The beauty buys that will keep your skin healthy this winter

Winter skincare
Sali Hughes,-Beauty journalist

Now is a good time to treat and condition winter skin, while still protecting it from the elements

This year, we’re seeing more and more antioxidant-rich products as we move towards ‘360-degree protection’, where products defend against indoor free-radical aggressors, rather than focusing solely on sun protection. Clarins Double Serum, for example, is perfect to use now, with two separate formulas – one, a cocktail of anti-pollution, anti-ageing antioxidants; the other, a comforting, hydrating treatment – in one cleverly designed pump bottle. 

Restore and revive skin

With its transitional, rarely predictable weather, this season’s ideal moisturisers are both light and rich, and cooling and comforting. The legendary Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto- Replenishing Hydrator fits the bill exactly. I have always loved this clear pink gel-crème for providing instant plumpness and being a superb base for make-up. If your skin is dry, treat it to a little luxury with the glorious Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream, a rich, cosseting moisturiser to be worn night or day.

The chillier evenings lend themselves very much to the task of popping on a face mask and lying cosily on the sofa, and who am I to go against nature? My mask of choice will be Elemis Peptide4 Thousand Flower Mask, since I already love the rest of the range. This smells as delicious as its stablemates, and after a 15-minute treatment, leaves my skin firm, glowing, clear and ready for make-up.

Protect against light damage and pollution

Most people realise that they should be wearing a sunscreen year-round outdoors. But now, many skin experts are suggesting the blue light from mobile phones, tablets and laptops can also fast-track the signs of ageing. Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Day Screen Multi-Protection SPF50, a feather-light SPF, is among the first to tackle both indoor and outdoor light damage and pollution. 

Like most leading cosmetic dermatologists, Dr Marko Lens is also looking at pollution protection. His Zelens Z Balance Prebiotic & Probiotic Facial Mist, is a cocktail of antioxidants to help shield against daily environmental aggressors, and instantly rehydrates, cools and moisturises the skin. It gives a beautiful, glowy, healthy-looking finish and layers over make-up without spoiling it. Whenever I feel a little dry, tired or fed up, I reach for the bottle and spritz.

Get back to basics

The season’s new skincare has a big focus on rehydration and state-of-the-art pollution protection, but it’s important never to forget the basics. Cleansers are the cornerstone of my daily skin routine, and I particularly love a soothing, refreshing cream or milk for either my morning cleanse or the second step in my nighttime ritual (I first use a balm or oil to remove foundation and powder). Omorovicza Cashmere Cleanser is a new favourite. The texture – rich and creamy, but ungreasy and silky – cleanses without harshness, discomfort or any nagging feeling of uncleanliness. Its soft gentleness makes it suitable for all skin types.

Add potent anti-agers to your routine

Sensitive skins are generally excluded from retinols, since they can rarely tolerate this clinically proven and highly effective anti-wrinkle ingredient. Algenist Elevate Advanced Retinol Serum is a way for them to feel the benefits. This vegan-friendly formula, applied twice daily (always put on sunscreen afterwards for day) works fast on lines, dullness and uneven skin texture, for a smoother, brighter-looking face.   

Retinol isn’t the only way to correct a drab autumn complexion. If your skin is dehydrated (lacks water – as opposed to dry, which lacks oil), you can quickly refresh and plump with a hydrating serum. The new Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly is a smart choice. This essence, containing my long-time hero hyaluronic acid, has in-built anti-pollution protection, and is stroked over a clean face ahead of serum. Young or oily skins, or mature skins enduring hot flashes, may find this to be enough on its own as a cooling, comfortable moisturiser.

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