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How to: Deal With Dehydration

Thu, 23 May 2013 8:41AM

Parched skin. It’s a trans-seasonal beauty issue that can wreak havoc on any complexion type at any age. This universal beauty boo-boo is especially annoying as we bid farewell to the warmer weather and turn our faces to the cold. Dry air, icy winds and office-or-home heating saps skin of moisture faster than you can say, “Pass me the Sorbolene.” And I feel for you, Primpers, because as we in London are welcoming summer (*laughs hysterically while pulling on another layer of thermal underwear*), those of you Down Under are preparing for the colder weather. Cue: dehydrated, dull, can’t-do-anything-with-it skin.

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Never fear: as a fearless beauty journalist I’m always on the case. So, rather than languishing in this odd season they call spring in the UK but feels more like Melbourne in deep midwinter, I headed to the most arid climate I could find in order to nut out the best treatment for a thirsty complexion. Where? The Sahara Desert, natch.

One flight, a protracted four-wheel-journey and a camel ride over the sand dunes later, I was in situ and ready to see how the harshest of environments would impact on my skin. Sure enough, it wasn’t pretty. All too soon, I was presented with that most annoying of complexion conditions: breakouts AND dryness, all at once. Unfair. And thanks, one hundred percent, to dehydration. Legs and arms weren’t spared either – they became instantly tight and flaky, just like in winter.

Thankfully, I was armed with my moisture-boosting kit. Ideal if you’re ever trapped in the desert with a fully-stocked make-up bag, ahem, but just as good for when you’re trying to transition your ski n into winter with a minimum of face-and-body fuss. This is exactly what you need:

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1. A gentle cleanser
Over-enthusiastic face washes are enemy number one of trans-seasonal skin. OK, maybe not number one, but top 10 for sure. Products that strip every ounce of oil will leave a fragile complexion distressed and in need of a drink. Shelve your hot-weather option and invest in a calming buy that with cleanse without causing dryness. If you’re normally oily, look for a gently foaming buy or, if you’re dry-slash-sensitive, creamy formulas are best.

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What I packed: SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, $90, from department stores. It lasts forever and leave skin feeling clean-but-not-squeaky.

2. A stellar moisturiser
Now is the time to consider your face cream. Dehydrated skin needs something quite specific: enough moisture to calm and soothe but not so much oil that it clogs delicate pores. Inbuilt sunscreens are also a smart addition for everyday autumn/winter wear when you might not be applying a separate SPF daily (although, really, you should).

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What I packed: Prevage Anti-aging Moisture Cream with Sunscreens, $200, from department stores. Packed with antioxidants it guards against environmental damage while boosting hydration. A big investment, granted, but a goodie.

3. Another stellar moisturiser
When the going gets tough, the tough layer their lotions. That’s right. You’ve heard of cream atop serum, but I’m talking cream-on-cream. Only necessary when you’re skin is extra stressed or uncertain about a new season or climate, it’s an insider tip I’ve loved since I prized it from the lips of one of the world’s leading dermatologists. Pop a super-hydrating option underneath your regular moisturiser for a double-whammy of skin-smoothing goodness. You won’t look back.

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What I packed: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, from $40, from department stores. Built to boost skin’s barrier function, it works to lock in hydration and keep it there.

4. A heavy-duty hand cream
You will likely have heard it said that it’s our hands that show signs of ageing before virtually anywhere else on the body. And it’s not difficult to see why, given the battering they cop. While you may be able to get away without moisturising them in summer, come the cooler weather it’s a whole different story. Promote smooth, comfortable skin, healthy-looking nails, and cuticles that don’t look like pieces of chewed string but slathering on a nourishing balm liberally and often. You’ll be thankful both now and in the future.

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What I packed: Lanolips Rose Balm Intense for Very Dry Hands & Nails, $15.95, from Priceline and pharmacies. Delicious hydrators from lanolin to shea butter and wheat germ oil combine to add a protective coating to hardworking hands. Lovely.

5. A body lotion with more
Don’t moisturise daily? You’re not alone. But don’t let this deter you. If you don’t want to be the bearer of scaly legs and flaky arms (eew!), a regular helping of body cream is your best defence. Pop it on straight after a shower – bizarrely one of the most drying events for skin – to promote sleek limbs you’ll want to show off, even in winter. Speaking of showing off, I like mixing my normal lotion with a gradual tanner to grip on to that holiday glow for as long as possible. Works like a charm, especially when you want to flash a bit of flesh that doesn’t appear winter-ravaged.

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What I packed: Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion, from $7.36, from pharmacies and supermarkets. With rich moisturisers, two active tanning ingredients and a pleasant, rather than pungent, odour, there’s little not to like about this brilliant budget buy.

6. A quality lip balm
A chapped pout is simply unsightly. Solve the problem by regularly applying a decent lip salve. Want to wear bright lipstick this season? All the more reason to keep your mouth in tip-top shape. Do it.

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What I packed: The fabulous-but-sadly-limited-edition Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Gloss. While you may still be able to get your hands on one, the brand’s Nourishing Lip Balm Broad, $25, from department stores, is just as good.

This capsule collection of six moisture-boosting buys saw me through my Sahara adventure with a complexion that survived to tell the tale. A similar regimen should similarly see you through this annoying trans-seasonal patch with supple skin from top to toe.

Are you noticing that you’re more dehydrated than normal, Primpers?

Do you suffer from the dreaded dryness-and-breakouts scenario when the seasons change?

And what beauty buys are you investing in to keep smooth as the weather gets colder? Oh, and if anyone has a cure for post-camel-riding-pain, let me know.

Until next week,
Emily x

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19 Comments

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Thu, 23 May 2013 01:00pm

    I’ve got my skin to the best condition it’s ever been with diet, exercise and skin care. For some reason now that means my previously oily skin has balanced out and is reacting to cold by going a bit dry around my lips. I’ve jumped on bored with the 8 Hour Lip Balm which has helped greatly.

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 23 May 2013 01:29pm

    I am beginning to notice signs of dehydration ever since we’ve turned the airconditioning to heat at work :( I’d never considered layering my creams, will have to give that a go!
    Thanks Emily!

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Thu, 23 May 2013 02:04pm

    I am definitely noticing the changes, my hands go really dry/sore and flakey ever single winter. I carry around a small hand cream in my bag so that i can cure my ugly hands when out.
    I dotn suffer from breakouts, just real bad dryness all over really, my face cops it too. Ive used both the clinique moisturiser and lanolips hand balm in the past and truly loved them both, they would be great for this years winter!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Thu, 23 May 2013 02:55pm

    Dramatically different moisturiser is the best for dry skin! It is my favourite from clinique.

  • Posted by: Claire88 Master Fan // Thu, 23 May 2013 07:24pm

    I get a bit confused on whether my skin is dry or dehydrated? I don’t get flaky patches, and my skin doesn’t feel tight after cleansing but I do have lots of fine lines …so does that make my skin dehydrated?
    I have been using the overnight hydrating masks which does help and I do layer my creams at night .I think the use of heaters definitely doesn’t help my skin.

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Thu, 23 May 2013 09:51pm

    All I can say is moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, nourish, nourish, nourish. Entire body, lips, hands, feet, face and hair.

  • Posted by: connor 777 Master Fan // Thu, 23 May 2013 11:07pm

    My skin hates autumn it is so dry and itchy so I am just loading up on moisturizers and trying to drink more water and lots of lip products

  • Posted by: Its_Jess Master Fan // Fri, 24 May 2013 11:38pm

    I love Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion! I won a bottle about a year ago and I’ve used it every day since then! It’s the best facial moisturiser I’ve ever come across!

  • Posted by: Rebecca-1314689428 Enthusiast // Mon, 27 May 2013 10:59am

    The skin on my body always gets so itchy this time of year, but I can’t use anything too rich on my body as it makes my keratosis pilaris flare up. I’ve been using my trusty Aveeno body wash (seriously, I wouldn’t face a winter without it!) and the new Garnier Intensive 7-Day Gel Lotion and it’s been working fabulously. I was really skeptical about the whole gel-lotion concept but am now an absolute convert!

  • Posted by: Morning Star Devotee // Mon, 27 May 2013 08:48pm

    My skin on my hands and lips is really dry at the moment; happens every year at this time. I have to say, vasoline is one of the best things that works for me when my skin’s like this.

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Wed, 29 May 2013 12:51pm

    I’ve noticed my skin and lips drying out a bit lately so I’ve been drinking more water and using richer creams on my skin.

  • Posted by: jessica88 Master Fan // Wed, 5 June 2013 10:15am

    My skin is noticably druer in winter. So I make sure I keep up my healthy eating and exercise routine, lots of water and moisturiser.

  • Posted by: thecatwhosawstars Master Fan // Wed, 5 June 2013 04:27pm

    My hands, feet and body get dry and need a good moisture injection. I am lazy though and don’t always moisturise my bid after a bath or shower even though I know I should.

  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Sat, 15 June 2013 11:17pm

    Don’t even mention the word itchy…….It makes me want to scratch lol :) The Dove lotion is a great affordable product to use lashings of!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Sun, 21 July 2013 10:25pm

    I really love the lanolips hand balm it is perfect for taking on the go

  • Posted by: Ara20 Enthusiast // Wed, 14 August 2013 08:29am

    I managed to get my hands on some small trial bottles of Prevage and it is amazing stuff, my skin felt like velvet after applying it. The price tag made me baulk a little but I might have to put it on the splurge list.

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Sun, 22 September 2013 09:38pm

    My skin is oily but gets dehydrated. Gel products are the best

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 13 October 2013 08:19pm

    great products

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Wed, 29 January 2014 08:25pm

    My face, lips and hands suffer with the change of season.

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