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How to restore & maintain your skin this winter

How to Restore & Maintain your skin this winter

Winter is fast approaching, so it’s high time to revisit the impact that winter weather has on the skin and look at what we can do to keep our skin hydrated and healthy in the colder months.

Here are a few essential tips to restore and maintain your skin this winter.

1.   Antioxidants and Sunscreen

A powerful and sometimes forgotten step is including a topical antioxidant in your skincare regimen. Prevention from the effects of sunlight and environmental factors, often referred to as the exposome, is vital even in winter. Antioxidants are our first line of defence when it comes to protecting our skin from outdoor exposure.

Additional oral antioxidant supplements keep our immune system healthy and functioning. Antioxidants including pure vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic and phloretin help fight off free radicals during the day and form a reservoir in the skin to repair existing damage to skin cells.  

Applying sunscreen every day is vital. Whether it is summer or winter, ultraviolet light and visible light damage our skin cells, accelerating the ageing process and causing unwanted hyperpigmentation. No matter the season or the activity, sunscreen should always be applied and kept close!

2.   Keeping Hydrated

As the cold season approaches, the use of indoor heating such as air conditioning, heaters, fireplaces, and electric blankets increases. The resultant heated air leads to moisture loss, causing dry, flaking skin and irritation. Use an appropriate moisturiser to restore the skin barrier and prevent further trans epidermal water loss and skin dehydration. 

3.   Avoid Hot Showers

Excessively long, hot showers can irritate the skin’s surface layers, causing damage to the skin barrier and leading to moisture loss (trans epidermal water loss). Hot showers can also trigger or worsen skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis. It is better to have lukewarm showers and avoid long periods in hot showers or baths. Equally important is a skincare routine for the body and face to help support and maintain skin barrier function. 

4.   Winter Skincare Routines

Our skincare needs need fine-tuning with the change of season. Our skin will need lighter moisturisers or even fewer steps in our routine during the summer because we secrete more sebum during the warmer and humid seasons and less during the colder, drier seasons.

It is not uncommon to change your skincare routine during winter by adding additional products or ingredients or even using a moisturiser that can provide more nourishment or moisture. 

We lose more moisture during winter due to the colder, drier air and indoor heating and heaters. It is a good idea to take a gentler approach when choosing a cleanser to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. If you are not used to using active ingredients or exfoliating your skin, winter is an excellent time to start! Exfoliation will remove the dead skin cells that sit on the skin’s surface. 

Introducing ingredients like AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) to the skin will improve the skin condition by removing dead skin cells, accelerating the cell turnover process, and improving the skin’s moisture. Retinol increases epidermal turnover to create newer and healthier functioning skin cells. Ingredients like lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids keep your skin’s barrier healthy and functioning correctly by supporting the skin barrier, while hyaluronic acid is vital for hydrating and holding hydration in the skin. It is essential to consult a dermatologist or skincare therapist regarding the use of the different ingredients and skincare products. 

5.   In-clinic Skincare Treatments

Winter is also a safe time to do your in-clinic treatments such as chemical peels and micro-needling, as it allows a quicker recovery time. That’s because even though we are continually exposed to ultraviolet rays, the sun’s rays are not as intense in winter as in summer. Sunscreen and sun protection is always essential.

Our skin needs more attention during winter and will benefit from extra professional care. With the dead skin build-up on our skin during winter, chemical peels provide an exfoliation to revitalise the skin and allow better product penetration. Certain facial treatments can calm and soothe dry and sensitive skin caused by over-exposure to harsh weather.

As the change in seasons draws closer, now is the perfect time to consider the impact that winter weather has on your skin and ensure that you adjust your skincare routine for these changes. If you notice persistent concerns unrelated to the change in temperature or need assistance with choosing the best products for you, book an appointment with your dermatologist. 

Winter Best Sellers


Obagi Gentle Cleanser
NeoStrata Facial Cleanser
La Roche Posay Cleansing Oil


Bio-Hydrating Cream
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore
Obagi Hydrate Luxe


NeoStrata Exfoliating Wash
SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight
NeoStrata Smooth Surface Glycolic Peel Pads

Exfoliation combined with hydration

SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator
NeoStrata Renewal Cream
Isdin Ureadin Ultra 10

Anti-oxidants & Sunscreens

SkinCeutical Serum 10 AOX
La Roche-Posay Pure C10
Obagi Vitamin C 10%
Heliocare 360 Fluid Cream SPF50
Anthelios Hydrating Cream SPF50
Anthelios Hydrating
Body Lotion SPF50+
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Skinsmart 5 Steps

Everyone wants ‘flawless skin’.

A beautiful skin reflects good health and well being and makes us feel confident and attractive. We constantly look for the ‘holy grail’ of skincare to give a smooth, radiant, even-toned skin that is free of blemishes.

However. while we aim for perfect skin most of us have some imperfections and uneven tone that is ‘normal’, which we should learn to accept as part of our uniqueness.

While aesthetic procedures like botulinum toxin (Botox) , fillers and cosmetic surgery may improve sagging, wrinkling and volume loss, they do not address skin quality (clarity, texture and density) that significantly contributes to the ageing appearance of skin.

As we grow older the rate of epidermal turnover slows from around 28-40 days in youth approaching 50-60 days in the elderly. The resultant dry, dead skin cells sitting on the surface result in poor skin texture and do not reflect light well leading to reduced skin radiance. Dead skin cells block the follicles with the resulting appearance of enlarged pores,

With age there is an overall decline in the production of collagen and elastin leading to reduced density or thinning skin. The skin sags and is also prone to easy bruising.

Of course there are other factors besides ageing that affect skin health like sun exposure, environmental pollution, smoking and diet.

The great news is that there is plenty of evidence to support that a long term, well tailored skincare regimen can have a significant effect on the overall quality of a person’s skin.
Active ingredients in skincare can target specific skin concerns and improve the structure, function and appearance of your skin.

Patients are often reluctant to change their skincare unless they are guaranteed better results. My response is that if you’re looking for a change it means your current regimen isn’t doing enough for your skin. You have to be open to new products and procedures if you want to achieve better results.

Another common complaint that patients have is that they are accustomed to having great skin in their youth without any effort, and grudge the fact that they need to invest time and money in skincare. Beyond a certain age, good skin takes some effort to maintain and this all depends on your genes and how well you looked after your skin when you were younger.

In 2020 we revisit the Skinsmart 5 steps to once again put you on the right path to a smooth and radiant skin.

Step 1: Cleanse and tone
Cleansing removes impurities and dead surface skin cells leaving the skin more radiant.
Gel cleansers are better suited to oily skin while cream cleansers are best for dry or sensitive skin.
Rough, sun damaged skin would tolerate and benefit from a cleanser with a chemical exfoliator like glycolic acid.
A toner may be useful for oily skin to reduce oil and the appearance of large pores.

Step 2: Prevent
Antioxidants like Vitamin C and E help prevent DNA damage caused by sun exposure.
Vitamin C has a host of other benefits including stabilising melanocytes to prevent hyperpigmentation, calming inflammation in acne and locking in moisture.
Vitamin E also acts as a moisturiser.

Step 3: Treat
Active ingredients in skincare may repair existing damage, promote cell turnover, inhibit melanogenesis and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
Exfoliating the skin with a chemical exfoliater increases the epidermal turnover rate improving radiance and texture. Glycolic and lactic acids are examples of chemical exfoliators. They are preferable to physical scrubs which are more likely to cause damage to the skin barrier.
Retinol in skincare can stimulate collagen production to improve skin density (thickness), and improve epidermal turnover to treat hyperpigmentation and restore radiance.

Step 4: Hydrate
Moisturisers hydrate the skin and restore defective barrier function.
Most contain a combination of occlusives and humectants which prevent water loss from the skin, and draw water into the skin respectively.
Ointments and creams are best for dry skin, while gels and lotion are best for oily skin.
Moisturisers on Skinsmart almost always contain active ingredients targeting different skin concerns.

Step 5: Protect
Sunscreen is your most important antiageing product.
Dermatologists recommend daily sunscreen use as the final step to your skincare regimen. Use an SPF of 30 to 50.
Sunscreens protect the skin from skin cancer, slows skin ageing and help prevent hyperpigmentation and sun spots.
Some innovative new sunscreens have DNA repair enzymes which have been proven to reverse early sun damage.
Makeup should be applied over your sunscreen.

There is a skincare regimen well suited to every skin type and specific treatments to target individual skin concerns.
Our Skinsmart skin assessment is there to assist you with finding the right routine for your skin concern as it is based on the Skinsmart five steps, recommending products specifically for your skin, for every step of your skincare regimen.

Whether you’re wanting just a basic routine to start or a more intensive one, start by taking your Skin Assessment here

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The impact of winter on your skin

We all experience drier, and somewhat more sensitive skin in the colder, winter months, and the solution is not as simple as ‘drinking more water’ to hydrate your skin.

There are many factors that can contribute to dull, dry, dehydrated skin , and many ways in which you can remedy the situation during winter.

Cold weather, especially cold wind, combined with increased use of indoor heating leads to an increase in transepidermal water loss (TEWL). This essentially leads to a decreased water content in the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin), leading to dry, rough, scaly and sensitive skin.

The situation is worsened with long hot showers and soaps that contribute to damaging the skin barrier function, further contributing to TEWL.
Dry skin has a genetic component, and some will be more predisposed than others, though even those with ‘normal’ skin will notice some change in their skin condition.

A change in the weather or season is often known to cause flare-ups in those with pre-existing dry skin conditions, or medical conditions and medication that causes dry skin. Hypothyroidism, renal impairment and other chronic illnesses can cause skin dryness, as well as commonly used drugs like isotretinoin and lithium.

Cold air tightens the skin’s pores and reduces blood circulation. This reduces sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance which acts as a protective layer that traps moisture in the skin. With humidity in the air lower during winter, the effect is that existing skin conditions are aggravated.

Worse still is that dry skin makes fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. All the more reason to make that extra effort to keep our skin in good condition!

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Winter Skincare tips

So we know that winter really does leave us with a compromised skin barrier, and dry and sensitive skin. How can we remedy the situation?

Here are some useful tips on how to change our skincare and winter behavior to help keep our skin hydrated and comfortable!

Cleansers : Most of us make use of the same cleanser throughout the year, no matter the season. During a harsh, dry winter season one could consider avoiding cleansers with high concentrations of sodium lauryl sulphate (soap), as well as those with high concentrations of acids, like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. While these are useful to control an oily skin type, they can strip away essential moisture, leaving the skin dehydrated and sensitive. Rather opt for a milk or gel cleanser in winter that will gently cleanse the skin of make-up and impurities, without leaving the skin dehydrated or vulnerable.

Moisturisers : Change your daily moisturiser during the colder months to one that is more nourishing, and provides a protective barrier to environmental elements. Hyaluronic acid in moisturisers is a natural moisturising ingredient that nourishes the skin while also having a plumping effect. If you enjoy your current daily moisturiser, and do not want to change, you could supplement your daily regimen by adding a hydrating or antioxidant serum underneath your moisturiser. A good tip when applying your daily moisturiser is to do so immediately after your bath / shower, when the skin is still warm and slightly damp. This will allow for better penetration.

Sunscreens : Do not stop applying your sunscreen during the winter months. Although there may be less UV exposure, due to cloud cover, you will still be exposed to UV damage, particularly UVA, which causes free-radical damage. Sunscreens containing antioxidant ingredients also protect against exposure to atmospheric and environmental aggressors, such as UVA, UVB, Infra-red, and ozone pollution, which may lead to dehydration, pigmentation and ageing.

Humidifier : Indoor fires and heaters, underfloor heating and air conditioning dries the air and worsens dry skin problems. Before you invest in bulk quantities of lotion and lip balm to rehydrate your skin, think about rehydrating the air. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air and to prevent dryness of the skin, nose and throat.
While you will still need a good moisturiser, humid air is a great first step toward lessening dry skin issues.

Should you exfoliate?

When the skin is overly dry or dehydrated, it becomes less efficient at sloughing off dead skin cells which build up on the surface of the skin resulting in a dull, flaky appearance. Gentle exfoliation of the skin on a regular basis will help to improve the appearance of dull skin. Superficial to medium peels gently break the bonds between these dead skin cells, removing them and exposing healthier, more youthful, glowing skin. This exfoliation also allows for better penetration of hydrating ingredients into the skin.

Microneedling: This treatment technique is designed to address poor skin quality by creating a controlled injury to the skin so that it regenerates and repairs itself naturally. Microneedling is also referred to as ‘collagen induction therapy’. The principle behind microneedling is that it breaks down old collagen and stimulates certain growth factors to promote the production and deposition of new collagen and elastin.

Dr Kesiree Naidoo offers a range of non-invasive procedures including Microneedling, to book your appointment contact her practice on 021 531 1107 or via email on [email protected]

If you are not sure what product would be best for your winter skin, take our free Skin Assessment or email our medical skin therapist Annika on [email protected]

Register on Skinsmart and start banking your Smart Rewards

Register now on Skinsmart

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Essentials for winter skin

Dry, dull looking skin in winter is distressing and well as uncomfortable. If you are distressed by winter skin concerns we have good news!
Skinsmart has a variety of skincare products that will not only help to hydrate and plump up the skin but also target other concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Obagi Gentle Rejuvenation Soothing Cleanser:
This calming gel cleanser offers relief from inflammation and irritation. It effectively removes makeup and impurities without disrupting the skins natural moisture barrier.

Neostrata Facial Cleanser:
Facial Cleanser is a gentle soap-free, fragrance-free formulation which effectively cleanses and exfoliates without drying or stripping the skin. This product is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin and is gentle enough to use twice a day.

SkinCeuticals B5 Hydrating Serum:
Hydrating B5 Gel replenishes nutrients the skin needs to create a supple, smooth textured, younger-looking skin. This oil-free moisturiser combines vitamin B5 with hyaluronic acid, the body’s natural hydrator, to help prevent moisture loss from the skin.
It can be used alone or underneath a daily moisturiser to provide extra hydration, and is ideal for all skin types.

Neostrata Skin Active Tri Therapy Serum:
This exciting new product from Neostrata is formulated with a triple anti-ageing complex to help volumize and sculpt skin, improving the appearance of deep wrinkles and skin laxity while hydrating the skin without causing sensitivity.

Obagi Professional C serum 10%:
This oil-free antioxidant serum is suitable for dry and sensitive skin types. It stimulates collagen synthesis, reduces inflammation, suppresses pigmentation and helps the skin to retain hydration. Vitamin C enhances UV protection for anti-ageing and skin cancer prevention.

SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair:
Epidermal Repair is a barrier cream specifically formulated for application after non-ablative professional resurfacing procedures such as chemical peels, IPL and microdermabrasion. Applied immediately following these procedures, this product repairs the skin’s barrier function, soothes sensitised skin, and can also be used to treat conditions such as eczema.

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore:
Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is formulated with optimal concentrations of reparative lipids to restore the skin’s barrier function, which may have become compromised due to the natural ageing process. 2% pure ceramides restore the skin’s barrier function, 4% natural cholesterol restores skin elasticity and promotes self-repair, and 2% fatty acids assist in replenishing lost lipids due to ageing. This unique lipid correction cream has been clinically proven to improve skin smoothness, laxity, pore appearance and overall radiance.

Obagi Gentle Rejuvenation Calming Cream:
This non-irritating moisturising formulation contains plant-derived growth factors Kinetin and Zeatin. It effectively calms and soothes a sensitive and irritated skin.

Eye cream
Obagi Ultra Rich Hydrating Eye Cream:
Obagi Ultra rich hydrating eye cream: This eye cream containing a blend of plant-based extracts is deeply hydrating for sensitive and dry skin.

Neostrata Bionic Face Serum:  
Lactobionic acid reduces fine lines and wrinkles and provides excellent antioxidant benefits to the skin. The combination of Vitamins A, C and E; and Lactobionic acid provide intense moisturisation, refines pores and improves skin laxity and mottled pigmentation to restore an even-toned radiant complexion.

SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask:
Phyto Corrective is an oil-free soothing and hydrating mask for irritated and sensitive skins. It contains cucumber for its anti-inflammatory properties; thyme, which is anti-bacterial and antiseptic; and hyaluronic acid for its hydrating benefits. Often referred to as the ‘green ambulance’, it is ideal for sensitive, red and irritated skins, acne and rosacea-prone skins and as a post-sunburn treatment.

Heliocare 360 Mineral:
This mineral fluid sunscreen is ideal for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin and atopic dermatitis. It is safe for use in children.

Neostrata Sheer Physical Protection
Neostrata Sheer Physical Protection is a lightweight, translucent fluid providing broad spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection, while its sheer tint and texture provide a mattifying finish that blends beautifully with the natural skin tone. It is formulated with physical filters, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, along with potent antioxidants, green tea extract, Lactobionic Acid and Vitamin E, to neutralise free-radicals and preserve healthy DNA.

If you are still not sure what product would be best for your winter skin, ask your Dermatologist or email our medical skin therapist Annika on [email protected]

Register on Skinsmart and start banking your Smart Rewards

Register now on Skinsmart

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The Skinsmart 5 Steps

THE SKINSMART 5 STEPS is a guide developed by Dr Naidoo to direct patients to the most effective order in which to apply skincare products. Dr Naidoo has found that patients at her practice value a personal step-by-step note, especially if using more than two skincare products, and when the regimen includes different steps in the morning and evening.

Your product recommendations will depend on your skin type and skin concern.
Please take note of the following:
• Not everyone will require a product for each step at each time of day
• Steps 2, 3 and 4 may require different products in the morning and evening or rarely more than one product at each time
• Many of the high quality products sold on Skinsmart have ingredients that may be effective for more than one step in the 5 step process.
• Our high quality anti-ageing serums in step 2 overlap as treatments (step 3) and may even offer sufficient hydration(step 4) for certain skin types.
• Moisturisers in step 4 may have a combination of ingredients allowing certain products to act as treatments.
• Some moisturisers contain high SPF sunscreen which may be sufficient for daily wear in winter, or if you are mainly in an indoor environment, and spend minimal time driving to work.
• Prescription treatment for conditions such as acne and pigmentation may be slotted into step 3.

The Skin Assessment recommendations are displayed in terms of these 5 steps:

Step 1: Cleanse and tone
Cleanse the skin of impurities, gently remove dead skin cells and restore the skin’s PH balance.
Cleansing and toning prepares the skin for a follow-up skincare regimen.
Dr Naidoo recommends cleansing the skin twice a day i.e. in the mornings and in the evenings before bed.
There are few toners in our recommended product ranges, as most of our face washes have exfoliating ingredients to effectively remove surface impurities and dead skin cells.

Step 2: Prevent
Prevent damage caused by oxygen-free radicals; slow the process of photo-ageing, and reduce skin cancer risk.
Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E are the primary ingredients in the products found in this step.
Antioxidants help prevent DNA damage caused by sun exposure.
Dr Naidoo excludes this step from the teenager skin assessment results.

Step 3: Treat
Target specific concerns.
Repair existing damage and promote cell turnover.
Inhibit melanogenesis and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
The products in this step provide intensive treatment for specific concerns, such as acne, pigmentation and ageing.
These treatment products are usually applied to the skin at night before your moisturiser.
There are some that need to be applied in the mornings or twice daily.
Please refer to the instructions for each individual product.

Step 4: Hydrate
Nourish and restore natural moisturising factors for a healthy, radiant skin.
Moisturisers or emollients hydrate the skin, restore natural moisturising factors and repair defective barrier function.
Depending on your preference, you may use the same moisturiser in the mornings and evenings or choose different products.
Day moisturisers are, in general, lighter in texture and may contain sunscreen while night moisturisers may be richer formulations with higher concentrations of active ingredients.

Step 5:Protect
Effectively protect against ageing, pigmentation and skin cancers.
Photo ageing results from progressive sun exposure over time.Sunscreen is your most important anti-ageing product.
Sunscreens help protect the skin from DNA damage and in this way reduce the incidence of skin cancers.
These products slow the development of fine lines, wrinkles and sunspots and are essential in the management of pigmentation.
Sunscreen should be applied in the mornings at least 15-30 min before sun exposure and reapplied during the course of the day as needed.
Makeup should be applied over your sunscreen.
Skinsmart offers tinted sunscreen compacts making it easy for women to reapply sunscreen during the course of the day.
There are numerous products that combine sunscreen and a moisturiser for ease of application.
It is important to note that the sunscreen in your moisturiser is not always enough and additional sunscreen needs to be applied.
An instruction note will be included with your order, and our trained therapist can assist with any queries to ensure the most effective use of your products.

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Summer skincare tips

It’s summer and you want to look your best!
You may find yourself confronted with some skin problems that leave you feeling less confident.

Here we look at a few common summer skin concerns with advice on how to manage them.

Chemicals and salt water from swimming pools can cause excessive skin dryness. Similarly, air conditioning in offices and cars removes essential moisture from the skin, resulting in dehydration, dryness and sensitivity.

Solution: Don’t forget to moisturise your skin in summer. You may want to change to a lighter moisturiser or serum for the day, and opt for a richer night cream. Apply your daily moisturiser before your sunscreen. Apply moisturiser after cleansing, when the skin is still warm and slightly damp for maximum absorption. A weekly masque could give you an added boost of moisture.

Recommended Products:

Neostrata Bionic Face Serum
Obagi Skin Rejuvenation Serum
Obagi Advanced Night Repair
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque

Excessive sun exposure can cause damage to the DNA of skin cells leading to photo-ageing (fine lines, wrinkles and solar keratosis) and skin cancer.

Solution: Stay out of direct sunlight. Wear a hat, sunglasses and UV-protective clothing when outdoors, and reapply a broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30). Choose a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB. Apply sunscreen half an hour before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours, particularly after swimming.

Recommended Products:

Heliocare 360 Mineral
Heliocare Spray SPF 50
Heliocare Ultra Capsules
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defence SPF 50
SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defence SPF 50


Acne and skin breakouts may worsen in the summer months because of humidity and perspiration. Occlusive and oily sunscreens can contribute to the problem.

Solution: Cleanse the skin with an appropriate facewash to target blocked follicles. Ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid help remove dead surface skin cells. A weekly masque may also be beneficial. Don’t be tempted to squeeze or scratch acne spots as this could lead to pigmented marks and blemishes with sun exposure.

Recommended Products:

Neostrata Clarifying Facial Ceanser 4PHA
SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age Defense
SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque

Enjoy summer, but take care and don’t allow yourself or your loved ones to burn!

Complete our skin assessment for more product recommendations. If you need any help with choosing a suitable product, email our skincare therapist who is always available to assist.