Every change in season brings a different temperature, wind, humidity and UV exposure which can all affect the skin and body. Our skin has to adapt to these different weather conditions. Winter brings cold winds and freezing rain but our skin is also then inflicted with central heating when we come inside. This swing in temperatures can disrupt the skin barrier, making it more susceptible to inflammation and causing our skin to become dry and sensitive. As the season changes from summer to winter you may feel your skin has become dry and tighter and at times sore. Small changes in our skincare routine can help our skin cope with the fluctuations in temperature and environmental changes and ensure a healthy skin barrier. All you need to do is tweak your existing skincare routine depending on your skin’s needs during the new season. Here are some tips:

Switch to a milder cleanser;

If you tend to have dry skin, swap from a foaming or gel cleanser to a cream or milky cleanser that helps encourage the skin to retain moisture. If you have oily or combination skin, reduce the number of times you use a gel or foaming cleanser and instead use a cream cleanser a few times a week, this will help make sure you are not over stripping the skin of its natural oils. Double cleansing at night with a nourishing cleansing balm and then following with a cream cleanser is a great way to nourish and hydrate the skin whilst thoroughly removing any make-up, impurities and excess oil without drying out the skin.

Reduce how frequently you exfoliate;

Exfoliating our skin is an important step to remove the dead skin cells. These dead cells can site on the surface of our skin and can prevent our skincare products from penetrating deep into the skin, reducing the benefits. Dead skin cells can also leave our skin looking dull, so effective exfoliation improves how radiant your skin looks and feels. However, whether you use a chemical exfoliator or a physical exfoliator it is important to reduce their use in winter. This helps ensure a healthy skin barrier during colder months as cell renewal slows in winter reducing the number of dead cells that need exfoliating away. Over exfoliation can cause your skin to become dry and flakey whilst making your skin more sensitive, causing redness and increasing breakouts. With this in mind, your should only look to exfoliate once or maybe twice a week using a gentle and mild exfoliator to keep your skin bright, glowing and smooth.

Time for a heavier moisturiser;

Changing your usual moisturiser to a slightly thicker, more nourishing moisturiser helps to skin ensure it’s getting the hydration and moisture it needs. It’s just as important for oily and combination skin too, even applying a slightly heavier moisturiser at night will help ensure a healthy skin barrier.

Add a facial oil;

Facial oils offer an extra layer of protection for your skin to help strengthen the skin barriers and lock in hydration by preventing water loss. There are so many great facial oils out there that are derived from potent natural oils that boast anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hydrating and soothing properties, there’s one for every skin type! Face oils can be added to your moisturiser or applied after serum or over your moisturiser to lock in all the benefits of your serums and moisturiser. Facial oils help create a protective barrier, keeping the toxins out and trapping the hydration in which helps ensure a healthy skin barrier which in turn ensures healthy skin.

The way we shop has power, the things that we buy define our beliefs and cast a vote on how we want our world to be. This is because when you spend your hard-earned money on something that you want or need you are encouraging the companies that create or produce them to continue doing so. This means that when you support cruelty-free brands or any socially conscious and ethical company, you are helping to invest in the change that you would like to see and keeping your money away from those companies that don’t.

So how do you know exactly what it is that you are buying? That what you are investing in is truly cruelty-free and meets the ethical standards that you want to support. Many companies greenwash products and brands to appeal to changing shopping habits. This can come in many forms for instance just because a product is classed vegan i.e. it does not contain any animal ingredients, it does not mean that a product has not been tested on animals. Or it may be that a product meets the cruelty-free standards of one country, but is also sold to another country (such as mainland China) where it will then be tested on animals before being sold. One of the hardest ones to spot, however, is when a company does meet all the cruelty-free standards that you would expect but the company is owned by a larger conglomerate that carries out animal testing in other areas of its business or in other companies that it owns.

You might be asking yourself, why do companies test on animals at all, especially in this day and age! Well, it kind of depends on what the goals of the company are. For many, it will be about being able to sell into one of the biggest markets in the world, China. Laws in China, although changing, still require products to be tested on animals before they can be sold. For others, it will be down to the ingredients that they want to use. You will find that many of the cruelty-free brands will look to use more natural ingredients that are less harmful to human physiology. If, however, you are looking to keep your production costs as low as possible to increase your profit, then companies start to look at more many made chemical compounds. If you are interested in learning more about this you can always check out our other blog here.

What we thought might be helpful was to share some of our favourite Cruelty-Free Makeup and Skincare brands that we just know you would love. Also, you might have noticed that we said brands you may not have heard of. That’s because we want to share with you some of the very best companies new and old who are working to change the beauty industry and provide truly cruelty-free beauty as well as ethical and sustainable products. If there are any brands you think we have missed or you would like to see us supporting leave a comment below and we will look to get them on board.

so let’s begin.

1. D’Alchemy

D’Alchemy’s powerful anti-ageing and vegan formulas are packed with potent and effective plant ingredients. D’Alchemy combines natural plant hydrosols with pure essential oils to create their rich creams and cleansers and also my favourite toner. You might be wondering what is meant by ‘plant hydrosols’? Well, in most skincare products the active ingredients (those that affect the skin for example hyaluronic acid) need some way of being absorbed by the skin. Many brands like to use pure or distilled water but D’Alchemy prefers to use plant hydrosol. Plant hydrosols are produced from the fluid in plants that help to carry valuable nutrients from the stem to the leaves. This makes them the perfect carrier in skincare as not only are they more tolerated by people with sensitive skin but also they are more effective at penetrating deep into the skin helping to ensure that you get the most out of your product. This makes D’Alchemys holistic skincare great for focusing on troublesome ageing skin and means that you get quick visibly effective results.

If you want to discover more of D’Alchemy you can check them out here.

2. Jane Iredale

This clean beauty brand has been producing a wide range of mineral makeup and skin care for more than 25 years. Now you may be thinking, what does it mean for a beauty product or brand to be classed as ‘clean’? Well for Jane Iredale this means that not only do their products contain ingredients that are safe for our skin but also they feel that it is important to mindful of how they impact not only the environment but also the community around them. So, how do they make sure that their ingredients are safe for you to use and have a reduced likelihood of irritation? Well, they try to avoid using anything that can be classed as an endocrine disrupter. An endocrine disrupter is a chemical or ingredient that can interfere with your hormonal system and as hormones have an impact on any of our natural systems this can be quite important as they can affect anything from acne to oil secretion. This is why Jane Iredale avoids ingredients such as parabens, talc and synthetic fragrances to create the cleanest products you can buy. Taking all this into account along with their huge range of products it means that swapping to cruelty-free makeup and skincare does not mean compromising on quality or performance. I love their range of high performing mineral foundations because they provide an even, long-lasting natural coverage, smoothing out the skin and leaving you feeling flawless all day. You can find a fantastic range of shades and coverage from light to full.

If you want to discover more of Jane Iredale you can check them out here.

3. Evolve

They produce some of the best organic and vegan skincare and they have numerous awards for their amazing products which are all handmade in Hertfordshire. Their products are formulated with natural oils, butters and plant extracts for their potent antioxidant qualities. In making all their products themselves in their studio it means that they can carefully control every single ingredient that they use. They can easily avoid any toxic and cheap chemical fillers and closely monitor the origins of all their ingredients. For me, one of the best things about Evolve is just how delicious their range smells and feels. This makes using Evolve products a real treat to the senses and they make your skin feel amazing. Evolve have also recently started a new campaign called ‘dump to pump’, so once you have purchased your initial bottle and pump you can replace it with a pump-free version to allow you to reuse your old pump and help prevent you from having to dispose of plastic. 

If you want to discover more of Evolve you can check them out here.

4. Adorn

This Australian brand of luxury, produce the highest quality vegan and certified organic skincare and mineral makeup. Their formulations use high-quality natural ingredients that are free from any nasties making them perfect for sensitive skin and also reef safe. Adorn’s products are also really concentrated as they avoid any fillers like talc meaning that a little goes a long way. Adorn produce some of the most incredible mineral foundations that provide long-lasting, sweat-resistant and natural-looking coverage. For me, it is all about their loose mineral foundation. Not only is it an award-winning foundation but as it has been formulated alongside some amazing makeup artists so it provides SPF cover and it helps to conceal fine lines, redness, rosacea and hyperpigmentation. You can also find a range of tutorial videos to help you get the most out of your product. 

If you want to discover more of Adorn you can check them out here.

5. UpCircle

After watching the founders of UpCirle (brother and sister) on Dragons Den, I loved their brilliant idea to reuse coffee grounds from Cafes in the London area in their skincare. Although they had a different name then they still hold to their ambition of producing products that were not only cruelty-free and vegan but also super sustainable. A lot of their range (99%) is plastic-free and they always look to repurpose ingredients that would normally go to waste. This is their mission, to create a circular economy where ingredients and products are produced from by-products of other industries. Through this, they have produced some incredible award-winning skincare and body care that is all handmade in the UK. UpCircle’s products all contain natural ingredients especially picked for their skincare properties that help keep your skin looking and feeling healthier and more radiant.

If you want to discover more of UpCircle you can check them out here.

6. Farryn Amber

This open and transparent skincare brand was created by its namesake Farryn Amber. Farryn believed that all cosmetics should be cruelty-free and her mission was to create beautifully effective and natural skincare. All of their products are designed to be powered by plants enabling them to be highly effective and leave your skin luminous. They are formulated and designed to provide nourishment and protection to the skin and be grounded through a connection to the Earth. Their philosophy is simple, the best solutions for effective skincare can be grown, foraged and found from the land that nurtures us. To truly show their dedication to being cruelty-free Farryn Amber have had all of their products Leaping Bunny certified and so they regularly and proactively monitor their supply chain to ensure that their ingredients and products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria. For me, it is all about their Superfruit Face Milk which I found to soothe and brighten my skin. 

If you want to discover more of Farryn Amber you can check them out here.

7. Green People

Now Green People is probably a brand you have heard of but maybe not thought about its roots and the ethics on which it is based. Created in 1997, Green People was created when Charlotte Votz (Green Peoples founder) who struggled to find skincare products that were gentle enough for her daughter who suffered from multiple skin allergies and eczema. Their principles have been simple, that their product performance and ethical practice would never be sacrificed for profit. These ethical practices define the company with a promise to never use synthetic chemicals like sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals (formed from oil), alcohol or synthetic fragrances or colourants and of course to always remain cruelty-free. Now, Green People have one of the most extensive ranges of products with everything from sunscreen to mascara and teenage acne treatment to anti-ageing face creams there isn’t much you can’t get that and all meet their strict ethical criteria. This is why I just had to have Green People on this list, I regularly use their toothpaste (I know it isn’t makeup or skincare) as it has such a unique and incredible taste and it also works super well. Their new Age Defy range has several products that are now staples in my skincare routine, the Hydrate and Renew Serum and Line Eraser Serum are absolute favourites

If you want to discover more of Green People you can check them out here.

8. Zao

This natural and sustainable makeup brand was formed by 4 friends in France to address the impact of our consumption on the environment. With a love of nature set within their values, Zao Makeup has become the first rechargeable makeup brand that is 100% natural and certified organic by Ecocert. What makes Zao stand out from other natural Makeup brands is their dedication to sustainability which is recognisable through their use of bamboo in both their packaging and as an active ingredient in some of their products. You might be asking, why bamboo and not another form of natural packaging? For Zao, bamboos exceptional growth rates means that it is a super sustainable material to use. This is because through its lifecycle it is a carbon capture champion helping Zao to reduce its overall carbon footprint and overall effect on the planet. As for an ingredient in their products, bamboo is rich in organic silica that helps the body to produce collagen which then, in turn, helps your skin to preserve its electricity helping to reduce wrinkles and the signs of ageing. As for everything else that goes into these amazing makeup product, everything is sourced from natural ingredients, earth minerals and plant extracts. Also, all of their products are free from synthetic ingredients and obtained from eco-friendly and non-polluting methods, what’s not to love!

If you want to discover more of Zao you can check them out here.

9. Bellapierre

If you are looking for a variety of makeup and bright colourful looks or natural nudes then look no further. Bellapierre has one of the most amazing ranges of 100% mineral makeup products that are always on-trend. Although Bellapierre products are affordable this is still achieved without compromising on quality and ethics. All of their products are made with naturally derived ingredients and never contain any talk, parabens, bismuth oxychloride (used as a cheap filler) or any other harmful substances. Bellapierre has received numerous awards including the Best Natural Cosmetic Product at the Natural & Organic Awards. They are also Leaping Bunny Certified making them one of the best mineral makeup brands on the market today.

If you want to discover more of Bellapierre you can check them out here.

10. Lani

Founded in 2014 by Vi when she wanted to create a range of skincare that was vegan, cruelty-free and made from simple and recognisable ingredients. This is what makes Lani so special, all of the products are made from the heart and are personal to Vi. Not only are they affordable (so no silly price tags here) but they are honest and as ethical as they can be. I love how transparent they are about what they do, they have tried to make the packaging as low waste as possible, I mean they are basically plastic-free, but they would never claim that as by law they have to have a little EPE liner in the lid. Although this EPE liner is recyclable it is produced using a form of plastic and they are open and clear about this. Although the products are simple, they are effective. There is no need to be overly complicated when it comes to your skincare. When it is produced from natural, effective and active ingredients like cold-pressed oils with a colourful twist you end up with Lani. 

If you want to discover more of Lani you can check them out here.

When the skin can no longer retain its moisture levels it results in dry, unbalanced skin. It occurs when the skin’s barrier is compromised. Winter weather can easily tip the balance, the cold air, rain, central heating and icy winds all contribute to the breakdown of the skin’s barrier and can result in dry, tight and sensitive skin. 

Caring for dry skin doesn’t just mean applying generous amounts of moisturiser. Skin prone to over-drying requires careful management and a skincare routine to suit.

Key Points

  • Use Mild Cleansers and Deeply Hydrating Ingredients – Nourishing plant oils, moisture rich natural butters, ingredients high in natural fatty acids and vitamins are key ingredients to look out for.
  • Avoid Harsh Ingredients – Products containing SLS, strong alcohols and fragrance can strip the skin of its natural oils and disturb the natural balance.
  • Protect your skin from environmental factors – apply SPF daily to shield the skin from UV light and use products containing Vitamin C to protect the \skin against pollution.
  • Use warm water rather than hot when cleansing. The temptation to use warmer water when the colder weather arises can have a negative effect on our skin and result in the skins natural oils being disrupted.

A skincare routine designed to nourish and protect the skin can help win the battle against dry skin, below are some products designed to nourish, treat and to prevent dry skin.

Light Exfoliation

It is important to gently remove the dead skin to allow your moisturisers and serums to penetrate, otherwise they sit on the surface of the skin without being absorbed correctly. It is important that a gentle exfoliator is used as you don’t want to irritate sensitive skin. Either a mild chemical exfoliant with lactic or glycolic acid or a gentle physical scrub. Use a couple of times a week to lift away dead skin, this then allows the products applied afterwards to be absorbed and the skin can benefit from the ingredients invaluable properties. 

Avoid Harsh Cleansers

Cleansers formulated with SLS or fragrance can be super drying for the skin. They strip the skin of its natural oils and can leave it feeling dry and irritated. Chose a gentle cleanser and wash using warm but not hot water 

Switch to a deeply hydrating moisturiser

Opt for a heavier cream moisturiser rather than a lotion to provide deep hydration. Moisturisers rich in fatty acids and omega’s help keep your skin deeply hydrated and supple whilst natural peptides and hyaluronic acid provide and lock in moisture. 

Nourishing Oils

Oils are a great way to nourish the skin and help build the skins lipid barrier. Oils provide deeply moisturising qualities and can help protect the skin against environmental factors. 

  • Argan Oil is rich in soothing vitamin E and contains anti-inflammatory linoleic acid whilst also delivering highly moisturising properties.
  • Jojoba Oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids it helps lock moisture in by creating a protective layer on the skin.
  • Olive Oil is a soothing oil which has antioxidant properties which help fight free radical damage and prevent premature ageing. 

Hydrating Treatment Serums

Apply after cleansing but before your moisturiser to help plump, smooth and hydrate the skin. Serums have a lightweight fluid texture which means they are easily absorbed and their beneficial ingredients penetrate the skin. A serum with Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is great for adding hydration, known for its extremely hydrating properties, it has the ability to hold up to six times its own weight in water. Our skin naturally produces Hyaluronic Acid to aid the skins moisture levels but due to ageing and environmental factors these levels can decrease.