We wouldn’t dream of wearing the same clothes in the winter as we do in the summer. However, a lot of people don’t think twice about sticking to the same skincare routine all year round. The fact is, your skin’s needs change according to the season. So the lightweight products you use during the summer simply won’t get the best results during the colder months. Cold weather outside and central heating inside are really not conducive to complexion perfection. Common winter skin concerns include redness, dryness, dullness and dehydration. The good news? There are plenty of fabulous products out there to help you winter proof your skin. Read on to discover my favourite tried-and-tested formulas – and a couple of new ones I just can’t wait to experiment with!
A star cleanser
All the best skincare routines start with gentle but thorough cleansing, regardless of the time of year. If you’re serious about your skin, and regularly wear makeup and/or an SPF, double cleansing is a must. I am a die-hard double cleansing fan, but I daren’t use anything too harsh as I have very dry and sensitive skin.
One of my favourite cleansers is Neal’s Yard Remedies Soothing Starflower Cleansing Milk. It’s delicate enough for all skin types, even sensitive. The formula contains calming aloe vera which is perfect for soothing winter redness. It’s dermatologically tested, cleanses thoroughly without drying – and it smells divine!
The art of exfoliation
Winter weather can make even properly cleansed skin look dull and grey. So if you’re going for a glow all year round, you need to make exfoliation one of your skincare routine steps. However, a word of caution if you want to perfect your skincare routine. Some people mistakenly believe that if a little is good, then a lot must be better. That is not necessarily the case with exfoliation – especially if your skin is sensitive like mine!
As its name suggests, Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is suitable for everyday use, but I find once a week is enough for me. Its unique, super-fine rice-based powder activates on contact with water to provide both manual and chemical exfoliation. It gently removes dead skin cells and impurities, leaving your complexion clearer, smoother and brighter. Trust me, if you suffer from congestion, you’ll really see the benefits. The formula contains Green Tea and Colloidal Oatmeal, but is formulated without artificial fragrances and colours. Best of all, it’s certified cruelty-free by both Leaping Bunny and PETA.
No winter skin routine should be without a seriously nourishing serum. And in my opinion, they don’t get much better than Decléor’s Neroli Bigarade Aromessence Hydrating Serum. I use this without fail every morning – and sometimes in the evening too!
Lots of people are wary of using facial oils, especially if they have oily skin (which I don’t). However, they are a fabulous way to boost your natural glow and support the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
I find that just a few drops of this 100% natural serum are all I need to ramp up my radiance. The formula is packed full of essential and cold pressed botanical oils, with no colourants or mineral oils. It has a gorgeous, silky, non-sticky texture. Before applying, I warm three drops in my hands, and inhale the aroma. Then I gently tap it over my face and neck, before massaging in. My secret beauty tip? Add a drop to your foundation for an added, but natural-looking, glow.
Hydrated skin is healthy skin, so your winter facial care routine should contain at least one, and ideally two, moisturisers. My go-to daytime moisturiser is another star performer from the Decléor portfolio: Prolagène Lift. This lightweight day cream lifts, firms, and delivers a subtle luminosity that really rejuvenates a dull, winter complexion. I love the smell of lavender, so I find this formula (which contains both lavender and iris essential oils) super relaxing. It’s light enough to use on top of my serum, but nourishing enough to plump and pamper.
I firmly believe that all the best skincare routines should have a dedicated night-time moisturiser. This is when the body rests and repairs itself, reversing daytime damage. Decléor’s Neroli Bigarade Night Balm is perfect for dehydrated winter skin. Its rich formula instantly replenishes and rebalances. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for tired complexions – and a little goes a long way!
Our lips are one of the first facial areas to display those tell-tale signs of ageing. So it’s vital to include them properly in your skin routine. Lips tend to feel the full brunt of any wintry weather, quickly becoming sore and chapped. As we age, our collagen levels diminish, so lips start to get thinner. And fine vertical lines above the top lip (sometimes known as smoker’s lines) are yet another common complaint.
I’m never without my trusty lip balm, but I am super keen to try Verso’s Lip Serum with Retinol. I’ve heard such good things about it! It’s designed to contour and smooth the mouth area, and can even be used as a base for lipstick. The formula features hyaluronic acid for hydration, and the powerful anti-ageing ingredient retinol. An antioxidant derivative of Vitamin A, retinol speeds up cell turnover and promotes skin renewal. So I’m hopeful of a big improvement in texture and tone if I buy and apply it religiously!
The final ingredient for the perfect winter skincare routine is a specialist eye product. The skin around the eyes is very thin and fragile. This means it’s extra vulnerable to cold, wet, wintry weather and the drying effects of central heating.
As you’ve no doubt gathered, I’m a huge fan of all things Decléor, but I’ve yet to experience the brand’s Plum Eye Cream. It’s described as an advanced, double-action anti-ageing formula that’s perfect for mature skin. It’s said to lift and firm the eye contours, while smoothing the appearance of wrinkles. And the packaging looks genius. There’s an innovative pump and spatula that’s designed to aid application, enhancing drainage and reducing puffiness. I spend a lot of time squinting at my screen, so this could be the perfect addition to my skin routine!