Is your skin winter ready?

You probably dread saying goodbye to summer as autumn approaches, but once it arrives all will be forgotten as you throw yourself into the joys of the season. The promise of those lovely crisp mornings, the crunchy leaves on the floor and the cosy dark nights curled up on the sofa. You start to look forward to the perks of winter: hot chocolate, warm baths, bonfires and snow days.

For all their high points though, when the autumn and winter months arrive you should make sure that your skin is prepared for the problems that inevitably creep in with the cooler weather- namely dry, cracked skin and chapped lips.

Just as in summer, a little skin TLC goes a long way. If you planned to lie on a beach in the baking sun all day in summer, you wouldn’t dream of leaving your skin unprotected against its rays. Similarly, in the winter, you also shouldn’t leave your skin vulnerable to the effects of the cold.

hot chocolate


As the days get cooler, you should consider changing the facial skin care products that you use in favour of attracting and retaining moisture (when you’ve just spent all summer trying to do the complete opposite!)

Use a mild cleansing milk and warm water to wash your face and follow up with an alcohol free toner and deeply hydrating moisturiser or mask. Avoid harsh abrasive or clay-based products which will draw moisture and vital oil out of your skin, keeping your routine simple over the winter months.

Replace that light, water-based summer facial moisturiser with a more rich oil-based cream. The oil will provide a barrier that retains moisture and protects your skin, but keep an eye on the type of oil used – stick to oils such as almond oil, avocado oil and primrose oil that won’t clog your more delicate facial pores.

Don’t forget to make sure there’s an SPF in whichever moisturiser you choose. The weather might be colder but the sun’s glare will be just as strong and can still have the same ageing, damaging effects on your skin. Go for something with an SPF of about 30 and apply it at least half an hour before leaving the house.

Cold weather could also damage and chap your lips, so invest in a good conditioning lip balm such as Vaseline and apply it regularly to keep your lips smooth and moist.


Treat yourself to a rich, luxurious moisturiser like the ever-popular cocoa butter and lather it on liberally after your bath or shower. It will provide intense hydration for dried out skin and leave it soft and smelling divine!

The other major contributors towards dry skin are the heaters and radiators that get turned up indoors on cold winter days. These suck all of the moisture out of the air and can be disastrously drying for your skin. If you can, use a humidifier to replace this lost moisture, and don’t forget to keep applying that body butter. Look out for ones containing humectant substances like glycerine which will attract moisture to your skin rather than repel it.

Hands and feet

Don’t forget to pay plenty of attention to your hands and feet over the winter months- as these can often suffer the most from the effects of the cold.

The skin on your hands is thinner, and with less moisture glands they can dry out and crack really quickly, becoming chapped and sore if left untreated. Use an oil based hand cream throughout the day to keep them moist, and protect the skin from the cold by wearing gloves. If you do suffer from dry skin or eczema try to avoid wearing wool, as this will only irritate the skin more.

Exfoliate your feet periodically to remove any built up dead skin and apply a rich, softening foot lotion to seal in moisture. Do this in the evening after a bath or shower when your feet are softer and put a pair of socks over the top to let the lotion sink in.


It won’t take long for you to get used to the routine of adding a little extra nourishment to your skin, and you can easily make it a part of your morning and evening rituals. By doing so you’ll notice the benefits of having softer skin throughout winter, so that when you look in the mirror and see your rosy cheeks and a red nose, you’ll be reminded of the fun and happiness the cold weather brings instead of the nightmare that is itchy or sore dry skin.

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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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