Everyone Always Asks Me About Moisturisers—These Are the Best for Winter

Last Monday (I remember it clearly), I stepped through my front door, into the outside world, and felt my whole face tighten. I'd executed my daily skincare routine as normal, but on that day, a light kiss of cold air on my face resulted in my skin having a meltdown. For the rest of the day, my face felt tight, looked red and was tragically dry. It was time. 

Every autumn, this day comes. It is, in my opinion as a beauty editor, the first day of winter. You see, while I know that the official start of winter is a couple of months away yet, I tend to define the seasons by my skincare. Four times a year, I encounter a day in which I find my daily skincare routine stops working—and last Monday was one of them. The level of hydration I had been feeding my skin was suddenly no longer enough, and the cold, dry, bitter weather got the better of it. I knew it was time to reassess my moisture levels.


(Image credit: @AMAKA.HAMELIJNCK)

If you also find your skin starts playing up as the temperature drops, know there's very good reason for it. "Rapid fluctuations in temperature can take a toll on our skin. As it gets colder, and the humidity levels drop—loss of hydration kicks in," says Sonia Khorana, a GP with special interest in dermatology. "This can affect the skin barrier and lead to dryness, itching, irritation and lowered skin defences against environmental stressors. To help with these issues, I would advise incorporating thicker moisturisers. Look for ingredients like ceramides, glycerin and hyaluronic acid."

Yep, moisturiser is the secret to healthy skin come winter. And this is something I don't love to admit. You see, as someone with particularly oily skin, for most of the year, I steer clear of moisturiser almost entirely, instead choosing to get my hydration from lightweight serums and hydrating SPF creams. In fact, the general obsession with moisturiser has been known to irritate me as a beauty editor. Everyone is always asking me about what moisturiser might be best for the them, and my answer is always the same: Stop focussing on moisturiser and instead focus on hydration. You can get hydration from your cleanser, serum, essence, toner and even SPF. However, come winter, I fervently believe that we all need some sort of moisturiser to restore as much hydration as we possibly can. The secret to making it work for you is in knowing which formula to go for. "You can tailor the texture and thickness to suit your skin type as the seasons change," adds Khorana. So without further ado, keep scrolling for the best moisturisers for winter, whatever your skin type.

1. The Best Winter Moisturisers for Dry Skin

2. The Best Winter Moisturisers for Oily Skin

3. The Best Winter Moisturisers for Irritated Skin

4. The Best Winter Moisturisers for Mature Skin

Next Up: Dermatologists Say These Eye Creams Are the Only Ones That Really Work.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.

Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.

While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.

When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.