The Skincare Series: Dry Winter Skin

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 15.26.21IMAGE CREDIT: Imaxtree


If I had a pound for every ‘dry winter skin’ blog post I’d be a millionaire. Despite the blogisphere overload, I feel that there’s very little out there to gives a well-rounded guide to coping when your skin feels the chill, with almost every post ending with a not-so-subtle advertisement for a ‘miracle’ product.

Post by Ruth Halls

Growing up, I always lusted after glowing, sheeny skin; the kind of skin that could wear any foundation and still look great. In reality, I faced a constant battle against my dry, flaky, uneven skin and trying to make even the lightest tinted moisturiser sit comfortably was a huge feat. Sound familiar? I’ve collated my top tips I’ve learned throughout the years to give you your most healthy looking skin yet.


Healthy skin starts with skincare. Inject as much moisture as possible, at every stage in your routine, to maximize glow.

Use a cleansing cream or balm

Avoid foaming or gel cleansers at all costs! Not only do these disrupt the skin’s pH balance (creating the perfect breeding ground for breakouts) but they also strip the skin of essential oils. We love that Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Cleanser doubles up as a mask to hydrate, soothe and nourish, while removing makeup and cleansing pores.

Cleanse with a face cloth

Face cloths gently exfoliate skin daily, without the need for environmentally damaging microbeads or abrasive fruit kernels.

Don’t over exfoliate

I’ve learnt that exfoliation may provide an instant relief for flakiness, but in the long-term strips the skin of moisture and its protective barrier. Try an acid toner for gentle exfoliation (lactic acid is best for dry skins) or a weekly exfoliating mask. Rodial Bee Venom Cleansing Balm contains salicylic and amino acids to gently soften and improve texture of skin and is a staple on our skincare shelf.

Dehydrated vs dry skin

If your skin is dehydrated, rather than dry, a hydrating mask will work wonders. Dehydrated skin lacks moisture, so a mask rich in hyaluronic acid is what you should look for. Dry skin lacks oil, so a creamy, nourishing mask is your best friend. Use as often as required and look for leave-on formulas for 24-hour nourishment.

Moisturise, moisturize, moisturise

A good quality, oil based moisturiser will see you through any dry skin season. Oilatum is my absolute favourite (read full post here) but Eucerin and Charlotte Tilbury also offer great alternatives. As a general rule, use three times as much moisturiser as you think you need and massage into skin until plump and dewy.


Oils can completely transform skin and they’ve come really far since the days of single blends. Today, there are oils for everything, so search for the blend best suited to you. Use a heavier oil for night and a light weight oil for day, to avoid breaking down makeup.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 15.03.10IMAGE CREDIT: The girl from Panama


Now that your base is hydrated and smooth, continue to feed your skin with the makeup tailored to your skin type.

It’s a crime not to prime

For most people with dry skin, a moisturiser will act as your primer. If you are oilier through the t-zone or suffer from pores or acne scarring, a primer can work wonders. Use after moisturising so that your skin is protected and makeup will hold up throughout the day.

Don’t buff foundation

Although buffing brushes create a flawless finish and allow product to be worked into skin, for dry skin they can cause chaos. The buffing motion will disturb skin and make any flakes even more visible once foundation is added to the mix. Instead, use a damp beauty sponge to press foundation into skin; the water will add extra moisture and you can even add a few drops of oil to the sponge for maximum glow.

Tinted moisturiser vs full coverage

Stay away from matte formulas! Reach for BB creams and tinted moisturisers in as light a coverage as you are happy with. Mac Face and Body is the best formula we’ve found for dry skins – it’s a super light coverage though, so follow with concealer where needed.

Crème de la crème

I try to use cream formulas for blush, bronzer and highlight whenever possible. Powder instantly absorbs any oil the skin produces, so try to only powder where absolutely necessary. Of course for night out makeup, a powder wears much longer, but for day to do it’s all about the creams. Creams have come a long way in the past few years, with many drugstore brands offering cream versions of most products. You’ll always find a Laura Mercier cream bronzer stick in my makeup bag; it’s creamy enough for winter and dewy for summer.

Skin mist

Finally, finish makeup with a quick spritz of hydrating mist. Hydrating mists remove powdery residue and add an extra boost of moisture and glow. Keep a hydrating mist on your desk or in your bag for on-the-go touch ups; we love the Pixi Glow Mist and Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist for instantly sheeny skin.

Ready to take on your dry winter skin? Be sure to supplement these skincare tips with lots of water, minimal central heating and protecting your skin from the elements with scarves, hats and a great multipurpose balm. Enjoy your healthiest skin yet!

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