Our survival guide to brighter, smoother skin this winter

By Alok 8th January 2021 Category: Advice

Leading sk:n dermatologist, Mary Sommerlad, shares what steps we should be taking to get glowing skin during winter lockdown 

Happy new year… we think! Lockdown 3.0, The Winter Edition is here. The days are dark; the weather is turning frosty… and there is no doubt that our skin is beginning to feel the effects. It isn’t just the cold temperatures outside that can cause us to suffer with dry, angry and flaky skin, but our central heating. It is a key culprit of causing this which many of us have become particularly guilty of as we continue to work from home.

There is nothing worse than feeling like our skin is dehydrated and dried out, especially as it can affect our appearance in various ways. This includes a dull complexion as well as enhancing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

So, let’s look to brighter days! Looking and feeling our best may not be high up on our wish lists right now, but there are some simple and effective skincare steps we can introduce to help banish dullness and dryness, so you find confidence in better skin at home.

sk:n Consultant Dermatologist, Mary Sommerlad, shares her top tips to get through those winter woes:


Our skin can often appear dull and washed out over the winter months. By introducing a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week to your routine will help to remove any build-up of dead skin cells, makeup and oils, to reveal a glowing and fresh complexion, whilst also helping to minimise the appearance of pores.

However, when a simple exfoliation won’t quite cut it, a Microdermabrasion treatment is the way to go for an instant result. By disrupting any unwanted dead and dull skin cells that can cause dullness, your body will work to replace them with fresh, healthier looking complexion. Your skin will also feel softer, the epidermal layers of your skin will be rejuvenated, increase circulation in the area treated, and encourage new, healthier skin cells to be produced.


It is important to make sure you are hydrating your skin from both the inside and out, especially during this time of year. The phrase ‘8 by 8’ is useful at keeping track of how many glasses of water you consume before the end of the day; simply drink eight glasses of water by 8pm and you’ll have had your fill for the day.

When it comes to hydrating your skin from the outside, look for moisturisers that contain hyaluronic acid, as this ingredient helps to prevent skin from drying out.

 If you’ve got flaky patches, don’t be tempted to peel, but opt for a heavier moisturiser instead. You’d change your clothes for summer and winter, so change your products, too. You don’t want the oil fighting cleansers, toners or moisturisers that you used in summer; opt for hydration-boosting products instead.

  1.     PREP YOUR HOME:

With many of us wrapping up warm and cranking up our central heating we are unaware of how much it is drying out the air and therefore drying out our skin. To help maximise the amount of water in the air, look at placing a humidifier in the room you find yourself spending most of your time. A cool air humidifier will help to increase the moisture levels in the air, helping the skin’s barrier to stay hydrated.


It may be tempting to hibernate in the winter months but keeping up the outdoor exercise you pursued during summer (with all those ‘couch to 5ks’ and Zoom fitness classes) will get your blood circulating and give your skin a healthy glow. It’ll keep you drinking lots of water too. It may seem obvious, but a healthy diet with plenty of greens is essential: broccoli is full of skin-boosting ingredients such as vitamins A, C and natural oestrogens. Good quality sleep is also vital to make your skin look effortlessly refreshed and renewed in the morning; combine this with a decent night cream to give your dry skin a boost.

  1.     BUFF YOUR SKIN:

No matter how many serums and creams are applied, dry skin will stay dry without some light exfoliation. By using a gentle scrub, something with a mild glycolic or lactic acid, will help to remove any dead skin from the surface. A wet washcloth is advised for those who suffer with particularly dry skin to gently exfoliate away. Once the skin is perfectly buffed, the moisturiser is a key next step as it will penetrate and really get to work.

When it comes to product, try looking for something a little heavier than you would usually wear in the summer months, such as the Medik8 Advanced Night Restore Repair Cream as it will work overnight to restore, hydrate and encourage cell repair as well as brighten complexion. Remember, creams are better in the winter, whereas lotions are ideal for the summer months.


When it comes to swapping out your summer skincare products for more suitable ones to take on winter, serums are the one exception to the rule. The key is to make sure that your chosen serum is alcohol-free to make it become beneficial all year round. This is because alcohol can cause the skin to become drying in itself and can actually even cause damage, especially in those who suffer with dry, sensitive skin or rosacea already.

No matter what the weather is like, our skin gets attacked by free radicals, this is caused by them trying to grab an extra electron from atoms in the skin, and when atoms are taken away from molecules in the skin damage is caused. This includes sunspots, the breakdown of collagen, and premature fine lines. By including a serum in your routine it will help to protect your skin from free-radical-producing UVB rays whilst also helping to fill in fine lines and wrinkles. It is best to apply a serum vitamin C formula as a first layer in the morning, before layering on any heavier products. And even though it may be winter, don’t forget your daily does of SPF to keep you protected even on those cold, cloudy days. 

The SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Vitamin C Serum is a highly recommended product to help with this. Protecting your skin against environmental damage, improving the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles, whilst also boosting firmness, it will help to achieve all these things in just one bottle. To add some additional protection, HELIOCARE Advanced cream SPF 50 is perfect for protecting against both UVA and UVB rays, whilst also hydrating the skin without making it feel heavy as a lot of SPC creams can do.

Stay up to date on the latest skincare tips and insight by following us on Instagram and Facebook @sknclinics. You can also discover the very best skincare products by following our partners, The Skin Experts, on Instagram and Facebook @skinexpertsuk.

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