Whether you love the winter, or hate it, one thing remains true; winter can be so unforgiving to your skin! The cold and windy weather leaves skin feeling raw and irritated, and indoor heat blasting makes skin dry. It truly seems like skin can’t catch a break during the colder months! But with the help of some winter skincare tips, your skin doesn’t have to suffer all season long!
Here are 9 winter skincare tips to keep your skin healthy and glowing throughout these colder months!
9 Winter Skincare Tips You Need To Know
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Switch out your products
Even if you have the most consistent skin, chances are you’ll need to make some changes to your routine when the cold weather comes along.
Due to the cold and dry air in the winter, skin can become more dry, sensitive, or prone to irritation. So during the winter months, your skin might benefit from more hydrating products. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and squalane all help skin retain moisture, thus keeping skin healthy and hydrated. You can find these ingredients in moisturizers, serums, cleansers, or oils.
Some of my favorite hydrating products, that are also acne-prone-skin-safe, include the Osea Malibu Hyaluronic Sea Serum, Farmacy Beauty Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer, and The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane .
Skin product swaps are one of the easiest, but most effective, winter skincare tips!
When in doubt, lather up! Nothing makes skin drier than, well, cold and dry air, (which is what we’re typically dealing with during the winter months). Even if you typically skip out on applying a body lotion, you definitely don’t want to do that during the winter!
Body lotions and moisturizers will easily have your skin feeling well hydrated, smooth, and soft all winter long. Here are 10 of my absolute favorite body lotions that keep my skin looking and feeling it’s best, in case you’re looking for recommendations!
The absolute best times to apply lotion are right after a shower to help lock in moisture, (more on that later), and right before bed, to keep your skin hydrated throughout the night.
A great winter skincare tip is to also keep a bottle of lotion in key places so you don’t forget to apply it. I like keeping one in my bathroom, to use after showering, and one on my dresser.
If your skin is extremely dry, irritated, or you’re dealing with some persistent break outs; you could be in need of some serious barrier repair!
Your skin’s barrier, the outermost layer of your skin, provides protection to your skin and body from environmental factors and bacteria and keeps moisture locked in. With the help of the oils your skin naturally produces, your skin is kept protected, hydrated, and healthy. Unfortunately oils get depleted or damaged from poor handling, harsh products, and other external factors, (including weather conditions). When this happens, you could be left with itchy, flaky, irritated skin, and even acne.
To keep your skin healthy and happy, you need to make sure your barrier is healthy and happy too! Simplifying your routines and using less products, avoiding excess actives in your ingredients, and keeping skin well hydrated are all ways to keep your skin’s barrier strong and in good shape!
I love using ceramides to keep my skin’s barrier in great health! Some of my favorite ceramide-filled products include the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream and the Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum.
Apply lotions while your skin is damp
This winter skincare tip is for both body and face! Applying your hydrating products to damp skin is a super easy way to keep your skin ultra hydrated!
When skin is damp, not wet or dry, products like moisturizers and lotions add an extra boost of hydration and help lock it all in. This means your skin will stay moisturized much longer, and you’ll also see much better results when it comes to overall hydration and the health of your skin.
Remember to only apply this rule to hydrating products, like hyaluronic acid and moisturizers, and to carefully read instructions when using products with actives that should not be applied on damp skin, like retinol and vitamin c.
Lock it in
One of the most overlooked winter skincare tips is to lock all of your products in using occlusives.
Occlusives are hydrating products that create a physical protective barrier over your skin to seal in moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss. Vaseline and Aquaphor are two examples of super popular occlusives.
Occlusives do tend to be heavy or greasy feeling, and could potentially clog pores or cause breakouts if you use too much, use other pore clogging products with them, or if you have extremely oily skin. Everyone’s skin is different, so it’s worth testing before using all over your face. (I deal with cystic acne, but occlusives don’t cause me more breakouts or aggravate any that I have).
You can also use occlusives on specific areas of your face, like near your nose or under your eyes, and your lips. Plus, extra dry spots on your ankles, knees, or elbows could benefit from the moisture-locking powers of occlusives! I really love the Vaseline All Over Body Balm Stick for any dry spots on my body!
With both the cold and dry air, skin gets dehydrated much faster during the winter, which means you’re left with more dead skin cells sitting on the surface of your skin.
Exfoliating regularly helps remove those dead skin cells, plus bacteria and dirt, leaving your skin looking so much healthier and smoother. Moisturizers and other hydrating serums are able to do their jobs much better on skin that’s been exfoliated. Aim for exfoliating at least once a week during the winter months.
And like many of the other winter skincare tips on this list, this one also applies to both body and face! Your body will feel much softer and hydrated when you exfoliate consistently.
My favorite body exfoliants are typically body scrubs like the Sol De Janeiro Bom Dia Body Scrub and the Tree Hut Body Scrubs. I prefer chemical exfoliants for my face like the Topicals Faded Serum, which quickly eliminated my post-acne spots, and the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant.
Take extra care of your hands
If you’re anything like me, there’s one part of your body that will show just how dehydrating the winter can be for your skin. And that part of my body is my hands.
But whether your hands are more susceptible to the wrath of winter air or not, they will for sure need a little extra love during these colder months.
Adding a hand lotion to your routine is a simple way to make sure your hands stay hydrated and soft all winter long. I love the Fresh Milk Hand Cream as a luxurious pick.
If you have super sensitive skin, or if your skin has become cracked or broken, skip the fragrance-fueled lotions and instead use a non-scented and extra moisturizing one like the Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream, or the O’Keefe’s Working Hands Hand Cream, which are both designed to relieve extremely dry skin.
Take care of your lips too
Lips suffer just as much as the rest of your skin does during the colder months, so it’s important to take good care of them too!
Keeping lips moisturized with a good lip balm, like the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm, or the Dr. Bronner’s Naked Organic Lip Balm , is essential in the winter. For even more hydration you can add in a lip mask like the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask or the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask.
And if your lips are especially dry or flaky, you can add a lip exfoliator into your winter lip care routine. I really like the e.l.f Lip Exfoliator.
Having a solid lip care regimen will guarantee you soft, smooth, and hydrated lips!
Don’t skip the spf!
Don’t even think about it.
Sunscreen is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. UV rays don’t just disappear because it’s cold out, in fact, sometimes they’re stronger, and you can still catch a sunburn during the winter.
So don’t make a major skincare mistake and forget to apply sunscreen daily during the colder months!
Your skin absolutely needs sun protection all year round, so make sure you’ve found a sunscreen that you love enough to use every single day! My personal top pick is the Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 36 Sunscreen. Check out more sunscreen recommendations in The Best Face Sunscreens: 10 Must Haves.