Your Winter Skincare Guide ’18
Our skin changes with the seasons and therefore our skincare routines need a little adjusting too. You wouldn’t wear a bikini on a ski field in the middle of winter and then act surprised when you got wind burn, would you?
To me, it makes sense to first get your bathroom shelf organised for the new season. Take all of your summer skincare products off the shelf, put them in a box in your cupboard or wardrobe and only leave behind the products you know will serve you in a colder climate. It’s just a waste of space to have every product you own out on display, and it’s also tempting to throw onto your face whatever is in front of you when you’re feeling lazy, which will ultimately confuse your skin.
Clear shelf = clear mind = clear skin.
I prefer cleansing oils and balms to remove makeup all year round because they’re more gentle on the skin than a foaming cleanser which tends to be drying. If you’re used to a foaming cleanser, consider switching it out for a balm or milk in winter; Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel, and Ren Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser (this one’s a two-phase cleanser but still gentle) are all really affordable. If you’re willing to spend a little more money, my favourite winter cleanser is the Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil. On a side note, it’s really important that you don’t “over cleanse” in winter. Your skin needs as much moisture as it can get in the colder months and over cleansing will strip the skins natural lipid barrier.
If you’re someone who prefers to use natural skincare products, the truth is you will often need to spend more money, but the upside is that the quality is incredible and you’re consuming ingredients that you recognise and trust. By way of cleansers, beauty industry insiders love Tata Harper’s Nourishing Oil Cleanser as well as their Refreshing Cleanser. Tata Harper uses extremely high quality, organic ingredients which means it’s not cheap. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. But if you have angry, reactive or just traditionally sensitive skin, this brand should probably be on your radar. The products have high-performing ingredients like salicylic acid and pink clay but they’re housed in an aloe vera base which means they’re still gentle on skin.
Okay onto exfoliants and peeling agents. I love using exfoliating acids to help prevent breakouts, even out texture and generally avoid my skin becoming congested. I think it’s a misconception that you should avoid exfoliating in winter; acids keep your skin fresh and exfoliated which means they’re in a better state to cope with harsh weather conditions! I’ve been using Glossier Solution every night for the past two weeks (after cleanser, before serum) and my skin is visibly brighter and clearer. If you’re new to acids or prone to sensitive skin, Sarah Jackson, co-founder of French beauty haven Inès Store, recommends Cane+Austin 10% Retexture Pads. You still get all the benefits of using an AHA but you’re using the lowest strength acid available so your skin should cope pretty well. And if all of this exfoliating-talk is making the rest of your body feel neglected, Cane+Austin also make retexturing wipes specifically for tending to dry and scaly winter limbs (you’re welcome).
While we’re on the topic of peeling agents, if you’re after a retinol you can’t go past Shani Darden Retinol Reform (there’s a reason Emily Ratajkowski swears by it) or Sunday Riley Luna Night Oil. If you’re not sure what retinol is, it’s not the same as an exfoliating acid but it does encourage cell turnover. Basically, retinol is a chemical related to vitamin A which was originally used to treat acne (who remembers Differin?!), but has since been proven to also treat visible signs of aging. Just make sure you’re not using retinols and acids (like Glossier Solution) at the same time, because your skin will become dryer than the Sahara.
I’m not going to complicate moisturisers because you all know what they are and why you need them in winter. Good moisturisers include: Weleda Skin Food, La Mer Soft Lotion (I know I know. I’m sorry. But it’s true people), Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator and Glam Glow Glowstarter Illuminating Moisturiser in the shade ‘Nude’. My sister swears by the Glam Glow product, she said it makes her skin look radiant even when it’s desperately dehydrated.
And lastly, serums and oils. The amount of serum/oil you use is a personal choice, but a good rule of thumb is that if it’s still absorbing, keep going. If your skin drinks something up, it’s usually asking for more. I trust Estèe Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil, and there’s always buzz around Josh Rosebrook products like the Active Infusion Serum. Josh Rosebrook isn’t the cheapest option but the ingredients are entirely organic (and super impressive to read) and as I’ve mentioned that doesn’t come cheap. Side note: skin shouldn’t feel greasy when using face oils, so if it does you’re using too much!
I hope this was helpful and gave you a few suggestions for your winter skincare routine. I wish you a happy winter, beautiful skin, a warm duvet, and I’ll see you on the other side when we do this all over again for summer.