The Most Hydrating Winter Moisturisers For Every Skin Type

Georgia Murray

Winter brings with it the annual battle against the fluctuating external factors that turn your skin into a dehydrated shadow of its former glowing self. Why exactly does the most wonderful time of the year have such a negative impact on our complexions?

"Cool air, low humidity, cold winds and moving from warm central heating into the cold and back again can significantly dehydrate our skin," Dr Johanna Ward, founder of ZENii Skincare, explains. "The main issue in autumn and winter is skin dehydration or lack of water. This is different to skin dryness, which refers to skin that lacks lipids or oil. Dehydration is when there is a lack of water in the stratum corneum or outer layer of the skin. It can result in anything from sensitive skin and red cracked lips to rough, dry and flaky skin."

We look to the finest day creams, moisturisers and oils to pump life into our skin, while often forgetting that not all skin is the same. A heavy cream may work for the dry among us, but overpower the oily. So where should we start when tackling our skin this season? "It’s critical to slough dead, dehydrated, dry skin," says Jamie O'Banion, cofounder of Beauty Bioscience, who pinpoints microneedling as a potential treatment to try. If the thought makes you wince, employ skincare acids, like AHAs and BHAs. Once you've prepped the skin? "Look for a moisturiser with moisture-binding humectants (which retain and preserve moisture in the skin) because they are especially helpful to soften skin’s texture and to keep skin looking plump, firm and dewy."

"Add in a powerful serum hydrator like hyaluronic acid to keep the skin moist and hydrated – it's a powerful humectant, which means it draws water up from the deeper layers of the skin into the more superficial layers," Dr Ward adds. "It uses the water in your body to deeply hydrate the skin. Changing your daily products – just as you would change your wardrobe – is beneficial in the cooler months. No matter what your skin type, rehydrating the skin needs to be your focus."

Now we've got the basics down, click through to find the moisturisers packed with hydrating acids, vitamins and serums for every skin type, from extremely dry through to combination, via sensitive and oily.

"If you have dry skin you are lacking oil rather than water, but in winter most skins lack both," Dr Ward explains. Here, it's all about hydrating skin with deep-down moisture.
With ceramides, which repair the skin's barrier, and hyaluronic acid to keep moisture on lockdown in the skin, this dermatologist-developed moisturiser makes a noticeable difference after just one application. Plus, it's non-comedogenic so won't clog your pores.

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion, $, available at Boots
Packed with hyaluronic acid and thermal spa water, this paraben-free, hypoallergenic hit from Vichy works wonders for those with scaly skin come winter.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Moisturiser for Dry Skin 50ml, $, available at Boots
**PROMO FEATURE**

If you’re prone to eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis or the odd parched patch, reach for Balneum’s Itch Relief Cream. Proven to relieve itchy skin in 5 minutes, it’s filled to the brim with skin-repairing ingredients, like Urea, which dermatologists recommend for banishing dryness and irritation, and Laureth-6.5 – a clever component that acts like anaesthetic to alleviate the symptoms of itchiness and inflammation.

Balneum Balneum Itch Relief Cream 200ml, $, available at Boots

Contrary to popular belief, sebum production doesn't slow down in the winter months. " Oily skin can become congested even in the winter," a REN Skincare spokesperson explains, "which can subsequently lead to breakouts and redness."

The answer? Gels, serums and light creams to tackle dehydration without overloading the skin.

Lixir Skin's smart moisturiser uses a unique emulsifying technique to deliver molecular water to the skin and boost its ability to retain it. The hook? Once applied, there's minimal oil throughout the day, meaning makeup stays put and shine is nowhere to be seen – all while giving you a hydration hit.

Lixirskin Universal Emulsion, $, available at Lixirskin
Kiehl's' oil-free formula contains vitamin E to keep skin fresh and clean, while Antarcticine provides the ultimate protection against dryness. Plus, the lightweight formula will keep shine at bay.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion, $, available at Kiehl's
REN's emulsion-based skin treatment boosts hydration without the heaviness of most creams. Hyaluronic acid maximises water levels while xylitol keeps skin looking plump.

REN Flash Hydro-Boost Instant Plumping Emulsion, $, available at Ren Skincare
" Sensitive skin can become itchy, flaky, irritated and flushed during the winter months," O'Banion says. To tackle this, "a viscous, emollient moisturiser helps provide a barrier to protect easily inflamed skin. It’s also important to use a serum loaded with antioxidants to help calm irritated, sensitive skin."
Recommended by dermatologists, this moisturiser softens rough skin with shea butter and keeps moisture under lock and key thanks to glycerin, soothing itching and inflammation almost instantly.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturiser Sensitive Skin, $, available at Boots
This calming but fresh formula desensitises skin deep down, protecting it from within. The cream is thick but doesn't leave any residue before makeup.

Clarins Clarins Gentle Day Cream, $, available at John Lewis
The Daily is power-packed with the brand's HyperVitamin Complex to boost antioxidant levels while shielding against daily free radical damage. All while keeping skin super soft, of course.

Beauty Bioscience The Daily, $, available at Beauty Bioscience
This skin-softening, daily moisturiser restores the skin's depleted moisture levels. With anti-irritating thermal spring water, it tackles the effects of the elements, delivering a radiant and supple complexion.

Avène Avene Hydrance Rich Hydrating Cream, $, available at Boots
Despite sometimes having the best of both worlds, during the winter " combination skin will experience side-effects of both dry and oily skin simultaneously in different skin regions," says O'Banion. Amp up your skincare regime with acids, but also employ hydrating masks and overnight treatments.
This cream is super lightweight (so no shiny nose by lunchtime) but hydrating enough to tackle dry cheek areas. Ginseng and coffee beans boost radiance all day long.

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturiser, $, available at Look Fantastic
This brilliant night cream is full of antioxidant vitamins E, B5 and C, and sodium hyaluronate for effective moisture. Perfect for slathering on while skin repairs overnight.

ZENii Skincare ZENii Micronutrient Repair Night Cream, $, available at ZENii Skincare
This gel-textured moisturiser is featherlight but filled to bursting with mandelic acid to chip away at dull, dead skin cells on the surface, while glycerin and hyaluronic acid flood the deeper layers with moisture, leaving skin looking plump and feeling fresh. It's great under makeup.

Medik8 Refining Moisturiser, $, available at Medik8

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