Intentional skincare may sound a little serious but it’s as simple as amping up certain ingredients and products – buying for your skin type and ‘layering’ up or down as your skincare needs change. It’s also about buying with intention – cutting down on unnecessary products which ultimately reduces your carbon footprint.
In South Africa, particularly inland and on the Highveld, the extremes in temperature and humidity can leave skin feeling tight to say the least, while coastal winds can dry and weaken exposed skin.
The big seasonal ‘winter wardrobe’ musts are exfoliation and hydration, with some other skincare accessories thrown in to nourish and rehabilitate post-summer complexions. Sloughing off dead surface skin cells is more necessary in the colder months, as is a richer moisturiser that can hydrate through the drier air. It’s also a good time to use your retinol and retinoid products, which many prefer to avoid during the summer because of the inflammation excess heat can cause. (In saying that, if you follow the correct protocol and use sunscreen you can use your retinol products in summer.)
Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid (a humectant that hydrates the skin), niacinamide (a type of vitamin B3 that boosts collagen production to improve skin texture), ceramides (fats that help retain moisture), retinol (the purest form of vitamin A and an anti-ageing powerhouse) and vitamin C (to protect and give radiance).
The cleanser: Endocare Essential Aquafoam (R285)
It’s advisable to use a gentler cleanser in winter or when your skin is feeling compromised and if you prefer the feel of a foam, this is the gentlest cleansing facial foam I have tried and can even be used on sensitive and reactive skin types. It contains isotonic water which is rich in minerals and trace elements to hydrate and soothe and has regenerating benefits, while citric acid gently exfoliates. www.endocaresa.co.za
The exfoliator: NeoStrata Restore PHA Renewal Pads (R863)
Full disclosure: I am addicted to these pre-soaked tonic pads that you simply swipe over your skin to gently exfoliate. They are infused with 4% polyhydroxy acid (PHA), which is even suitable for sensitive skin. It leaves the skin feeling incredibly refreshed and is also ideal to prime the skin for the rest of your skincare routine. www.neostrata.co.za
The serum: Exuviance Retinol Serum (R1377)
Retinol tackles all signs of ageing and quite simply is a must once you hit your late 20s. Exuviance Retinol Serum contains two hero ingredients – pure stabilised retinol which helps to build natural collagen, reduces fine lines and plumps the skin – and hyaluronic acid for intense hydration. www.exuviance.co.za
The moisturiser: Lancôme Rénergie H.P.N. 300-Peptide cream (R2020 and R1490 for refill)
This innovative regenerating cream concentrates potent active ingredients – highly effective plant extract peptides (a 300-peptide combination!), a powerful new concentration of hyaluronic acid and collagen-boosting niacinamide. It also ticks another intentional box as it comes in a refillable and reusable glass jar. Available at Edgars, Foschini, Truworths, Woolworths, Superbalist and ARC Stores.
The eye treatment: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentration Matrix (R1350)
Because the eye area tissue has very few oil glands, it’s vital to keep this area moisturised to help nourish the delicate skin. The new ANR Eye Concentration Matrix includes the latest technology found in the famous ANR repair, plus an infusion of multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid to provide a surge of moisture and prompt the skin to produce its own moisture. www.esteelauder.co.za