I love this time of year, but my skin unfortunately really does not, so I have to adapt my skincare routine to suit the change in climate and conditions. I can’t believe I’ve stuck out this long on talking about skincare because I could absolutely ramble on about it into the middle of next year! I believe that before you plaster yourself in make-up, you should make sure you have looked after the canvas it will be applied to- because you won’t get another one (unless you can afford a skin transplant, is that even a thing?). Now we are progressing into the thick of Winter, I’ve noticed a huge change in my skin’s behaviour and it is so dry! Never fear though because after years of being into all of this, I feel like I’ve created my perfect routine and in this post I will share with you the products I couldn’t live without- full stop. They are also ideal for the colder months when your skin needs hydration, hence the title of this post.
Now I am aware that there are a lot of products in this picture, so as not to waste too much of your time, I’ll get straight into my ramblings (and attempt to keep them short and sweet). If you’re really not interested in reading what I’ve got to say about each of the products, I’ll pop a list of them all at the end.
Firstly, right at the back in the pink tube I’ve snuck in a cheeky hand lotion by Lanolips- which I know isn’t strictly skincare and rather falls under the body care category, however it is such a necessity at this time of the year. This is their ‘Every Day Hand Balm’ and is just a lovely, generously sized product. I can’t stand creams that sit on your skin and take ages to absorb and this one doesn’t do that. It contains Lanolin (which if you didn’t know, is a type of moisturiser extracted from sheep’s wool- I know, how weird!) and Rose Oil. I can confirm, for those of you that don’t particularly like the smell of rose, that the scent of this is much more subtle and is pleasant enough.
So aside from that little addition, it’d make sense for me to start in order of when you should use the products I’ve pictured here. So firstly on the far right in the cream tube is the Clarins ‘Gentle Foaming Cleanser’. This is a beautiful creamy cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils, which is why I like to use it in the Winter when my skin needs all the hydration it can get. I think this would be a great cleanser for any skin type as it is so comfortable and never leaves the skin feeling tight afterwards.
Next after cleansing, I’ve included the toner that I’m enjoying currently for this time of the year, which is Pixi’s ‘Glow Tonic’. This toner doesn’t just restore the moisture that the skin would have lost from cleansing, it also contains Glycolic Acid (not much, only 5%!). With the addition of this ingredient, the toner actually chemically exfoliates the skin whilst it’s on. I believe this is a better way to remove the dead skin cells on your skin, instead of using a physical exfoliant with grains which can just be so abrasive and stripping. This makes my skin look so clean with a lovely glow in the morning, and means I can get my exfoliating step in without using an abrasive scrub. I will warn that this product is heavily fragranced which I know can be an issue for those with sensitive skin.
So on most evenings I will use a serum of some kind after toning. My favourite for Winter is Estee Lauder’s ‘Advanced Night Repair’, which might pose a bit of controversy due to my age. I know it’s marketed for ageing skin, but as far as I’m concerned you can never start too early in preventing the effects of ageing on your skin. At the end of the day, anti-ageing products are only different from others in the fact that they contain more moisturising benefits to keep the skin plump and free of lines. That’s effectively what aged skin suffers from, getting extremely dry and wrinkling (and of course not being able to repair itself). So anyway, I use this serum as a pick me up at this time of the year, because it repairs the skin from the harsh weather conditions and also builds up a barrier to prevent further damage. Whenever I’m going through a stressful patch with my skin and I’m breaking out here there and everywhere, I will always reach for this one because I just find it heals the skin after only a couple of uses.
I don’t use a facial oil every single evening, but in the Winter it usually creeps into my routine a little more frequently. Kiehl’s is a fabulous brand, especially for their skincare. I love their ‘Midnight Recovery Concentrate’ facial oil because it replenishes the moisture I would have lost from cleansing and also restores the skin over night. By the morning, I feel like my skin has repaired itself and is in perfect condition for the day ahead. The beauty of this one is it is full of botanical and essential oils and is completely free of any nasty ingredients. This is a lovely step to slot in between your serum and moisturiser to give you that little extra hydration. All I do to apply it is drop three of four drops from the pipette into my palm, warm it in my hands and press onto my skin to disperse it.
Here is the time that I will reach for my moisturiser to finish off my routine and the one that I think is perfect for this cold weather is the Embryolisse ‘Lait-Creme Concentrate’. A year ago this was an absolute bugger to get your hands on as it was only available in French pharmacies. My original tube of this cost me a blumming fortune on an admittedly dodgy looking website, so you can imagine my relief when it eventually arrived in the post! Nowadays however, because it is such a raved about product, good’ol Boots have noticed its popular demand and we now sell a full range of Embryolisse skincare products in store- hurrah! With all of this being said, this moisturiser is well worth the money I’ve spent on it over the years because it really is so comfortable and nourishing and will be good for any type of skin. It goes without saying how gentle this cream is, purely from the fact that it is sold in pharmacies. Also, no fragrance whatsoever in this product so that’s an added bonus for the sensitives!
I’ve popped in a couple of intense options as well, for those that are really suffering from dehydrated skin. The first I use purely as a kind of ‘spot’ cream. Meaning I only apply it to the areas on my face that are super duper dry and flaky and simply cannot be rescued from my standard methods. This is Avene’s ‘Cicalfate’ which comes in a small tube because you really don’t need to use that much. It is a repair cream (this seems to be a recurring theme in this post!) which is perfect for sensitive and irritated skin. I don’t need to use this very often, but sometimes my skin will get terribly patchy and this is usually the only thing that does the trick. It is fragrance free and extremely gentle on the skin.
The Origins ‘Drink up Intensive’ mask in the green tube on the left is probably one of my holy grail products and I use it all year round regardless. It is a heavy duty moisturiser/mask that is best used alone after cleansing your skin. I pop a nice even layer on my face before bed time and just leave it over night. Then in the morning I will wash it off with a cleanser. You can use this twice or up to three times a week depending on how dry your skin is; I prefer using it just once a week personally. It is a beautiful fuss free boost of hydration and has the added bonus of smelling like peaches and apricots!
Finally, I’ve got a little trio of lip products at the front on the right that deserve a bit of a mention. The first is Clarins’ ‘Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil’ which is essentially an oil for your lips and it does exactly what it says on the tin (or tube). But oh my goodness is this stuff glorious! Not only does this honey version smell absolutely wonderful and sweet, it is the most comfortable thing to put on your dry and chapped lips. It provides so much glossiness that I’m fine just wearing it alone or popping it over a lipstick. I previously tried getting my hands on this about eight months ago when they were released as “limited editions” (I hate those marketing tactics), and was so gutted after they’d sold out so quickly. However, by popular demand, Clarins have permanently launched these and I may have scared the lady on the counter when I spotted the little bottle and dashed away with it like a bullet out of a gun (I was not going to face disappointment once again). After having this for a few months now, I can safely say it is my favourite lip product I’ve ever owned.
I seem to really be loving Clarins in this post and I promise it’s not all I own! I did have to mention their ‘Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm’ with essential rose wax though, because it is a great all rounder for dry and cracked lips. I love the fact that it’s in a tube because it means I don’t need to stick my grubby fingers in a pot when I’m out and about and need some lip balm. This is a lovely soothing product and has the slightest rosy tint to accentuate the shade of your natural lips.
FInally, Nuxe’s ‘Réve de Miel’ lip balm is the one that I apply before bed time to recover and restore my lips by the time I wake. It is unlike any lip balm formula I’ve ever used because it is like a thick matte cream. At first I found it a little hard to distribute, but it works best if you warm it up between your fingers first and then apply. It has a kind of citrusy scent which is ok but not great for me (I like fruity sweet smells) however, the pros far outweigh the cons. This is by far the most hydrating balm on the market, but because of its consistency you kind of have to apply it at night and let it absorb as you sleep. On the plus side, your lips are restored to their former glory in the morning and are ready for whatever drying lipstick you will eventually put on them.
So I did warn you that I could ramble on into next year on this subject, I’m just so passionate about it. I really hope that you’ve found some useful things in this post and have perhaps seen a product that has caught your eye that you’d like to try!
Thank you so much for reading, look after your skin this Winter!
P.s. As promised a straightforward list of the products mentioned:
Lanolips- Every Day Hand Balm
Clarins- Gentle Foaming Cleanser
Pixi- Glow Tonic
Estee Lauder- Advanced Night Repair
Kiehl’s- Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Embryolisse- Lait- Creme Concentrate
Origins- Drink Up Intensive
Clarins- Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil
Clarins- Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm
Nuxe- Reve de Miel
A Little Disclaimer- I’ve purchased all of these products with my own money or have been fortunate enough to have them gifted to me by friends and family. I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned and all opinions are entirely my own and honest. All pictures on this post have been taken by yours truly.