As a beauty editor, these are the skincare tips (and products) I turn to most throughout winter

Want to make sure your winter skincare routine is hitting the mark? A beauty editor shares her go-to products, along with dermatologist-approved tips for the colder months

young woman applying skincare
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shorter daylight hours be damned, there’s a lot to love this time of year. Cosy season means chunky knitwear, freezing cold walks and trips to the pub that involve gravy and/or mulled wine, ideally in front of a log fire. But it’s also the time when hydration takes centre stage in my winter skincare routine. 

Although my skin is on the oilier side, it’s a good idea for all of us to focus on hydration and moisture at this time of year – regardless of whether your go-to is the best moisturiser for dry skin or the best moisturiser for oily skin. What with the temperatures plummeting, the atmosphere being generally drier and finally putting the heating on (although maybe you haven’t yet cracked on that last one), our skin can take a bit of a beating in winter.

As dermatologist and La Roche-Posay ambassador Dr Emma Wedgeworth points out, we also have a tendency to over-indulge during the holidays. “As we head towards party season, spare a thought for our skin; the colder weather, indoor heating and lack of moisture in the air will already lead to increased dryness,” she explains. “Heavy alcohol intake can cause increased dryness and sensitivity of the skin. This is further exacerbated by sleep deprivation which results in further dehydration and dullness and exaggerates fine lines.”

Should you change your skincare routine in winter?

Despite the above suggesting otherwise, it’s not all doom and gloom (even if it’s rather gloomy outside). Dermatologist and Avène ambassador Dr Beibei Du-Harpur notes that, while you don’t need to completely overhaul your entire skincare routine, there are a couple of changes you can make to support your skin during the colder months.

“The main thing to consider in winter is that there will be more transepidermal water loss due to the dry environment compared to summer," she explains. “My number one tip is to embrace using a more occlusive or rich product, especially for the evening routine. Switching from light gel moisturisers to creams or balms can be really helpful."

“Similarly, products marketed as 'recovery masks' often contain rich ingredients that are great for moisturising,” she continues. “Although petrolatum and mineral oils have had some bad press over the years, it is really quite undeserved and they are a key part of a dermatologist’s arsenal in managing many skin conditions, particularly dry skin. The occlusive effect of such ingredients essentially shields the skin and gives it time to repair itself or maintain its natural barrier function.”

There are tonnes of brilliant, hydrating and moisturising products that you can slather on as part of your skincare routine to keep your winter-ravaged complexion happy this season. Below is a selection of my longstanding go-tos and newfound favourites that keep my skin soft and glowy in a cold snap, for your shopping pleasure.

The best winter skincare products

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.