Put a spring in your skin

2011-08-19 15:31

Spring is currently knocking, but it seems like this winter just doesn’t want to let go. Fortunately, though, there will come a time when this season needs to make like Beyoncé’s song and move to the left.

Just as winter is most people’s least favourite season because you can’t really pull off the cute look with all those layers, it’s also unwelcome because that’s when your skin gets dry and ashy.

To shed that dry look and uncover a more radiant glow, cosmetic doctor and founder of the Skin & Body Renewal Clinics, Maureen Allem, suggests a few treatments.

“In winter, we tend to get a build-up of dead cells that leave the skin hard and dull-looking. This is exacerbated by exposure to pollution and other environmental effects such as indoor heaters and air conditioners,” she says.

The first thing, Allem says, is to exfoliate because it helps get rid of dead skin. “This can be done chemically with peels, or mechanically with mild abrasive tools like exfoliating sponges, or products like grainy scrubs.”

She adds that a more effective way of exfoliation is through a process called microdermabrasion. “This is a quick, no downtime skin-care technique that uses tiny rough grains to buff away the surface layer of skin.

“With a series of these procedures you can quickly achieve substantial improvement in the appearance of superficial lines and uneven pigmentation,” Allem says.

This process can only be done at a professional skin clinic, but if you’d rather go the chemical route, superficial peels can work.

“They renew the skin by lifting dead cells off the surface and stimulating the metabolism of the cells underneath. These mild treatments are usually suitable for all skin types including those with acne, sensitive skin and hormonal pigmentation problems,” Allem adds.

For a more accessible route that is far from being a quick fix, however, Natasha Bennett of Clinique suggests the good ol’ three-step formula.

Cleanse to get rid of layers that block the pores. “Body lotions and, for some, petroleum jelly (which most people turn to in winter) are designed to adhere to skin and sit on the surface. Cleansing gets rid of all that dirt,” she says.

Then exfoliate for clearer, smoother skin. “This removes dead skin to prevent congestion and improve hydration from toners and moisturisers. Do it in the morning before using toner, moisturiser, sunscreen and make-up.”

Lastly, she says, moisturise, to keep the skin hydrated: “A good product will help seal in moisture.”

One additional technique both beauty experts agree on is to drink water. The eight glasses most pretty people preach work like a charm when it comes to hydration.

But if all else fails, there’s what Allem calls a liquid face-lift – a combination of botox and dermal fillers. “The botox relaxes and reduces wrinkles, mostly on the top half of the face. The fillers restore lost volume, contour facial features, reduce wrinkles and give you a smooth, more radiant and youthful appearance,” she adds.

This face-lift, Allem says, can help “reduce under-eye bags, lift the brow, lids and temples, open up your eyes, contour the jaw line and chin, and restore the natural shape to cheeks”.

While it might sound like something right up Khanyi Mbau’s street, don’t knock it till you try it – you might end up looking as fresh as a rosebud just in time for spring. 

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