In cold weather, we need richer moisturizers. Ditch lotions and gels in favour of creams and balms – here are six to try.
Humidity tends to be low in winter and central heating dries the air too, then the dry air pulls moisture out of skin. We end up with tightness, flaking and peeling skin and the gels and lotions that were perfect throughout the summer just don’t cut it anymore. The temptation may be to cover yourself in goose fat and stay home till spring. Instead, try one of these six face creams that can deal with even the chilliest wind.
1. For normal skin
Racinne Ultimate Hydra Perfection Ultimate Defense Illuminating Cream ($39.99/50g)
Korean brands like Laneige and Sulwhasoo are known for effective, hard-working skincare that combines herbal ingredients and industry-leading technology. The latest K brand to hit: Racinne. Its Ultimate Hydra Perfection range has anti-ageing ingredients like grape stem cells, antioxidant ginseng and anti-inflammatory vitamin B5. The Illuminating Cream supposedly locks in moisture for 24 hours and keeps skin looking plump and bright. In summer, switch it for the Optimal Fortifying Emulsion ($34.99/50ml), which has a lighter texture and is popular as a primer among makeup artists.
2. For super-dry skin
Bioderma Atoderm PP ($32.95/500ml, major drugstores)
This is a lifesaver for anyone with skin that’s prone to symptoms of extreme dryness, such as cracking and flaking. According to the brand, it helps strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier (the layer of fat and dead cells that prevents water evaporating). It’s as rich and thick as clotted cream, and takes forever to be absorbed, but is instantly soothing, so calms the urge to scratch. For face and body.
3. For oily skin
Dermalogica Active Moist ($72/100ml)
Some people believe this skin type doesn’t need moisture, but that’s not the case. Oily skin is caused by an excess of oil, but can still be dehydrated (lacking water), especially during the winter. An oil-free moisturizer helps to reduce water loss without piling on grease. This one has botanical extracts to nourish skin and is light and quickly absorbed, so it’s a good base for makeup. In summer, oily-skinned people can just use a good hydrating serum and skip the moisturizer entirely.
4. For sensitive skin
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($22.99/16oz, major drugstores)
Finding the right product for sensitive skin is really a matter of trial and error, and can be utterly infuriating, especially when brands change recipes so something that once suited you suddenly causes irritation. My super-allergic mum can only use CeraVe and buys it by the dozen when she visits from Europe. It doesn’t come in pretty packaging or have the luxe factor, but it’s recommended by dermatologists for its soothing, protective formulation.
5. For ageing
Ole Henriksen Truth Creme Advanced Hydration ($56/50ml, Sephora)
As we age, our skin becomes drier – it’s less able to retain moisture because the barrier layer thins and substances like hyaluronic acid, which absorbs water from the environment, aren’t produced as quickly. This has Advanced Hydration Complex (which includes hyaluronic acid), plus peptides for line-fighting and fruit extracts to boost skin turnover. It has a rich texture, but absorbs fairly quickly, and has a fresh orange scent.
6. For dullness
Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Protective Cream W ($68/50ml, Sephora)
Brightness and radiance are the key words right now in anti-ageing. Shiseido’s White Lucent range is one of the most popular in Asia because it promises to deal with existing pigmentation and prevent new dark spots forming. Brightening Protective Cream is rich and hydrating, and has broad-spectrum sun protection – only SPF 15, but this should be sufficient for the winter months. For an extra boost, try the White Lucent Power Brightening Mask, a sheet mask that genuinely leaves my skin brighter and more hydrated after just one 10-minute use.