10 holy grail beauty products for winter

Ah yes, it’s winter again – but don’t think that the beauty routine you preferred over the summer will carry you through as the crisp and icy grasp embraces us. As you find joy in pulling out your most chic coats and cosiest jumpers for the chilly season, your attention should also be headed north of your fashion, to the best winter beauty products and skin savers for skin, body and hair. With temperatures plummeting, heat blasting and biting frosts causing everything to dry up and crack, we’ve done the hard work for you by selecting holy grail products to dial down the exfoliation, keep your skin barrier strong, load up on antioxidants and nail your nighttime routine. Prepare to be blown away!

The cleanser: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Purifying Cream Cleanser 

Prone to dry, flaky skin or a sluggish, lacklustre and congested complexion? This gentle but hardworking cream cleanser with a little lather could be the ultimate antidote. Add it to your cart and you’ll never look back! Although the creamy, peach-toned cleansing lotion feels indulgent to use, it also blitzes makeup and grime as well as delivers some serious anti-irritation and redness magic, with Elizabeth Arden’s go-to Ceramide 3. Fabulous for your first and second cleanse, we advise massaging it into dry skin and removing it with a cloth, but it can also be massaged into damp skin. It’s forever our fave. 

R465 from Woolworths, Edgars and Foschini

The essence: Filorga NCEF-Essence 

If your aim each day is to drench your skin with hydration, an essence can help you out. While traditionally, toners are thought of as a pH balancing, clarifying step, essences infuse the skin with hydration and anti-ageing actives. We’re big fans of Filorga, so it’s no surprise that this essence is our top pick. This velvety concentrate infused with hyaluronic acid refines the skin’s look and texture as well as soothes and brightens even the most sensitive skin. We’re always impressed with its skin-resurfacing ability, but what we love even more is how quickly we see a difference – even after a few days of use. 

R710 from www.skinmiles.com and www.absoluteskin.co.za 

The night serum: Environ Focus Care Youth+ Seriénce Night Serum 

Our bodies – and skin – work the night shift when we’ve drifted off to sleep and while we’re dreaming. That’s why switching up your nighttime skincare routine can be well worth it. The best place to get your souped-up nightly skin hit is through this brand-new night serum that proves beauty sleep isn’t a myth. The advanced overnight booster’s genius formula contains malachite-neuropeptide complex, which goes deep into the skin to protect, reset, relax and reconnect – cell by cell, night by night. It expertly tackles the negative long-term effects of stress to boost your complexion, leaving you with a radiant glow. 

R995 from select salons 

The moisturiser: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 

Craving nourished, healthier-looking skin? We can’t talk about moisturisers without naming a cult classic praised by the skin-obsessed and experts alike. This lipid-packed anti-ageing cream, filled with 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol and 2% fatty acids, will deliver your best skin yet. The slippery white cream is as sumptuously soft as butter, has a very faint fresh scent and quickly melts into skin while helping to moisturise, repair, protect and plump lines. A little goes a long way, so savour every last drop of this spendy medical-grade cream. We love using it at night to wake up to the skin of our dreams. 

R2,780 from www.dermastore.co.za 

The eye cream: Zero Eye Cream 

Especially in winter, an eye cream is a beauty cabinet necessity to keep your under-eye area looking and feeling great. Smoother eyes are just a (gentle) tap away with this 100% natural, vegan and sustainably packaged eye cream. Imagine the sagging, tired skin around your eyes could have a double shot (or a matcha latte … or almond milk Americano) every morning – well, it kind of can with this plant-based wonder. Slathered under the eye, the satisfying texture deeply hydrates and plumps without slipping into your eyes, which is ideal if you’re sensitive. You might be tempted to skip concealer altogether! 

R299 from www.superbalist.com, Dis-Chem and Foschini 

The exfoliator: Lamelle Cathepzyme 1 

To scrub, slough or chemically dissolve? As much as using a good scrub on your complexion feels like it has to be working, the not-so-apparent damage it could be doing to your skin is rather frightening. The answer to this beauty conundrum is to skip scrubs and opt for this gentle, three-minute home exfoliation system that’s easy on the skin and will give you that dewy glow you’re always yearning for. Not only do you get a radiant glow after using this chemical exfoliator, it also alleviates those common beauty blunders like uneven skin texture, fine lines and age spots. It’s truly a five-star product. 

R600 from www.dermastore.co.za

The face oil: Sothys Essential Lipid Elixir 

This regenerative face oil is a no-brainer for plumping up parched skin. Alongside the nutri-omega 3.6.9 complex, jojoba and rice bran oils prevent moisture from escaping, so skin feels pillowy and looks glowing. If you’ve found a moisturiser you love, there’s no need to switch it out for a heavier-hitter just because it’s winter. Instead, blend a drop of this ultra-luxurious oil into your cream to give it an extra hit of moisture. Quickly absorbed, it’s great for day under makeup, but we also like using this oil on its own at night (three drops is ample) to feed all the goodness into our skin and wake up to a moisturised face. 

R925 from select spas and salons 

The hand cream: Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity Age Spot Correcting Hand Cream SPF 30 

Now that winter is here, our hands are taking a real beating with the dry air along with the routine sanitising and washing. So much more than a daily indulgence, this brand-new age-spot correcting hand cream contains patented Thiamidol which rivals the renewing powers of pure retinol (so goodbye dark spots). Deeply replenishing and satisfyingly rich, it will help improve elasticity and keep the surface of your skin strong, resilient and hydrated, no matter how often you’re washing your hands. Also, few things can restore a Shellac-ravaged nail bed quite like this affordable hand cream – later, dry cuticles! 

R199.99 from Clicks, Dis-Chem and select pharmacies 

The shower oil: Skin Creamery Shower Oil 

Dry air, don’t care! If you can’t stand the greasy aftermath of typical moisturisers, you’ll sing the praises of this brand-new in-shower body oil for a hydrated, glaze-y glow. We’ve tried every shower oil under the sun, including the most blissful and bougie, but this one is undefeated. The blend of organic essential oils does the immediate hydrating job, while its heavenly, 100% natural aroma of baobab, cypress, basil and fennel smells like the forest. Plus, the antioxidant-rich formula leaves skin feeling smoother than smooth – we can’t help but give it the headlining spot in our daily shower lineup. 

R299 from www.skincreamery.co.zawww.faithful-to-nature.co.zawww.superbalist.com, Wellness Warehouse and select Woolworths stores 

The shampoo and conditioner: Inoar Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner 

Argan oil is packed (and we mean packed) with a slew of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that can work wonders for your hair. Curly, straight, fine, frizzy – no matter your hair type or texture, it could benefit from this shampoo and conditioner enriched with precious argan oil from Morocco along with cocoa butter and jojoba oil. The lathery shampoo gets your strands and scalp just the right amount of clean, while 9% pure argan oil fortifies so the hair stays hydrated and shiny. The thick conditioner can be used as your daily conditioner or as a mask for super-smooth, gorgeous-smelling and soft hair. 

R340 each or R660 for the duo pack from www.inoar.co.za, Sorbet Drybar and select salons 

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