Do you have a bad case of ‘radiator face’? Try these soothing products
Some calming products for when winter is playing havoc with your skin
The simple addition of a good mask will help your November skin a lot. Photograph: iStock
Skin becomes cantankerous at this time of year, and you may find that the texture, oil or hydration levels of your skin are suddenly and noticeably different. The sudden change in your skin can be quite disconcerting. Each November like clockwork, I have a minor existential crisis at my mirror several mornings in a row, after waking up to duller, slacker, more mottled skin. I look suddenly older, and slightly unwell, and start chastising myself – “That’s all the sugar catching up with you, now!” or cursing the Gods, or simply despairing mildly because I feel like the worst version of my face is staring back at me and there’s no coming back from it.
Then I remember – this happens every year around this time. My skin gets congested, breaks out, and feels less comfortable because it is both oilier and less hydrated than usual. It’s a case of radiator face, and there are several things you can do about it. Regular facial massage is good (see YouTube video guides by people like make-up artist Lisa Eldridge), which you can easily perform yourself while watching Netflix or having a bath. The simple addition of a good mask will also help a lot.
I’m not normally a clay mask fan, as I often find them uncomfortable on my skin. At this time of year, all that changes. Emma Hardie Purifying Pink Clay Detox Mask (€50 at Marks and Spencer) is wonderfully refreshing and decongesting. I use it around my nose, mouth, chin and forehead when I notice skin feeling and looking more congested than usual.
To keep on top of that congestion, as well as a weekly mask, I will use a clay cleanser on winter mornings. Elizabeth Arden Superstart Probiotic Cleanser (€27 at Debenhams) is a creamy whipped mousse cleanser which acts as its own mini mask when applied to clean, dry skin, left for one minute, then rinsed off. It leaves skin feeling comfortably clean, but not stripped.
As well as a humidifier at night time, a very hydrating mask like Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque (€45 at Dermalogica.ie) is my answer to dehydration caused by dry, heated rooms. Apply it generously and leave as long as you like – even sleep in it – to plump up desiccated, dull skin.
If you need something with an element of moisturisation as well, an occasional sheet mask like Kiehl’s Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask (€49 at Arnotts) is deeply comforting.
It has the added benefit of instantly revitalising skin for make-up before an event or special occasion. Also from Kiehl’s is its Buttermask for Lips (€25 at Kiehls, Wicklow Street, Dublin), which hasn’t left my lips since I first got it.
Supposedly an overnight lip mask (which works very well), I have taken to wearing it during the day too. It cocoons the lips but makes them comfortable, instantly relieving that prickly tightness of winter-ravaged lips on the verge of flaking. It keeps them soft and comfortable even in cold winter weather.