Skincare SOS: Brace Your Face For Winter

In the same way we prepped our skin against sun exposure and sensitivity during the summer months, it's time to gear up now that the colder weather is incoming. Everything from frosty nights to the office central heating can wreak havoc on your skin, which means adjusting your regime accordingly.

"The main issue in autumn and winter is skin dehydration or lack of water," ZENii Skincare founder, GP and cosmetic doctor Johanna Ward tells Refinery29. "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 and flaky skin."

If you find yourself loading up on thick night creams or reaching for your lip balm throughout the day, chances are your skin is craving a hydration hit. Rather than slather on greasy and ineffective moisturisers, according to Dr. Ward, there are five steps you can take in order to ready your skin for the months ahead.

Hydrate With Hyaluronic Acid

"Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant, which means it draws water up from the deeper layers of the skin into the more superficial layers. It uses the water that you drink and the water in your body to deeply hydrate the skin."

Avoid Long Baths

"These both rob the skin of water and make dehydration worse. In addition, areas like London have lots of issues with hard water which contains high levels of dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which can dehydrate the skin. Stick to short showers and ensure they are not too hot if you want to maintain good water content in the skin."

Night Creams To Nourish While You Sleep

"At nighttime, the skin gets a chance to heal and recover from the cellular insults of the day, so a deeply nourishing and hydrating night cream is a good investment in the winter months. Find one that isn't too heavy and congesting, but delivers skin beneficial vitamins like vitamin B3, C & E. Hyaluronic acid & jojoba oil are a great combination for hydration that are sebum neutral – so won’t cause any unwanted breakouts."

Boost Skin With An Oil

"Be aware that not all oils are created equal – some oils can be congesting, so opt for jojoba, argan or squalene oils for skin-smoothing and barrier protection. Boost your Omega-3 levels with an Omega-3 nutritional supplement to help target skin dryness from within. The skin’s barrier is made up of many types of fats (lipids) including phospholipids, cholesterol and free fatty acids. When the skin doesn’t have enough of these fats, as in the case of dry skin conditions such as eczema, then essential water can be lost through the barrier, causing skin dehydration."

Get The Glow With Acids

"Sometimes in the winter our skin can look lacklustre or dull. Ingredients like glycolic acid are great for removing superficial cellular debris and can stimulate a brighter, more luminous complexion. Don't overdo the exfoliation in the winter months, however, as it can lead to skin sensitivity and breakouts. Well-exfoliated skin will not only look brighter and dewier but will hold onto hydration and nutrients more easily."

From hydrating serums to exfoliating acids, click through to see our pick of the products that'll keep your skin hydrated, refreshed and glowing this winter.

Skin79's Aqua Deep Cream contains phyto hyaluronic acid and aragonite thermal water – dense ingredients that mirror human electrolytes, meaning extreme hydration while keeping the skin's elasticity.

Skin79 Aragospa Aqua Deep Cream, £16, available at Man Kind
This overnight intensive mask from luxury vegan brand Orveda is sure to blow away the winter cobwebs. Penetrating the skin instantly, it tackles skin tone, pores and fine lines, leaving you with a glowy complexion.

Orveda Visibly Brightening & Skin Perfecting Masque, £250, available at Harvey Nichols
This 'sleeping pack' is an effective moisturising face mask, designed to be left on at night and rinsed off in the morning.

Working while the skin is most receptive to repair, the mask has 'energising electrolytes' which help to reveal an awakened visage by the time your alarm clock goes off. Waking up with bright, healthy, smooth looking skin sounds very good, thank you.

Algenist SPLASH Absolute Hydration Replenishing Sleeping Pack – £44.00 for 60ml, available at and
A blend of vitamins and plant extracts, this light serum isn't greasy and gives dry winter skin a kick of hydration.

What Skin Needs Hydrating Facial Serum, £12.99, available at What Skin Needs
Taking a supplement in winter is the equivalent of throwing your skin a safety net and this one is worth investing in. A blend of hyaluronic acid and phytoceramides work to hydrate and strengthen the skin’s outer layers, protecting it from cold weather and central heating.

Beauty Complex, £39.95 per box (21 day supply), available at or by telephone 0800 901 2152 (for free P&P), Selfridges, John Bell & Croyden and
Rich in vitamins C, B5 and E, this overnight repair cream fights cellular damage and rehydrates skin properly.

ZENii Micronutrient Repair Night Cream, £75, available at ZENii
The Ordinary's salicylic acid has become one of the brand's cult products, both for its satisfying exfoliation and its price tag.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, £3.90, available at Cult Beauty
With two weights of hyaluronic acids, resurfacing papaya enzymes, and a non-oily gel-like texture, this daily moisturiser will see you through winter.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, £20, available at Cult Beauty
You can trust Tata Harper's farm-to-face ingredients to work their magic on your winter face. Softening jojoba and argan oils deliver the intensive moisture.

Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil, £68, available at Cult Beauty
This moisturiser is ideal for those with oily or sensitive skin looking for hydration without the grease.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion, £51, available at Net-A-Porter
This exfoliating mask tackles clogged pores, blemishes and dark spots – our Sunday night go-to for glowing Monday morning skin.

Caudalie Glycolic Peel, £22, available at Cult Beauty
Antibacterial tea tree and black cumin seed oils infused with salicylic acid might sound intense, but cucumber and milk thistle keep skin dewy and plump, rather than stripped.

Sunday Riley U.F.O Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, £34, available at Cult Beauty
This face cream packs 15% vitamin C, so brightened and protected skin is guaranteed.

Kat Burki Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream, £88, available at Cult Beauty
A triple threat: moisturising argan oil, SPF (because you need to wear it through winter, too), and soothing sweet almond oil. This is a go-to daily hydrator.

Vita Liberata Passionflower and Argan Dry Oil Face Serum, £25, available at Cult Beauty
An at-home peel that gets rid of surface grime and dead skin, one swipe of these pads around the face and you'll wake up with a peachy visage.

Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads, £65, available at Look Fantastic
Created using organic and sustainably-sourced, plant-based ingredients, this light, cold-pressed oil boasts an impressive formula containing; Almond, Apricot, Pumpkin Seed, Argon and Evening Primrose oils, that can also be used as a primer under makeup.

By Sarah Organic Facial Oil, £38, available at By Sarah
While there are products to revive your skin from within, there's always St. Tropez to add a little life to your complexion and keep you glowing come winter.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Face, £14.50, available at Feel Unique
Boots' first own-brand launch in twenty years was highly anticipated and landed in-store this week. This overnight rescuer is non-pore blocking and extra hydrating.

YourGoodSkin ProVitamin Overnight Cream, £4.65, available at Boots.
A blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, this multi-purpose treatment contains exfoliating glycolic, sodium hyaluronate to prevent dehydration and salicylic acid to combat damage caused by acne to leave you with a smoother, more luminous complexion.

Omorovicza Acid Fix, £85, available at Omorovicza
The blend of 10% glycolic acid and Vitamin C in these fuss-free peels from Murad, resurface dull skin, combat damage done by environmental aggressors and even skin tone. Swipe the pad over a clean face twice a week and wait 3 minutes before applying your moisturiser as normal.

Murad Rapid Resurfacing Peel, £35, available at Murad
This oil-free formula is suitable for all skin types – including the super oily among us – and essentially skin hydration in a bottle.

ZENii Hyaluronic Booster Serum, £70, available at ZENii

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