Your skin can be in bits at this time of year. Here's how to sort it

Tightness and dehydration appear as the heating comes back on

These products will help fight increased oiliness and dehydration.

These products will help fight increased oiliness and dehydration.

 

The unpredictability of skin can be frustrating. It will often play up precisely when you don’t want it to. Mine does this from time to time. Twice a year, though, every year like clockwork, my skin has what I call an “interseasonal tantrum”.

It’s common enough and it makes sense. As summer segues into autumn, temperatures drop, central heating comes back on. Or, at least, deeply stressful conversations about whether you should put it on yet or just wear more clothes will take place in an endless loop until your only options are to physically fight your family or just put the damn heating on.

The consequences usually involve whatever your usual skin issue is (which will be different for everyone), plus increased tightness and dehydration. A combination of break-outs, increased oiliness and dehydration is more common than you’d think, and it’s pretty unpleasant.

For anyone 30-plus, the majority of break-out products are simply too drying and ignore all of the other concerns you might have about your skin, like dullness, fine lines and pigmentation issues.

Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense (€98.95 at lookfantastic.com) is the gold standard in serums for the blemish prone but ageing concerned. The new(ish) kid on the block, Dermalogica Age Bright Clearing Serum (€70.50 at dermalogica.ie), is also great – and, like the more expensive serum, contains decongesting salicylic acid and gentle acids to brighten skin and promote cell turnover which, in turn, reduces break-outs.

Facials

A facial can help enormously with sudden skin imbalance. I don’t mean the sort of facial that involves a whispering woman nudging product around your face in a dim room (though those facials are wonderfully relaxing). I’m talking about a hard-hitting medifacial. The Hydra Facial isn’t new, but it is wildly popular for a reason.

The machine sucks the goop out of your pores (apologies to those reading this over breakfast) and exfoliates dead skin before pumping skin full of a water-based, vitamin-enriched cocktail. It’s not a pre-event facial, as your skin may be red, but a course of Hydra Facials is perfect for rebalancing cantankerous skin.

The best bit is the end, when they show you all the stuff the machine vacuumed out of your pores; it sits in a large vial of what looks like murky river water, and is deeply satisfying to behold. The Hydra Facial is available at clinics nationwide for about €150 – check hydrafacial.co.uk to find one near you.

When skin is protesting, cleansing becomes even more important. If you wear make-up or SPF, you need to cleanse twice before bed with a warm – not hot – flannel. Hot water will dehydrate the surface layer of skin, causing tightness and visible dryness. For this kind of cleansing, an oil or balm is best, but one that emulsifies and washes tracelessly away.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser (€7.20 at theordinary.com) is unbeatable for texture, efficacy and price. Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser with Bamboo Booster (€33 at Space NK) dissolves make-up in moments, and comes with a little vial of exfoliant to mix in when skin feels dull and congested.

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