The change of seasons brings us many joys but winter skin isn't one of them.
Even with the help of the best moisturizers for dry skin, skin can still go drier, patchier, flakier in the colder months. We still have to endure a battle against the elements - wind, rain and frost, and dehydrating central heating - which can all wreck havoc with our complexion.
But while we may know how to apply moisturiser more regularly and wrap up to protect us from the elements, what else can we do to ensure our skin stays clear, bright and hydrated throughout the winter months?
How to avoid winter skin during cold weather
We spoke to some of the most renowned skincare experts about how to protect your skin during the harsher winter months and avoid winter skin.
Switch up your moisturiser
The change in seasons calls for a change in skincare - and for most of us that means our moisturiser. You may want to go for a thicker formula in the winter months to protect your skin from the harsher weather - just make sure you choose the right moisturiser for your skin type.
“Look out for some really hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, urea and ceramides,” advises Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, renowned aesthetic doctor and medical director of Adonia Medical Clinic. Ceramides are essential oils already found in the skin. It’s a popular ingredient in moisturisers for dry skin; a moisturiser like CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream has three different types of ceramides to keep skin hydrated.
“For a cheap and simple moisturiser during the winter months, I would recommend E45 or Doublebase, which contain a gentle formula, yet deeply moistens dry or chapped skin, providing rapid relief from itching,” Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, told us.
“For slightly more money I’d recommend La Roche Posay Effaclar H Moisturiser, which instantly soothes and hydrates even the driest of skin.”
The common consensus among skincare experts is that we should change up our skincare routine with the seasons. “Treat your skin like you do your clothing,” explains skincare guru and author of Skin Care, Caroline Hirons. “If you’re layering clothing, layer your skincare.”
And while we may think to slip on a thermal jumper and woolly scarf clothing-wise, for our skin, this could mean incorporating a nourishing oil into our nightly routine before moisturising, and layering on a lip butter throughout the day. Caroline’s signature trick is also to keep a facial spritz on hand at all times for an impromptu hydration boost whenever we need it - we’re looking at you, central heating.
“Your skin needs all the moisture it can get this time of year,” says Caroline. “If your skin is dry/sensitive and you are using harsh cleansers suitable for the summer months, or even worse, overusing the electronic facial cleansing brushes, it may be very unforgiving.”
Instead, you could opt for a gentle cleansing milk or balm - we love Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm.
Keep your water temperature in check
While it may be tempting to hop in a piping hot shower or bath, hot water - especially if it’s directly on your face in the shower - can have detrimental effects on your poor skin. “Do not be tempted to stand under a hot shower to warm up. Your skin will not thank you for it,” says Caroline. “Keep it warm-hot, not boiling!”
A lukewarm bubble bath is a more gentle way to cleanse your skin by opening your pores, without stripping it of its natural oils. Plus, is there anything more luxurious than a long soak in the tub on a cold winter’s night?
Opt for a nourishing night mask
There’s no need to stay away from face masks during the winter months, but rather than opting for a drying clay mask, instead try a hydrating formula that will boost your skin. We’d recommend slathering one on before bed to wake up with a smooth and dewy complexion - Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask With Avocado and Glacier Water works like a charm and smells divine.
If you want to specifically target the delicate eye area - the first place skin will show dehydration - we love Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask, which will soothe the under eye area and help prevent the damaging effects of the stresses of modern life.