It is now winter here in Australia and will be until the end of August! (If you’re from the other side of the world which a lot of you are, then it’s obviously summer with you now so my apologies, but everything I talk about is still wonderful to use any time of year and you can also have a look at a post I wrote back in our summer I wrote called the “4 facial products I won’t be without this summer”.
So here I just want to share with you some of my favourite products that have kept my skin, body and hair feeling hydrated, rejuvenated and at optimum health during these colder months, because it is SO easy to let yourself get dehydrated and dull when you’re hidden under the layers and fleecy blankets or the generally effects from the cold outdoors.
Be warned this is a lengthy post so grab yourself a cuppa and bare with the many products I chat about!
Last winter I got caught out with really dry skin from head to toe and was determined that would not happen again this year! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a lot less oily than I used to be when I was younger, or that Perth which has been my home for just over 2 years is a lot dryer than I’m used to? Either way I was caught by surprise so have embraced anything extra hydrating leading up to winter. These are all the things that I have embraced into my routine whole heartedly to avoid that happening again, and so far are working a treat!
There are many great hydrating cleansers out there that help balance and retain moisture as opposed to the ones that strip your skin! A great hydrating cleanser I’ve been loving in the morning is the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel as it contains hydrating and brightening elements such as marine extracts, provitamin B5, vitamin C and lavender oil and is designed to maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance. In the evening I have been loving the Pixi and Caroline Hirons double cleanse as it’s both an oil and cream cleanser again containing hydrating vitamins and oils, and the Grown Alchemist hydra-restore cream cleanser which is a really rich, creamy organic cleanser with hydrating botanicals and oils.
Hydrating ‘Layering’ Facial Products
I layer a few different products every morning and evening all throughout the year, but it’s especially important in the winter to get those layers locked down on top of each other to retain and add moisture to the skin. Here are a few things I swear by.. (Anything with hyaluronic acid or glycolic acid will literally be your best friend during the winter!)
Toners – The NARS multi-action hydrating toner is still my current go-to hydrating toner for the mornings which you can read about here. It leaves me feeling hydrated before I even begin applying anything else. In the evenings I use a resurfacing glycolic acid toner as this exfoliates dead skin revealing fresh skin in the morning, without drying. I’ve raved about glycolic toners a lot and I will forever swear by them to stop me from ever looking dull! I currently alternate between the Alpha-H Liquid Gold and the Instytutum Resurfacing Glow Toner.
Serums – My holy grail hydrating serum this winter is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid which I mainly use in the morning after toner and before moisturiser but I do sometimes use it at night as it’s great for both! I also sometimes use the Philosophy Time In a Bottle serum which is full of vitamin C, a great brightener for skin during these dulling times in the mornings but I use that mainly in the evening. A serum I only use in the evenings is The Ordinary vitamin C suspension 23% + HA spheres 2% (the grey bottle on the left, yes it’s back to front, oops) which is great because it is quite a potent vitamin C for brightening and anti aging, plus hyaluronic acid for extra hydration. I only use that at night though because of it high potency plus it’s quite gritty therefore definitely doesn’t sit well with makeup! Also be warned that the tingling sensation from The Ordinary’s vitamin C serum can be quite intense because of the high percentage but it works a treat.
Moisturiser – The moisturiser I have moved on to especially for winter and have been using day and night and is the Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cream. This stuff is AMAZING! It’s formulated for severely dry, sensitive, winter battling skin and contains hyaluronic acid, almond oil, aloe, arctic berries and peptides. It’s a really unusual formula as it’s literally like a fluffy bouncy cloud! Mousse-like really. Very lightweight but extremely hydrating. I like that fact it’s not thick or heavy but moisturises beautifully.
My go-to hydrating face masks are the Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask for when my skin needs a detox but also moisture from the argan oil that’s also in it, and the Frank Body Glow Mask ($20 AUD). The glow mask has absolutely blown me away and is one of my biggest musts this winter! It’s a really thick, gloopy mask that actually smells and feels like butter icing when applying (yes!) and is a 10 minute quick fix to really pump moisture into your face and make it glow instantly! It contains shea, cocoa butter, coffee oil, and raspberry and cranberry seed oils which are full of vitamins E, A and all the omegas! It truly is amazing stuff. As for sheet masks I have tried a couple and I know they work really well I just haven’t yet found a HG.
A great lip balm is obviously a MUST during winter! Every night I religiously apply the Philosophy Kiss Me Tonight Lip Therapy which is the best lip balm I have ever used, I wake up with perfectly plump hydrated lips every morning! In the day before applying my lipstick I use the Josie Maran argan sting plumping butter as it’s moisturising, plumping but isn’t thick like the Philosophy night treatment meaning lip products go on with no interruptions.
Again, it’s all about keeping that moisture pumped in but before that, it’s so important to resurface the skin and remove dead skin cells as aint nothing gonna work unless you’re nicely exfoliated!
So as I just mentioned, your skin needs to be exfoliated to look and feel fresher before there’s any point in applying moisturising products. I am a fan of both physical and chemical exfoliation all over my face and body. My favourite physical is dry body brushing, along with any kind of sugar/coffee/salt scrub, I’m currently using Cheekee coconut oil coffee scrub which is Perth based brand! Ok so then there is good old glycolic acid for the body…
So glycolic is a chemical exfoliator and is widely used in facial products, but is also found in body products. This makes keeping dull winter skin at bay so well as the glycolic gets to work and gets rid of the dead skin cells in obviously the same way it does your face! I find this makes life so much easier rather than only having to scrub away at your skin. Two products I love for this is the Nip+Fab glycolic fix body cream ($17.99 AUD 200ml) and the Alpha-H liquid gold body wipes which is the exact formula I use on my face but soaked in really great, handy large body wipes! They are around $30 AUD and are perfect for removing rough, dead skin or the last traces of stubborn fake tan.
Everyone knows a great body butter or lotion is key for a soft moisturised body! My favourites are the Lush dream cream (which I was kindly gifted at the Bloggers United Australia birthday event) apply at night and for really dry skin, nothing beats Weleda Skin Food (which I was also kindly introduced to thanks to BUA!).
**A top tip is to bathe or shower at night as you’re more likely to go to the effort of doing an all over moisturise. In the mornings we are usually too cold and too tired to bother, and day after day of doing this really takes its toll! Also, as tempting as it is, try avoid having the temperature of your bath/shower really hot, as this really strips moisture away from your skin.**
My favourite moisturising body wash is L’Occitane almond shower oil. It’s an oil that foams up slightly and leaves your skin feeling moisturised and treated before even applying anything else.
Yep just like a hair conditioner but for your body. This has been a personal life saver for me and it’s the Lush Ro’s argan body conditioner that I was also kindly gifted at the Bloggers United Australia’s second birthday event. It’s the ultimate lazy girl’s guide to body moisture! So it gets slathered all over freshly washed skin while you’re still wet in the shower then gets rinsed off after a minute or two, leaving a silky film over the skin. I would go as far as to say this is my top saviour this winter so far! Might I add that it smells AMAZING!
I have many hand creams! Aren’t they just the thing that you never buy but the collection just builds!? I honestly do not know where they come from! Christmas & birthday prezzies? I don’t know! Anyway… the only one I have always sworn by and always will for when my hands are super dry is The Body Shop Hemp hand protector. It is thick, soaks in well and is an instant fix. Every one needs a tube of this!
Guys I hope you enjoyed this lengthy post and more importantly find it helpful (let me know if you made it to the end! If so, thank you and congratulations!!) thankfully it’s a post that only needs to be done once a year but skincare is super important during the extra cold and extra hot months but in two completely different ways and I love sharing what’s working well for me!
Until next time…
**Disclaimer – All products unless stated, were all purchased by my skincare obsessed self! All tips given are things that work for me and won’t necessarily work for you.**