This way for soft, soothed and hydrated skin
Winter really does have a wonderful way of wreaking havoc with our skin. Sure, the run up to winter can leave us feeling excited for ‘cosy season’, but by February, it can feel as though winter has had a firm grip on the way our skin looks and feels for quite some time.
Sub-zero temperatures, gale-force winds, colds and central heating all have a role to play in how the winter months can impact our skin, which is why it’s important you adapt your skincare routine for the colder months. The reason for seasonal winter skin tends to come down to one simple thing: lack of moisture. In order for our skin to look and feel its healthiest and most glowing, it needs sufficient levels of hydration.
Come winter, transepidermal water loss (or TEWL) means that more of the skin’s natural moisture is lost through the epidermis and into the atmosphere around us. When air is dry (which is more common during cold, winter months), the rate at which our skin experiences TEWL can increase. This sapping of moisture can have a tendency to leave our skin dry, scaly, red and more irritated.
And it’s not just the skin on our face that experiences increased TEWL in the winter. It’s common to experience dryness from head to toe, which means it’s more important than ever to keep skin hydration up. Look for creams and lotions that include nourishing and moisture-retaining ingredients. Hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter, ceramides and vitamin E can all help improve hydration.
To help you soothe stressed and dehydrated skin in the coming months, we’ve rounded up some of our bestselling skincare products*, bought across November and December, which have been customer-approved for treating all manner of winter hang-ups. The best bit? We love them every bit as much as you do…
The cult body nourisher
Try: Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter (£10)
• Size: 300ml
• Suitable for all skin types
"I have been using this cream for a few years now and it never even occurs to me to try something else. The texture is lovely – it’s thick but absorbs quickly. The smell is beautiful, and my skin feels great after using it."
If you’re looking to get some glow back into dry, scaly limbs and like your beauty products scented, this buttery cream is a winner. A favourite among beauty buffs, and with a rich texture and an impressive concoction of shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E and rosehip seed oil to help deliver ample hydration, it’s ideal for those who require something more hard-working than your typical body lotion. Plus, the crisp bergamot and rose scent makes this tub of joy one of the most uplifting body care products around.
The moisture-boosting mask
Try: No7 Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask (£9.95)
• Size: 100ml
"I took a chance on this mask and I'm so glad I did. It's rich and creamy, but easily absorbed. I've been applying it as a night cream a few times a week and as a mask every few days. My skin is so much softer, glowing and not tight at all."
This hydrating face mask is chock-full of moisturising lipids (plant oils, fatty acids etc) to help support the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Use as a mask two to three times a week for just three minutes at a time and expect to see a more radiant and hydrated complexion.
The daily cleanser
Try: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin (£15)
• Size: 473ml
"I've tried many cleansers, but none as good as this one. I use it daily and it leaves my skin feeling very moisturised."
When our skin is dry and dehydrated, cleansing can sometimes exacerbate the issue. By its nature, it risks stripping skin (even if only a little bit) of its natural oils. But this cleanser is formulated with moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid and barrier-strengthening ceramides to help deliver a sufficient cleanse without contributing to dryness.
The all-over hydrator
Try: CeraVe Moisturising Cream (£16)
• Size: 454g
"I absolutely love this moisturiser – it puts expensive brands to shame. It’s brilliant for dry skin as it has a thick texture that absorbs quickly."
Unlike so many other moisturisers out there, this stuff can be used on both the face and body as it is non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores). It’s richer than most other face creams out there, but if the skin on your face is especially dry, it’s a winner. With three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and no fragrance, it’s great for those with dry, itchy or uncomfortable skin.
The little bit of luxury cleanser
Try: Liz Earle Beauty Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (£27)
• Size: 200ml
"I resisted buying this product for a long time because of the price, however, after treating myself, I haven’t stopped using it. My face feels extremely clean, but not tight and dry. It feels like a daily facial. I’m now a convert and will use it again and again."
When it comes to treating dry skin, many of the most efficacious products out there can feel as though they lack a little luxury. This cleanser, however, has a spa-like feel thanks to its texture that leaves you feeling wonderfully de-stressed. With cocoa butter, rosemary, camomile and eucalyptus, it cleanses skin and delivers essential moisture at the same time.
The super-charged make-up remover
Try: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser (£5.50)
• Size: 50ml
"To say that this cleanser revived my skin is an understatement. It has been so gentle and has restored my skin’s lost moisture. I’ve never looked back since getting it."
Squalane is considered one of the best skin hydrators as it not only helps deliver moisture but prevents its loss at the same time. This cleanser is adored by skin experts far and wide due to its talent for removing make-up with impressive ease (and without exacerbating dryness).
The low-fuss body lotion
Try: Aveeno Daily Moisturising Body Lotion (£7.69)
• Size: 300ml
• Suitable for sensitive skin
"I love this! I use it more in the winter when my skin needs some extra moisture. It’s such a gentle formula and doesn’t feel greasy at all – your skin just feels hydrated and soft."
If you have dry, sensitive skin anywhere on your body that isn’t your face, this body lotion is widely regarded to be one of the best ways to help soothe and restore hydration. Formulated with oatmeal and free from any potentially irritating fragrance, it works to help improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier without leaving your skin feeling greasy.
The gentle body wash
Try: Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash (£3)
• Size: 720ml
"Can’t go wrong with this. Animal kind, fresh smelling, nice and moisturising."
Finding a body wash that soothes parched skin and leaves you feeling suitably refreshed at the same time is no easy feat. However, this freshly scented, creamy number from Dove is free from drying soaps and sulphates, making it the ultimate shower reach-for during cold, winter months.
The iconic lip balm
Try: Vaseline Lip Therapy Tin Rosy Lips (£1.95)
• Size: 20g
"This is a must-have for me. It not only soothes chapped lips, but adds colour."
Trying to be Healthy II**
Petroleum jelly is considered by some dermatologists to be one of the best skin hydrators around, especially when it comes to dry, chapped lips. This rose-tinted formula also contains rose oils and sweet almonds to help deliver super-charged nourishment.
The dry hands saviour
Try: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Concentrated Unscented (£3.99)
• Size: 50ml
"I’m a little bit in love with this hand cream – the tiniest amount goes such a long way. My hands are so soft and smooth."
- RachyRoo1** [This review was collected as part of a promotion.]
Hard-working hands have a tendency to become dry and cracked over winter as they are exposed to the elements. This basic but brilliant hand cream is jam-packed with glycerin, which can help relieve sore skin and prevent further dryness. Simply slather on a thick layer before bedtime, let it sink in overnight and wake up to hydrated, soft hands.