The cold snap has set in, and it’s likely that by now your skin is really feeling it. Patches of flaky, bumpy skin, a dull, grey-tinged complexion and an increased susceptibility to irritation are all telltale signs your face is entering a weather-induced meltdown, but thankfully, it’s nothing that can’t be remedied by making a few considered adjustments to your skincare regimen. The place to start is the cornerstone of every good routine: Your moisturizer.
The best moisturizers for winter will coddle skin in a blanket of hydration akin to wrapping up in a cashmere jumper, and they’ll simultaneously reverse and protect against the damaging effects of a chilly spell. “The colder air has particularly low humidity, which zaps the moisture out of the skin,” explains Anita Sturnham, GP and Venus ambassador. “Plus, in winter, our skin slows down its production of skin-strengthening lipids, causing the epidermis [skin barrier] to break down and lose moisture through its cracks.”
Switching to a richer, thicker, more buttery formula packed with nourishing ingredients will not only plug-in those cracks to stop existing moisture from escaping, but it will also lay down a humectant (or moisture-locking) barrier over the complexion to ward off the drying effects of the cold air. Shop smart, and you can sail through the season without even a hint of dry skin.
Click through to find our curated selection of the best moisturizers for winter.
With the consistency of the whipped butter, you find on the tables of fancy restaurants, this moisturizer is a treat to apply and is packed full of ceramides, which are great for filling in a vulnerable skin barrier, as well as a blend of shea and murumuru butter to drench the skin with moisture. Plus, it’s laced with the strong (but not overbearing) scent of lavender that will soothe a frantic mind on rushed mornings.
The allantoin in Nuxe’s rich cream provides a comforting reprise from the irritation that so often comes as a side-effect of intense dry skin. Plus, there’s a slathering of shea and moringa butter in there to pelt the skin with moisture. Smooth it on like icing on a cake, and it’ll double up as a mask too.
There’s absolutely nothing in this cream that will aggravate sensitive skin, nor will it exacerbate a congestion problem, as so many rich moisturizers can. Instead, you get a mix of plant-based actives to inject the skin with lost lipids, as well as pre-tocopheryl: An ingredient famed for its ability to bat off external skin aggressors.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Balm feels suspiciously like actual butter (although it isn’t quite as tasty) and contains copious amounts of squalene: A skincare ingredient that is brilliant at plying skin with moisture without blocking up pores. There’s also a dash of edelweiss flower extract, which is known to thrive in the high altitudes of the Swiss Alps, and as the temperatures here in the UK pallor in comparison, it’ll have no problem bolstering your skin against an icy snap.
At the heart of this BareMinerals moisturizer is our old friend, shea butter, but he’s joined by a whole host of peptides, ceramides and amino acids that will chip away at the rough texture of the skin and plug up any holes in the skin’s outer barrier. Plus, it leaves such a dreamy sheen that you’ll want to forgo foundation.
From glycerin to wheat germ extract, Elemis’s cult cream has everything you could wish for when it comes to hydration, and it doesn’t feel as heavy as most, so it’s great for slipping under a full-coverage foundation.
The sister of the brand’s cult Dramatically Different lotion, this thick cream will ply skin with plenty of nourishment without feeling the slightest bit greasy. It’s addictive.
No, go forth and brave the big freeze out there.