It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, skin – our largest organ – is subject to some kind of injustice. In winter it’s central heating, biting winds and frigid temperatures, and in summer it’s the baking hot sun, drying it out to a crisp. Enter moisturiser, a core tenant of skincare routines that’s necessary to maintain our skin’s moisture barrier and help prevent environmental damage. Layering wise, experts agree that except for SPF, moisturiser is the last thing that you should apply in your routine, morning and night. If you put it on before, anything with a thinner consistency will struggle to absorb. OK now onto options. With such a dizzying array of moisturisers on offer, which one to choose? It’s a very personal decision, meaning no, you shouldn’t just use whatever your friend waxes lyrical about. His or her skin is very different to yours. If you’ve got sensitive skin that’s prone to flare ups, look for fragrance-free. If you’ve got desperately dry skin it’s no surprise that a richer, thicker formula works best. But maybe you’re prone to acne and conscious of thick formulas clogging your pores? In this case quenching gel-like formulas are your best friend. City dwellers meanwhile would do well to enlist formulas with potent antioxidants, to shield against the onslaught of pollutants. With something for every skin type, we've picked out five of our most popular formulas.
For Dry Skin: Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream, £85
A thick, unctuous and deeply luxurious moisturiser, a little, thankfully, goes a long way. There’s antioxidant rich aloe vera which is also great for inflammation, rich plant oils and Indian senna seed, which is known as a kind of natural hyaluronic acid. All in all, a stellar hydrator with a faint and fresh menthol scent.
For City Skin: Grown Alchemist Hydra-Repair+ Intensive Day Cream, £52
This rich but lightweight formula sinks in quickly, leaving no tackiness or residue (good if you're prone to spots and want to swerve formulas that sit on top of skin). With camellia, a powerful antioxidant to help stave off environmental aggressors, and geranium blossom, which has an astringent effect, effectively tightening skin, and lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, expect a fresher and tighter complexion.
For Pigmentation: Goldfaden Vital Boost - Even Skintone Daily Moisturiser, £60
If you’ve tried Goldfaden before you will need no convincing of its brilliance. The clue to this daily moisturiser is in the name. Rich in vitamin D, not only does it work to hydrate and support your skin’s defences, but, as its name suggests, it helps to even out skin tone and texture too. Maskne scars? Consider them gone.
For Sensitive Skin: Susanne Kaufmann Day Cream Line T, £56
A great choice for sensitive skin that’s easily offended, there’s chamomile to calm and soothe and St John’s wort, which has great antibacterial properties and helps to reduce inflammation. There’s also vitamin C to brighten, and rosehip kernel oil to protect against free radical damage. A real joy to use.
For All Skin and All Pockets: Weleda Skin Food Light, £8.25
A heavy duty, does it all formula that’s found in the kits of make-up artists and skin experts the world over. Skin Food is cult for good reason. With a more than palatable price tag, there’s no need to ration it. It’s thick and can feel oily but it’s super absorbent and oh so skilled at repairing cracks and chaps. Also great for hands, elbows and cuticles.