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28th Sep 2023

Skincare experts list the ingredients we need to phase in during winter

Sophie Collins

Skincare, winter

Winter is fast approaching but temperatures have already dropped. This, combined with the wet weather will begin to play havoc with our skin.

Our summer skincare needs are much different to the winter necessities, so two aestheticians have listed exactly what we need to be phasing into our routines now.

Idealo partnered with Ridah Syed, a Senior Medical Aesthetician at Skinfluencer London and dermatologist Dr. Hamdan Abdullah Hamed, to find out the best ways to look after your skin during winter.

Their advice also includes a list of products people should be avoiding in the colder months.


First up, it’s exfoliant. Experts recommend this during the winter as it can remove dry, flaky skin, allowing moisturisers to be absorbed more effectively and stimulating the growth of new, healthy skin cells.

They also help prevent clogged pores caused by heavier winter creams and enhance the effectiveness of other skincare products.


Using retinol in winter is great as it promotes skin renewal; addressing issues like fine lines and uneven tone intensified by harsh weather.

It’s also a good time to reduce sun damage from prior months with retinol, as sun exposure tends to be lower in winter.

Ridah Syed warns people to be careful “if you’ve not used retinol for a few months, you may need to re-introduce it slowly by using products with a lower percentage of retinol until your skin gets used to the ingredient again”.

Beta Hydroxy Acids

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid, are particularly beneficial for winter skincare.

They effectively exfoliate dry and flaky winter skin, preventing dullness and clogged pores.

BHAs also help combat winter breakouts and improve skin texture, making them a valuable addition to your cold-weather skincare routine.

Vitamin A

Using vitamin A, often in the form of retinol, in winter is good because it promotes skin renewal, helping to combat dryness and maintain a healthy glow in the face of harsh weather conditions. It can also repair sun damage accumulated during the previous months when UV exposure was higher.

Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid

Ridah Syed advises: “The skin may also become dehydrated during winter, so it is important to use a multi-molecular hyaluronic acid”.

It offers multi-layered hydration, helping to combat the dryness and dehydration caused by cold air and indoor heating.


Ridah Syed explains, “SPF is still your skin’s best friend so make sure to keep applying it daily in the morning”.

It is important as UV radiation is still present, even on cloudy days, and can cause skin damage, premature ageing, and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Wearing SPF is also essential when using retinol, BHAs and vitamin A as they increase sunlight sensitivity.

Oil-free moisturiser

“When it comes to the skin on your body, as it is more covered during the winter months, conditions such as dermatitis and keratosis pilaris can be more prevalent.

Applying an oil-free moisturiser that contains lactic acid or urea is a great option here,” Ridah Syed and Dr. Hamdan Abdullah Hamed say.

Oil-free moisturisers are also good as they can be easily layered with other skincare products, such as serums or treatments, allowing you to customise your skincare routine for your skin’s specific needs during the winter months.