I don’t know about you, but the minute the mercury drops below 15°, my skin starts freaking out. While warm weather and sunny days bring out the best in my complexion, the winter brings out the worst. For the last few weeks, thanks to a combination of cold climes, central heating, and beating winds, I have been experiencing dryness, irritation, breakouts, and general dullness when it comes to my skin.
And I know that I am not alone. In fact, many of my close friends and colleagues have also been complaining about dryness recently. In a bid to get my skin back on track come winter, every year, I bring out my ultimate glow-boosting kit. From super-nourishing moisturisers to light-reflecting highlighters, I turn to the same sort of results-driven products in order to keep my skin glowing all winter long.
But this year, I’m having to up my game a little. Combine the usual environmental winter aggressors with the added nuisances of mask wearing and an increase in everyday stresses, and you’ve got one hell of a recipe for angry skin. To help inject my complexion with a bit of radiance, I have curated the ultimate post-cleanse glow-boosting routine for the winter, and the improvement has been almost unbelievable. Intrigued? Keep scrolling to discover the glow-giving products I won't be without this winter.
If you have super-sensitive skin, this one might not be for you. However, this nightly treatment is the best overnight glow product I have ever used. Come morning, my skin looks glowing and feels baby-soft. If my skin starts kicking up a fuss from the potentially irritating glycolic acid, I drop usage down to once every few days.
In order for my skin to be able to hack super-strength glycolic acids, it has to be in a relatively good place already. For times when my skin is playing up, this Tri-Acid Peel is my reach-for. It contains a trio of lactobionic, asiatic and mandelic acids to boost luminosity and even the complexion, but it doesn't seem to disrupt things too much, minimising risk of any redness and irritation.
Summer Fridays' stuff is relatively new to my routine, but my skin just seems to love this exfoliating acid toner. I only use it once a week, but I find that seems to be enough to prevent congestion and keep my skin looking lit from within. The best bit? it contains niacinamide to keep my pesky pores in check.
When life is really getting my skin down, I pull out this guy. If you ask me, it's probably the best glycolic acid toner on the market. After just one use, my skin is visibly more glowing, and any overwhelming signs of congestion are minimised. But be careful. It's easy to get addicted to the stuff, and you don't want to go overboard and risk compromising your barrier.
Whenever someone asks me why my skin looks glowing on any particular day, it's usually down to this stuff. Full to the brim with skin-loving, moisture-boosting ceramides, it gives dry, troubled skin everything it needs to function healthily without making it look greasy. My bathroom cupboard can't be without a bottle.
Finding a really great moisturiser with a convincing tint can be tricky, but this stuff from Avène does a great job at boosting moisture and bringing down redness while it works. Not only does it bring a more unified look to the skin, but it also contains SPF to provide protection from damaging UV rays.
Origins' Ginzing moisturiser was the first "high-end" beauty product I ever purchased, and it has been a favourite ever since. However, as I have gotten older, my skin has turned oilier, and I find the super-hydrating formula a little too heavy for my complexion. This new serum, however, is filling the void. It gives skin a big slurp of hydration and provides the most convincing luminosity I've ever set my sights on.
For the rare days I actually have the energy to apply makeup at the moment, this is my reach-for. Containing kombucha and fermented ginger, it helps to energise and brighten, while microminerals provide a light-reflecting, pearly finish. When applied before makeup, it gives skin a beautiful glow all day long.
Coco&Eve is the brand responsible for formulating one of my favourite fake tans of all time, and these new face drops are equally as great. Just a couple of drops into my evening moisturiser has me waking up with a bronzed glow come morning.
For days when my washed-out complexion needs more of a helping hand, these drops provide an instant transformation. I simply add a couple of drops into my morning moisturiser for an instant fresh-faced, bronzy glow.
If I'm looking seriously pale, these are my tanning drops of choice. They're super subtle, which makes them great for very fair skin, but they're not the best for darker skin tones.
Infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid, not only do these drops leave skin looking naturally sun-kissed, but they also help in achieving a plumper, dewier complexion.
While tanning drops are a great way to achieve a winter glow without having to totally overhaul your routine, this tanning face serum is great when used alone. It offers up a natural-looking tan while delivering next-level hydration, and it's formulated with vitamin C for antioxidant protection.
Trust me when I say that, usually, highlighting powders aren't my thing. But this year, they're really having a moment. This quad of high-beam highlights from Dior is the perfect way to create the illusion of next-level radiance. Just a light dusting over the cheekbones is all you need because the pigments pack a serious punch.
For a more everyday look, one pump of this fluid mixed into my base is the ultimate way to create a faux glow. It veils the face with a bronzing tint to mimic that just-stepped-out-of-the-sun radiance. It's basically healthy-looking skin in a bottle.
I know I said I'm not a powder person, but Hourglass's Ambient Lighting powders are a total caveat to that rule. They melt onto the skin like butter and are almost undetectable. (The super-fine shimmer means they're not patchy in the slightest.) Use them on the high points of your face or all over to set makeup in place.
Just one dab of this onto the apples of the cheeks first thing in the morning is all it takes to totally liven up my complexion. It's formulated with a bunch of skin-loving ingredients, delivering the most beautifully dewy glow.
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.
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