The mercury is waning but your skin doesn’t have to. This is the smart guide to better skin as the temperature starts to drop.
When it’s cold outside, warm inside and humidity has left the building, your skin is usually the thing that suffers. And while a high-factor sunscreen is still the most essential tool in your arsenal for keeping it looking its best, winter’s typically lower UV index makes it prime time to treat your skin to some extra TLC, with skincare products tailored especially for this time of year. For a winter skincare routine that works harder, try these seasonal riffs and new product stars.
Need to know: peptides
If you’re chasing cherub-like cheeks and ‘bouncy’ skin this winter, consider adding peptides to your skincare mix. A supporting act to the building blocks of skin, peptides encourage younger-behaving cells, to help plump, firm and soothe. For maximum efficacy (and more of a baby face by summer), peptides work best in pairs; coupled with hydrators in Napoleon Perdis’ Complex Skin Renewal Serum and the velvety Supernatural Anti-Ageing Peptide 72-Hour Hydration Crème from Emma Lewisham, peptides replenish and illuminate dehydrated skin. U Beauty’s Resurfacing Compound keeps skin calm, bright and smooth, with peptides and a potent trio of retinol, AHA and vitamin C.
Dermatologist-strength formulations have made brighter, smoother skin even more attainable. But if you’re someone with an addictive personality, take note: you can have too much of a good thing. Overindulging in actives and exfoliators can disrupt skin’s natural moisture and microbiome-regulating powers, leaving it stressed and compromised (hello, redness, breakouts and bumps), especially in winter. To help skin find its calm, practise patience and adopt a gentle, pared-back routine. A cleansing oil such as Shu Uemura’s Botanicoil Cleansing Oil will wash away excess sebum, make-up and SPF without stripping moisture. Then lock in moisture and comfort skin with a weightless gel-cream moisturiser such as uber-quenching hydrator, U Beauty’s Super Smart Hydrator. To restore irritated skin and plump fine lines overnight, La Mer’s Genaissance fermented algae night balm melts into skin to let good-for-skin bacteria flourish and rebuild your natural protective barrier.
From the top
The delicate stretch of skin between your face and your décolletage is often neglected, but forget to take care of your neck at your own peril. “The derma of the neck is thinner, which means less collagen production and greater sensitivity,” explains skin therapist Diandra Politano. A specialty formula that caters to this area, like Dermalogica’s Neck Fit Contour Serum, which lifts and firms in a lightweight, roll-on formula, gives the neck everything it needs. “Treat the neck as you would your eye area. Using your palms and fingers, sweep up towards the chin and massage for two-to-five minutes to stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage – the sides of the neck are the lymphatic gateway – then always sweep out towards your ears then return back down the neck to end,” Politano says
Turn up the volume
La Prairie’s latest and most luxurious skincare wonder, the Platinum Rare Haute-Rejuvenation Protocol (above), works like intermittent fasting to get skin in shape. It’s a month-long potent treatment, designed to be repeated four times over the course of a year, to recover skin from the ravages of time. It treats firmness, elasticity and volume of the skin with a super smart dual-phase formula. The result is a smoothed, tightened glowing complexion.
Streamline your vanity and enlist multitaskers and hybrid solutions to get the best out of your skin.
Handle with care
Since all of that indoor heating tends to zap skin of its precious water levels, winter is the perfect time to rev up the richness of your moisturiser. But fine and sensitive skins need a gentle touch, so dip into one of these comforting pots – Givenchy’s Le Soin Noir Crème, Dior’s Capture Totale Super Potent Rich Crème or Giorgio Armani’s Crema Nera Extrema Supreme Reviving Cream – to soften, smooth and replenish skin in a single step.
Brightening speckled summer skin doesn’t have to be hard work – seek out antioxidant-rich cleansers, serums and moisturisers to add pigment-erasing power to your routine. To get a head start on smoother, clearer skin, YSL’s glycolic acid Pure Shots Night Reboot Serum resets skin overnight, while Emma Lewisham’s plant stem cell and vitamin C Skinreset Concentrated Pigmentation Serum works to minimise melanin and lift dark spots so skin looks fresh and new. To keep skin even and glowing, wash away pigment-inducing pollution with Sisley’s comforting Phyto-Blanc La Mousse cream cleanser (launching soon). It’s rich and creamy so won’t leave skin dry and is packed with potent antioxidants to make skin glow from the very first step.
For cooler mornings that are more slapdash than strictly self-care, streamline your vanity and enlist multitaskers and hybrid solutions to get the best out of your skin, quick-smart. Working to soften fine lines, calm irritation and even skin, Clarins’ dual-phase Double Serum keeps skin firm and radiant, no matter the season, while protecting against inflammation and dark spots with turmeric. For dewy skin and make-up that stays put, a moisturiser like La Mer’s Crème de la Mer hydrates skin with a velvet finish to smooth over pores and latch onto make-up, while M.A.C’s Prep + Prime Fix+ mist refreshes and quenches for glowing and juicy-looking skin long past lunch.
Photography by Adrian Price