Changing seasons, blowing sands and overusing air conditioning can wreak havoc with the skin of your face. Look after your face with seven handy hints
When seasons change and the weather gets hotter, hotter days and the return of AC units can literally suck the moisture right out of your skin. ‘Now is the one time a year that everyone, regardless of skin type, can use a good facial,’ says home-beauty expert Janice Cox, the author of three best-selling books on natural beauty. Katrina Valente, Dubai’s revered facialist, weighs in on how to deal with distressed skin. ‘You have to exfoliate at least twice weekly and use very hydrating products.’ If you can’t make it to an expert, take a stab at treating yourself.
1. Wash With tepid water, lather facial soap between your palms and massage over your face and throat. Rinse three to five times and pat your skin dry.
2. Tone ‘Using a toner is a great idea, because it not only gets your skin really clean and removes any leftover soap residue and dead skin cells, but it also restores the natural pH level,’ Cox says. ‘Soap is very alkaline, and using a toner will help balance it out.’
3. Exfoliate Slough away dead skin cells with a gentle scrub. Attack greasy areas and rub the lotion in with a circular motion. Try mixing some sugar granules with honey and slathering it on your façade with gusto.
4. Steam Fill a large bowl or sink with hot water. Cox suggests adding herbs: chamomile for normal skin, peppermint for oily skin and rosemary for dry skin. Using a large bath towel, make a tent and lean over the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes to open your pores. Rinse – first with warm water and then cool.
5. Mask Cox suggests a hydrating gel or cream mask for dry skin, a natural clay mask for oily skin and an oatmeal or avocado mask for normal skin types. Cover your face and neck with a thin, even coat (avoid the area around your eyes), and leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing well with water. Valente adds that you should lightly massage the mask in to stimulate blood flow.
6. Moisturise Stay hydrated by drinking lots – around two litres a day – of water, and apply lotion both day and night (to damp skin is best, so as to lock in the moisture). ‘As a less pricey alternative, choose one with the fewest number of ingredients at the supermarket,’ Cox adds.
7. Eye cream A cooling eye cream (along with slices of cucumber) will increase firmness and elasticity, decrease skin redness and brighten the under-eye area.
Katrina Valente (04 348 5452), Synergy Medical Centre.