Winter seems to feel harsher on my skin, hair and everything else the older I get. These are the beauty products I turn to in colder weather.

Winter seems to get harsher on my skin, hair and everything else the older I get!

Cold weather can mean itchy skin, frizzy hair and a dry nose and lips. But with the right products, it doesn’t have to be that way. From my favourite moisturising cleanser to my go-to shampoo, here are my cold weather winners.

Related: 5 signs you might have dry skin (without realising it)

Body beautiful

In winter it’s more important than ever to use a gentle, soap-free body wash. It shouldn’t disrupt your skin’s pH, and it should contain as little as possible artificial fragrance and colourants to minimise the risk of irritation.

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I favour oil-based cleansers like Avene Xeracalm Cleansing Oil, R229,95 for 400ml  This one is indicated for eczema skins so it’s extra gentle and nourishing.

Oily body scrubs are skin saviours, especially in winter. They help to keep rough areas under control (my upper arms are always a problem if I don’t keep a hand on it, so to speak), and the oils create a great barrier. Just remember to pat, not rub yourself dry otherwise you’ll remove all the oil again.

I’m very much a get-on-with it type when it comes to body cream, so I either pick something oil-based that can spray on, or alternatively a lotion in a pump bottle.

Hair help

My biggest hair problem in winter is s-t-a-t-i-c. Shampoo and conditioner formulated for fine hair is generally best to keep it under control. I add additional nourishing masks in-between shampooing and conditioning a couple of times a week, and I also forgo reverse washing (conditioner first, then shampoo) for the traditional order in winter. This helps tame flyaways.

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Skincare saviour

For skincare, I switch to a gentler retinol. Dr Dermal Micro Rich Retinol Repair 5, R895, works like a dream due to the added ceramides in the nourishing formula. It contains a very substantial 5% retinol, but all other retinols I’ve used have been 1% (or a 0,05% prescription version) and this one feels gentler than those.

How to use retinol in your skincare routine

In addition to the retinol switch, I like to add a hydrating serum and always finish off with a barrier cream to minimise moisture loss to some extent.

Make-up-wise you won’t find me near a matte foundation in winter – I’m already a ghostly shade of corpse; I need a foundation with a dewy finish to ensure nobody accidentally buries me if they come across me when I’m asleep (just go with it).

Image: puhhha


My lips and nose are always dry in winter. In summer I hardly use lip balm, but in winter I use it like a crutch. This is at least partially due to the fact that I also wear a lot of bright lipsticks in winter, and those are generally all matte. If you struggle with the same thing, gentle exfoliate your lips with a warm face cloth every other day – it’s one of the few things that keeps my lips smooth (followed by spoonfuls of lip balm, of course).

Now read: The ultimate guide to wearing red lipstick