Winter brings with it the annual battle against the fluctuating external factors that turn your skin into a dehydrated shadow of its former glowing self. So while we bundle up to keep warm in the chilly weather, we also have to take extra care of our skin. But why exactly does this time of year have such an adverse impact on our complexions?
“Cool air, low humidity, cold winds and moving from warm central heating into the cold and back again can significantly dehydrate our skin,” Dr Johanna Ward, founder of ZENii Skincare, explains. “The main issue in autumn and winter is skin dehydration or lack of water. This is different to skin dryness, which refers to skin that lacks lipids or oil. Dehydration is when there is a lack of water in the stratum corneum or outer layer of the skin. It can result in anything from sensitive skin and red cracked lips to rough, dry and flaky skin.”
We look to the finest day creams, moisturisers and oils to pump life into our skin, while often forgetting that not all skin is the same. A heavy cream may work for the dry among us, but overpower the oily. So where should we start when tackling our skin this season? “It’s critical to slough dead, dehydrated, dry skin,” says Jamie O’Banion, cofounder of BeautyBio, who pinpoints microneedling as a potential treatment to try. If that thought makes you wince, employ skincare acids, like AHAs and BHAs. And then once you’ve prepped the skin? “Look for a moisturiser with moisture-binding humectants (which retain and preserve moisture in the skin), because they are especially helpful to soften skin’s texture and to keep skin looking plump, firm and dewy.”
“Add in a powerful serum hydrator like hyaluronic acid to keep the skin moist and hydrated — it’s a powerful humectant, which means it draws water up from the deeper layers of the skin into the more superficial layers,” Dr Ward adds. “It uses the water in your body to deeply hydrate the skin. Changing your daily products — just as you would change your wardrobe — is beneficial in the cooler months. No matter what your skin type, rehydrating the skin needs to be your focus.”
Now we’ve got the basics down, click through to find the moisturisers packed with hydrating acids, vitamins and serums for every skin type, from extremely dry through to combination, via sensitive and oily.
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This article was originally published in December 2020 and has since been updated.