So, the nights are drawing in and the mercury's plunging. While we're not suggesting donning the winter coat just yet, preparation is everything, and there's no better time to consider how our skin's needs will change once the sun goes into hibernation.
During the colder months, our skin is exposed to a multitude of external aggressors which might not affect it in warmer weather. "The colder seasons and environment can bring a lot of skin-drying wind, free radical damage and other conditions which could be harmful and irritating to your skin," points out skincare guru Dr Murad.
"During this season, I recommend using a rich moisturiser which contains super-hydrating and anti-inflammatory agents such as avocado, sunflower and olive fruit oils for optimal hydration and licorice extract to reduce redness and skin irritation. Also, consider your internal skincare routine by eating extra-hydrating foods such as cucumbers, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, to help moisturise your dry winter skin from the inside-out.
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It's also a good idea to switch to an oil-based moisturiser, rather than a water-based one. Oil-based products will create a protective barrier which locks in moisture. Look for oils which won't clog the pores - avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil and almond oil are ideal. Additionally, opt for products which contain humectants (ingredients which attract moisture) such as glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids.
"Facial oils penetrate deeper into the skin than creams so are ideal for giving skin added hydration," explains make up artist Jemma Kidd. "Warm the oil in your hands and massage into the skin - this will boost circulation and help the oil to sink in."
It's also worth switching to an oil-based cleanser. The harsher cleansers you might use to thoroughly cleanse skin of grime and oil in summer can easily aggravate skin which has been sensitised by colder weather. For this reason, steer clear of alcohol-based toners and opt for mild, foaming cleaners and cleansing milks instead. If you're spending prolonged periods of time outdoors, apply an SPF product.
While you're unlikely to spend much time sunbathing in the depths of winter, the winter sun can still easily damage skin. Exfoliation also becomes more important - the fluctuating temperatures we experience as we move between the warmth of central heating and the chilly outdoors causes our cell turnover to increase. For this reason, promoting cell renewal and removing the build up of dead skin cells is essential when it comes to getting the most out of our beauty products.
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Handle with care
The skin on certain parts of our body, such as our lips and hands, is especially thin and needs extra protection. When it comes to our hands, opt for a moisturiser with UVA and UVB protection - this skin ages at a faster rate than the skin in other areas because it's constantly exposed to external aggressors but, unlike the skin on our face, it's less likely to be protected.
Moisturise regularly and invest in an intensive treatment designed specifically for the hands, such as moisturising "masks" for hands designed to be worn overnight under gloves, or gloves impregnated with moisturising agents. Bliss's Glove and Care gloves, which are lined with a hydrating gel containing olive oil, grape seed oils and vitamin e, are ideal and can be worn for just 20 minutes at a time.
Christmas might be an eternity away, but if you're planning on puckering up under the mistletoe, it's never too early to start showing your lips some love. "Lips are one of the few areas of the body which don't have sweat glands, so the skin dries out more easily," points out Jemma Kidd. "To keep lips hydrated, use a lip balm rich in moisturising ingredients such as Vitamin E and beeswax." Dry lips are also a sign that you're not drinking enough water. Staying hydrated can be harder in the winter, when we're less likely to feel thirsty, but is essential when it comes to maintaining moisture levels inside and out.
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In the summer, we're more likely to opt for lighter foot care products which contain refreshing ingredients such as peppermint or lemon, but the colder months call for something slightly sturdier. Look for lotions and balms which contain ingredients such as glycerine jelly or petroleum jelly. Regular use of a foot scrub will help to banish dead skin cells and help the skin to absorb these products more efficiently.
Go on winter, do your worst!
Simple Kind To Skin Intensive Hand Cream, £2.49, nationwide
Ole Henriksen Rub 'n' Buff Salt Scrub, £47, Harvey Nichols
Murad Protecting Day Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30, £39, Murad
Vaishaly Night Nourisher, £75, Vaishaly
Bliss "Glove" and Care softening gloves supporting breast cancer care, blissworld
The Body Shop's Hemp Foot Protector, £10, The Body Shop
Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme, £33, nationwide
The Body Shop's Vitamin E Facial Oil, £10, The Body Shop
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Gentle Hydrating Toner, £17, nationwide