydration, support the skin’s rejuvenation processes and help skin to maintain a natural, healthy barrier.”
“In Asia, women are obsessed with brightening and looking fairer,” says Travis. “They are also very concerned about the effects of pollution. In hot and humid weather, they want a natural glow (like they are reflecting light) without looking greasy. They use multiple brightening products and acids to help get that glow. They prefer lightweight textures like gel and silky serums that sink into the skin.”
Allies of Skin Bright, Future Sleeping Facial – an overnight treatment mask that buffs and clarifies the skin with AHAs and enzymes to brighten the complexion.
Gazelli, Ultra Nourishing Saviour Mask – a super-hydrating mask that will nourish the skin, this is packed with sodium hyaluronate, hydrolysed elastin, nourishing fig extract and regenerative Gazelli White Oil.
Pay extra attention to eyes
The skin around the eyes is thin, so while hydration is key, formulas designed specifically for the eye area are best. Colder weather conditions can leave eyes irritated, or streaming in the wind, only adding to dehydration. Avoid richer formulas, which can sometimes leave the surrounding skin feeling puffy, and instead, choose lighter textures that have plenty of moisturising properties to sink in, smooth and soothe.
“Our cult favourite, the Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, helps to infuse the under-eye area with high-performance nutrients and hydrators transdermally – so [they work] deeper and more effectively,” says Skyn Iceland’s Kugelman.
Skyn Iceland, Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels – these nutrient-rich, under-eye patches will depuff and smooth the sensitive skin around the eyes.
Gazelli, Reviving Eye Cream – a nourishing, soothing cream that will depuff and smooth away dark circles.
Original article published by @VogueAustralia >