Winter is here, bringing with it the annual battle against chapped lips and flaky skin. Every year we find ourselves sloughing on extra servings of the same old products, hoping to fend off the dreaded winter dryness. But to really give your skin the hydration it’s craving at this time of year, you need to be a bit smarter, says Dr Nick Lowe, consultant dermatologist at Cranley Clinic, London (drnicklowe.com). The trick, he says, is to create a barrier to prevent moisture loss, using the latest skin hydrators.
‘Skin gets drier in winter because central heating dries the skin and damages its barrier,’ Nick explains. ‘Products must repair, protect and maintain the skin barrier – they don’t need to go any deeper. The two most important ingredients for attracting and trapping moisture in the skin are glycerine and hyaluronic acid. Shea butter is also excellent.’
So get checking your ingredients, then follow our shopping list for deliciously drenched skin…
1. Start from within CoEnzyme Q10 is an antioxidant produced by the body to fight the free radicals that damage skin (yay); but our levels drop as we age (boo!). Top up yours with new gel supplement Help: Revitalise My Skin (£9.99,workswithwater.co.uk). One a day will do the job.
2. Soothe sensitivity Dry skin gets even drier in winter, and sensitive skin reacts quickly to changing temperatures. Avoid ingredients like sulphates, which can dry out the skin further. The almond oil in Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream (£10.95, weleda.co.uk) soothes the skin and alleviates irritation. Perfect for using before and after a winter run.
3. Protect your pout Lips already lack the protective properties of the skin; and cold weather makes things worse by stripping away their thin layer of protective oil. Before you know it, you have cracked, chapped lips. We love Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Moisturising Stick (£5.50, spacenk.com), which used to come in a pot and is now available in a handy stick. Possibly the best moisturising lip balm ever.
4. Pat your foundation Make-up artist Louise Dartford (louisedartford.com) says: ‘When you have a dry, flaky complexion, avoid rubbing on foundation – it gets caught under dead skin, drawing attention to it. Pat it on gently instead. Avoid powders, as they will also highlight flaky skin – tinted moisturisers are much better.’ Try Aveda Inner Light Tinted Moisture SPF15 (£23.50 aveda.co.uk), for a glowing effect. It’s your skin, but better.
5. Warm things up Baby it’s cold outside! So why not treat yourself to a warming facial to bring your skin back into balance? Our fave is the Thalgo Extreme Comfort Facial, (from £50, thalgo.com). ‘Products are applied warm, before a heated mask seals everything in,’ says Thalgo expert Sarah Pettican.
6. Descale Smooth away scaly skin on your legs by using a luxe body lotion from top to toe. Boasting the A-Z of nourishing ingredients, even softening kukui oil sourced from Hawaii, Connock London Hydrating Body Lotion (£32.70, connocklondon.com) is a daily sensory treat for your body.
7. Humidify Combat dry skin by humidifying. The higher the humidity, the dewier your skin will be. ‘With the heat on and windows closed, the air can get very dry, resulting in dehydrated skin,’ says Jo Goodman, regional spa manager for HeavenV (heavenv.com). ‘Place a few humidifiers around your home to help banish dry air.’
8. Pocket some moisture When you’re out and about, take along some moisture for your eye area. The skin is thinner and contains fewer oil glands, so can feel drier. Pop a pot of Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Eye Treatment (£35, origins.co.uk) in your bag for protection all day.
9. Oil up Oils are a natural way to moisturise, and ingredients such as jojoba seed oil, sweet almond and grapeseed oil are especially luxurious. Massage new REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil (£34, renskincare.com) in an upward motion from ankles to chest to moisturise, nourish and boost circulation.
10. Go alcohol-free Avoid harsh ingredients like alcohol, found in some toners, which can be drying for the skin. Switch to rosewater for a naturally refreshing, hydrating experience. Also avoid sulphates, found in cleansers, which strip skin of its natural oils. Choose a mild and creamy cleanser, free of sulphates, like Senzimi Sensitive Cleanser (£13.99 senzimi-skincare.com) with jojoba oil, aloe vera and chamomile.