Irritated by the winter scourge of dehydrated skin? Help is at hand

Beauty: It may come as a surprise but dehydrated skin isn’t the same as dry skin

Dehydrated skin is a scourge at this time of year, it indicates skin lacks water, while dry skin lacks oil. You can identify dehydrated skin from dry skin by the fact that although it feels tight and uncomfortable, it may still be oily and congested. While dry skin is slow to absorb the products you apply, dehydrated skin will positively drink them up, and while dry skin might look lacking in plumpness, dehydrated skin has a dull look to it, with fine lines that suddenly look far more visible.

The combination of artificially heated indoor environments and the sudden blasts of capillary-constricting cold we face as soon as we go outdoors is unsettling to the skin. Both environments sap hydration. Apart from ensuring that you are drinking enough water and eating well, applying hydrating skincare will keep skin comfortable.

A good hydrating serum is a brilliant product for everyone at any time of year, but will work harder for you during winter. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum (€72.10, is absolutely wonderful and immediately relaxes tight skin, injecting it with moisture and boosting the effectiveness of any hydrating moisturiser you apply on top.

For a more affordable hydrating serum (serums, as treatment products, tend to be more expensive than other skincare), try Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defence Serum (€31.50) or the water cream from that range (€29) for an extra layer of protection, which is light and instantly absorbed. Both are designed to protect the skin from harsh city environments, but have the added benefit of being great hydrators.


Dehydrated and dry skin around the eyes can plague some people during winter. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Contour Yeux (€19.99) tackles both dryness and dehydration around eyes, leaving an invisible but soft, protective layer behind to shield fragile skin from the worst of harsh temperatures and temperature changes. This is not a product you will need unless you suffer with mild flaking or uncomfortable tightness around the eyes. However, if you do, this should help quite quickly.

A good moisturiser is essential all year round, and I love Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Crème (€84) for injecting instant hydration in winter, while not exacerbating increased oiliness in summer. It is certainly an investment product, and if you wouldn't dream of spending so much on a face cream (or simply can't), Bioderma, La Roche-Posay and Avène offer some nice alternative hydrating creams. The Chanel moisturiser is, however, highly effective, making skin instantly plump and comfortable, and providing a sumptuous base for make-up.

If after starting a good hydrating serum and moisturiser regime, and confirming that your skin is not simply dry, and that it is in fact lacking in oil, you may need to up your hydrating product quotient to include a mask. There are plenty available for every budget, but my favourite is the classic Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask (€39). A tube should last well over a year (you only need to use it when your skin needs a bit of extra assistance), and can be slept in. You'll awake to a freshened, hydrated face.