Oils are your winter skin saviour, and there's one for everything
This time of year, oils are comforting and provide a protective layer for skin and hair
This week’s beauty column is a love letter to oil products and textures as the weather digs its heels in and we anticipate the cold slap of the first frost on our faces. Photograph: iStock
Oils can be frightening if you’re not accustomed to them. Not all oils are suitable for everyone, of course, but odds are there is one for you regardless of your skin type.
However, I’m not here on a conversion mission if you prefer to avoid facial oils. Rather, this week is a love letter to oil products and textures as the weather digs its heels in and we anticipate the cold slap of the first frost on our faces. Oils are comforting and provide a protective layer for winter skin and hair.
“Oil” in a beauty context is too often considered a facial moisturising product, but there are multiple textures and uses of oils for body, hair and face.
Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil (€17 for a litre at Boots) is bland (a very good skincare word) in the most restorative way. If cold weather always sees you shed a dusty layer of powdery white skin, it will help to cut back on soaps in the shower and wash with a cleansing oil. Yes, it will clean you thoroughly and no, it won’t leave you sticky; it will help to restore your skin’s natural barrier, which becomes compromised when skin is extremely dry. However, using an oil to moisturise after showering will make a real difference during the colder months, so I implore you to consider one, even if the feeling of oily skin after a shower usually gives you the heebie jeebies.
I keep Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil (from €17.70 at Arnotts) in the shower. Instead of applying it to dry skin after I get out, I apply it to clean, damp skin right after washing. It goes further, absorbs better, and none of it ends up on the floor. When I towel-dry my skin, the excess is removed, but the skin retains a protective layer of oil and feels deeply moisturised.
There are many cleansing balms on the market for every budget, so you don’t need to go to great expense to procure a good one. If you have the budget and inclination, though, and seek deep cleansing and comfort along with a dollop of immense luxury, Sisley Triple-Oil Balm Makeup Remover and Cleanser (€94.50 at Brown Thomas) is a dream to use. A very little bit melts away every trace of makeup and massaging the solid oil texture into your skin is something like I imagine it must feel to hug a particularly benevolent dolphin.
Weleda’s Skin food moisturiser is a favourite among celebrity makeup artists (even Kate Middleton reportedly loves it). Their Pomegranate Firming Facial Oil (€43 at Boots) is an ethically sourced blend of natural oils. It manages to soothe skin and impart glow without heavy greasiness, and dry or stressed skin will absorb it hungrily.
Finally, to hair, which will thirstily drink up Living Proof Vanishing Oil (€33 at livingproof.co.uk) so that even my fine and naturally oily hair is not rendered limp, but glossy and defrizzed.