Like the seasons, skin changes too. When leaves turn brown, crinkle, and fall off autumn trees, so do the top cells on our skin. Dried out during summer, these cells are ready to be skimmed off the surface with a little encouragement.
The new winter cells mean the start of a new skin and if you follow our four-week plan you will find your skin takes on a new luster. Of course, you have to follow the plan devotedly.
After one week of concentrated care, the impurities begin to leave the skin. You might even see some eruptions (blemishes) on the face, which show this. Then, during the second week, the skin will settle and during the third week, you should see a definite improvement in color and texture.
After four weeks it takes on a new winter glow. Start the plan by first determining your skin type with the help of our chart. Equip yourself with cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and a mask to follow the super skin plan. In the chart there is no category for normal skin – only a child’s skin is truly normal.
1. Identify your skin type
New attention to detail is needed to clean away accumulated grime twice a day – on waking and when removing your makeup.
Sydney beautician Maria Scheffer, of International Beauty Therapy, explains how to clean your face properly at home. First, put a generous amount of cleanser on three center fingers.
Stroke it up across your forehead, from the center out to the hairline, then use the tips of the first fingers in a criss-cross movement across the top of the nose. Always move the fingers from the center of the upper eyelid area to the outer eye area and then under the eye to the nose.
Now massage the cream out to the ears and up the jawline. Massage up the neck from the collarbone using three fingers. Take the cream off with cotton wool, in the same direction as for cleansing.
- Dry skin cleansers are Lancome Douceur Démaquillante Nutrix, Cyclax Cleansing Balm, Coty’s Deep Cleansing Oil.
- For oily skins: Innoxa Medicated Soap, Yardley Oatmeal Soap, Clinique Facial Soap.
- For average skins: Elizabeth Arden Deep Milky Cleanser, Revlon Purifying Cleanser, Juvena Facial Cleanser.
If, after removing all the cleanser, your cotton wool is discolored, you need to repeat the process. One bout of cleansing is often not enough and you should be satisfied only when the cotton wool remains clean.
The morning process is exactly the same.
Cleansing removes makeup and grime from your skin, while a freshener takes away the left-over cleanser.
Spray it on. Imagine a burst of cold water showered on your face. The tingling sensation is the same if you spray on your freshener. It’s a healthy reaction for the skin, like a miniature shock treatment.
Two or three bursts of freshener will cover the entire face and neck, and it’s more economical than patting it on with a wad of cotton wool. Take the freshener off with cotton wool.
Skin fresheners are corrective. This means that if you are using a lotion for oily skin it will contain components that attack blemishes and encourage healing, so be sure you have chosen the correct toner or astringent for your skin type.
- Dry skin fresheners: Revlon Balanced Toner, Cyclax Flower Balm, Juvena Skin Lotion.
- Oily skin: Clinique Clarifying Lotion, Innoxa Solution, Yardley Astringent.
- Combination skin: Coty Balancing Toner, Lancome Fraicheur Tonique, Elizabeth Arden Skin Lotion.
When you’re in an office or sitting by a fire there’s no need for your skin to feel it’s on the Nullarbor Plain.
Extreme winter temperatures rob the skin of moisture. A moisturizer does two things – it puts back lost moisture extracted through the heating or air conditioning and protects exposed skin from the environment.
Day moisture goes on after cleanser and toner. You need enough to dab across the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Gently smear it into the skin. Don’t put any makeup on the skin for at least five minutes to give it time to seep deep into the skin.
Night moisture is something quite different. If you’re under 20 years your day moisturizer is sufficient food for the skin when used at night. At 20 you need to replace the moisturizer with a night cream and use an eye cream as well.
Dot the eye cream in a fine line under the eyes from the outside corners. Do not put the cream close to the lashes, but a finger width below them. The skin under the eye draws the cream up to the lashes.
This skin, the driest on the face, can be over moisturized and become puffy. Use cream sparingly. At 30 add a throat cream to your list. Stroke it from the collar bone up to the jawline each night after cleansing.
- Eye creams: Harriet Hubbard Ayer Eye Cream, Elizabeth Arden Special Eye Cream, Helena Rubinstein Eye Wrinkle Stick, Yardley Active Eye Cream.
- Throat creams: Harriet Hubbard Ayer Anti-Wrinkle Throat Cream, Helena Rubinstein Throat Cream and Christian Dior Creme Pour Le Cou, the latest cream to reach the beauty counters.
The secret with night creams is to use them sparingly. Over-use can cause a reaction and you wonder why the cream you spent so much money on is causing your skin to break out. Make sure your night cream is suitable for your age. Even though a woman at 25 needs a night cream, it should be much lighter than that of a woman of 50.
- Moisturizers for dry skin: Lancome Hydrix, Coty Moisture Multiplier, Cyclax Milk of Roses Balm.
- For oily skin: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, Innoxa Soothing Cream, and Yardley Moisturiser.
- For combination skin: Elizabeth Arden Velva Moisture Film, Revlon Protective Day Moisture Base, Mary Quant Skin Drink.
Putting on a mask does for your face what a weekend at a health farm does for your body. Masks work to make skin help itself. Here’s how: when you plaster the creamy, gooey mask across your face your skin reacts.
It fights the heavy layer of cream which is stopping it from breathing. The blood rallies to zip faster through the skin and sweat glands start working. As they do, they push out the impurities.
These are soaked up by the mask which, as it dries, is looking for moisture to absorb. It takes up the oil and sweat and leaves the skin tingling clean. Finally, as it dries hard, the mask shrinks a fraction leaving the skin with a tight feeling that lasts a few hours.
When the mask is stripped off the skin, the skin color will often be lighter (too bad if you were hanging on to the remnants of a summer tan) because it’s taken off the surface of old skin cells.
Use your mask once a week, preferably before bed, leaving the skin free of makeup once it has been removed.
Masks: Yardley Cream Mask, Helena Rubinstein Mineral Mask, Elizabeth Arden Velva Cream Mask, Lancome Masque, Harriet Hubbard Ayer Special Gentle Mask.