I cycle to work as I prefer to face the fear of London roads than squeeze onto a tube whilst my face gets stuck to the back of someone’s coat – quite a common issue for all 5’242456 sized girls trying to commute to Central London during rush hour.

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The other day I couldn’t feel my face when I was dismounting my Purple Thunder, (yes, my bike has a name), so I thought it may be time to write a post on how to re-jig our skincare routines when WINTER IS HERE. Let’s face it. It’s gonna’ be freezing, windy and drizzly for the next 9 months. It’s time to change a few things.

There are some advantages to colder temperatures when it comes to your face – the cold get weather gets the blood pumping, so puffiness is a thing of the past. It also gives some healthy colour to your cheeks, if you’re lucky.

All I get is a red nose, so between October and March, I have a vague resemblance to Rudolph the red nose reindeer.

The not so great news is that cold weather is DRY TIMES. A lack of humidity results in stripping your skin of its natural oils and consequently causes dehydration. A very similar reaction happens in heated indoor places – whether it’s the office or your cosy warm living room. It’s a lose-lose combination for your skin. Don’t even get me started on chapped lips!

Now is the time to eliminate all things that damage our natural sebum and provide our skin with good quality products.

Let’s start with a face:

1 Cleanse …

During warmer months we sweat more and naturally reach for efficient and stronger cleansers to remove the gunk that gathers all over our faces. Pack those away into the darkest depths of your cupboard and pick up gentler options that don’t strip your face. I LOVE using cleansing oils for removing make-up. You may become overwhelmed by the number of pricey options of cleansing oils (I admit I do too), but to be honest, makeup is not something that good old olive oil can’t handle. I was using it for years until I HAD TO – in the name of the blog – pick up numerous bottles of “branded” cleansing oils. The downside of using pure olive oil is that it requires a damp cloth to remove, and it takes another cleanser to get rid of oil residue – I’d go with a cream or balm cleanser.

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2 … Tone …

I am talking hydrating toner here. The one that resets the pH of your skin after disturbing it during cleansing. For me, this is the most difficult product to source in a routine as I just can’t find the perfect one. At the moment I am using Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist – which essentially is not a toner … but I will work with it. Toner is an essential part of your routine. Every day, twice a day. Don’t skip it, and I promise I will find some to recommend!

3 … Treat

During this phase of your routine there are at least two products that are essential if you want to keep your skin happy:

Hydrating serum: remember my post about humectants which attract moisture to your skin and keeps it plump? A good serum is always a good idea.

Rich moisturiser: cold months call for richer formulations of moisturiser. Opt for oil-based moisturisers with good quality oils at the top of the ingredients list, full of fatty acids and avoid mineral oil. In every product, always! If you REALLY love your current moisturiser, then add few drops of oil to it – this way you can make every moisturiser a little heavier and more suitable to fight the low temperatures. You really want to up the “oily” part of the game to keep hydration in place and to create a reliable barrier between your skin and winter.

With oils, again, you don’t have to break the bank to get the one with a fancy name. Despite my excessive collection of face oils (again, in the name of this blog), my faves are still pure Rosehip oil, Argan oil and good ol’ olive oil. Some brands throw in one essential oil too many into their oil formulations. Some essential oils do have benefits for your skin, but when there’s too many, it can cause irritation and dryness.

As you’re using heavier formulations at this time of the year, you might want to reach for a good eye cream. The skin around the eye area gets dry first, so it needs some TLC. If you are prone to puffiness, oily formulations around the eye area are not the best idea.

If you spend a lot of time outside (or you cycle, ski or ride a motorbike), you may even want to opt for a moisturiser that creates a physical barrier on your skin which protects it from the cold and wind. You can also kill two birds with one stone by using mineral sunscreen cream. Yes, we should wear SPF during winter as well. UVB rays may be weaker and you won’t get sunburns, but UVA rays are still there with all their power and only one mission – to damage your skin permanently. Mineral sunscreens (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) also stay on the skin and create a barrier, so they will protect your skin. Win-win!

There’s more:

1 Do not shower with hot water – it dries your skin out even more. Lukewarm. Always lukewarm.

2 Get a humidifier!

3 Exfoliate – not just to remove dull looking dead skin cells, but also to ease penetration of all your nourishing products.

Winter is here. Let’s get ready for it!