5 of The Best: Dry skin and rosacea remedies for winter-ravaged complexions

For a winter glow Fabled loves: Goldfaden MD’s Doctor Scrub

Life taking its toll on your skin? Marie Claire Senior Beauty Editor Fiona Embleton shares her best products for dry and rosacea prone stressed skin…

By Fiona Embleton

Gilly Ferguson

Moisturising – it’s as basic as breathing, right? Actually no. If you are persistently vexed by desert-dry skin you’ll know the struggle all to well. So here’s some sage advice: know your enemies so you can tailor your products to your concerns. Most dryness and irritation is self-inflicted.

Over-washing your face, for example, if it is oily can make matters worse by drying out the skin – something that leave skin both oily and dehydrated. Stick to a gentle cleansing regime using a soap-free product twice daily, instead. Overloading your skin with harsh anti-ageing products or the wrong mix of ingredients are the other main culprits for leaving skin red, dry and sensitive (think combining retinol with glycolic acid). “Microscopic cracks appear in the skin, which cause moisture to be lost and toxins and irritants to creep in,” says skincare expert Debbie Thomas. To reduce redness, stick to a bare-bones regime of cleansing, moisturising and SPF for two weeks and look for anti-inflammatory emollients such as squalene and glycerin.

The latest research from Clinique shows that pollution doesn’t just sit on the surface of your skin – nitrogen dioxide gas from car exhausts and toxic molecules attached to specks of soot can seep into the skin and disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier. “We’ve been able to prove that pollution tears tiny holes in the skin’s barrier, causing moisture loss,” says Dr Tom Mammone, Vice President of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology at Clinique.

Finally, the constant changes in temperature from central heating to wind-chill temperatures outside also leave skin feeling scaly – a problem that is exacerbated in those who suffer from eczema as their skin is already very dry skin due to being unable to retain much moisture. While thick emollients are best for eczema, the best moisturisers for dry skin include natural extracts such as jojoba and avocado oils; pollution-fighting antioxidants and natural moisturisers already found in the skin – things like hyaluronic acid, which is able to hold 1,000 times its weight in water and encourages skin to self-hydrate. With that in mind, here’s our edit of the best moisturisers for dry skin…

Overloading your skin with harsh anti-ageing products or the wrong mix of ingredients can leave skin red, dry and sensitive

Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser

By keeping skin’s moisture balance intact and infusing skin with anti-inflammatory ingredients, this extra-gentle cream-gel cleanser also helps calm down visible redness.

ESPA Balancing Treatment Oil

Dehydrated oily skin will benefit from this oil blend as lemon and rose geranium help to purify and clarify while jojoba and avocado nourish.


Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme + Global Anti Ageing Cell Power Creme

An unwanted side-effect of dryness is slack skin. The moringa extract in this daily moisturiser promises to boost skin's elasticity while leaving it soft to the touch.

Neals Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense Lift Serum

Pack full of frankincense essential oil, which has proven antioxidant and replumping powers. Apply to damp skin to ensure it penetrates deeply and locks in surface moisture.


Goldfaden MD Doctors Scrub

Dry skin still needs to be exfoliated – but gently to avoid redness. As well as tiny polishing crystals, this is formulated with antioxidant red tea extract and hyaluronic acid to deliver long-lasting hydration