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How to switch up your skincare routine for the winter months

Refresh your skincare routine for the winter with our product must-haves...

Assortment of winter skincare products
Orin Carlin
Orin CarlinContent Writer
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Winter is well underway and we can’t help but ache for spring. 

Granted, the colder months are made more bearable by the certain sartorial joys - think luxe thigh-high boots, glossy tights and plush wool coats

But beauty-wise, it feels as though there’s less to look forward to. Especially, considering how winter can wreak total havoc on your skin

MORE: What is slugging and is it actually good for your skin?

Woman with beautiful skin © Getty
Winter weather can be very harsh on the skin

Fierce gales and parky temperatures alongside intense blasts of central heating can deplete the moisture within your skin barrier, resulting in dryness and an uncomfortable, tight feeling. 

This soreness can "affect your ability to stick to your regular actives-based skincare regime" according to dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting, and even potentially exacerbate existing skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and acne. 

READ: Skincare tips for treating post-NYE dehydrated skin

MORE: What is double cleansing and how to do it right - according to a celebrity facialist

How we chose:

  • Ingredients: All the product inclusions have been specifically chosen to combat classic winter skin woes and therefore contain ingredients such as humectants and fatty acid-rich oils.
  • Efficacy: My selections are high-performing products that I (Hello! Fashion's resident beauty obsessive Orin Carlin) personally really rate, and have found to be effective on my own skin during the winter.

Dry Skin 

Dr Bunting finds that dryness - skin lacking oil, not to be confused with dehydration which is linked to lack of water - is especially common among people who continue to use actives such as retinoids through the winter. 

If you don't want to press pause on your vitamin A usage, consider incorporating fatty acid-rich oils that can help restore your skin barrier and keep it feeling satiated. Plant-derived squalane is light, nongreasy and excellent on all skin types, rarely causing sensitivity, and rosehip oil is another lovely alternative, great for soothing inflammation.

The Nourishing Cleanser 

Incorporating a rich, unctuous balm or oil cleanser into your evening routine should leave your skin feeling balanced and comfortable after removing any makeup, SPF and impurities. 

Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm - Emma Hardie
Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm - Emma Hardie

With a delightful spa-like scent, Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm is a cult skincare classic for excellent reason. It melts and removes makeup like a dream, thoroughly cleansing the pores while always leaving my skin feeling generously nourished. 

The Rich Oil 

Fatty acid-rich oils are great for replenishing the skin barrier and making dry, dull skin appear brighter and healthier.

Oskia Facial Oil
Restoration Oil - Oskia

Supple and soothing, Oskia's Restoration Oil never fails to make my skin appear healthier and more energised the morning after before-bed application. Formulated with African acmella, evening primrose, heart seed vine and echium, the scent is also utterly captivating.

The Ceramide Moisturiser 

Ceramides are lipids, a group of fatty acids, that are naturally present in the skin. They help prevent moisture loss and keep your skin feeling supple and smooth.

Lala Retro Whipped Cream - Drunk Elephant
Lala Retro Whipped Cream - Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream is seriously great. Firstly, I love the hygienic air-tight pump, but what's inside is even better than the super-satisfying packaging. The formula combines ceramides with six African oils, resulting in a great all-rounder, never heavy, night cream.

Chapped Lips 

Luscious pouts can become susceptible to dryness due to the lack of sebaceous glands and our tendency to lick them when they're dry. "Saliva is an irritant," Dr Bunting explains. "And this leads to worsening dryness, more licking and a downward spiral that ultimately allows the lip's skin barrier to crumble."

The Restorative Balm 

Lip balm is a winter essential. It helps repair the barrier and provides a shield to licking and mouth-breathing at night, especially if you have a cold. Avoid irritants like fragrance, colourants and anything tingly, like peppermint oil.

Lemonaid Lip Treatment - Lanolips
Lemonaid Lip Treatment - Lanolips

I suffer from roughness across the surface of my lips practically all year round, especially so in the winter. I am devoted to Lanolips' Lemonaid Lip Treatment which contains lemon oil to gently slough away any flakiness and deliver a hit of moisture via medical-grade lanolin.  

The Gentle Scrub

I can't bear flakiness on my lips, not only because it feels horrid, but because lipstick looks so uneven layered over the top. Makeup artists swear by a simple lip scrub beforehand for a flawless finish, and I'm very much in agreement.

Bubblegum Lip Scrub - Lush
Bubblegum Lip Scrub - Lush

An oldie but a goodie, Lush's jojoba oil-infused sugar lip scrub is cheap, cheerful and effective. Simply apply it with your finger and buff away any dead skin before wiping it off with a warm flannel.

Dehydrated Skin 

The low humidity levels linked to the winter weather can lead to an increase in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) – the term used to describe when water from the dermis passes through the epidermis and evaporates into the air – meaning that hydration levels can also suffer. What a treat. Luckily, there are plenty of plumping and moisture-retaining ingredients that can help you get your skin back on track. For long-lasting hydration, Dr Bunting rates "occlusive ingredients", agents that lock in moisture by forming a protective seal, as well as niacinamide and ceramides.

The Hydrating Serum 

Hyaluronic acid, one of the best ingredients for moisture retention, is a humectant which works by binding itself to water molecules. 

Everhydrate Marine Moisture-Restore Serum - REN Clean Skincare
Everhydrate Marine Moisture-Restore Serum - REN Clean Skincare

Fluid and refreshing, REN's delightful Everhydrate Marine Moisture-Restore Serum is packed with glycerin and hyaluronic acid as well as sustainably sourced algae extracts. It quenches my skin, absorbs quickly and feels feather-light - and therefore can be easily followed by your moisturiser or oil of choice.

The Refreshing Spritz

An optional extra, I love a humectant-packed mist to restore my moisture levels after the liquid exfoliant stage. 

Rose Hydrating Mist - MV Skintherapy
Rose Hydrating Mist - MV Skintherapy

Uplifting and fragrant, MV Skintherapy's Rose Hydrating Mist is one of my most-adored spritzes. Containing a blend of rose-derived oils, it smells gorgeous and is great for flights. When I'm not travelling, mine lives in the fridge. 

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HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

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