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6 Winter Skincare Saviours

Just a roundup of our picks to save your skin from winter.

They say that winter has its own beauty, and we agree! But with the snuggle-friendly weather comes less pleasant side effects. Yes, we’re talking about the dreaded winter skin. But what makes it different from the rest of the year? Thanks to a combo of bitter cold temperatures and indoor heat, winter weather goes hand in hand with an impaired skin barrier and more water loss (aka dry, inflamed skin). That said, you can counter its harsh effects by tweaking your daily routine. Here are 6 ways to treat your skin this season.

Gentle cleansers

When the temperatures start to drop, be sure to swap your harsh cleanser for one formulated with gentle hydrators. The key is to avoid ingredients that strip the skin of its natural oils, like sulphates and fragrances, in favour of a cream or oil-based cleanser that is designed to prevent moisture loss.

Light exfoliators

On the fence about whether or not you should exfoliate your face in the winter? You’re not the only one! Thankfully, the answer is simple: exfoliating during winter helps clear dead skin to make room for new skin cells to flourish. It also increases the amount of absorption you get from other skincare products since they can fully penetrate your skin to hydrate it. However, exfoliating too often, as in more than once a week, will only worsen the situation. Nervous about overdoing it? Consider reaching for a gentler exfoliator that will take care of dead skin cells without damaging your skin.

You’re better off with a mild chemical exfoliator over a physical one, especially during winter when your skin is likely to be more sensitive. The latter involves mechanical friction which can irritate the skin even more. Chemical exfoliating acids, on the other hand, break down the bonds between dead skin cells, which makes that layer of dead skin easier to wash away. Dr Alek recommends looking for gentle AHAs like lactic acid and glycolic acid. Another great tip from Dr Alek is to consider using a gentle cream cleanser in the morning and an exfoliating cleanser in the evening.

Antioxidant serums

Come winter, one thing is certain: Serums are a must since they’re an easy and effective way to layer products, kind of like how you layer clothes to keep warm. And the best serums don’t just serve up an extra dose of hydration, but also protect against the harsh elements.

Key ingredients to look for in serums – not just in the winter, but year-round – are hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and vitamin C. Hyaluronic acid for its ability to keep the skin hydrated by locking in moisture, niacinamide for its moisture barrier–building properties, and vitamin C to address and prevent free radical damage.

Hydrating eye creams

The skin around your eyes is extra delicate, and there are no oil glands in this area, which means using a moisturising eye cream is essential all year, but especially in winter. As well as packing a hydrating punch, our favourite eye creams also simultaneously reduce inflammation and dissolve fine lines.

Rich moisturisers

At this point, we’ve established that winter skin needs a little more love in the hydration department. To ramp up your hydration game this season, switch to a thick, decadent face cream with ceramides in the formulation. Ceramides are fatty acids found naturally in the skin that help to keep your skin barrier healthy and hydrated. External factors like cold weather, hot water and dry heat can deplete the ceramides in your skin, so using moisturisers with ceramides can help to keep skin plump and hydrated. Don’t be afraid to slather it on, morning and night.


You know the drill by now, skincare junkies! Sunscreen isn’t seasonal – it’s a product that should be used year-round. We’ve made a special selection to make it easier for you to find one you’ll like and will actually use. These fulfil all the criteria for the perfect sunscreen. They have high SPF, they’re mineral-based and so won’t irritate skin, and they offer broad-spectrum coverage. They’re also non-comedogenic, meaning they’re designed not to clog pores!


Give your skin the TLC it deserves.

Yours in skin,

Dr Alek and the SkinMiles Team


About Dr Alek Nikolic

Dr Alek Nikolic was born in South Africa and received his MBBCh (Wits) in 1992 and in 2000 he received his MBA (UCT). He has been in private practice for 24 years and is the owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement, which has offices in Cape Town. Dr Nikolic specialises in aesthetic medicine and is at the forefront of the latest developments in his field. He is very driven and has lectured extensively and has performed live demonstrations throughout South Africa and Internationally including Bangkok, Rome, Paris, Monte Carlo, Prague, and Warsaw. Dr Nikolic’s focus is on skin care, skin ingredients and cosmetic dermatology treatments such as lasers, chemical peels, Botox, and Dermal Fillers. He has performed over 20 000 procedures to date and as such is responsible for training numerous medical practitioners both in South Africa and internationally. Dr Nikolic is one of the founding members of the South African Allergan Medical Aesthetic Academy and chaired its inaugural launch in 2012. The Allergan Academy provides essential training to keep up with the latest technology in aesthetics. Dr Nikolic holds the advisory position of Allergan Local Country Mentor in Facial Aesthetics and is the Allergan Advanced Botox and Dermal Filler Trainer. He is Vice President of the Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine Society of South Africa (AAMSSA) and is an Associate Member of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).

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