Winter Skin Tips from Sarah Brown of Pai Skincare

it’s hard to avoid the toll the dry environment and lack of moisture takes on our skin. We enlisted in the help of Sarah Brown, the founder and president of cult British brand and celebrity make-up artist favourite, Pai Skincare, for tips…

At this point in the season, you’ve definitely felt the effects of the cold weather and harsh winter winds. You’ve probably layered up in long johns, toques and scarves, but even with all those layers, it’s hard to avoid the toll the dry environment and lack of moisture takes on our skin. We enlisted in the help of Sarah Brown, the founder and president of cult British brand and celebrity make-up artist favourite, Pai Skincare, for tips on how to deal with dry, tight skin brought on by winter weather, adult acne and why you shouldn’t use foam cleaners or cleansing wipes! Check out our interview with Sarah Brown below:

winter skin tips


SD: What are some skincare practices that everyone should include in their daily routine?

SB: Everyone’s skin is different and there’s no one size fits all approach to skin care – it really depends on your individual needs.

There are a couple of top tips that can help you make the most of your skincare regime. Muslin Cloths are a great addition to your cleansing ritual. As well as removing every trace of product, they gentle exfoliate the skin and stimulate circulation to leave the surface smooth and tone bright.

A hydrating skin tonic is not only great for your moisture levels, but it also helps extend your other products. Once you’ve cleansed, spritz over skin and apply your Oil, Serum or Moisturizer while your skin is still damp. Not only will it help your product absorb, but that extra layer of moisture means you’ll often have to use half as much.

SD: There are a lot of products on the market right now, which ones are essential to good skin (toners, night creams, day creams, facial cleansers, etc)?

SB: All products have their place and provide their own unique benefits. That said, my absolute skin staples are a great facial Cleanser and good quality facial Oil.

Good cleansing is the secret to healthy, happy skin. You need something that removes every trace of dirt and make-up, without stripping away your skin’s natural protective oils.

I like cream Cleansers best, and swear by our Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser.

Rosehip Oil is another one of my hero products. I use it on my face at night, add it to my moisturizer when my skin is feeling dry, or apply it to scars or burns to speed up the healing process.

SD: Winter has lots of people’s skin feeling tight and dry – what are some tips to help combat winter skin?

SB: It’s all about hydration from the inside and out. Drink plenty of water, and consider an Omega supplement. Omegas are the building blocks of healthy cells and work to strengthen your skin barrier, which will help prevent water loss.

Layer a hydrating Tonic between your Cleanser and facial Oil or Moisturizer, and choose a Moisturizer with richer, more nourishing oils than the lighter creams you might use in summer.

Exfoliation can also make a huge difference. If you have a layer of dead cells on your skin’s surface, your products can’t soften and hydrate the healthy skin underneath so easily. Polish off those dead cells, and you’ll find your skin not only looks brighter, but your other products will work much more effectively too.

SD: I’ve heard you should never wash you face with facial wipes or foams, why is that?

SB: Face wipes are my biggest skin no-no! If you think about it, they are layers of wet tissue, wrapped up and left on a shelf for two years or more. To prevent them from going mouldy, they need a disproportionately high level of strong preservatives which can be very irritating for sensitive skin – especially if you’re rubbing them into the delicate eye area.

Foaming washes generally have a detergent base. Detergents strip away those natural oils. Not only do they leave skin dry and tight, but they can cause oil imbalances that lead to flakey patches or blemishes and breakouts in the long run.

SD: How would you suggest getting rid of little bumps on your skin?

There are lots of different kinds of skin bumps, but the most common ones I’m asked about are the little white bumps that appear under the skin’s surface. This congestion can be caused by a number of things, including excess oil production, using products that are to heavy for your skin or chopping and changing your products too regularly.

My top tips would be:

– Cleanse with a good quality Cleanser that protects your oil balance.

– Exfoliate regularly. Hold a warm Muslin Cloth over the affected areas and gentle massage them, or use a sensitive skin-friendly exfoliating product like our Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator.

– Use a moisturizer with very light, non-comedogenic oils that nourish the skin without overloading it.

SD: Why are creams and oils important for our skin?

SB: Creams and oils both play their own, really important roles. Creams contains water (typically 65-70%), so are essential for hydration. Hydrated skin is soft, strong, plump and glowy. The key is to pick a moisturizing cream that matches your skin type – so one with rich, fattier ingredients like avocado or macadamia oil if your skin is dry, or light, drier oils like Kukui if your skin is oily.

Because oils aren’t diluted with water, they contain much higher levels of “actives” – the ingredients that make a visible difference to your skin. You can select an oil with properties that best suit your skin’s needs – whether that be fine lines or uneven skin tone.

I recommend using a cream in the morning, and an oil at night to reap the benefits of both.

SD: How would you suggest dealing with acne/adult acne?

SB: Adult acne is becoming increasingly common and can be so stressful to deal with later in life.

Again good cleansing is key, and I’d always advise steering clear of anything too harsh. Your skin is clever, and regulates its own oil levels. If you use anything that strips the skin’s oils completely – your skin panics, and produces even more oil to compensate. That’s how you get stuck in a cycle of persistent blemishes and breakouts.

My top 3 product recommendations would be Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Copaiba & Zinc Perfect Balance Blemish Serum and Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream.

Look at your diet and lifestyle too. Avoid excess sugar, take a good quality Omega supplement and embrace exercise – it can really help.

SD: Why do you think our readers will love Pai Skincare?

SB: If you have sensitive or difficult skin, our products work. It’s as simple as that!

I spent so long trying products that were targeted at people with problem skin, but were full of irritating or harsh ingredients that just didn’t do it any good. Our products are certified organic so you can guarantee they contain beautiful clean botanicals that your skin can easily metabolise.

We’re also on hand to help guide you through any skin issues you’re having. Through our blog, social media pages or customer service team, we’ll help answer all of your skin care questions. It’s all about taking the stress out of sensitive skin!

SD: Where can our readers purchase Pai Skincare?

SB: From, or

SD: What are your favourite Pai products?

SB: My staples are Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil and Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream.

Recently, I’ve also been using a new soon-to-launch Mask once a week and it’s made such a difference to my skin tone. Follow Pai Skincare on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our website for updates! 

What are you winter skin tips? Share them in the comments below!

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