Winter Skincare Wardrobe


As the colours change, and temperatures drop, the state of skin is temperamental, agitated and protesting the change. Over the years, I’ve come to a solid conclusion my skin has a mind of its own and I need to adapt it’s care needs accordingly.

With fluctuating environments of strong wind chills, to artificially heated offices, cars and homes my skin is almost in an eternally dehydrated and confused state. Whilst it’s predominantly combination skin, with an oily T-zone and drier cheeks, during winter the ‘combination situation’ is exasperated. In addition, let’s not forget to complicate matters worse with a bout of dehydration and breakouts. Now that the problem is sufficiently moaned about, here’s how I adapt my skincare regime.

Aim of the game is similar to Asian beauty routines, where a number of thin layers of hydration and nourishment products are slapped on. With this method, the skin remains hydrated and nourished for longer.


Cleansers typically I use oils or balms to remove makeup and second cleanse. Well that wouldn’t change for the evenings. However my morning cleanses, will include a lot more nourishing cream cleansers. Some of my faves in this category are, MV Organic Gentle Cream Cleanser, Trilogy Cream Cleanser and, and Good Things Manuka Cleanser.

Some mornings where I could get away without cream cleanser, I resort to milk cleansers and a strong fave has always been Institut Esthederm Osmoclean or Bioderma cleansing milks. New on the block is Forest Essentials Deeply Nourishing Cleansing Paste with ground paste of almonds, pistachios, and other lush Ayurvedic ingredients which provide skin gentle exfoliation and nourishment in one step. Smells Delish too!

Acid or other forms of exfoliation is driven strictly by my skin need, of how strong of an acid I use and which specific type of acid I use.  

Combination of various Acids: Dr Dennis Gross peels (of varying strengths), Biologique Recherché P50 range, MD Sun Skin Exfoliation Pads, Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads, M61 Power Peel, Neogen Wine Peeling Gauze

Glycolic Acid: Alpha H Liquid Gold, Bravura London Calendula Toner, Pixi Glow Tonic, Cane & Austin Miracle+ Pads, Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexurising Peel

Lactic Acid: Kate Somerville Clinic to go,  Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel

Milk Peels (the new thing!) – Primary Raw or Dr Jart+ milk peels are gentler on skin OR Pre Lab Toning Peeling tap which is essentially exfoliating with enzymes.


“Toning Mist & Amp up with Essences” A regular toning spritz post acid to stabilize the pH level in skin. Some examples could be basic floral hydrosols such as Rose Water by MV Organic, Alteya Organic, Santa Maria Novella, Whamisa Damask Rose, Andalou Naturals, Forest Essentials, Kama Ayurveda, Just Herbs etc. Or Zinc based like La Roche Posay Serozinc. Other toners with a combination of ingredients to hydrate and provide other benefits to skin could include Farmacy Skindew, Patyka Revitalizing Toner, Sjal Mineral Kalla toner, Antipodes, Aesop or Trilogy toners.


These toning mists are then followed by serious hydrating or fermented essences to inject and plump the skin. My absolute fave is Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Toner, and from same brand Refresh and Original are just as wonderful. To name a few others: Decleor HydraFloral Essence Lotion, Blithe Vital Treatment Essences, Earth’s Recipe Energy Boosting Toner, Missha Time Revolution The First Essence Mist, Bio Essence 24 Gold Water, Shiseido Ibuki essence, Rohto Hadalabo Shirojyun or Gokujun.


Masks including Sheet Masks Lots of hydration and moisturizing masks, good ol’ sheet masks are fabulous in this category. In saying so, I also throw in one detoxifying or purifying mask, least once a week. I tend to incorporate this everyday if not every second day. Masks are the best way to turbo boost and treat the skin.

Serums or Ampoules are used as usual to specifically target the problem of the day/week/month/season. I have a whole separate post on Guide to Serums for all conditions and skins.

Moisturisers and Oils are the cornerstone of protecting skin’s barrier and thoroughly nurturing it with lovely oils and ingredients. Some wonders which have stood the test of time with me are; Decleor HydraFloral, Mahogany Naturals Manuka Honey Cream, Whamisa Fermented Water Cream and Nourishing Cream, Bravura London Azulene Cream, Pistache Skincare Hydrating Moisturiser, Missha Misa Geum Sul Emulsion, Yuri Pibu Asiatica, Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream.

Here’s a tip if you don’t want to invest in a separate night cream however are quite content with your  regular moisturiser, just add few drops of oil to your day cream and use in your night routine.



Balms have a special place in my heart and stash! I view them as amplified  version of oils, and of course more lush experience as well. Strong fave continues to be Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm, followed by Mahogany Naturals Blue Lover, May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo Balm, Darphin Purifying balm, Decleor Rose d’Orient balm. In terms of lip balm, there was one and always be the one, Nuxe Reve de Miel. The rich beeswax coats the lips and leaves it matte. In saying so, I have a separate post on Lip Balms which explores other lip products too.


Since I complete my evening skincare routine by 5pm, I Re-balm or Re-Oil my skin one more time before bed. Or mist SKII Overnight Essence, which is moisturizing to skin but also leaves a tingly refreshed feel on the skin. Other categories to nourish much drier skins also includes Overnight Masks which can be argued is a richer version of a night cream.

How do you plan to amp up your skincare routine for the winter?



Decleor HydraFloral


Decléor, a French brand established over 40 years ago, has a penchant of developing and mastering gorgeous skincare with essential oils. As pioneers of Aromatherapy skincare, Decléor combines the best of nature with scientific expertise to masterfully blend powerful, 100% Natural, Active and Pure essential oils, developing exceptional and innovative formulations for an effective and result driven Aromatherapy skincare. The oils are responsibly sourced and masterfully extracted to conserve these precious, yet fragile extracts. The philosophy of all Decléor professional treatments originates from traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the study of meridians and reflexology points.

Decléor recently launched their Hydra Floral collection to address everyday concerns of modern lifestyle where the skin is exposed to variety of pollution factors contributing to skin damage, inflammation, clogged pores, resulting in pre-mature skin aging. I was recently sent (PR sample) the Active Lotion and Light Cream to try. Knowing my love for skincare with essential oils, I knew I would fall head over heels.

Hydra Floral Anti Pollution Hydrating Active Lotion 

Claims: Groundbreaking fresh and fluid hydrating lotion activates and strengthens skin’s foundation with potent natural pro-youth extracts: Neroli Essential Oil, Moringa Oliferi and Hyaluronic Acid for an immediately hydrated and comforted feel. It delivers energy and vitality, addresses visible signs of aging, hydrates, and promotes a smooth and supple complexion.

Packaged in a beautiful glass bottle with twist top lid, the lotion has consistency, thicker than water but thinner than gel (I guess we could call it water with some density). The texture of this lotion is similar to East Asian lotions. Once patted in skin is almost immediately absorbs in skin.

The scent of this product is truly captivating. Since I’ve received this product, I’ve reached for it the most (leaving behind my Shiseido The Ginza Lotions, Estée Lauder Micro Essence, and Bio essence 24K Gold Water – reviewed here). I was away for work travel and on my way home I couldn’t wait till I patted this lotion in my skin and inhaled the glorious floral scent.



  • Plant glycerin – Super hydrated & soft skin
  • Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) – Soothed skin
  • Natural Hyaluronic Acid (HA) – Smoothed skin ; Immediate & long lasting hydration
  • Wild Pansy (Viola Tricolor) – Lasting skin radiance and healthy glow
  • Néroli Essential Oil (Citrus Aurantium Amara – Bitter Orange tree flower extract) – Moisturized , relaxed and glowing skin
  • Moringa Oleifera (Africa, Drum Stick tree seed) – Stronger skin
  • Samphire (Crithmum maritimum extract) – Energized and clear complexion
  • Sunflower Extract (Helianthus annus) – Youthful looking skin

For AM application I pat this in skin straight after cleansing my face. However in the evening, usually followed by an exfoliation toner or an acid tone (especially fantastic after Biologique Recherché P50 – gets rid of vinegar scent). It’s excellent for hydration and instantly soothes skin (if irritated). I think this will be my BFF in summer months.

Hydra Floral 24-hour Hydration Activating Light Cream

Claims: Incorporates micro-droplets of essential oils into a water based gel to create a fresh, fluid formula that deeply hydrates and protects the skin. Combining the latest in hydration innovation with a light formula, this moisturiser offers 24-hour hydration and multi-protection. This new addition to the Hydra Floral range is soft to the touch without any stickiness for immediately visible results. After use the skin is full of moisture just like a flower. It is perfectly hydrated and fresh. Optimally protected, its beauty is preserved.

Active ingredients: P103084924-hour Hydration: Wild pansy extract, Samphire Extract and Neroli Essential Oil, 24-hour Protection: Moringa Oleifera Proteins and Sunflower Extract

Interestingly the formulation has Alcohol Denat however it doesn’t dry the skin at all. Another addition which got my attention was Salicylic Acid (14th ingredient).

Housed in a thick bottom glass jar with a twist open lid, the texture and consistency is light, whipped and almost gel like. I used this under makeup and at night after my serum. Whilst the moisturizer absorbs instantly without a sticky or greasy feel, it made my skin oily during the day. Of course, number of other factors should be considered as humidity and spending a Lot of time in centralized heating tends to make my skin oilier. In terms of hydration, it worked well in conjunction with hydration serum. In isolation, it performs well too, however my skin needed more. For my PM routines, I follow this after some acid and treatment serums and the results are wonderful. No congestion or dryness noted with this cream. There is a richer version available for drier skins.

Personally, the star product for me from this HydraFloral collection is Active Lotion. I’m hooked on it and will purchase it once I’m through with this bottle.

Have you tried this collection or any other Decléor products you highly recommend?