Beauty Clinic: Restoring winter-dry skin


Q. I'm have very fair, sensitive and increasingly dry skin. I am following my usual routine of wonderful (very expensive) facial oil, a hot cloth cleanser and an SPF, which has usually been great. This winter, however, my skin is still quite dry and not as hydrated as usual so the wrinkles in my forehead and by my eyes are very visible. Could it be that my skin has got used to the oil so it no longer delivers great results?

A. You are one of many with a similar problem, including us. We are big fans of oils but expert opinion is that, during this winter’s cold spell, your skin needs more nourishment. It’s not just the cold and often very windy climate outside but also drying/dehydrating climate indoors, with central heating and often fires.

We suggest starting at the beginning with your cleanser. A lotion, balm or oil cleanser is likely to be gentler and less drying than a hot cloth cleanser, which demands water and a certain amount of rubbing with a cloth/flannel.

In the skincare section of our latest Beauty Bible Awards, you will find the winners of five different types of cleanser. The top-scoring product in the Cleansing Balm category was Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, which you can also use as a rich mask or even leave on as an overnight treatment – real double duty beauty/£47 for 100ml. (If you choose another cleanser, do treat your skin to a hydrating mask once or twice weekly.)

As well as your facial oil, we recommend using a day and night cream. You could simplify things by adding a couple of drops of your existing oil to your moisturiser. Again, you can find our Award winners in these categories at; do read the testers’ comments because they can really guide you to the products that will suit your particular needs.

You may feel you need an eye cream too. We are particular fans of Trilogy Very Gentle Eye Cream/£23.50 for 25ml, a natural product that made a big difference to our Beauty Bible testers. You can read their comments here. (It’s very soothing for dry gritty-feeling ‘screen eyes’ and if you’ve been out in wintry blasts.)

Don't forget to hydrate from the inside: sip room temperature water and/or herbal tea through the day (Pukka Turmeric Gold is especially good for touchy skin) and keep a bowl of water on your desk so the air doesn't dry out as much. 

Also oil your skin from the inside by eating plenty of oily fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil and dark green veg, and consider an omega-3 supplement, such as Viridian Nutrition Organic Clear Skin Omega Oil/£16.70 for 200ml from