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How to beat the Winter Skin Blues

As we settle into Winter here in Adelaide, we are starting to suffer from the annual winter slump! We've been pretty lucky with the weather, but we are still having some very chilly days and nights, even if it hasn't been as wet as usual! This means hot drinks, hot showers and hotter homes - heaters are on higher temperatures and the constant transition from the cold, biting outside air into hot and dry offices and homes takes a toll on our bodies, both inside and out! People are getting sick with colds, flu & covid, and our skin is suffering more dehydration, dryness and looking dull and lifeless - especially if you've been sick!

So, as your favourite Skin Nerd, I thought you might want some tips and tricks to help soothe and hydrate your skin from the inside out! It's a slightly longer post than normal, and make sure you read through to the end for some delicious recipes, packed full of skin-loving foods to nurture both skin and soul.

Let's start with the top 5 concerns most people complain about during winter:

  • Dryness: Cold air and indoor heating can strip the skin of its natural moisture (oil), leading to dryness. To combat this, use thick, hydrating moisturizers containing ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. Applying these on a damp skin helps lock in moisture and prevent dehydration.

  • Dehydration: Similar to dryness, dehydration (lack of water) can make the skin appear dull and feel tight. Hydrating serums with ingredients like squalane and hyaluronic acid are beneficial, but be cautious with HA as it can also cause more dehydration if you're not using it correctly, so make sure you're applying onto a damp skin and using a rosewater mist regularly through the day to keep up topical hydration levels. Using a humidifier at home can also help maintain skin hydration​.

  • Dullness: Dead skin cells can accumulate more quickly in winter, resulting in a lackluster complexion. Gentle exfoliation with products containing glycolic or lactic acid can brighten the skin and improve its texture. An exfoliating cleanser can be incorporated into your routine to remove dead skin cells and allow better absorption of moisturizers​, like the Hydrating Gel Cleanser from Skintuitive Skincare that I stock in my salon​. Lactic Acid is both exfoliating and super hydrating, so this is the perfect winter exfoliant for dry, sensitive skin.

  • Chapped Lips: The combination of cold weather and wind can lead to dry, cracked lips and noses too! If you've suffered a cold, constant use of tissues causes cracks and dryness. Prevent this by applying repair balm with hydrating ingredients like cocoa and shea butter, vitamin E and B5 to help repair and restore dry skin. 'Slugging' overnight with repair balm is the best way to soothe and repair chapped skin quickly.

    • Coconut Sugar Lip Scrub

    • 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar (or regular white sugar, but coconut sugar is more hydrating)

    • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, softened but not melted

    • Mix sugar and oil together into a thick paste. Add a drop of vanilla essence if you like! Store in a small container in the fridge. Use twice weekly or as needed as a gentle and hydrating lip scub to slough away flaking skin.

  • Flare-ups of Skin Conditions: Conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea can worsen in the winter. To manage these, use gentle, fragrance-free products and consider treatments like CoolJet to soothe and hydrate the skin. Products containing shea butter, jojoba oil and collagen can soothe and protect the skin​.

Winter is the best time to treat yourself to regular facials, which helps to remove dry, dead skin and provide a much needed hydration boost. Self care is also important during the colder months, as the darker skies, colder weather and less social interaction can take a toll on our mental health. At Signature Skin Therapies, I love to create a warm, relaxing oasis for clients to receive advanced skin rejuvenation treatments while still feeling pampered and relaxed. Unlike other skin clinics that have bare treatment rooms with cold beds and sterile, lab-like decor, my warm room features a bed with bed warmer and weighted blanket, dim lighting and soothing music to totally relax and unwind to.

My favourite treatments for clients during winter are:

1. CoolJet Cold Plasma

  • Benefits: Enhances collagen production, improves skin texture, and provides a rejuvenating and tightening effect. It's also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, perfect for maintaining healthy skin in winter.

2. HydraPeel

  • Benefits: Deep cleansing, hydration and exfoliation from hydrodermabrasion ensures products and ingredients penetrate more effectively and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel stimulates collagen production, minimises pigmentation and helps build a healthy skin barrier.

3. Plasma Fibroblast

  • Benefits: Lifts sagging skin, minimizes scars, and brightens skin tone, offering a non-surgical solution to winter skin woes.

4. Skin Needling

  • Benefits: Stimulates collagen production, helping to repair and hydrate the skin, making it look fresher and more vibrant.

Winter is an ideal time for advanced skin treatments like chemical peels and plasma fibroblast for several reasons:

  1. Reduced Sun Exposure: One of the main reasons winter is preferred for advanced skin treatments is the reduced exposure to UV rays. Chemical peels and plasma fibroblast treatments make the skin more sensitive to the sun, increasing the risk of hyperpigmentation and sun damage. During winter, the sun is less intense, and people tend to spend more time indoors, reducing the risk of adverse effects from UV exposure.

  2. Cooler Temperatures Aid Healing: The cooler temperatures of winter can help soothe the skin post-treatment. Heat and sweating, which are more common in warmer months, can irritate the skin and impede the healing process. The cool air helps keep inflammation down and provides a more comfortable environment for the skin to recover.

  3. Easier Aftercare: Advanced treatments often require specific aftercare routines, including avoiding sun exposure and staying away from activities that cause excessive sweating. In winter, these precautions are easier to follow as people naturally stay out of the sun more and engage in less outdoor physical activity​.

  4. Time for Skin to Recover: Winter provides a good opportunity for the skin to recover from treatments without the pressure of outdoor social activities and holidays that are more common in summer. This gives the skin ample time to heal and show results before it is exposed to the sun again in the warmer months​.

  5. Addressing Winter Skin Issues: Winter is often associated with dry and dull skin due to lower humidity levels and indoor heating. Advanced treatments like chemical peels can help remove dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production, addressing these common winter skin issues effectively. This results in refreshed and revitalized skin during a time when it is most needed​.

To combat skin concerns like dryness, dehydration, and dullness from the inside, it's crucial to include specific nutrients in your diet. Here are 5 of my favourite recipes, rich in essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids to support a healthy skin from the inside:

Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad


  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 sweet potato, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped


  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

  3. Toss the diced vegetables with olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and parsley.

  5. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.

Benefits: This warm salad includes omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts and pumpkin seeds, vitamin E from the olive oil, and a variety of vitamins and minerals from the quinoa and vegetables. It’s a great way to stay nourished and hydrated and a perfect winter side dish that is perfect for leftovers!

Walnut and Spinach Pesto Pasta


  • 2 cups fresh spinach

  • 1 cup fresh basil

  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 300g whole grain pasta


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

  2. In a food processor, blend spinach, basil, walnuts, nutritional yeast, and garlic.

  3. Slowly add olive oil and lemon juice while processing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Toss the cooked pasta with the pesto sauce and serve.

Benefits: This pasta dish includes omega-3 fatty acids from the nuts and seeds, vitamin E from the olive oil, and biotin from the spinach. It's a delicious way to get essential nutrients for your skin.

Rich and Hearty Shepherd's Pie


For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1 cup green lentils, cooked

  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1 teaspoon rosemary

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup frozen peas

For the mashed potato topping:

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent.

  3. Add the carrots, celery, walnuts and mushrooms, and cook until softened.

  4. Stir in the cooked lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the mixture thickens.

  5. Stir in the frozen peas and cook for another 5 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and sweet potato in a large pot of salted water until tender. Drain and mash with almond milk, vegan butter, salt, and pepper.

  7. Spread the lentil mixture into a baking dish, and top with the mashed potatoes. Use a fork to create ridges on the surface.

  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

  9. Serve hot and enjoy!

Benefits: This dish is rich in zinc from the lentils, vitamin E from the olive oil, and beta-carotene from the carrots and sweet potato. It's a hearty and warming dish perfect for winter evenings.

Mexican Tomato Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 can (800g) crushed tomatoes

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 can (400g) black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Avocado slices, for garnish


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño, and sauté until the onion is soft.

  2. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, and ground coriander, and cook for another minute until fragrant.

  3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. Add the black beans and corn, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

  5. Stir in the lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.

  6. Serve hot, garnished with fresh avocado slices (and some coriander if you're a psychopath). Some thick toasted sourdough with olive oil takes this next level!

Benefits: This dish is rich in zinc from the black beans, vitamin C from the tomatoes & corn, and omega 3 from the added Avocado. It's a delicously warming dish perfect for workday lunches.

Japanese Curry


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced

  • 2 carrots, sliced

  • 1 potato, peeled & diced

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled & diced

  • 1 apple, grated (trust me!)

  • 1 block firm tofu, cubed

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • Cooked rice, for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until the onion is translucent.

  2. Add the carrots, potatoes, and grated apple. Cook for a few minutes until slightly softened.

  3. Add the cubed tofu and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

  4. Stir in the curry powder, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

  5. Add the cornstarch mixture and frozen peas. Stir well and cook until the curry thickens.

  6. Serve hot over cooked rice.

Benefits: This delicous curry is rich in protein and minerals from the tofu, beta-carotene from the carrots and sweet potato and vitamin C from the apple and peas. It's a comforting dish perfect for winter evenings, and the light, soft flavour makes a refreshing change from the richer-style Indian and Malaysian curries.

If you made it this far, I super appreciate you! I hope you try these recipes and enjoy them, and if you liked what you read, please share this with your friends and family! Let me know if you tried a recipe and what you thought of it!


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