Winter is looming, which means we need to start thinking about how we’re going to adapt our skincare routine to fit the changes. We’ve spoken to acclaimed Clinical Facialist Kate Kerr about how we can preen and prime ourselves for the forthcoming festivities…

It’s officially ‘Dry Season’ in the beauty world and the contrast of cold air outside and heating inside can play havoc with your skin. Add to that the late nights and dehydration that come hand-in-hand with winter festivities and you might start to notice some not-so-welcome changes…

Why Does Our Skin Change?

“The lack of humidity strips moisture from the skin,” Kate tells us. Apparently you get what is called “enhanced transepidermal water loss” which is basically the evaporation of moisture from the skin. “It can leave it feeling tight and dry and looking really dull and flat,” she tells us. As if that’s not enough, there’s also something in winter called temperature inversions which can cause a build up of pollution, so cleansing and using lots of antioxidant-based serums is really important, too. Pollution tends to stick to make-up.

What To Do And What Not To Do

Although increasing and intensifying your moisturiser might seem like the natural thing to do, it really isn’t. “You need to let your skin feel the panic, feel that lack of moisture, and activate its own moisture production so your skin is always trying to maintain a level of balance,” Kate says. “I’m all about activating the skin to work for itself. It can take one-to-two weeks but if you allow your skin to adapt. It will adapt. Drink lots of water, turn the heating down a couple of notches and pop on a cardigan.”

Take Extra Care With An At-Home Facial

Follow Kate Kerr’s step-by-step for a spa-grade at-home facial:

  1. Start by thoroughly cleansing. It not only removes make-up but it helps to soften the skin and opens the channels for vital ingredients to penetrate the skin. Then remove with warm water – not hot, or cold. 
  2. Get a warm face cloth and just hold it onto the skin for 10-15 seconds, and repeat this a couple of times. That will really soften the skin and ensure that you get a better effect from everything you do after this point.
  3. Exfoliate using a scrub. I like to use cleansers with alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids – like glycolic acid and lactic acid – to dissolve away the bonds that are holding those dead skin cells to the surface of the skin, then go in with a scrub. Don’t forget to exfoliate down to your neck and décolletage. I love the Alumier Enzymatic Peel.
  4. After that, apply a mask. If you’re break-out prone, have rosacea or oily skin, you could apply a clay-based mask. Pop that on, leave it on for 10-15 mins then remove it and pop on a sheet mask. One of my favourites is the Medik8 Hydrating Mineral Sheet Mask. It really helps to plump the skin and draw moisture into the skin, giving it that hydration boost. The Glo Skin Firming Mask is also amazing.
  5. Then I’d pop on an antioxidant serum and retinol. Winter is a great time to start using retinol because it helps with all your barriers, including pigmentation and hydration – everything, really! It’s also one of the strongest antioxidants. I recommend  ZO Skin Health retinols because they have really advanced delivery systems – the results are phenomenal. I also love the ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Serum – it really plumps and hydrates. 
  6. Then use your eye cream and neck cream and really massage them into your skin. 

How To Avoid A Skin Hangover

Presuming lockdown restrictions ease and we are allowed to (responsibly) enjoy socialising again, Kate advises on a little night-before-the-morning-after routine to help keep your skin looking less tired than you might actually feel.

“Alcohol ravages Vitamin A which is essential for stimulating collagen and elastane. It also causes oxidation in the skin and puffiness,” she explains. “Don’t go to bed with your make-up on. Give your skin a really good cleanse, put your antioxidants on, put your retinol on, and when you get up in the morning cleanse again, and really get your lymph fluid moving. If you get the blood flowing by running or walking, that will really help, too. And obviously lots of water.”

What To Book When The Clinics Are Open Again?

An Advanced Clinical Brightening facial. This is a completely customisable brightening treatment designed to help deep cleanse, hydrate and enliven the skin. It improves tone and clarity, stimulates collagen, reduces fine lines, gets rid of impurities and excess oil, and leaves you with fresh, dewy, radiantly glowing skin. The perfect pre-party season skin boost.

Kate Kerr practices at the auga Spa London at Sea Containers London, offering her bespoke medical facials. These would provide the perfect pick-me-up post-lockdown.

Want to receive more great articles like this every day: sign up here