With the weather getting colder and the winds getting stronger, it’s time to give your skin care routine a seasonal upgrade so it stays clear, calm, hydrated and plump.

While this is true and you need to make these adjustments, I often see some misconceptions. Those with acne prone skin over-moisturising as their skin is over-dried from acne products and medications. So it becomes a catch up game between the two extremes – too dry or too oily, both not ideal for healing the skin. I also see women whose skin are dry, itchy and sensitive due to hormonal changes (e.g. perimenopause and menopause) and easily triggered by the cold wind. They often use overly rich products which sit on their skin and not repairing the skin so the skin feels dehydrated but looks greasy.

Saying that, I’ve listed some of my favourite products below that I’ve personally used myself and recommend my patients. I have acne-prone skin but in recent years, with hormone changes (I’m 42 years old at the time of writing this blog), my skin is also dry and can be sensitive at times. Working with my patients and going through their skin goals, medical history and lifestyle, I’m better able to recommend a suitable skin plan with affordable medical grade skin products that helps them reach their skin goals faster.

If you would like extra support in upgrading your skin care routine, you can find more information about my virtual consultation here.

Here are my top 3 steps to optimising your skin’s potential so it continues to glow with the change in weather.

1. Use a moisturising cleanser

Swap your foaming or exfoliating cleanser for a gentler, soap free, moisturising cleanser. As our skin is exposed to the external dry air as well as internal heating, our skin can get dry and itchy pretty quickly so using a moisturising cleanser will clean your skin without stripping the protective acid mantle which is necessary to prevent excessive loss of moisture through the skin.

I also recommend using the cleanser once a day in the evening and just rinse your skin the morning. This helps to balance your skin’s natural sebum to keep your skin happy.

Moisturising cleansers I recommend include:-

• Milky Lotion Cleanser by Epionce

This is a soothing cleanser that effectively removes all traces of make up, pollution, impurities and surface debris without disrupting the skin’s lipid barrier. It contains apple and date fruit extracts that boost the skin’s natural protective barrier and reduce inflammation. Suitable for dry, irritated, rosacea prone and sensitive skin types.

• EXFO Cleanse by pHformula

This is a creamy everyday cleanser which contains lactobionic acid, a gentle PHA which is non-irritating and deeply moisturising due to its water binding properties. It also contains papain enzymes which loosen rough keratinised cells to speed up cell renewal and give the skin a healthy glow. Great for acne prone skin, rosacea or

• GEL Cleanse by pHformula

This is a gentle, soap-free cleansing gel that thoroughly removes impurities without disturbing skin’s natural moisture balance, leaving it feeling fresh and clean. It contains chamomile that provides antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ideal for those with hypersensitive, reactive or inflamed skin.

2. Add extra and prevent loss of moisture

Making sure your skin is hydrated through the cold months will require adding extra moisture to the skin and as important, protecting it to prevent moisture loss.

A. Apply a hyaluronic acid serum

Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar found in your skin. It provides bounce and plumpness to the skin. It’s also a humectant which mean it’s essentially a sponge that binds to 1000x it’s weight in water. It’s important to choose a hyaluronic acid with small or low molecular weight so it absorbs easier and more efficiently into the skin.

My favourite hyaluronic acid serum is Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum by PCA Skin. It contains HA-Pro Complex, a proprietary blend that stimulates the production of the skin’s own hyaluronic acid. It is also formulated with ceramides which support the renewal of the skin’s natural protective layer, as well as niacinamide, a potent yet calming antioxidant.

B. Choose a better moisturising cream

Texture is subjective and preference variable. How rich a moisturiser should be really depends on how well it absorbs into the skin and whether there is impairment of the protective epidermis which increases moisture loss. I prefer to look at the ingredients so it calms the skin, add moisture and provides protection.

Here are some important ingredients to look out for:-
• Antioxidants to prevent environmental damage to the skin.

• Skin hydrating ingredients e.g. hyaluronic acid, ceramides, sodium PCA, glycerin, glycerol.

• Lubricating emollients that prevent water loss and give the skin a silky, smooth and radiant texture. It can be liquid or thick in texture e.g. shea butter, fatty acids, linoleic acid, oleic acid and evening primrose oil.

Packaging also matters – many beneficial ingredients are sensitive to air and light. Jar packaging exposes the formula to these elements, causing them to break down and lose its effectiveness. Try your best to choose products that are delivered in airless/ air-restrictive/ opaque packaging which will keep the beneficial ingredients as potent and stable for as long as possible.

C. Apply a facial oil

A carefully chosen facial oil can make a huge difference especially when applied as the last step before bedtime. This helps to seal in the other beneficial products you have applied, nourishing the skin and preventing moisture loss.

My favourite facial oil are:-

• SOS Rescue Oil by pHformula

Unique combination of oils – argan, sweet almond, jojoba, sesame and olive oil blends – and natural water sources that infuse the skin with a healthy glow. Helps to soften fine lines and superficial wrinkles and is formulated for all skin types, especially for sensitive skins that are dry and dehydrated. My skin is acne prone and in recent years, with hormone changes, it’s become drier. This facial oil is my life saver and is on repeat order.

Illuminating “Glow to Sleep” Night Serum

This beautiful night serum/ facial oil contains Astaxanthin which is a powerhouse antioxidant proven to be a sensational nutrient for improving skin stability by targeting oxidative stress, inflammation and immune function while preventing and eliminating wrinkles and age spots. This raw natural ingredient is added to give you a beautiful glow while promoting a more restful sleep.

3. Stock up on Hydrating Mask

Applying a hydrating mask (whether that’s a sheet mask or cream mask) at least 2-3 times a week will give an added boost to your skin hydration. Coupled with calming, brightening or anti-ageing ingredients, it will give your skin the extra smooth glow. Some mask can be used overnight as a sleeping mask which is perfect especially on extra cold nights when you have the central heater on.

Here are my favourite hydrating mask:-

• Enriched Firming Mask by Epionce

This mask contains meadowfoam, avocado and date extracts which intensely hydrates, soothes and calms visible redness and irritation. It also helps strengthen and repair the skin while increasing firmness and elasticity.

• VITA C Bright Overnight Mask

An overnight mask with a creamy consistency that is perfectly absorbed into the skin, acting throughout the night. Infused with a high concentration of shea butter, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and vitamin E to provide extra hydration. Wake up to smoother, firming and brighter skin.

• SOS Hydra Gel Mask by pHformula

The combination ingredients of hyaluronic acid, fructose, chicory root extract strengthens the skin’s natural barrier, significantly reducing trans-epidermal water loss as hyaluronic acid increases the skin’s moisture reserves encouraging a supple and smooth complexion.

• SOS Repair Mask by pHformula

This is infused with a blend of botanical ingredients and a water-soluble form of vitamin B3 to maximise their synergistic action, providing soothing, repairing and antioxidant properties. It provides immediate relief for sensitive and dehydrated skin, formulated to dissolve rapidly into the skin to restore skin’s natural barrier function.

And there you have it – my top 3 tips to upgrade your skin care routine for the autumn/ winter season. If you need extra support in finding a skin routine that best suits your skin goals, you can find more information here.

Until then, stay warm and be confident in your skin.

To your best self,
Dr Terry