Beauty and the blizzard

Winter is approaching; you can virtually feel your skin tightening up in protest. But what do the skincare experts recommend to combat a jaded complexion during the darker months? Rosie Greenaway takes notes

While Britain’s climate is classed as temperate, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel Arctic during winter’s peak. As temperatures plummet and the wind howls, skin suffers; complexions typically become dull and dehydrated. But those in the know have a fool-proof strategy for keeping skin buffed, beautiful and blemish-free in wintertime. Step into their world and let their knowledge help transform the faces of winter-weary customers – because with the right care the epidermis can flourish, even in the depths of December.  

Coco, not Chanel 
Imagine starting your brand off the back of a ‘cease and desist’ letter from Chanel. For founder Roshanne Dorsett, that’s part of the story of The Glowcery. At the time, it was a frustrating roadblock for a business with legs. “I opened it and I was so confused; I thought I was being punked,” she recalls. Chanel’s objection was with her trading name, Cocolem – a play on the two main ingredients of the start-up’s lip balms: coconut oil and lemon seed oil. “When I went to trademark that name, Chanel wrote this … threatening eight-page letter. They said that … Cocolem was too close to Coco Chanel and that if I was to continue trading as Cocolem, customers would think that my brand is in some way tied to theirs. That’s a reach. We don’t have similar values, our target market is different, our whole mission is different.” Dorsett offered to make the logo – featuring half a coconut and half a lemon – more prominent, so customers could see the inspiration behind the name, but Chanel wouldn’t budge. 

Initial sadness about forfeiting the trademark was soon replaced by a new game plan and The Glowcery was born, attracting legions of loyal, engaged customers.
“I feel like the brand’s stronger, more unique. It speaks for itself,” Dorsett says.

With four winter seasons under her belt, she is confident in predicting what fills beauty shoppers’ baskets during the cold months. “For bodycare it would be our Coco Cloud Whipped Body Butter. It’s made with three natural butters – mango, cocoa and ucuuba, an Amazonian butter full of vitamin A which helps to smooth the skin to make it feel a lot more supple and radiant. It also contains aloe vera – a natural emollient. Emollients help to fill in the rough patches of the skin and make it smooth to touch. I notice a lot more customers shopping for body butter as opposed to the body oil during the winter months, just because it adds that deeper level of hydration. Whilst it is a thicker moisturizer, it’s not greasy; that’s one of the key things I wanted to be mindful of when I was formulating. It provides long-lasting hydration [and] smells like After Eights!” 

The holy grail
When it comes to maintaining a healthy-looking complexion during winter, Dorsett has a few tricks up her professional sleeve. As a qualified beauty therapist she can do everything from microdermabrasion facials to providing product guidance – and tired, sullen skin is a complaint she’s used to advising on. 

So what happens to skin in winter to make it appear so lacklustre? For starters, transepidermal water loss is especially prominent when there’s a change in weather temperature. “The skin can feel very tight and inflamed and you tend to get dry, rough patches.” In those with darker skin tones this can show up as grey or hyperpigmented areas, while lighter skin tones are likely to experience redness.

Then there’s dehydration, triggered by too much time spent in central hea-
ting. Paired with a lack of sun exposure, it’s not exactly a recipe for a gorgeous
glow. The market certainly isn’t lacking in moisture-locking options, but as Dorsett points out you can throw all the product in the world on your face and reap no benefits if you haven’t first prepared your canvas; one of the secrets to flourishing winter skin is some behind-the-scenes prep. Enter: scrub season. 

“The key is exfoliation. Having your skin in the best possible condition to really absorb the optimal nutrients of your skincare products is going to pay dividends when the winter months come. People may find they’re using a mois-turizer [or] a serum, but their skin is still dry; that says that it’s not really penetrating those deeper layers, and physical exfoliation really does … help with the absorption.” 

Steps one and two in Dorsett’s holy grail of winter skincare are exfoliation and cleansing – and it’s a head-to-toe job. “In winter we tend to wear a lot of layers and our skin doesn’t get a lot of exposure to the elements, so that can prevent the skin’s natural process of exfoliating itself. I use exfoliating gloves just to help smooth down the skin and … buff away those dead skin cells so the products get deeper into the epidermis.” The Glowcery’s Blue Dew Fruit Enzyme Oil to Milk Cleanser does the double job of removing dirt and gently exfoliating thanks to papaya and pineapple enzymes, removing make-up and SPF without stripping the skin. “I double cleanse more in the winter. I travel to London quite a bit – at the end of the day my skin just feels like … I need to give my face a proper wash. The Tube is grimy, London is polluted – you don’t want to go to bed with that on your skin because that can then exacerbate any other skin issues.”

From there, Dorsett typically layers her skincare: a thinner moisturizer first, full of emollients and hum-ectants such as vegetable glycerine or hyaluronic acid; then a thicker moisturizer featuring shea or cocoa butter, plus aloe vera to help lock in the water content from the looser moisturizer. 

Because of frequent exposure to the elements, lips shouldn’t be ignored either – especially if you’re a chronic lip-licker. “I tend to get dry, flaky lips in winter and our Coconut Crumble Superfood Lip Scrub helps. It exfoliates but leaves your lips hydrated so when you apply the Sweet Orange Superfood Natural Lip Balm it’s a double hit of hydration.” 

Winter complexions can also benefit from lymphatic drainage facial massage – another service offered by Dorsett. “Lymphatic drainage helps stimulate and remove excess toxins and excess water. People may find that their skin looks a bit lacklustre and the manual manipulation and the facial techniques that I use can help to bolster the oxygen underneath the skin, and then the oxygen can help produce collagen and help with elastic. After a facial they see that sculpted, radiant look. Customers are always in awe of the result; the difference is incredible.”

Winter wish list
If you’re a retailer you can take that swirl of autumn leaves outside as a timely reminder to reassess your skincare offer before the ravages of winter take their toll on your customers’ faces. Let’s start with what might already be on your shelves before looking at what you can add. 

Few can dispute the efficacy of Weleda’s famed Skin Food – it’s the reason this cult beauty staple has reached such staggering sales heights; MD Jayn Sterland reports that the ‘little green hero’ sells in a day what Weleda’s Wild Rose Day Cream sells across an entire year. With figures so impressive, it makes commercial sense to stock the brand’s new Skin Food Face Care collection. The trio of Skin Food Nourishing Cleansing Balm, Nourishing Day Cream and Nourishing Night Cream address struggling winter visages with a less dense take on the original product, while the Ultra-Light Dry Oil brings softness and glow to arms and legs without leaving residual grease on the skin. 

For anyone yet to discover the wonders of the resurrection plant – a species native to southern Africa that can survive extreme dehydration – Catarina de Avillez, founder of The Natural Africa, is here to enlighten. Her Resurrection Moisturiser is ‘a delicate, nourishing lightweight’ cream harnessing the powers of the plant, delivering a formula which ‘promotes rapid hydration and skin cell production’. “The properties of resurrection plant are known for enhancing skin hydration for 24 hours after a single application, making it ideal in the cold weather. In our vegan and organic moisturizer you’ll find a nourishing blend of natural oils, vitamins, antioxidants and omegas, including rejuvenating ingredients like Aloe ferox, mongongo, baobab and African mahogany. These botanical specialists work harmoniously to breathe life into tired skin.”

Customers planning to jet off in search of apricity might be interested in a tub of Zohi Sun Kissed. When taken three weeks in advance of winter sun exposure this exotic fruit-flavoured gummy is said to prolong a tan and provide self-tanning benefits thanks to the inclusion of copper, beta-carotene and lutein. You’ll also want to send them off with Green People’s Scent Free Facial SPF15 Sun Cream, to be applied over moisturizer for essential UV protection, and one of its gua sha tools (available in jade or obsidian) which can improve blood flow and relieve puffiness, making is a hand luggage essential. 

Chilly morning dog walks through the biting brume call for a seri-ous shield. Vegan and suitable for all skin types, Good Health Naturally’s new Revitalising Moisturiser is ‘carefully crafted from skin-loving ingredients’ and is perfect for any winter skincare routine. “It combines CoQ10, the powerful plant-based retinol alternative bakuchiol and natural ingredients such as aloe, sweet almond, oat and avocado oils,” says the brand. “It also includes the micronutrient biotin to support optimum skin health. CoQ10 provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage, while bakuchiol provides hydration and nourishment to the skin without the potential irritation of traditional retinoids. Together, they can help to protect and nourish the skin during the harsh winter months.” 

Supporting skin from November to March means more than just topical applications. Vitl’s Collagen & Vitamin C Effervescent supports collagen creation and protects skin cells with antioxidants. With each serving, 1,000mg of hydrolyzed marine collagen and 80g of vitamin C are absorbed into the dermis via blood vessels, stimulating natural collagen production to help prevent sallow skin during the hibernal season.


Five minutes with Faace
What do you see as the biggest stressors on skin in winter? 

Dry skin is the constant battle in winter. It’s all the change in temperatures which can cause stress. Outside it can be cold, which can leave skin dehydrated; then you head into central heating and … this can also sap moisture from your complexion. And it’s tempting to have hotter showers, which can be drying. Also, it’s not ideal when people stop applying SPF in the winter months, as they’re not protecting their skin from premature ageing. 

What does a winning winter skincare routinelook like to you?  

Because you’re battling dryness, the key is keeping things hydrated at every step – not overloading the skin and causing even more stress to an already stressed-out complexion. I’d opt for a creamier cleanser with nourishing ingredients, followed up with a heavier moisturizer. I’m spot-prone, so I need something that’s going to moisturize without causing breakouts. Consistency is key; you’re going to get cumulative benefits if you stick with the same routine. Cleanser-wise, Dull Faace contains hydrators like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Having a gentle exfoliant in there, such as citric acid (AHA), helps to make sure skin can really absorb the benefits of any moisturizing ingredients, and fight rough skin. If you’re even less inclined to do a laborious skin routine on the darker mornings, then you want easy-to-use but effective products. Filthy Faace Face & Body Bar is a one-stop-shop for cleansing your face and body – so when heading into the shower, you know you only need to grab one thing. It’s vegan and handmade and has a base of glycerine and shea butter, meaning it puts back whilst it takes off. In the daytime I’ll use an SPF no matter the weather, and at night I’ll slather on a thicker amount of Stress Faace, sometimes opting for a mask instead. 

What are the benefits of overnight masking? 

Throughout the day, your skin is often absorbing dirt, pollution and make-up, so with the best intentions, it can mean you’re not soaking up all of the benefits of your skincare. As we sleep, the temperature of our skin rises due to increased blood flow so you can experience a higher loss of moisture and water, which is why your skin might feel dehydrated first thing in the morning. Applying an overnight mask helps to lock in much-needed moisture … with a higher length of time for skin to absorb any active ingredients.


Castor Oil from Heritage Store

Heritage Store
Tel: 0800 0851 697

A nourishing single-ingredient treatment that is perfect for the winter months, Heritage Store’s bestselling Castor Oil protects and shields skin and hair, keeping it hydrated and providing long-lasting moisture for skin and nails.
Ideal for all skin types, castor oil can be brushed onto hair and brows as part of a nightly routine and is also available with lavender for a soothing and relaxing treatment. Leaders in soul-to-skin beauty since 1969, Heritage Store’s castor oils are vegan, hexane-free and contain no artificial dyes, harsh preservatives, phthalates, or sulfates.
Available from Hunt’s Food Group, CLF, Jumla and Independent Irish Health Foods. For more information call 0800 0851 697


Naturally beautiful overnight with lavera 

Pravera Ltd
Tel: 01557 870203
E-mail:  [email protected]

Discover a well-rested and radiant fresh complexion in the morning with the Re-Energizing Sleeping face care line from lavera. It is the unique night-time care routine to regenerate, revitalise and support natural cell renewal during the night. The Re-Energizing Sleeping range includes three innovative products; a Sleeping Night Cream, Oil Elixir and an Eye Cream, enriched with a powerful plant based active ingredient complex of organic grape and vitamin E to give the skin new energy during the night, combat signs of tiredness and gives the skin a radiant, soft feel in the morning. Certified natural and organic by Natrue and registered vegan with the Vegan Society. 


Silicea Kollagen Plus

WFBM Healthcare
Tel: 01782 528611
E-mail:  [email protected]

The award winning Silicea Kollagen Plus is the perfect solution to enhance the skins beauty during the colder months.
Central heating, cold air and less natural sunlight can play havoc on the skin’s appearance increasing moisture loss leading to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Silicea Kollagen plus contains clinically proven Verisol collagen, the exclusive Silicea Silica and 150mg of Haplex Plus Hyaluronic acid and completed with Vitamin C and Lotus blossom extract.
Unlike some collagen supplements Silicea Kollagen plus has an incredible taste which is derived from the addition of apple and mango pulp with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
The product is supported by free sampling and point of sale material.


Revitalising Moisturiser

Wholesale Health Ltd
Tel: 01606 889905
E-mail:  [email protected]

Revitalising Moisturiser is carefully crafted from skin-loving ingredients and is perfect for your winter skincare routine. It combines Co-enzyme Q10, the powerful plant-based retinol alternative Bakuchiol Oil, and natural ingredients such as aloe, sweet almond, oat, and avocado oils. It also includes the micronutrient biotin to support optimum skin health. CoQ10 provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage, while bakuchiol provides hydration and nourishment to the skin without the potential irritation of traditional retinoids. Together, they can help to protect and nourish the skin during the harsh winter months. No parabens or artificial ingredients. For all skin types. 100ml. Vegan. 


SOS Skin Balm

Wild Atlantic Surf Co
Tel: 07743 894414
E-mail:  [email protected]

SOS Skin Balm has been formulated for SKIN THAT NEVER STAYS IN. 100% natural and vegan friendly it is packed full of ingredients from the Ocean. A blend of 3 seaweed extracts (Irish Moss, Golden Kelp and Brown Kelp) all found on the Atlantic coastline help preserve the skin’s natural protective layer and fight dryness. Deep sea Irish Magnesium protects against harsh external conditions and aids cell regeneration whilst Organic Hemp oil soothes and hydrates your skin. Apply on face and body before outdoor and water activities as a protective barrier balm or afterwards as a soothing moisturiser.


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Having spent the early part of career putting her BA (Hons) in Media Writing to use as a freelancer writer across a number of industries – from wellbeing, food and travel to design and events – Rosie Greenaway’s post as editor of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News began in 2017. In 2018 she co-launched NPN’s 30 under 30 initiative, is a regular presenter and speaker on industry panels, is a judge of several awards schemes in food and beauty (from the Soil Association’s BOOM Awards to the Who’s Who in Green Beauty Scandinavia) and acts as an Advisory Board Member for the Sustainable Beauty Coalition.