Winter’s cold climate really does take its toll on our skin. And we don’t just mean our face. Dry skin is winter’s nemesis, and it can strike anywhere, from our legs to our hands, to our elbows, to our toes. So, to keep your body hydrated, smooth and glowing year-round, we asked skincare guru, Matt Huxley, to give his expert advice on how to stop your skin from drying out in winter, and to recommend his body skincare products for winter
Winter has certainly caught us by surprise this year. Whilst the last few have been reasonably mild, 2021 has thrown us extra frosts, biting winds, and many an overcast day. Not exactly the ideal combo for a clear, glowing complexion.
Thankfully however, there are products out there designed specifically to combat the dryness that winter inflicts upon our skin.
The skin on our body may be tougher than that on our face, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t dry out. Trans-epidermal water loss affects everybody, often leaving our skin feeling tight, prickly, itchy, and scaly.
Interior heating doesn’t help either, as the sudden temperature change and recycled air will dry the surface of the skin even more. What’s more, if you suffer from an underlying condition such as psoriasis, rosacea, or ichthyosis, the dryness can get even worse during the winter months. If you fall into this category, please continue with prescribed medications and listen to your doctor or dermatologist.
If, however, you’re just feeling a bit dry, then these skincare tips are sure to help.
Here’s how to keep dry skin ultra-hydrated in winter, and the essential skincare products Matt uses for his winter body routine.
Take Soothing Showers
We all know the warming delights of a hot shower in winter. I won’t try and talk you out of it, however let’s not reach for that crusty bar of soap to wash your body with. Something gentle like the QV Gentle Wash will still clean your body, yet won’t strip your skin further. A soothing glycerin base will rehydrate the skin, whilst a gentle surfactant (foaming agent) means that your skin won’t get overly stripped. Massage the product in with your hands for a truly luxurious shower experience.
Embrace Hand Care
Our hands really get abused during winter. Add sanitisers and excessive hand washing — it’s a wonder we have any skin left there! My pick for hand care treatments is the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast hand cream. An extension of the famed Cicaplast face range, this hand cream features glycerin, fatty alcohols and shea butter for nourishment, plus niacinamide to assist with soothing. The perfect option for tired, overworked, overwashed hands.
Use Multi-Purpose Formulas for Face & Body
Multi-purpose formulas are my favourite products to use during winter. These are intensive treatments for the very driest of skin, on both your body and face. Always double check that the product explicitly states that it can be used on the face, otherwise restrict its use to the body only.
Weleda Skin Food is probably the most famous of this category. It has a thick, unctuous quality to it that will immediately soothe, nourish and protect the driest of spots. Sunflower and sweet almond oils, plus lanolin, ensure that this ointment is thick and rich. Warm it between your hands prior to use and press over the area that you need to moisturise. Legs post shaving will drink this up, as will your face before bed.
The Koèna Dermaceutical Daily Moisturiser is a little different. It’s still multi-purpose, but it’s slightly more emollient than the Weleda. This means you can massage it in a bit more, and you don’t need to warm it up. They use a patented combination of ingredients called Resta-Plex, which helps to lock in extra hydration and moisture. Perfect for spot treating dry elbows and knees.Dermaveen Sensitive Relief Eczema Ointment works as a protective layer over the top of the skin. It’s perfect for skin that’s super sensitive, flaking, or excessively dry. I also really like using it to lock in other creams and treatments. It won’t absorb a huge amount, it’ll just stay like a protective blanket over the top of other products. Plus, the oat extract in the formula will assist with soothing the skin. A win-win situation!
Embrace Body Creams
There’s nothing wrong with a humble body cream. Some people simply don’t need multiple products, and a single body moisturiser just does the job. For a scented body experience you can’t go past the Ena Rose Geranium and Lavender Body Moisturiser. Beautifully scented, and packed with aloe, sweet almond oil, fatty alcohols and glycerin, to hydrate and moisturise the skin.
A tip if you feel like your skin needs the occasional boost, but don’t want to buy a whole new body moisturiser: keep an oil on hand and pop a few drops in the cream if and when you need it. Something simple like The Jojoba Co Jojoba Oil will do the trick. There’s always a few weeks each season where it’s extra cold and your regular cream doesn’t feel like enough. This will help add an extra moisture hit when your skin needs it most.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!
Just because it may be cold, windy, overcast, rainy; it doesn’t mean that the UV rays have stopped. Arms, hand, neck, chest and face are all still often exposed in winter clothing, and those areas still need to be protected with sunscreen. Cancer Council and Banana Boat both have a wide range of SPFs for all your skincare needs. Plus, they act as an extra layer of moisturiser that you top up during the day — what’s not to love?
Loved our round-up of winter body products for dry skin? We've got plenty more health and beauty advice on our Health & Wellness Edit, guaranteed to give your body a well-deserved boost. Is your skin prone to blemishes? Here are 11 skincare mistakes that could be seriously damaging your skin. Update your look – these are the winter makeup trends you need to know about.