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The Perfect Winter Skincare Routine

By Hannah Prynn - 2 years ago | Updated
Cupped hands holding cream in heart shape

As the seasons change, so should your skincare routine.

Let’s be honest, no one wants dry and flaky skin over the Christmas period, do they? But the tinted moisturiser and SPF that had your back through the summer isn't going to cut it. It’s essential to switch up the products that you’re using as the colder months approach. With our complexions reacting differently to frostier temperatures, it's going to need all the nourishment it can get.

With that being said, there’s no need to revamp your entire beauty regimen. Simply switching out your lightweight formulas for something a little more intense will help keep your skin hydrated and full of life - just in time for the festive season!

Not sure where to start? Cast your eye over our guide to the perfect winter skin care routine.

Why introduce a winter skincare routine?

Winter weather can be our skin's worst enemy. That's why it's essential to give it that much-needed TLC before you brave the outside world. Cold weather and changing seasons can affect our complexions in many ways, including:

  • Dehydrating and drying out skin: Cold air lacks moisture, which means you don't get the hydration benefits of increased humidity like you do in summer. This can lead to dry, rough and dehydrated skin.
  • Skin microcirculation: Going from super cold to warm can affect skin microcirculation. This means that in the cold, the capillaries in your skin constrict to reduce blood flow and vice versa. When you go between extreme temperatures, the changes in skin microcirculation can cause redness and a flushed complexion.
  • UV damage: Just because we get fewer hours of sunlight throughout the day, doesn't mean you can skip your SPF! If you're lucky enough to live in white snowy surroundings, this can create the perfect playground for the sun's harmful UV rays. They can bounce off white and reflective surfaces and hit your skin twice, so it's super important to invest in a high-quality hydrating SPF for the winter months.

We're here to make crafting a new winter skincare routine a breeze. We've sourced the best products to help you protect, nourish and hydrate your skin in winter below...

1. Change up your cleanser

It's not uncommon to wear more heavy-duty makeup in the winter months (especially with all the festivities taking place), so it's important to switch up the intensity of your cleanser in order to ensure skin is left squeaky-clean and free from dirt and impurities.

Try opting for a balm or oil alternative, like the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, as this type of consistency is not only great at removing debris, but also provides rich moisture that winter skin will love.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

£44.99 £53.05 (16% off)

For an oil option (and a more budget-friendly one), this Trilogy Rosehip Cleansing Oil certainly does the trick. It uses rosehip oil, which is rich in vitamins C and A, to reduce hyperpigmentation, and almond oil loaded with vitamin E and a whole host of fatty acids, to nourish dry and damaged skin. With the addition of papaya and sunflower oils, this nourishing product gives you a lovely and moisturising cleanse in the winter months.

Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil

£20.22 £23.85 (16% off)

2. Buff away the dead skin

Exfoliating is an essential step in winter skincare routines. Using a lightweight face scrub once or twice a week will buff away the dead skin cells that are hindering a radiant glow, as well as boost moisture. Plus, getting rid of dead skin makes well for the rest of your routine to penetrate the skin better!

A gentle exfoliator like this Avant one renews your complexion, reducing the appearance of pores, uneven tone, fine lines and dullness. Rose offers hydration and antioxidant protection while vitamin B5 softens the skin and makes wrinkles look smoother.

Avant Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant

£92.00 £92.02 (1% off)

We also can't get enough of Dermalogica's water-activated Microfoliant, made of rice powder and other natural ingredients for a soothing exfoliation suitable for sensitive skin and daily use. Show dull skin the door!

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

£13.99 £18.00 (23% off)

3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

Applying moisturiser goes without saying. Particularly in the winter months, your skin requires intensive moisture to maintain a smooth and supple skin texture – regardless of whether you have a dry or oily skin type. Your complexion will naturally feel drier during in colder temperatures so it’s a must to give your skin vital softening care.

Why not try the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 50? It works well on all skin types to deliver a surge of hydration for dehydrated skin that’s in need of a boost.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 50

£13.13 £17.00 (23% off)

And in the evening, take advantage of the thicker consistency of most night creams to relieve parched skin when it doesn't matter whether you look a little greasy or not.

This rejuvenating night cream from Medik8 protects your natural skin barrier from free radicals and premature ageing and leaves you super supple skin. Ceramides, antioxidants, dragon fruit extract and saskatoon berry work together to hydrate, lift and smooth your complexion.

Medik8 Advanced Night Restore


4. Hydrate your eye area

During the winter our under eyes will feel a little less than moisturised to say the least. That’s where eye cream comes in handy.

Most of us are guilty of skipping this step (us included), but we can assure you that caring for your eyes is just as important as any other part of your body – especially when it comes to slowing down the ageing process and brightening up the eye area.

A light application of eye product during your evening ritual will not only revitalise the delicate eye area but it will give your skin the hydration boost it needs to ensure it looks its very best.

A fabulous formula like Elizabeth Arden's Intensive Repair Eye Serum protects the skin with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients while also supporting collagen production for a plump and tightened eye contour – it’s a step that you’ll thank us for later, that’s for sure.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti Ageing & Intensive Repair Eye Serum

£81.60 £105.00 (23% off)

The winter months are also a great time to indulge in under-eye patches (it's not like you've got much else to do with the sun setting at 4 p.m., right?). They'll give you an extra dose of hydration and skin-nourishing ingredients, and can combat signs of ageing, dark circles and puffiness too, depending on your chosen product.

Our favourite Grace & Stella masks cool and de-puff, plus add glow to dark circles and reduce puffiness, using ingredients like glycerin to hydrate and condition this delicate area.

Grace & Stella Everything Is Better In Pink Eye Masks

£17.25 £18.00 (5% off)

5. Condition chapped lips

With a combination of heaters and cold weather in the mix, keeping your pout perfectly polished can be a tough task. Ensuring you have an intensive lip treatment on hand will help banish the look of cracked and dehydrated lips in an instant.

We recommend a reliable lip treatment, such as the NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm, for lips that stay kissable throughout the cold climate. Plus, they’ll taste of citrus, honey goodness - yum!

Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm

£10.40 £13.23 (22% off)

And when you want a pop of colour to brighten up these dark 'n' dreary days, you don't have to sacrifice on nourishment.

With just one use, this gloss/treatment hybrid reduces the look of lip lines and increases volume for plump, hydrated results. It also uses collagen peptides for support of collagen and elastin production to give you long-lasting volume.

HydroPeptide Perfecting Gloss Lip Treatment


6. Lock in that moisture

Dehydrated, sensitised skin will only get better over time but with the help of a fortifying formula like the ELEMIS Superfood Facial Oil − a lightweight yet extremely nourishing face oil that’s infused with broccoli seed oil and daikon radish, amongst many other transformative superfoods.

Crucial in the winter months, this thirst-quenching face oil gives you all-day comfort and hydration whilst boosting your skin's natural glow and radiance.

ELEMIS Superfood Facial Oil

£25.73 £54.00 (53% off)

For a more affordable and super straightforward option, we always put in our trust in The Ordinary. This cold-pressed chia seed oil absorbs quickly, nourishing dry skin with a high concentration of essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Your skin will feel strong, supple and totally hydrated.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil

£7.04 £8.05 (13% off)

Switch up your skincare routine for winter with ease!

With these products you can enhance your winter skin care routine and be well on your way to combat the cold, as well as achieve a gorgeous, glowing complexion.

Want to discover more skin care for your routines? Check out The 12 Iconic Products You'll Find in a French Pharmacy.

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