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Tis the season of tight skin and chapped lips and we’re getting you ready for the cold weather with dermatologist-approved tips for skincare in winter!
The air is cold and dry outdoors. The heating is on full blast indoors. Add these two together and you get the recipe for the dreaded dry winter skin. That’s the start of non-fun skin conditions like itchiness, flakiness, and more serious stuff like eczema.
On the bright side, crafting a winter skincare routine at home is easier than it sounds! We’re big on research here at Haul of Fame, and we looked into the best ways to tweak your skincare during winter for healthy, glowing skin.
Read on for the full scoop on how to take care of skin in winter naturally!
Haul of Fame’s Best Tips For Skincare In Winter
1. Set the Skincare Routine To Hydration Mode
The best way to keep your skin happy in the colder months is to winter-proof your routine. That means giving your body and face skincare in the winter season an extra moisturizing boost!
To pick the best winter skincare essentials, here’s a winter skincare tip by dermatologist Dr. Alicia Zalka: “Look for products with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalene, glycerin, ceramides, and shea butter“.
Let’s start with cleansers. Go with cream or oil-based cleansers to combat the cold weather’s drying effect on the skin.
We love The Ordinary Squalene Cleanser, which offers extra hydration with plant-derived squalene.
The non-comedogenic formula works for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
For a fantastic oil-based cleanser, try Tatcha The Camellia Cleansing Oil.
It deep cleans and thoroughly hydrates. Bonus: It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, too!
Do you need toner in winter? Absolutely! Toners keep the skin barrier healthy by regulating the skin’s pH balance. It preps the skin for better moisturizer absorption, too. Avoid alcohol-based ones, as they give your skin that icky tight feeling.
We recommend the cult-favorite Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner. The alcohol-free formula contains hyaluronic acid for a moisturizing finish.
For a good reason, moisturizer tends to take the spotlight among winter skincare products. To survive the freezing weather, you’ll need a deep-hydrating one that lives up to its promise!
Try the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. It’s jam-packed with peptides that repair and moisturize. Think of it as a protein smoothie for the skin!
Or if you want something super-soothing, the La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Balm B5 went viral on TikTok for good reason! The shea butter-infused formula calms chapped, chafed, and cracked skin and it acts as a barrier once on to protect against environmental nasties! Many users have even said it has helped calm their acne-prone skin too.
2. Go For Cleaner Products
3. Don’t Forget Sunscreen
“On a crisp winter morning run, remember that even if the sky looks clear, that also means there’s UV radiation penetrating down,” says University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center dermatologist Dr. Seemal R. Desai.
It sounds ironic, but did you know snowy days can double your exposure to UV rays? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, snow reflects the sun’s rays, which means you’re getting double the direction from the sky and the ground.
This is why sunscreen is a must in our skincare tips for the winter season.
Nothing feels quite as impressive as a steaming hot shower or bath in winter. We hate bursting your bubble, but that’s not the best way to go if healthy, hydrated skin is your goal.
Don’t worry; we’re not asking you to give up the simple pleasures of a water heater. Just be a little extra mindful of the temperature. If your skin turns red after showering, the water’s too hot. This will dry the skin and can trigger skin irritation.
A little skincare in winter tip from us: If you’re enjoying a warm bath, turn it into an ultra-hydrating soak with oats. Oats naturally have soothing and moisturizing properties. Just toss a cup of oats in a muslin cloth in the tub!
4. Skip The Steamy Hot Showers
Nothing feels quite as amazing as a steaming hot shower or bath in the middle of winter. We hate bursting your bubble but that’s not the best way to go if healthy, hydrated skin is your goal.
Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to give up the simple pleasures of a water heater. Just be a little extra mindful of the temperature. If your skin turns red after showering, it means the water’s way too hot. This will dry the skin and can trigger skin irritation.
A little skincare in winter tip from us: If you’re going to be enjoying a warm bath, turn it into an ultra-hydrating soak with oats. Oats naturally have soothing and moisturizing properties. Just wrap a cup of oats in muslin cloth and toss it in the tub!
5. Pat Dry Post-Shower
Rubbing yourself dry with a towel feels so automatic for most of us, but that’s how you can end up with irritated and inflamed skin. That’s no fun.
Instead, pat your face and body gently to dry yourself post-shower. It’s gentle and helps to lock moisture in. It takes a bit more time, but you can use a highly absorbent microfiber bath towel to speed things up.
Exfoliating is an essential part of winter body care. Scrubbing away dead skin cells will help to keep skin looking fresh. It improves the absorption of skincare products during the colder months, too!
So, how often should you exfoliate? Three times a week is the sweet spot. You must still include exfoliating in your routine if you have sensitive skin. Reduce the frequency to 1 or 2 times weekly and use gentle scrubs.
Look out for our winter skincare homemade tips later in this article.
7. Go Easy On The Retinol
Does your skin seem to hate retinol in winter suddenly? Although retinol boosts collagen and rejuvenation, it’s not the best skincare for winter dry skin. It can have an exfoliating effect and make the skin even more dehydrated.
Dr. Zalka suggests, “You may wish to skip combining retinol with other active exfoliating products, such as alpha hydroxy acid.” It’s best to alternate the days between retinol application and exfoliation.
If that doesn’t work, try a lower-strength retinol. Use the recommended amount each time you apply.
8. Make Lip Balm Your Bestie
Chapped lips are probably our least favorite thing about winter. The cold air and chilly winds take a toll on this sensitive area, so ensure you have an ultra-moisturizing lip balm to brave the weather.
We’re keeping our lips lush with the viral Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. What sets this staple lip care product apart is its infusion of hydrating hyaluronic acid and potent antioxidants, making it a standout choice for overnight lip care in particular.
For anyone on a budget, the trusty Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment is a go-to for those battling dry lips. It’s a cult-favorite among loyal fans who swear by its effectiveness, especially during the Winter months.
9. Always Have A Hand Cream Handy
The cold winter air tends to leave our skin dry around the hands, too, bringing us to our following winter skincare tips: find a favorite hand cream!
You don’t need anything super fancy, either. The classic Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream should do the trick. The moisturizing formula works wonders on cracked skin. It’s perfect for sensitive skin, too, with its fragrance-free and dye-free formula.
For those looking to treat themselves to a coveted handbag essential, why not indulge in this iconic L’Occitane Hand Cream? Packed with nourishing shea butter, it’ll keep your hands feeling luxuriously soft.
It’s also a great idea to keep your gloves on when you’re outdoors to reduce exposure to the harsh weather.
10. Stay Hydrated
Healthy skin during winter has just as much to do (if not more!) with what goes into your body as what you put on it. One of the non-negotiables of naturally keeping skin moisturized in winter is drinking enough water daily.
How much is enough exactly? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine set these general guidelines for adequate daily fluid intake:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
That might sound like a lot, but remember that this includes fluids from food and other beverages. If it helps, we hit our water goals better when sipping in style.
11. Enjoy Balanced, Nourishing Meals
One of the simplest yet most effective skincare tips in winter is to eat well. Cooking nourishing meals goes a long way toward maintaining excellent skin health in the long run, not just for the winter season.
Enjoy balanced platters with enough protein, fat, and carbs at every meal to get all the fuel your skin needs. Winter is a great time to enjoy seasonal foods rich in skin-boosting nutrients, including:
- Cranberries: rich in vitamins A, C, and E for protection against free radicals.
- Apples: high water content to help with overall hydration.
- Pumpkins are high in vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production.
- Beetroot: contains betalains that greatly help with detoxification.
12. Use A Humidifier At Home
“We’ve seen how the cold, dry air zaps moisture off the skin. A humidifier at home is a great way to counter that by restoring moisture levels in the air. It’s a big win for the skin!“
Adding on to that, Dr. Shirazi says, “humidifiers can strengthen the skin’s defense against microorganisms like bacteria and viruses.” This skin barrier strengthening is beneficial for skin that turns extra sensitive in the chilly winter months.
13. Wear Natural, Breathable Clothing
Let your skin breathe under all those winter layers. The best way to do this is to prioritize natural fibers, especially the layer closest to your skin.
These are some skin-friendly natural materials you can consider:
- Responsible Wool Standard-certified wool: has natural anti-bacterial properties that are especially great for sensitive skin. Plus, it’s warm and cozy!
- Organic cotton: soft, hypoallergenic, and one of the best low-tox options.
- Linen: naturally insulating to keep you warm while allowing the skin to breathe.
- Hemp has thermoregulating properties that keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Bamboo: feels super soft and comfortable against the skin, with natural anti-bacterial properties.
14. Consider Vitamin D Supplements
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey recommends supplementing with this “sunshine vitamin” as part of her tips for winter skincare.
The right type of vitamin D supplement matters for your skin and overall health. She shares, “You want to take vitamin D3 supplements.“
Dr. Bailey also recommends getting vitamin D from natural food sources, as she says, “You should eat foods that contain D3 including fish liver, fish liver oils, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and bluefish, and egg yolks.“
15. Get That Gua Sha Glow
Treat yourself to relaxing skincare in winter at home with a daily gua sha routine. You may have seen this all over TikTok, but this traditional Chinese medicine tool has been used for hundreds of years.
A gua sha face massage is excellent for improving circulation and detoxification, and that’s our secret winter skin tip to keep your skin bright and glowing through the season. Facial oils that go with the massage give the skin a natural boost in hydration.
If you prefer using a facial roller, that works wonders too!
16. Deep-Moisturize Before Bed
A lot of the necessary skin repairs happen when we’re getting our sleep every night. You’ll give your body a helping hand when applying hydrating creams before you head to bed.
Your evening skincare routine is the best time to use richer products to help restore the skin and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
17. Get Quality Sleep
Having fresh, glowing skin has much to do with how much sleep you get, so our final beauty tip for winter is to treat yourself to quality shut-eye.
Winter’s the perfect time to wind down a little earlier. Make deep-moisturizing a fun little routine to look forward to every evening to get you ready for deep, restorative sleep.
Be extra mindful of blue light from your gadgets before bedtime, as it can mess with the production of the sleepy-time hormone melatonin. Skip the before-bed scrolling and listen to your favorite podcast or calming music instead.
Home Remedies In Winter For Skincare
Looking for homemade beauty tips for the winter season? You can quickly whip up gentle and natural scrubs, masks, and more with just a few essential ingredients.
Here’s a how-to on skincare in winter DIY-style: Brown Sugar Scrub For Face & Body.
Sugar works wonders as a natural exfoliator without stripping the skin’s natural oils. Blend it with oil to turn it into a luxe, creamy scrub.
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup coconut oil, light olive oil, almond oil, or any oil of your choice
- Whip the sugar and oil until it forms a rough paste. Store in an airtight container.
- To use, apply scrub to face and body. Gently massage for a few minutes.
- Rinse with water or cleanser.
Hydrating Honey Mask
If your skin could use some extra TLC, sometimes you only need a little honey! Honey is an all-natural moisturizer with anti-bacterial properties that can help soothe skin irritation.
What you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- Three drops of lavender essential oil (optional)
- Stir well and carefully apply to the face. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
- Follow with moisturizer or face oil to seal in moisture.
Tips For Skincare In Winter FAQs
What Is The Best Skincare Routine For Winter?
The best skincare for winter includes a cream or oil-based cleanser, alcohol-free toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Hydrating serums are also worth considering.
What Skin Condition Gets Worse In The Winter?
Dryness and irritation tend to worsen in winter when the skin is robbed of moisture and natural oils. It can progress to skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema if left unchecked without proper skincare for cold weather.
How Can I Hydrate My Face In Winter?
Hydrate your face in winter with a good moisturizer. It’s best to apply after showering and before bedtime. Use products with naturally hydrating properties like shea butter and hyaluronic acid to support good face care during winter.
Which Serum Is Best For The Face In Winter?
One of winter’s best serums for the face is The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5 Serum. This hydrating serum is packed with amino acids to support and strengthen the skin barrier. It’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Should You Use Vitamin C Serum In The Winter?
It’s a good idea to use vitamin C serum in the winter, especially if you’re dealing with skin redness, irritation, and itchiness. Vitamin C is anti-inflammatory and helps to soothe these skin conditions. It’s great for evening out skin tone as well.
Should I Use Toner In Winter?
Yes, it would be best if you used a toner in winter. Toners help balance the skin’s pH and improve moisturizer absorption and other skincare products. Avoid alcohol-based ones, as they can be too drying in winter.
How Can I Hydrate My Skin In Winter Naturally?
These are the best ways to hydrate skin in winter naturally:
- Prioritize moisturizing skincare products
- Use lip balms and hand creams
- Drink enough water
- Eat well
- Use a humidifier at home
- Improve circulation with facial massages like gua sha
- Get enough sleep
Which Moisturizer Is Best In Winter?
The Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is one of the best moisturizers for healthy skin in winter. It has a peptide-rich formula that hydrates and repairs while feeling comfortably light on the skin.
Should I Use Face Oil In The Winter?
It’s good to use face oil in the winter, especially if you have dry skin. For winter skincare at home that’s both hydrating and relaxing, pair the face oil with a gua sha massage.
What Can I Put On My Face For Glowing Skin In Winter?
A vitamin C serum can help to get you glowing skin in winter. It’s great at improving skin tone and naturally brightens skin. It’s also a great idea to exfoliate weekly to get rid of dead skin cells and bring on that natural glow.
What Hydrates Your Face Fast?
Moisturizers are a quick way to hydrate your face. Look for moisturizers with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalene, shea butter, and glycerin. Support with overall healthy habits like drinking enough water and eating well.
What Should I Apply On My Face At Night In Winter?
Apply a deep moisturizer on the face at night in winter. The evening skincare routine is the best time to apply more affluent products to support the skin repair during sleep.
Summary: Tips For Skincare In Winter
We hope you found our tips for skincare in winter helpful!
If you’re wondering how to get soft skin in winter, a hydrating skincare routine paired with an overall healthy lifestyle is the way to go.
To summarize, here are the top tips for winter skincare to get you that healthy glow:
- Use moisturizing skincare products to combat dry winter skin
- Be careful about extra hot showers and baths as they can dry skin out
- Pat skin dry post-shower to lock moisture in
- Exfoliate 1 to 3 times a week to remove dead skin cells
- Reduce the use of drying products like retinol
- Use lip balms to keep chapped lips at bay
- Moisturize hands often with a good hand cream
- Drink enough water and eat balanced meals
- Invest in a humidifier at home
- Get enough sleep
Now that your skincare is sorted, start planning your Christmas look with these festive nail designs!