The 6-Step PM Skincare Routine That'll Keep You Hydrated All Winter Long

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The winter is undoubtedly the toughest season on skin. Even the oiliest of skin types can find themselves experiencing some dryness come November/December time, and the super cold air is even less friendly to dry or dehydrated complexions. With this in mind, it's a really good idea to make a few changes to your regime, particularly before bed, when you can pile on the layers of hydration. From cleansing to moisturising, I've tried to come up with the best nighttime skincare routine for winter.

I've been trying new products and different combinations for years now, and the ultimate winter beauty cliche is usually true: more is more. Switching out your lighter moisturisers and opting for layers (it's not just for getting dressed, you know) is recommended, but there are also some other changes you may want to make to really prolong your hydration levels, especially if you're spending lots of time outside or live in particularly chilly climates. Changing up your usual cleansing routine, for example, should be considered, while products like mists can keep things going during dry days and nights.

Your night time routine is the perfect opportunity to amp up the hydration. While you should of course still keep things moisturised in the mornings, you can't really pack it on like you can before bed time, especially if you wear makeup (skin can become a little too greasy for product to grip and stay put). With that in mind, here's the routine I have come to swear by:


Remove makeup with a rich balm

Beauty Pie

First up, you should switch out any kind of stripping cleansing formulas that contain heavy acids in them, and put away your micellar water for the time being. A nourishing cleansing balm is far kinder to skin in the winter time, and removes makeup gently. When it comes to texture; the richer, the better. My favourite balm is the Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm by Beauty Pie, closely followed by the globally loved Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.


Follow up with a creamy cleanser


Double cleansing is still important in the winter, but using the correct formulas is important, as you don't want to strip your skin of its natural oils. For this reason, opt for a creamy cleanser rather than a foam or gel, which can leave skin feeling a little tight, particularly if you already suffer from dryness. Aesop's Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk, for example, is perfect.


Reach for a hyaluronic serum or lotion

Hada Labo

We all know how wonderful hyaluronic acid is, and can probably no longer recount the amount of times we've read about its ability to hold its own weight in water by 1000x. While rich creams are important for hydration, it's the steps you take before which will result in longer-lasting hydration during the chilly winter months. Hyaluronic acid serums are always recommended (I like the one by Skinceuticals or The Inkey List's super affordable option), but I've taken to applying my hyaluronic via a Japanese 'lotion'. You apply these with cotton wool as you would toner, and they leave skin feeling nourished and never tacky like some serums can. The best of the best is by Hada Labo, which you can buy on Amazon or Yes Style.


Add in a hydrating oil

The Ordinary

As previously mentioned, the key to keeping skin hydrated and warding off dryness in the long term is layering. Prior to your moisturiser application, it really helps to layer on the hydrating formulas. After your hyaluronic lotion, reach for a nourishing plant-based oil to add another layer to lock in moisture. Again, there are so many to choose from, including The Ordinary's Rose Hip Oil, as well as the elixirs by Darphin, which are super concentrated.


Switch in a rich cream

Augustinus Bader

Now onto the main event: the moisturiser. Come winter, lightweight gels and lotions are out, and rich, luxurious-feeling creams are in. If you want to keep your skin feeling hydrated all through the night, you'll need to upgrade to a richer formula. My favourite is The Rich Cream by Augustinus Bader, which is backed by ground breaking science and techy advances. The only problem is that it's not cheap, but fear not; there are other options. The Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream is a great all-rounder, while anything by Shiseido will sort you out too.


Top up with a mist


If you wake up in the night feeling a little dry, reach for a sip of water, and have a spritz of something to hydrate the surface of your skin. Keep Disciple's Juicy Mist by your bedside for a morning hydration hit, too.