Tackling stubborn parched patches? Relieve dry skin with our pick of the best hydrating facial oils, serums, multi-tasking balms and more...
As winter draws in, we find ourselves in a familiar beauty battleground; tackling the dry, fragile skin that central heating and bitter, cold wind wreak on our faces. It’s to be a struggle no more. This season, we’re arming ourselves with both the products and the know-how to restore embattled complexions to their hydrated, glowing best. So, how exactly do you take your face from ravaged to rosy in this harsh weather? We’ve rounded up the essentials and tips that will prove to be this season’s saviours.
Top of the soothed skin agenda is changing your approach to washing by turning the hot water down – no matter how tempting it is to melt into a steamy bath. Keep water lukewarm so as not to further dehydrate your pores, and gently pat your skin dry, being careful not to rub when you emerge from the tub or shower.
There’s a simple trick that will supercharge your moisturiser, too – if you slather it on when skin is damp, the pore-kind ingredients are better absorbed. Not only does this seal water into the surface of your skin, but it veils your cheeks in a dewy gleam that offsets lines and dullness. We implore you to give it a go.
But, what cream should you be dipping into? We’ve got that covered with a round-up of the best skin salves, serums, oils, moisturisers and cleansers for parched complexions. Eke away every kind of dry patch, from tight cheeks to flaky limbs, by keeping any one of these soothing finds in your bathroom cabinet.
Glossier Balm Dotcom, £30 for a set of three
Glossier, the brainchild of Into The Gloss founder Emily Weiss, has made its first step into the UK market with its hero product Balm Dotcom. A multi-tasking blend of natural emollients and antioxidants, the dense salve is sold in sets of three on Net-A-Porter – which is handy, no? Pop one on your desk, one in your handbag and one beside your bed to temper rough patches of skin, dry lips, ragged cuticles and so much more.
Nobody with dry skin should be without a hydrating facial oil, as these rich unctions work wonders at plying parched pores with plumping, dewy moisture. This one, which is powered with 99.9% Camellina oil, is such a soothing treat for inflamed skin, we like to cocktail it with everything.
It wears beautifully alone or mixed with your day cream, serum or makeup base, giving fatigued faces a cossetting hug and that healthy, 'juicy' look. Best of all, there's no greasy finish, so it's comfortable to wear no matter the time of day. We've been known to press a drop into pores while sitting at our desk.
It's the very cream that models use to soothe their embattled skin on the rigorous Fashion Week circuit. So, what could be better for your own knackered complexion? This French pharmacy find is laden with fatty acids that replenish lost moisture, pampering crepey skin back to its supple best and creating a satiny canvas for makeup. Slather on a thick, reparative layer whenever parched patches come creeping in, and you'll see why makeup artists stockpile the creamy stuff in their kits.
Try as we might to conjure the patience for slathering on a body cream, it's the first thing to go from our beauty routine when we find ourselves tight on time. This mist-on lotion helps us hydrate on the double, veiling parched limbs in a blend of coconut and jojoba oils that are weightless on skin, so you can get dressed right away. Not to mention, it keeps our legs and arms so soft in the face of harsh central heating.
Dry skins love moisture magnet hyaluronic acid, as the gel like, water-holding molecule hydrates pores without leaving a trace of greasiness. That's no mean feat, and one of the most potent forms of the stuff we've found is in this NIOD complex, which imparts 12 forms of the compounds to plump and repair dehydrated skin. We pop a little under our face cream day and night and, though we can see the difference (think brighter, calmer skin), it never feels like we're wearing an extra layer.
We wouldn't tell you to add another step to your skincare regimen for nothing, and this wonder is worth tacking on the extra seconds of slathering. By optimizing the effectiveness of your follow-up products and strengthening the stratum corneum, this booster is said to enhance skin's hydration levels by 25 times. Impressive. Sure enough, we find a layer of the weightless serum underneath a day cream keeps dry pores comforted all day long - in the dewiest, most pillowy of ways.
Beauty-savvy French women know that water can aggravate dry, sensitive skin, which is why many use micellar waters to cleanse their pores. These gentle liquids sweep away makeup, grime and oil on the double, sans the trauma of the stuff from the tap or the stripping that occurs with more vigorous face washes. That alone makes micellar water a dream for dry complexions - throw in the hydrating properties of this Bioderma cleanser and the benefits are only boosted.
If your least favourite thing about a facial oil is the way that it feels on your skin, this fast-absorbing milk is here to eradicate that slippery bugbear. It suspends micro-droplets of pure argan oil in an ultra-fluid serum, lending skin a cushiony softness that's visible the second you smooth it on.
Makeup meets skincare like never before in this ultra-hydrating, tinted base, which promises a 215% increase in moisture levels after just one week of wear. The coverage creates the elusive no makeup makeup finish we all covet, dialling down redness and dark circles with nary a tell-tale tideline in sight. A makeup marvel.