The Newshub guide to switching up your skincare in winter

A mix of cold wind, office air-con and having that cozy night-time heater running can play havoc on your skin - not to mention the pale face and ghostly limbs that come with a lack of sunshine.

Whether you have sensitive skin or not, your skin can be affected by seasonal changes in the weather and you need to adjust that bathroom routine accordingly.

So as you swap out those Birkenstocks for boots, here are some other simple swaps to make as the weather cools down.

Cleanse off


During summer festivals and beach holidays it can be easy to get into the habit of just cleaning off makeup with the dreaded makeup wipe, or if you're my colleague, just using BODYWASH to scrub your face (unacceptable).

But during a time where your skin is taking a hit from the cold air, it needs gentle and soothing makeup removal. While the cleansing process is often thought of as a process of 'taking away', it can also be a time to add extra moisture.

My picks:

Natural Instinct Skin Refining Cleansing Oil: Add just a little warm water and massage this into your face to form a lightweight and moisturising oil bled. It's super gentle while still super effective at removing excess dirt and makeup. Use a hot flannel to remove it to really feel like you're in your own day spa.

Tailor Oil Cleanse: There's a reason why this Kiwi brand of skincare has a cult following. The mix of sunflower seed and hazelnut oil in this blend means you feel like you're giving your skin a drink every time you use it.

Get scrubbing


Exfoliating in winter sometimes seems counterproductive - when your skin is already dry, surely scrubbing it surely is more irritating? But actually, as the air gets colder dry dead skin cells can build up on skin's surface, resulting in a complexion that feels dry and looks dull. Make sure a face scrub or another type of exfoliant is part of your routine to help remove surface skin cell build-up and reveal softer, smoother-looking skin.

My picks:

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: I have a deep love for exfoliating powers, they feel like they're polishing my skin and revealing a radiant new me underneath. This powder is gentle enough that it's not irritating but still gets right into the nitty-gritty of my blackheads.

Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys: These single use facial pads are the holy grail of chemical exfoliation - a combination of lactic acid, the most gentle of all AHAs, with ultra-hydrating essential oils. They smell yum, look beautiful on your bathroom cabinet, and most of all, are bloody quick and easy. Start off gentle - once a week - and build up to two or three times. 

Mask up


If you don't think you have time for a mask, I'm sorry but you're wrong. Masks are vital for a myriad of reasons - they can detoxify, add moisture, brighten and just generally make you feel like you're taking great care of yourself.

Sheet masks are having a bit of a moment and for good reason - slap one on while you're getting ready for a night out and get ready for your dewy, glowy skin to sit wonderfully under makeup. But don't forget that humble clay mask for the next day - we all need to draw out a little gunk every once and a while.

My picks:

L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Soothing Face Mask: Even the most sensitive skinned dames will be able to use this mask.   Expect a soft, calm complexion that feels less irritated and tight.

Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay - Exfoliating Mask: This mask does double duty; exfoliates off those flaky dead skin cells while the French pink clay, rosehip oil and chamomile flowers rejuvenate, replenish and soothe the skin.

Garnier Fresh-Mix Face Sheet Shot Mask With Hyaluronic Acid: I am obsessed with these DIY masks where you feel like you're performing a fun science experiment every time you use them. By pinching the packet you release the hyaluronic acid formula into the section with the dry algae tissue mask. The serum intensely hydrates, and you'll feel dewy as hell.

Tone it down


Toner is one of those things that went through a real time in the early 2000s, and now it's having its resurgence. While it seems more of a refreshing summer item, it's just as important in winter. By misting the skin before adding serums, you can lock in all that lovely moisture.

My picks:

Lemon and Beaker Hydrating Toner with Rose Essential Oil - This beautiful, gentle toner smells like my gran's rose garden and brightens my skin to boot. It says to apply with a cotton pad, but even just pressing it into the skin with damp hands works a treat. It's so soothing and gentle - you feel like you're giving your skin a drink when you use it. 

Under the surface


For a long time serums seemed unnecessary and I often said "who has the time?" How I regret those foolish words. The right serums can make your moisturiser work double time, leaving your skin all plump and hydrated. This is especially necessary during colder winter nights, where just your usual moisturiser might not be enough to battle the effects of the elements.

My picks:

Natural Instinct Plump and Renew Serum - This serum will help brighten your face and get rid off that pesky redness that often comes with winter. The colder months can be stressful, so a serum that helps combat fatigue and stress like this one is an absolute winner.

Lemon and Beaker Vitamin C Serum - It's not only a daily Vitamin C tablet you should be taking in winter, the vitamin is also a game changer for your skin. This beautiful serum from a Kiwi company is simply stunning; it brightens and recharges your skin like an electric shock (in a very good way). One colleague who tried it said it reduced her eye bags "instantly - not even exaggerating".

Don't forget your bod


With all this focus on the face, it can be easy to forget about the rest of your body. But make sure you're keeping your limbs as glowy and hydrated as your mug; it's more comfortable and means less chance of a flaky skin sandstorm when your leggings come off.

My picks:

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion: This supermarket buy is good for the budget conscious and those sensitive skinned dames. The natural oatmeal extract is super calming, and you can really use it everywhere. I even slap it on my face if it needs something simple after a big week.

Weleda Skin Food Body Butter: In a weighty tub, this body-butter version of the cult classic feels like it's got to be good for you before you even crack it open. Ultra-moisturising, this beautiful formula sinks in like whipped butter on your skin. It's especially good for those times your skin may need a little extra TLC, like after a bath or a big day on the ski field. 

Sarah Templeton is Newshub's lifestyle editor.