That’s it, we’re officially in the depths of winter. I’ve longingly started poring over broderie anglaise dresses and sandals and my skincare mindset has switched from “ooh, better slap a bit of extra moisturiser on” to “can’t I just clingfilm my face and call it a day?”… yep, it’s certainly January.
I’m cold, my face is cold, it feels like there is no end to the artic temperature torture. Please can it be June already?
As ever, I’m tweaking my skincare in response to the outside temperatures and the affect these are having on my face. Times are dark, my friends – both literally at 4pm and figuratively inside my bathroom – and my skincare SOS flares were let off well before Christmas.
Here are the products that have been saving me ever since…
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eyes – £15
I love this stuff. In winter, when I’m slathering thick oils and potions on my skin as if my life depends on it (and sometimes I feel like it does), I need a bit of a lighter tonic for my eyes. If I use mega-rich eye cremes on top of an already-rich base – like the Sisley Eye Contour Mask which I otherwise adore – then the sensitive area often breaks out in spots that take forever to clear up. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eyes is perfect for these times because it does its job beautifully without breaking out or irritating the skin.
Kebelo Clarifying Shampoo – £14.99
OK, so it’s not skincare, but HOLD THE FRONT DOOR: this is the BEST clarifying shampoo I’ve ever ever used.
As the not-so proud owner of a head of hair that tends to be many maddening things at once including dry, curly, fine and greasy, it’s a faff to wash it every single day. Which is why dry shampoo is one of my favourite all-time products (I like Batiste dark). But the build up issues from this and my favourite hair masques are real, and so often I’m left with hair that feels all dull and sticky, even after I’ve washed it thoroughly.
Then I tried Kebelo on the recommendation of a friend and was immediately a converted fan. This shampoo leaves my hair so bloody smooth you could ice skate off it, and noticeably lifts the build-up of product on my hair so you can see the colour underneath. I will never be without it.
Votary Super-Seed Facial Oil – £70
Another product that really feeds my winter dry skin, I adore this oil. With its mix of Chia, Green Tea, Pumpkin and Pomegranate oils, this is anti-irritation, calming, deeply nourishing and anti-ageing. I layer this underneath my day moisturiser and it gives a lovely base to make-up.
May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon – £174
I really didn’t want to like this because, hello, spending £174 on a face cream is all kinds of mental (I got mine as part of Caroline Hirons’s December Beauty Box– there are still some left – so it was heavily discounted). But it is really good. Probably not almost-£200 good, but it really soothes and visibly makes red irritated skin calmer. I have a persistent patch of the dreaded adult acne and, along with my no-booze routine, this has helped it disappear.
A solid balm that melts to an oil, I’d say you could use this on other skin complaints, such as sunburn or insect bites, but HELL NO, not in my bathroom. A little goes a long way, but not that far. For a cheaper do-all product, see the Neal’s Yard Beauty Balm below.
Would I re-purchase this? Probably not for such an insane amount of money. But I sure will enjoy slathering it on my face in the manner of a rich socialite in the meantime.
Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm – £40
An oldie but ever such a goodie, Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm is something I use almost daily. The high concentration of wild rosehip oil (along with geranium, starflower, hemp and rosemary seed oils) mean its uses are many – I use it as a cleanser when things are really dry, or as balancing facial mask as well as an intensive night-time moisturiser. It’s also great for dry lips and I pop it on Hux when he’s suffering with his annual winter dry skin, too. Don’t think you won’t need it in summer, either… take it on holiday and smother on any insect bites or sunburn. It’s magic.
No Booze – free
Not to be a Debbie downer, but cutting back on drinking this January has been so good for my sleep, my water intake and, in turn, my skin. I’m not going to go as far as cutting out booze forever, but I’m definitely going to stick with banning anything alcoholic during the week. And it’s free!!
Tropika Little Spa Coconut Oil with Lavender – £15.99
This is allegedly for babies, and I suppose you could share. But I don’t!
During the winter I rub this in before bed a couple of times a week and it’s the most divine way to go to sleep, plus it leaves my sheets smelling beautifully of lavender. Click over here for a full review.
Neal’s Yard Goodnight Pillow Mist – £15.00
If all that above lavender isn’t enough for you, try this: one of the best (and best value) pillow spritzes to help lull you off to the land of nod. This, a cup of chamomile tea and Classic FM? Living your best post-10pm life, right there.
Votary Super Seed Cleansing Oil – £55
I really dislike the fact this cleansing oil is so good. I don’t like to spend more than twenty quid on something I’m going to wash down the drain if I can help it, but this product is just glorious. Like, really really glorious. It’s so lovely I save it to use only two or three times a week, and reserve strictly for a second or morning cleanse.
It’s so gentle, moisturising without being cloying and doesn’t leave any kind of residue. It’s pure luxury in a cleansing oil and I will definitely be re-purchasing.
Leahlani Champagne Serum – £34
Another one that came in December’s glorious Caroline Hirons box, the Leahlani Champagne Serum is one of the loveliest serums I’ve used in a long while. During the winter time when I find I need the extra short of moisturiser I find lots of serums a bit sticky so prefer to use oil-based ones like this. Leahlani’s Champagne serum is infused with Chardonnay Grape Seed oil (hence the name!) as well as a blend of tea oils, it goes on wonderfully and absorbs to a lovely glow.
Chanel Hydra Beauty Nutrition
I banged on about this in my Autumn round-up but honestly, it’s so good. This product does for my skin the same things as Zelens 3t Complex but for around half the price: it’s deeply nourishing and moisturising and leaves my skin evenly glowing. It lasts too, used as a day cream one tub lasts me around 6 months (so I usually pick one up in a John Lewis sale or when going through airport duty free!). So highly recommended.