Hydration and SPF: Gráinne's guide to winter skincare

Gráinne's guide to winter skincare

Different seasons bring different challenges to us and our skin. Therefore it's good to know what to do to combat these negative effects and look all dewy and rosy cheeked until Spring.

The main skin concerns during the colder months include, chapped lips, dehydration, dryness, sensitivity, irritation and redness. Below is the information you need to help.


Unless you are a vampire or a coal miner. You have to wear SPF every day of the year, Christmas day, your Birthday, and October 3rd (Mean Girls Day).

When you are tanning your backside in Magaluf later in the year (fingers crossed) you need to worry about UVB, which will burn your skin. But every single non sunny day, you need to worry about UVA. UVA rays are present in the winter and these are the rays responsible for AGING. So wear SPF to look 15 forever.

General Hydration

First thing to be aware of is the temperature and hydration drop, our skin loses hydration at a much faster rate in the winter, the dropping temperature outside is a contributor but also the central heating inside. This leaves the skin tight, more prone to sensitivity and feeling like it needs a little TLC. The best line of defense is a rich moisturiser full of calming ingredients. Pop some on under your SPF during the day and use a larger amount at night. This will protect and nourish your skin. A great option is from a brand available in pharmacys, Avene Skin Recovery Cream RICH €15. If you are slightly on the oilier side grab the Avene Skin Recovery Cream. Super affordable and packed with calming and nourishing ingredients like Avene Thermal water and winter saviour Squalane, AND its developed and manufactured with amazing research and care in Avene in France. Avene is one of the most under-rated brands for dry sensitive, dehydrated and reactive skin.

If your skin is really suffering and the application of the above moisturisers doesn't quite cut it, go for the Caudalie Moisturising Mask €25. If you're on the dryer side pop it on and leave it on overnight. If you are prone to breakouts, pop it on for 45 mins and remove and continue with your night time routine afterwards


Now, I know there is no more shifting going on, but don't ignore your lips. We will shift again!!

An all time favourite for both effectiveness and affordability is the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume Lips. Please don't spend €25 on a lip balm, it's madness, and if you read the ingredient lists, its daylight robbery.

Pop La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume Lips €7.95 on throughout the day, and if you are wearing a mask for work or for long periods, your lips will be that little bit more protected so you may not need so much. If you find yourself with the sniffles this season and your nose has seen better days, pop some lip balm on your nose too!

Lip balms are all about protecting and soothing the lips, but if they are cracked, sore and peeling, the all time best thing to actually cure them, is the Blistex Relief Cream €4.50 available in all good pharmacies. Ask your pharmacist before using and always patch test. Once the lips are nice and healed, start using the lip balm once again.

If you want to wear lipstick, a good tip is to line the lips and apply the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume Lips afterward.

Finally Diet and Supplements

Ensure your diet is full of good fats like those found in oily fish and avocados. Get yourself an Omega supplement like the Solgar Omega 3,6,9 €24. This is like having a moisturiser applied to your skin from the inside, the living layer of the skin and it is one of the best treatments for dry, sensitive and dehydrated skin. Always check with your Doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements.

Grainne Callaghan from Westmeath is the owner of Bright Skin, an online education and consultation service. Bright Skin offers Online Skin Assessments for clients and educational Webinars for people working with skin and skincare. She is a former teacher with a passion for educating people about skin and skincare and providing fact and science led information to her clients. No BS, no marketing, no sales targets, just honest advice.

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