Skincare in a Cold Climate aka Scotland: What I’m currently using and what I’ve learnt so far.

Winter Skincare 2018

As an expat my interest in skincare and the importance I have found in it has only grown as I moved to a climate different to what my skin has known before. When you live abroad there is a really good chance that you will be living in a place that has the complete opposite in weather to the home base you started out in. Because of this you are bound to find a whole array of challenges pop up in the area of skincare.

If you have skin that just behaves and jumps completely on board with your climate and lifestyle changes, without kicking up a stick and breaking out, I envy you. I really do. But for those of you that are running the ‘trial and error’ game in keeping your skin looking healthy, I understand your situation completely!

Whether you are hitting up a cooler destination for a holiday, moving to a cooler climate or are heading into winter in your particular place in the world there is a good chance this post, is for you!


Let’s be honest right now, we are all ageing everyday wether we like it or not. I however, have no plans to look like a worn leather bag before it’s necessary and so, skincare is something that I’ve always got my eye on.

As a child and teenager I had great skin; olive complexion, easy to tan and blemish free. I didn’t even get acne as teenager, that hormonal mess completely bypassed me between the ages of 13 - 19. Adult onset acne however? That took hold of me and didn’t let go for a decent amount of time and so my interest in skincare and having my skin look good has been of immense importance to me. 

Living in Scotland and traveling around the UK over the last two years has allowed for me to find the flaws in my skin type. The environment here, especially up north can be harsh, it’s cold, there isn’t a whole heap of sun, the wind can be cutting and the constant heating required to find comfort indoors? Personally, that’s my greatest enemy of all!

I’ve found through trail and error that dehydration especially during winter is what my skin suffers from most. This means that whilst my skincare is important, the need to be drinking more water and maintaining nourishment from the inside is just as integral. The skincare that I am currently using to keep dull, dehydrated, flaky and blemish prone skin at bay is the following:

Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk

I have tried multiple cleansers.


It’s been an expensive and annoying pursuit. And what have I found? Cream cleansers are doing me best. Anything that is gel or lathers dries me out and doesn’t give my skin a single chance to look dewy and healthy. 

I generally have shied away from this type of cleanser in the past because my skin didn’t feel, ‘clean’. I think ever face wash commercial on TV has brainwashed us into thinking that if it doesn’t lather, if there aren’t bubbles, it’s not going to be clean. Those commercials are wrong.

And so cream cleanser it is! But it’s also fair for you to know that this wasn’t the type of cleanser I needed before moving to the UK. This has been something new to my skincare to deal with the climatic changes and the drop in hydration due to indoor heating and the like.

This cleanser by Caudalie makes my skin feel soft and clean. It doesn’t leave any residue and it contains ingredients such as bergamot and lavender, it doesn’t have a strong scent or a ‘fake scent’ but it is light and calming all the same. As someone who suffers from headaches and migraines the fact that the scent is so subtle has always been a winning factor. 


RODIAL Stem Cell Super-food Facial Oil 60

I have been using the Rodial Super Food oil for about six months now and whilst it’s not exactly a budget item by any means, it does pull a serious punch. This oil combats my dryness and dehydration all year round and not only that, it goes head to head in helping to prevent and deter any find lines and signs of ageing brought about by said skin dehydration. 

I use two drops of oil after cleansing and massage it in whilst my skin is still a little damp, so that it absorbs and moves smoothly on my skin without pulling. Now it doesn’t recommend it o the box but I get quite close to my eyes with this oil. I suffer from having quite hollow tear troughs and I am always on the lookout for products which will support the health and vitality of the skin in this area of my face. I want it bright and I want the skin to be firm. Basically, I don’t want to look tired when I feel wide awake.


Caudaile S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum 30

This serum does what it says on the tin. It quenches the thirst of thirsty skin, so much so that my skin can’t get enough of it. My skin adores this serum and it really helped in getting the overall look of my skin back on track. Before I used the serum I wasn’t able to prevent the flaking that would happen as soon as any makeup would be applied to my forehead or cheeks. It was disgusting. I couldn’t wear any makeup or even a tined moisturiser without it rolling and balling, do you know what I mean? It’s the most horrible feeling and no matter how much a scrubbed it wouldn’t go away. Finally I purchased this Serum and bam! Instant improvement to hydration! Just days after introducing this serum into my skin routine I noticed a huge difference.

My only issue with this product is that my skin loves it a little too much and I have to replace it a little often. Whilst I am looking for the best items to use, I am also not wanting to replace them in less than a month, especially during the winter. As an expat and as a human I have a plethora of expenses and having products that have a little longevity is important to me. So whilst this is my favourite serum…

I have recently been trialing:


REN Keep Young and Beautiful SH2C Serum 47

I have to tell you that it’s been just about two months since I made this purchase and so far I’m impressed. This serum promises to hydrate skin, reduce fin lines and repair skin cell damage. Does it so all that the pack states? No idea, I really hope it does though! But does it make my skin brighter, less dry (flaky) and more accepting of the moisturiser that I apply directly on top? Yes. Yes it does. 


This REN serum has also already lasted double the time of the caudaile serum, so whist it is priced at a higher rate, if you are using it twice a day like I am, it’s still value for money. 

Darphin Hydraskin Rich

If you have sensitive or dehydrated skin in any form I beg you to check out this cream by Darphin. I don’t even know what I was thinking by not having found it previously. I am using the Hydraskin Rich through the winter and it gives my skin the moisture and protective layer it needs to go out in the less than appealing weather Scotland can offer up on a daily basis. I’m talking cold temperatures and less than gentle breezes from October through March, sometimes it feels like winter is here to stay friends!

Now, the difference that I notice with this moisturiser is simple. When I’m wearing this cream and I go outside my skin still feels moisturised and soft even if it’s been blowing a gale. When I’ve not been waring it, my skin feels drier and by the end of the day I notice that my skin is peeling, specifically on my forehead, from being knocked around by the elements. 

During the warmer/ less cold months I use the Darphin Hydraskin Light. It does the job just as well and was the first Darphin product that I was introduced to.


lancer skincare, the method: polish

Wow. Just wow.

This product was recommended to me by one of the ladies at the Edinburgh, SpaceNK store and I am so very grateful for it! I have always known that a ‘scrub’ is a part of the facial skincare process but have never really found a product that I loved. To be honest, every brand that I have ever tried never seemed to take the dry flaky skin away, if anything it just seemed to stir up more of it. For this reason I was always turned off this step of the cleansing process. I was also terrified of damaging and scratching my face with scrubs that contain larger and more abrasive ingredients than necessary.

The Mothod’s Polish is like no ‘scrub’ you have used before, which you should be able to tell by the name alone. It polishes your skin, it refines it and rids you of any scaly bits without stirring up any unnecessary trouble. This particular product can also be used a few times week without causing damage to your skin which is excellent for UK living; I find that being in heated offices and transport all day causes most of my dryness and it’s not something that I can easily avoid.

The polish, meant to mimic the results and actions of microdermabrasion isn’t cheap. It’s the most I have ever spent on this area of my skincare regime but it’s one that I could no longer go without. But I can say that a little goes a very long way! Unlike most ‘scrubs’ this polish is suggested to be used before your cleanser. You use the polish and then once you have massaged it away to remove build up, you add your cleanser to your face and use it with the polish still there. Having the polish remain for the cleansing gives you that little bit longer with the product and allows it to really do it’s thing.

If you can get your hands on a sample of this, you won’t regret it! I personally purchased the travel size first because, HELLO, expensive much? And I am still going on that little beauty!

Microdermabrasion Treatments

I have been getting treatments at Zest skincare for the last six months now and they have been a game changer. I don’t always get the full 45min treatment dependant on time but I do always go in for the 30 minute express treatment to remove any buildup and excess gunk from my skin. The ladies at Zest are always lovely and their treatment centres are warm and comfortable. I am especially a fan of their heated treatment beds and have been known to nod off on them on occasion. 

The microdermabrasion is something that I know not everyone will agree with or find necessary for their skin and thats okay. You really need to do what’s right for your skin type and the environment you're in but as someone who is coming up against hard weather and the perils of continuous indoor heating I have found this treatment to be a godsend and I look forward to having it done each and every month. 

Whilst Microdermabraison rids me of all the dry and built up skin in my problem areas during winter, I am going to try moving towards peels this spring. This is because I am that little bit concerned about the long term impact of the pulling on the skin during each treatment.

Lush Mask - Don’t Look  At Me 

I would be lying if I said that part of me loving this mask wasn’t that it makes me look like a smurfette. But all jokes aside this mask is great for my skin, moisturising and exfoliating in equal measures. And just like with all LUSH products I am assured that they are using ingredients of the best quality. I’m also grateful to LUSH because I’m able to try out their masks in return for taking back five of their empty containers once I have finished with them. Nothing wrong with keeping the environment in mind at the same time as you’re looking after your skin!

I am always on the hunt for new hydrating skin products for life in scotland and abroad.

RECOMMEND me your FAVOURITES in the comments below!