Winter Skin Dryness - & Your FAQ
This time of year can be tricky - I receive more questions about dealing with winter skin; dryness, soreness, the best oil for winter skin, the best moisturiser for your face, essentially how to fix winter skin.
Either the temperature outside is freezing and your skin is dry, parched and super sensitive.
Or it's all a bit wet and grey, and that includes your skin.
Rose Tree founder, Olga answers your questions and gives her top tips on how to manage this tricky time of the year, and sail through winter months with plump, comfortable skin.
Winter Dry, Parched Skin.
OK, let's deal with complaint no 1 - dry, parched skin, exacerbated by freezing temperatures.
It's tricky enough when our skin becomes more dry as we age, and there's not much we can to do stop that.
What are the best Ingredients for dry skin?
These are some of my favourite ingredients to look for in your skin care - and why I think they make a difference:
Plant Butters - Super gentle, emollient, there's nothing not to like here. They're great for repairing the skin barrier, comforting on dry, sensitive feeling skin and protect against moisture loss. Two of my favourites include shea butter and mango butter.
Shea Butter because its rich, protecting and perfect for winter skin and mango butter also because of its deeply moisturising properties.
Other plant butters to look out for are Cocoa Butter and Coconut Butter.
Plant Oils and specifically oliec rich oils for dry skin.
Plant oils work well for dry and sensitive skin, and in particular oils rich in oleic acid are particularly effective for dry skin.
Oleic rich oils are richer and very moisturising for dry skins. Oleic acid is an omega 9 fatty acid - and has an affinity with our own sebum, deeply nourishing, and helping maintain softness and flexibility in the skin.
Some of my favourite oleic rich oils to look out for are avocado oil, this vibrant green oil is rich in vitamins A and D and is super nourishing and softening. Or try Argan oil - fast absorbing and a 'dry oil' you get all the essential fatty acids but less of the greasy feel you can get with some plant oils.
What are the best products for winter dry skin?
The best products are going to be the ones that suit your skin.
Face oils are very effective for winter, parched skin - they moisturise and protect. You can read more about my thoughts on face oils, and how they work in my mini face oil guide here.
But here's the catch - not everyone loves the idea of a face oil.
I would recommend trying a face oil if you haven't done so already - they work.
But that said, if using an oil just doesn't appeal, then move on. No one knows your skin better than you.
The Best Face Cream for Winter, Dry Skin
A cream is good for thirsty, parched skin and is exceptionally good in a cold climate. It's gentle and rich, and my post menopausal ladies love this. Gentle, rich and non irritating and packed full of beautiful plant oils.
The Best Face Balm for Winter Skin
A balm can be anything you want it to be. Some are rich, unctuous and heavier, my preference is for something a little lighter but with fabulous moisturising properties.
My Intensive Balm with Marshmallow & Frangipani is a decadently scented (with essential oils only!) balm which is perfect to nourish and moisturise skin that needs a little TLC.
It has a rich but light texture, and is concentrated, so only the smallest amount is needed.
It's particular good to skin any skin problems, those pesky dry bits, itchy bits or breakouts of eczema.
Use it on its own or layered over your favourite face oil.
A cream, face oil, balm?
So what is the best moisturiser for winter skin?
A cream, face oil or balm will all help with winter skin, but it comes down to the ingredients and their affinity with your skin.
If your skin is papery and dry and it feels comforted by a richer texture with more staying power, try a cream.
If the thought of the rich texture of a cream gives you nightmares, chances are you are going to be happier with a lighter texture - which might include a face oil.
Where a face oil can feel deeply hydrating it can feel 'thinner' and a lighter option while still deeply hydrating.
Texture is all about personal preference - I personally prefer a rich, heavier texture in the winter - I love the way it feels on my skin, and I want it to last through the day.
But what really counts is what YOU like on your skin - and the way it makes you feel.
And don't forget that you can layer products to get the hydration that is right for your skin - but which could have a lighter skin feel than a rich cream.
Couple a face oil with a cream if you're about to do battle with the elements, and pare it back to just the face oil for a day working from home.
Your Skin Care Questions:
Extremely sensitive, prone to redness, dehydration - Pam
I'm looking for some advice please regarding your products and which ones would be appropriate for my skin type which is extremely sensitive, prone to redness, dehydration and eczema. I'm also in my early 50s so things are going downhill really skin-wise.
Sensitive, dehydrated skin is surprisingly common when we get to our 50s - my skin sounds very similar to yours.
For very sensitive skin, I always recommend a patch test, it is just a sensible precaution, as skin can be allergic and react to natural ingredients in much the same way as synthetic ingredients.
Based on what you have said, I would recommend paring your skincare back to basics and just getting your skin to a place where it is more comfortable before adding in lots of variables.
In terms of a starting point I recommend the Cleansing Butter with one of my facial essences/ face oils.
The Rose & Marula is particularly good for skin that is prone to rosacea, the Rose & Blackcurrant by comparison is is better for very dry skin.
I would probably recommend doing that and seeing which your skin liked the most, - I think this would be a good starting point.
The other product that you might like is my Radiance Cream - if you like a cream texture - it comes down to which texture you prefer.
You can find samples of all of these in the Capsule Collection which you can find here.
Winter Sore, inflamed Skin - The skin on my body is suffering in the winter - dry, flaky, and itchy - what can I do? Jane T
This is extremely common at this time of year Jane. For you, it's all about moisture and hydration, unctuous butters, comforting textures and getting some moisture into your skin.
You pick your poison, a balm, a cream or an oil - whichever texture you prefer. Just watch those ingredients, you are after nourishing plant oils, those with a heavier texture that will not be absorbed too quickly will help your skin feel more comfortable. I like avocado oil, and jojoba oil which despite being a quickly absorbed oil has a natural affinity with the skin's own sebum.
My other thought is to suggest you pare your cleansing routine back to basics. Ditch the shower gel with the artificial scents and harsh detergents.
I could never understand why when I came back from a posh hotel and lounging in the tub with those cute bottles of scented products my skin would rebel.
Avoid very hot water - showers or baths. It might feel comforting at the time when you are freezing, but temperature extremes will dry your skin out further which in turns increases the itchy feeling.
Winter Hands - My hands are extremely dry and becoming chapped, as a result of the cold weather but also hand gel, what can I do? Ali T
High alcohol content gels are a nightmare for drying out hands, and coupled with winter makes for a tough time for hands.
My top recommendation is a balm for your hands - a heavier texture, crammed full of beautiful plant oils that will counteract the drying ingredients found in hand gels and as a result of constant hand washing.
This is not the time for a light textured nice smelling but does absolute does nothing for your hands kind of cream. You need to get some protective oils into your skin and re-apply frequently. My favourite time for some hand TLC is before bed - you can go with a slightly more generous application, wear gloves is you like - and enjoy a mini aromatherapy bedtime treatment with those beautiful aromatic oils.