To get the softest-looking skin you've had in years, wrap it in layers of these moisture-boosting creams, oils and sprays
As the cold weather rages on, it gets tougher and tougher to find products that provide lasting moisture to your skin. If you thought that your skin had plenty to contend with during the summer months (sun damage, excess oil) just you wait till winter comes around. The damaging rays are still there, plus biting winds, central heating, rain and moisture-sapping cooler temperatures. Good times.
For that reason, it’s important to arm yourself with hydrating buys that ward off windburn, parched cheeks and all those other beauty issues that crop up in the colder, darker months. We’ve rounded up the very best, from an oil that plumps and tans dull skin to a bath milk that soothes dry limbs back to their supple, gleaming best.
Click through our gallery of winter skincare buys, and for more skin-kind recommendations, and don’t forget to head over to our brilliant sister beauty site Powder. By signing up and filling in a speedy form, a team of leading beauty editors will offer bespoke suggestions based on your skin type, hair type, likes, dislikes and budget. It really is that easy.
Anything in the Duchess of Cambridge’s makeup bag is good enough for us – it has been reported that her glowing complexion is a result of using cult beauty buy Trilogy Rosehip Oil. Rich in fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9, this all natural formula seeps beneath the skins surface delivering hydration whilst smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. Simply massage a few drops into your face morning and night or extend to your body to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Oily and combination skin still suffers from the drying effects of winter weather, but even so, you probably don’t feel like clogging it with rich creams to solve the problem, that’s where Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask can help, brand new and exclusive to Selfridges Beauty Hall. It’s light and gel-like in texture but packed with hydration from hyaluronic acid as well as tons of antioxidants to protect skin from whatever winter throws at it. It feels cooling and calming on skin so will be much loved if you suffer from windburn or redness too.
We know, body brushing is the last thing you feel like doing in the depths of winter, but it’s also the one thing that can really make a difference to cellulite – surely that’s worth a £4 and 1 minute investment? Every morning, as you wait for the shower to heat up brush up limbs towards your heart with Ecotools Dry body brush – it’s cute, natural and cruelty free with a nifty handle so it won’t come flying out of your hand as you brush. It’ll pay dividends by spring, promise.
It’s not just skincare that gets a tough time from winter weather – switching to a hardier foundation is a must and bases don’t come much more robust than Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation Concealer. Make no mistake this is a full-coverage base, but it smooths on like cashmere, blends beautifully and leaves skin looking uniform and poreless, but not mask-like. You’d expect something pretty close to perfection at this price, and as usual Mr Ford has nailed it.
A good hair mask is a must in the season where you’re probably heat styling more than is strictly advisable. This Structure Repair Masque, by Swedish brand Maria Nila contains a nice blend of moisturising oils and algae extracts, it’s vegan, environmentally-friendly and cruelty free (which is always good to know) And perhaps most importantly, softens and smoothes hair that’s seen better days in five minutes flat.
There’s nothing like a biting wind or frosty morning to bring out the redness in even the most cool and calm of complexions, so adding an extra anti-redness step into your regimen is a good idea. SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer works on a couple of fronts; it instantly comforts and cools inflamed skin, then the main active ingredient – peptides – work to preemptively stop environmental irritation.
Moisturisers for dry skin conjure up images of paste-like thick creams. But not L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Soothing Liquid , which targets winter skin complaints but in a light easily-absorbed lotion, perfect for when it’s too cold to stand around shivering after the shower.
Here’s the thing about winter skin; as well as being perpetually dry, any trace of a summer glow is long gone – double trouble. Enter Hand Chemistry Glow Oil a self tan alternative that warms up skin without sapping it of moisture.
How? It’s formulated without DHA, the common tanning agent that gives great glow but can make skin feel dry and snake-like. In its place, this has Erythrulose, a keto-sugar found in raspberries that builds a natural-looking tan without the drying effecr. Slather this on to takethe edge off a winter pallor and enhance that festive party dress.
A soothing cleansing balm is great during winter, as it gently removes impurities without stripping or drying thanks to it’s pampering oils and emollients. Blue Moon by the ever-genius Sunday Riley is infused with calming chamomile and vanilla, melts makeup away and doubles up as an ultra nourishing mask if you leave it on a little longer.
Brittle nails and cracked cuticles are another symptom of a biting winter, which is where Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter kindly steps in. A rich skin and nail reviving balm that instantly soothes, we recommend keeping a pot by your bed so you can smooth it on before you go to sleep.
A classic for good reason, this luxury milk adds a little light froth to the tub, envelops limbs in a soft, powdery scent, and imbibes skin with hydrating camellia oil. Just the thing when you’ve had to commute home in a downpour, a soak in this will turn winter blues on their head.
We stockpile this plumping gel through winter, as we never want to be without its intensely hydrating blend of aloe, lavender and rosewater. One for windburn on cheeks and tired, patchy complexions, a generous layer restores the calm and dewiness that all of us crave.
Reinforce skin’s barriers with layers of hydration, and no amount of chilly wind or rain will create soreness, redness or flakes. Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist is a particularly effective, as it covers skin in a dewy mist of moisture that can be topped up on the go – great for flights, too if you’re lucky enough to be getting some winter sun.
This medicated lip cream was formulated to treat cold sores but that’s not all it’s good for As well as smoothing over sore, chapped lips and restoring them to their former glory, Blistex Relief Cream also acts as a fail-safe lip primer. The milky-white tint neutralises your natural lip pigment and locks lipstick in place for hours. Pop some on before you leave the house and save time on touch ups.
An integral part of any good make-up artist’s kit, Weleda Skin Food is a backstage fashion week veteran and a total bargain too. It’s uber rich and buttery, so ideal for seriously dry or flaky skin, providing deep hydration and a protective layer against the elements. Use sparingly, this is powerful stuff.
Made up of 95% natural, organic ingredients including nourishing argan oil and soothing aloe, Nivea’s Pure and Natural day moisturiser gives expensive lotions a run for their money. At £5.99 you can afford to be frivolous but you needn’t be 0 a small dollop goes a long way and sinks in really quickly – great for thirsty complexions during colder months. This high street classic got the royal seal of approval several years ago when the Duchess of Cambridge was snapped clutching a pot on the Kings Road.
If your skin is struggling to keep pace with the contrast between cold weather outdoors and drying air conditioning inside, oils can keep your skin’s moisture balanced. We’ve been using Johnson’s Baby Oil everyday for the last few weeks after stepping out of the shower and our skin has never been so soft. Even those notoriously dry spots – the elbows and knees – are now smooth and supple. Not bad for under £3!