There are so many things to love about winter. From matching beanies and scarves, to hot chocolates with marshmallows, it's the perfect season for curling up with a good book and forgetting about the outside world. But as the temperatures drop and the layers go on, there is one thing everyone needs to remember: skin care!
We sat down with Australian Skin Clinics National Training Manager Darlene O'Gara to uncover the treatments that will keep your skin happy and healthy this winter.
Concern: Visible Capillaries
There's nothing better than coming in from the cold and jumping in a long, hot shower. Unfortunately, this winter warmer can wreak havoc on your skin. Sudden changes in temperature can cause the capillaries in the face to contract and expand rapidly, leading to broken veins and skin redness.
Darlene O'Gara, Australian Skin Clinics National Training Manager says the most commonly affected areas are the nose, forehead and cheeks.
"Laser for general redness and laser for facial veins are two popular treatments that can effectively reduce the appearance of visible blood vessels, capillaries and general redness," Ms O'Gara said.
"For the treatment of general redness you will generally need six treatments at two weekly intervals. For the treatment of facial veins, the recommendation is usually one to three treatments at six weekly intervals. Speak to your laser technician who will advise a treatment plan according to your skin type."
Concern: Dry, Flaky Skin
The dry air and low humidity of winter can strip the skin of its natural layer of protective oil, leading to flakey, dry and dull-looking skin. Add central heating on top of that, and you're in for a skin disaster!
While it might not seem as important during the cooler months, drinking enough water is the first step in the fight against dry skin. Not only does water keep your body functioning optimally, it also provides the skin with the hydration it needs to stay soft and supple.
Another great way to combat the dehydrating effects of winter weather is with an active moisturiser such as the Balense ReBalense Moisturiser for dry skin. Combined with antioxidants, natural moisturising factors and a sophisticated water delivery system, the Balense ReBalense Moisturiser for dry skin helps skin stay silky smooth and is available at Australian Skin Clinics across Australia.
Concern: Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are every woman's worst nightmare, however, they are a natural occurrence. Winter is the perfect time to prep for that summer body by reducing the visibility of stretch marks.
"Australian Skin Clinics' Fractional RF and dermal stamping can reduce the appearance of skin concerns such as stretch marks and loose skin. The Fractional RF treatment stimulates and re-energizes the skin promoting a reduction of scarring," Ms O'Gara said.
"Prior to receiving Fractional RF, stay out of the sun for a minimum of two weeks, luckily winter makes that easy! We recommend having three to six treatments every two weeks to prepare your winter body for summer."
Following the treatment, stay out of the sun for another 48 hours, and always follow the advice of your clinic professional.
Always seek professional advice before adding new products or treatments to your skin care regime. For more winter treatment tips contact Australian Skin Clinics on 1300 303 014 or visit www.ozskin.com
Erin holds an Advanced Diploma in Health and works as a Dermal and Laser Trainer for the Advanced Skills Academy and Australian Skin Clinics. Erin has over five years' experience in the industry, enabling her to become well versed in the treatment and training of laser hair reduction, facial rejuvenation, superficial vascular lesions, and tattoo removal. Her hands on involvement operating a wide range of laser devices from different manufactures has provided her with a thorough knowledge of the medical and aesthetic laser procedures. Erin has a strong passion for teaching and her role as Trainer/Assessor at the Advanced Skills Academy enables her to share her knowledge with her students.
Question: When should we start prepping our skin for winter?
Erin Green: Skin care should be a priority year-round, but it is particularly important during winter. Start preparing your skin for winter as soon as the weather starts to cool down. You can do this by moisturising more regularly and avoiding sudden temperature changes, which can strip the skin of its natural oils. In Australia, it is particularly important to continue wearing sunscreen even as the summer sun fades. We recommend Balense UV Defiance SPF 50+ for daily protection from the elements.
Question: How should the way we treat our skin differ from summer to winter?
Erin Green: Our skin reacts differently to climates. If you notice a change in your skin's tone or texture due to the weather, it's essential to treat it with new appropriate products and treatments. Reputable skin clinics will often offer complimentary consultations with trained dermal technicians to help personalise a skin care regime that suits you.
Question: How can we repair the damage done to our skin during the summer heat?
Erin Green: Have you heard the old saying that prevention is better than a cure? If you've been looking after your skin throughout summer by wearing a daily SPF 50+, steering clear of the midday sun and getting regular microdermabrasions, your winter skin care regime will be a breeze!
However, if you worshipped the sun a little too much over summer, sun damage may show up later in life in the form of wrinkles, pigmentation, blood vessels, brown spots and open pores. Depending on your individual concerns, these can be treated with peels, laser for skin rejuvenation or microdermabrasions.
Question: How does laser reduce redness on the face?
Erin Green: Laser for general redness works by transmitting light through the skin to the blood vessels. The specific beam of light targets the blood. During this process the laser warms the blood, which then thickens it and seals off bleeding blood vessels. This results in less flushing and reduced redness in the treated area. The veins are fast and easy to treat. Australian Skin Clinics has the latest laser technology used to treat facial veins, visible blood vessels and capillaries.
Question: How can we reduce the drying of our skin from heaters during winter?
Erin Green: It is important to eliminate any dry, dead skin cells from your face brought on by cold weather and exposure to heaters. These dead skin cells will not soak up any moisturiser applied – no matter how much you apply. We strongly recommend a High Performance Microdermabrasion to improve circulation and stimulate collagen for a renewed, revitalised and clear complexion for winter weather. After your treatment, you can up the ante by using Balense Moisture Spritz throughout the day to combat the drying effects of indoor heaters.
Question: What options do we have to repair stretch-marks and how well do these methods work?
Erin Green: Stretch marks are generally caused by rapid or excessive stretching of the skin, such as during pregnancy or weight gain. This is often combined with an increase in the body's natural production of cortisone, which can cause your skin to lose elasticity. The combination of Fractional RF (radio frequency) and Dermal Stamping involves directing energy into the layers of the skin and effectively removes the scarred skin imperfections resulting from acne or stretch marks. As the skin is deeply stimulated, it is renewed to look healthier, firmer and more refined.
While Fractional RF can greatly improve the appearance of stretchmarks, no treatment can claim to make them disappear completely.
For more information or to book your next winter skin care treatment, visit www.ozskin.com.
Interview by Brooke Hunter