Around this time of year our skin bears the brunt of the increased humidity outside and decreased humidity indoors as we turn on our central heating; the shifts between these environments plays havoc with our skin and can leave it dryer that we like; it can feel less hydrated, have some dry patches or eczema can flare up.
While we'd normally reach for the hyaluronic acid (HA) for a hit of hydration, Dr Sophie Shotter, founder and medical director at Illuminate Skin Clinic , advises against drenching our skin in the ingredient. "Overdoing it with the hyaluronic acid can actually end up making your skin dryer because it absorbs hydration from the surrounding areas, so some people do find that overuse of hyaluronic acid can make their skin dry."
So what to do? Sophie recommends using products containing ceramides to make the most out of your HA. Ceramides decrease transepidermal water loss, so after applying your hyaluronic acid, apply your ceramide skincare to lock the moisture in and help the skin cell membranes stay nourished, firm and bouncy and lock water within the skin. Product-wise Sophie suggests SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Ceramide Lipid Cream , £125 for 48ml or Cerave's Moisturising Cream , £9.75 for 340g.
Sophie also recommends dosing up on supplements during winter to give your skin a helping hand from the inside out, namely supps with hydrolysed collagen ; "When we take these they boost our collagen and HA levels within the skin by giving your body the components it needs to make those substances." She suggests Zenii Skin Fusion , £85.
Omegas are also great for hydrating the skin too, she tells us; omega 369 is what Sophie recommends to her eczema patients throughout the year but it's good for everyone at this time of year. Dr Sophie recommends Zenii Triple Omegas , £25
Additionally, Sophie suggests gently exfoliating a couple of times a week (she likes Institut Esthederm's AHA Peel , £35.50) and introducing a retinol to your skin such as The Inkey List's Retinol Serum , £9.99. Retinol helps make skin cells work more efficiently and produce more of their own hyaluronic acid by stimulating your own skin to produce more moisture-holding capacity.