How to: Deal With Dehydration
Thu, 23 May 2013 8:41AM
Parched skin. It’s a trans-seasonal beauty issue that can wreak havoc on any complexion type at any age. This universal beauty boo-boo is especially annoying as we bid farewell to the warmer weather and turn our faces to the cold. Dry air, icy winds and office-or-home heating saps skin of moisture faster than you can say, “Pass me the Sorbolene.” And I feel for you, Primpers, because as we in London are welcoming summer (*laughs hysterically while pulling on another layer of thermal underwear*), those of you Down Under are preparing for the colder weather. Cue: dehydrated, dull, can’t-do-anything-with-it skin.
Never fear: as a fearless beauty journalist I’m always on the case. So, rather than languishing in this odd season they call spring in the UK but feels more like Melbourne in deep midwinter, I headed to the most arid climate I could find in order to nut out the best treatment for a thirsty complexion. Where? The Sahara Desert, natch.
One flight, a protracted four-wheel-journey and a camel ride over the sand dunes later, I was in situ and ready to see how the harshest of environments would impact on my skin. Sure enough, it wasn’t pretty. All too soon, I was presented with that most annoying of complexion conditions: breakouts AND dryness, all at once. Unfair. And thanks, one hundred percent, to dehydration. Legs and arms weren’t spared either – they became instantly tight and flaky, just like in winter.
Thankfully, I was armed with my moisture-boosting kit. Ideal if you’re ever trapped in the desert with a fully-stocked make-up bag, ahem, but just as good for when you’re trying to transition your ski n into winter with a minimum of face-and-body fuss. This is exactly what you need:
1. A gentle cleanser
Over-enthusiastic face washes are enemy number one of trans-seasonal skin. OK, maybe not number one, but top 10 for sure. Products that strip every ounce of oil will leave a fragile complexion distressed and in need of a drink. Shelve your hot-weather option and invest in a calming buy that with cleanse without causing dryness. If you’re normally oily, look for a gently foaming buy or, if you’re dry-slash-sensitive, creamy formulas are best.
What I packed: SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, $90, from department stores. It lasts forever and leave skin feeling clean-but-not-squeaky.
2. A stellar moisturiser
Now is the time to consider your face cream. Dehydrated skin needs something quite specific: enough moisture to calm and soothe but not so much oil that it clogs delicate pores. Inbuilt sunscreens are also a smart addition for everyday autumn/winter wear when you might not be applying a separate SPF daily (although, really, you should).
What I packed: Prevage Anti-aging Moisture Cream with Sunscreens, $200, from department stores. Packed with antioxidants it guards against environmental damage while boosting hydration. A big investment, granted, but a goodie.
3. Another stellar moisturiser
When the going gets tough, the tough layer their lotions. That’s right. You’ve heard of cream atop serum, but I’m talking cream-on-cream. Only necessary when you’re skin is extra stressed or uncertain about a new season or climate, it’s an insider tip I’ve loved since I prized it from the lips of one of the world’s leading dermatologists. Pop a super-hydrating option underneath your regular moisturiser for a double-whammy of skin-smoothing goodness. You won’t look back.
What I packed: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, from $40, from department stores. Built to boost skin’s barrier function, it works to lock in hydration and keep it there.
4. A heavy-duty hand cream
You will likely have heard it said that it’s our hands that show signs of ageing before virtually anywhere else on the body. And it’s not difficult to see why, given the battering they cop. While you may be able to get away without moisturising them in summer, come the cooler weather it’s a whole different story. Promote smooth, comfortable skin, healthy-looking nails, and cuticles that don’t look like pieces of chewed string but slathering on a nourishing balm liberally and often. You’ll be thankful both now and in the future.
What I packed: Lanolips Rose Balm Intense for Very Dry Hands & Nails, $15.95, from Priceline and pharmacies. Delicious hydrators from lanolin to shea butter and wheat germ oil combine to add a protective coating to hardworking hands. Lovely.
5. A body lotion with more
Don’t moisturise daily? You’re not alone. But don’t let this deter you. If you don’t want to be the bearer of scaly legs and flaky arms (eew!), a regular helping of body cream is your best defence. Pop it on straight after a shower – bizarrely one of the most drying events for skin – to promote sleek limbs you’ll want to show off, even in winter. Speaking of showing off, I like mixing my normal lotion with a gradual tanner to grip on to that holiday glow for as long as possible. Works like a charm, especially when you want to flash a bit of flesh that doesn’t appear winter-ravaged.
What I packed: Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion, from $7.36, from pharmacies and supermarkets. With rich moisturisers, two active tanning ingredients and a pleasant, rather than pungent, odour, there’s little not to like about this brilliant budget buy.
6. A quality lip balm
A chapped pout is simply unsightly. Solve the problem by regularly applying a decent lip salve. Want to wear bright lipstick this season? All the more reason to keep your mouth in tip-top shape. Do it.
What I packed: The fabulous-but-sadly-limited-edition Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Gloss. While you may still be able to get your hands on one, the brand’s Nourishing Lip Balm Broad, $25, from department stores, is just as good.
This capsule collection of six moisture-boosting buys saw me through my Sahara adventure with a complexion that survived to tell the tale. A similar regimen should similarly see you through this annoying trans-seasonal patch with supple skin from top to toe.
Are you noticing that you’re more dehydrated than normal, Primpers?
Do you suffer from the dreaded dryness-and-breakouts scenario when the seasons change?
And what beauty buys are you investing in to keep smooth as the weather gets colder? Oh, and if anyone has a cure for post-camel-riding-pain, let me know.
Until next week,
Posted by: Emily Taylor