Tuesday, 17 January 2017

My winter skincare routine for dry, sensitive skin

Winter can be a particularly tricky month for anyone with dry, easily irritated skin. I'm unfortunately in that category, and I've had to come up with a seriously calming and nourishing regime so that I don't have to hide my face under a scarf until March!

And dry skin really is the worst to cover. Have you ever had flaky skin then tried to put foundation on over it? Not good. Nor do I think 'well just don't put foundation on' is a viable solution either, because if I'm out on a breakfast or have meetings, then I'd really rather not have everyone stare at my shiny red face. No than-k-you. 

So what's the solution? Mine was to sort out my skincare routine and adapt it to the colder weather. That means using thicker night creams, more moisturising day creams, oil-based cleansers and a whole load of lip balm. As you can imagine, I look the picture of attractiveness when I go to bed, but believe me - come morning, it's worth it. So if you suffer from a cold-weather complexion too, then you might benefit from making a couple of these dry skin upgrades...

Cleanser // Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Balm // £38

I've talked about the whole Amazing Face range before (read it in full here), and it's a favourite of mine, especially in winter. Normally I would use a more blemish-targeting cleanser - like the Elizabeth Arden Pro foaming cleanser - but when my skin feels really dry or tight, I take a break from that and go back to this oil-based one. It's got such a lovely mix of sweet almond, grape seed, orange oils and neroli in it, so it smells divine, and it clears leftover make-up off my face in seconds. I love how it just melts when it touches my face, and I really get the feeling that my skin is clean but not stripped. It doesn't aggravate my eczema, and sometimes when I really want all those oils to sink into my skin, I leave it on for 10 or so minutes while I shower. If you haven't tried this before I really recommend picking up a small sample size and giving it a go.

Scrub // Murad Skin Smoothing Polish // £22.95

This, I confess, actually belongs to my housemate. But I've been sneakily using it recently because it's soo good. I like it more than most scrubs because the particles in it are really small and don't feel scratchy. They're also suspended in a really creamy formula. I use it once a week because when my skin gets dry, it often causes more blocked pores - so I like to get rid of the layer of dead skin before it has a chance to do that. This one also has pore-clearing benefits because of the witch hazel and cinnamon extract - so it's a great pick for anyone with combination skin.

Serum // Medik8 B5 Rehydration Serum // £28.90

Now this little beauty was recommended to me by my dermatologist (god, that sounds posh doesn't it?). When I told her how much moisturiser I was packing on my skin in attempt to make it less flakey, she practically thrust this into my palm. This serum is basically just made up of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. Both these ingredients work to give your skin a good hydro-balance (moisture balance), so that the general condition of it is improved. From using this serum for a month, I can honestly say that I'm able to use less and less moisturiser because this gives such an amazing hit of hydration. When I first started using this, I would apply the 2-3 drops and my skin would literally drink it up in a second. Now, it's a little slower to absorb, which means my moisture levels are much more topped up (a very good sign of it doing its job).

Day cream // Decleor Intense Nutrition cream // £47

This cream might not be for everyone because it is pretty much the thickest one I own, and I do use it in a very thin layer - BUT on very dry days, or if my face feels red and blotchy, I'll put this on and when I come to wash my face at night, it always looks better than it did that morning. It's not the best base for make-up as it gives it a slightly shiny finish, but I just counteract that with a bit of powder. It's called a cocooning cream, and it does just that - it's essentially one big hug for your face. It has something they call a nutri-protect complex - which, in English, means a very techy formulation that works to reinforce the barrier of your skin (locking in hydration, making it stronger etc..). Like I said, I wouldn't use this in summer, but it's saved me numerous times on cold days.

Night cream // Liz Earle Superskin Overnight Mask // £42

I'm excited even writing about this one. I got this tub last year and I'm dreading the day it runs out because it's an absolute dream to use. I've used various products from Liz Earle for a long time now and this is the stand-out so far. It has actual PERSIAN SILK in the formula. That would explain the price. Silk. You basically just need to put a thin layer of this on at night, and in the morning your skin will feel softer and more hydrated. It was made for mature skin types, but I've found it works brilliantly on my dry skin as well. It's also not super thick, and definitely not as thick as the Decleor cream (you might be able to see from the photos), so I never get the feeling that it's clogging my pores while I sleep. 

L'Occitane Solidarity balm // £4

Lastly, I've got to give a shoutout to my favourite lip balm at the moment - the Solidarity Balm. My lips often get to horrible and chapped in the winter, and that's really not an attractive look. So, I've found that if I put a layer of balm on after I brush my teeth and sleep in it, they don't get quite so dry during the day. I keep it in my handbag too, incase I need a top-up. The main ingredient in it is shea butter and there's no unnecessary frills to it - it just does what it says on the tin (literally). Also, if you buy one then 100% of the profits will go to helping women's leadership in developing countries. You can help everyone, including your lips, by buying one from here

What's your skincare essential this winter? Am I missing something great?


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