TRIED AND TESTED | Top 5 natural winter skincare combos contributor Julia Rebaudo gets her skin armed and ready for the winter weather to come. Check out her top picks to from natural brands for the best moisture boost this cold season.

WINTER SKIN needs a little extra TLC to protect against the cold weather and dry indoor heat. What a better (and simple) plan of attack is there than to double up the hydrating routine? I’m already a big fan of layering on a facial oil or serum before moisturising – nothing beats it for day-long hydration and happy skin. I’ve been testing what’s on offer to give me this one-two hydration punch from the natural skincare brands, and here are the best of the bunch.



Facial Oil Anti-Ageing Omega Rich (30ml for £16.50)
Gentle Tone Hydrating Toning Gel Face & Neck (50ml for £8.75)

I’LL ADMIT to initial scepticism about using a gel in lieu of a traditional moisturiser, but let me tell you the Gentle Tone Gel is so fantastic it’s my new daily face product of choice. But first, back to the Facial Oil Anti-Ageing Omega Rich: It’s 99% certified organic with omega and rosehip oils meant to be good for wrinkles. I don’t apply it with the recommended tapping motion, but smooth it in with small circular motions concentrating on the crow’s feet and any dry patches. Immediately afterwards I apply a dollop of the Gentle Tone Hydrating Toning Gel, which glides on easily and spreads around nicely so that you don’t need much. It feels wet for a few moments but quickly dries. I love how hydrated my face feels after applying the Gentle Tone; I never need to re-apply during the day even when I bounce between drying central heating and the cold. I haven’t had a hint of a dry patch since I’ve starting to use Gentle Tone and it’s a perfect base for makeup. At only £8.75  this certified organic product is a steal and my new hero product.


Pure Alchemy Cellular Radiance Serum (23ml for £19.99)
Rosehip & Shea Intensive Moisture Anti-Oxidant Complex (50ml for £21.49)

THERE’S SOMETHING comforting and soothing about the packaging and smells of the Australian A’kin range. The Cellular Radiance Serum is a deep tangerine colour and is packed with omega oils and pomegranate. To use it, I squeeze a few drops from the dropper onto my fingertips and massage into my skin. The serum absorbs quickly and adds the tiniest hint of colour to the skin. The Rosehip & Shea Intensive Moisture Anti-Oxidant Complex is lusciously rich, buttery and soft. It’s for dry and mature skin and, I find, the perfect night cream. I generously apply a large dollop to my face and neck to give them a really good, moisturising coat. This duo is very effective for people with skin prone to dryness (me!), and the shea and rosehip give the moisturiser a lovely scent.



Vinosource Moisturising Concentrate (15ml for £26.00)
Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Crème (40ml for £20.00)

THE CAUDALIE range offers wonderfully sophisticated and refined products (and, for that matter, packaging). The Vinosource Moisturising Concentrate has jojoba, sesame and rose oils. The gently golden oil also has the most wonderful rose scent. It absorbs quickly after I massage in the six droplets from the small dropper. The recently launched and more delicately scented Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Crème contains grape seed, shea butter and chamomile for dehydrated and sensitive skin. I love how there are instructions on the inside of the packaging showing you how to massage the crème into you face and neck, advising you to keep the product in the fridge “year round for an intense feeling of freshness”. However, as someone who battles with dry skin, I’d say this combo of concentrate and face cream is better suited to oilier skin, which doesn’t get recurrent dry patches in colder climes. For real dry skin sufferers perhaps this would be better for for use in the spring. But I still love using the products -- they make me feel grown-up!


The Secret Anti-Ageing Oil (50ml for £15.99)
Shea Butter Moisturising Cream (120ml for £14.99)

THE CUTE retro packaging and lower price point makes Betty Hula products stand out from the pack. Well, that and the high quality of both the oil and cream. The Secret Anti-Ageing Oil contains grape seed, avocado and vitamin E and has a reassuring thickness and body to it. My skin just sucked it up. The Shea Butter Moisturising Cream comes in three different “flavours” – I tried kiwi & lime. It’s rich and has a firmer consistency than most moisturisers and very obviously enlivens and hydrates the skin after smoothed. Again this is a very effective combo for winter skin. I get the distinct feeling that I’m layering on the real skin protection. My only complaint is that I found the kiwi & lime scent a touch overpowering, and this is what would stop me from using it regularly. So, instead, I use it on my hands.The miniature samples I received to trial are also super sweet and the perfect size for travel size.  


Regenerating Lifting Serum (30ml for £20.00)
Detoxifying Moisturising Cream (50ml for £17.50)

THIS IS a new award-winning (yes, already) British brand which stands out more than anything for its commitment to providing a range that works for people with sensitive skin and allergies. Like many of the other brands in this genre, they’re free from parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalate and mineral oil. But they also eschew formol, silicone, chrom and have no ingredients of animal origin. The Regenerating Lifting Serum contains raspberry seed oil and red seaweed extract. It’s slightly sticky when you put it on but that tackiness disappears quickly and my skin really seem to really like it -- it plumps up and feels very smooth and, well, young. The Detoxifying Moisturising Cream is probably the lightest on this list, but still contains moisture heavyweights shea butter, jojoba and macadamia oil. Together the cream and serum create a supple, satiny finish, but for me and my dry skin, the results don’t lasting. So like the Caudalie duo above, these two products are probably an excellent for people with oilier skin -- or a lightweight alternative for warmer, more humid weather.

GOLDEN SILK OIL (30ml for AUD $24.90)

ALTHOUGH GOLDEN Silk Oil doesn’t have a partner product, I thought it deserved an honourable mention. This Australian oil contains golden camellia flower and vitamin E. My skin lapped it up. It has a rich texture that absorbs quickly and is yet another great base for make-up. I’m inclined to use it when I feel like really indulging my skin. If you have a partner-less moisturiser then this is its soulmate!

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