What is it about winter that conjures up such lovely images? Sleigh rides, big sweaters, even marshmallows floating on the surface of a steaming hot cup of hot chocolate. But then there’s also dry, cracked skin that feels like it’s being rubbed with sandpaper and looks like it’s never seen the light of day. That’s why it’s so important to switch up your winter skin care routine so your skin can not only look, but feel its best in the winter months!
Although we always recommend daily cleansing twice a day (along with the usual toner, serum, etc.), we also have a few tricks to make sure your winter skin care routine is keeping your skin in great shape!
Tips for the Best Winter Skin Care Routine
A winter skin care routine goes far beyond just your skin care products. How you treat your skin in winter and how you prepare it for winter weather has a lot to do with keeping your skin looking great when the weather gets cold. Here are a few tips about how to take care of your skin outside your usual skin care routine.
1. Lip balm is your friend
It takes mere seconds for lips to dry out in the winter so be sure you’ve always got a lip balm on hand. And if you’re out and about and find yourself without hand lotion, lip balm can always double for it in a pinch!
2. Use a humidifier
Nothing will dry out the skin or the sinuses like a really dry room, especially when the heating system is cranked up high! Use a humidifier by your bed and you’ll likely find your skin and your air passages feel a lot better in the morning. If you don’t have a humidifier, or don’t want to invest in one, keep pots of water on the radiators for a DIY version!
3. Make sure you’re moisturizing the skin on your body
Nothing is less comfortable than dry, cracked winter skin. Make sure you’ve got a good body moisturizer and start using it before skin gets cracked, so you’re not irritating already irritated skin.
4. Don’t dry off completely
Instead, when you get out of the shower, just pat down the skin and then apply moisturizer, locking in moisture.
5. Limit physical exfoliation
Since physical exfoliation involves rubbing the skin with a tool like a brush or a sponge, it’s always a good idea to limit how often you exfoliate physically in any kind of extreme weather.
6. Lower the inside temperature
We know—nothing is more fun than cranking up the thermostat when you start to feel the first little chill in the air, but heat can REALLY dry out your skin. A better option—on a couple of levels—is to throw on a few extra sweaters and get under some blankets.
7. Limit shower time and/or take cooler showers
It sounds counterintuitive to take cooler showers in the winter, but hot water can really exacerbate dry, cracked skin. If you can, try to keep your shower temps warm, but not excessively so.
8. Carry your toner with you
We know what you’re thinking—isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in the summer? Yes, it is, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, which is another way of saying that a good toner that locks in moisture is key in the winter months as well.
9. Put on an extra layer of moisturizer before you go out
Prevention is key, so be sure to put on a little extra moisturizer before you go out in the cold to prevent skin from becoming cracked and dry to begin with.
10. Watch your alcohol intake
You probably want to stay away from anything that dries out your skin in the winter months so if you can, choose water over wine when the temperature gets colder.
11. Wear sunscreen
We know what you’re thinking: why would I wear sunscreen in the winter? Believe it or not, the sun’s rays can still be incredibly strong—and damaging—in the winter, especially if they’re reflecting off snow or even ice. A layer of sunscreen is a good idea for anyone spending a lot of time outside, no matter what the season.
Ingredients to Incorporate into Your Winter Skin Care Routine
Changing your winter skin care routine really doesn’t have to be all that elaborate. One easy way to accomplish that is to have a quick look at your skin care products and make sure they’re full of natural ingredients that really hydrate and moisturize the skin.
Here are some ingredients you should think about incorporating into your winter skin care routine:
- Hyaluronic acid - Hyaluronic acid helps moisturize your skin a couple of different ways. First, by drawing moisture to the skin and then, by locking it in there. It’s kind of a double whammy as far as helping keep skin nice and moisturized.
- Glycerin - They say sometimes you just don’t know your own strength and this is especially true of glycerin. Glycerin essentially takes the moisture you already have in your skin and brings it to the surface to help keep skin hydrated.
- Rose Flower oil - Rose flower oil is a gentle, natural way to hydrate your skin which is why we’ve included it in our Rose & Shine toner. Just a little right after you’ve cleaned your skin and before you put on your serum will help keep your skin feeling hydrated in the winter.
- Aloe vera - It’s amazing how plain old uncomfortable skin can feel in the winter, which is why a soothing ingredient like aloe vera feels so good on dry, cracked winter skin.
- Lactic acid - We know what you’re thinking and yes, lactic acid is an exfoliant, but it’s an extraordinarily gentle one, making it a perfect exfoliant for the winter.
- Coconut oil - Not only is coconut oil a great moisturizer, it’s an antioxidant that helps protect skin from environmental stressors.
- Green tea leaf extract - Full of antioxidants and vitamin E, which is known for its hydrating properties, green tea is a great skin care ingredient for winter.
- Chamomile - If there’s one thing winter skin needs it’s something soothing and nothing soothes like chamomile. Not only that, but it’s full of antioxidants to help fight environmental stressors.
- Jojoba oil - Nature has produced few ingredients as reliable as jojoba oil when it comes to moisturizing the skin. Incorporate it into your winter skin care routine and you’ll probably find your skin feels a lot better!
- Laurelwood seed oil - Laurelwood seed oil really helps calm the skin down, so if you find your skin acting up over the winter months, try to add some laurelwood seed oil to your winter skin care routine.
Winter Skin Care Routines for Different Skin Types
Anytime the weather changes, especially if it does so drastically, chances are, your skin is going to change as well. In the winter, most people find their skin gets drier (even those with oily skin). We have a few suggestions to keep your skin happy and looking great in the winter no matter what your skin type!
Winter skin care for dry skin
Having dry skin in the winter is like being allergic to dogs and going to a dog show. It’s just months of discomfort, itchiness, dryness, and all-around frustration. The best way to combat this is by keeping your skin as moisturized and as hydrated as you possibly can. Get a hold of a really good moisturizer that will not only add moisture, but help lock it into your skin. And don’t worry about overdoing it—as long as you’re putting it on clean skin, a few extra applications is fine, so keep it with you when you’re out and about!
Winter skin care for oily skin
Even oily skin might experience some dryness in the winter (in fact, you might feel as if your skin is closer to combination skin for a few months out of the year), so don’t worry about adding some extra moisturizer to your skin. Just make sure you’re using one that’s made for all skin types. And remember, if your skin is acting like it’s really combination skin, you can treat it as such and just add extra moisturizer (and hydrating serum) in the spots that are extra dry.
Winter skin care for combination skin
Chances are, in the winter your skin probably acts more like dry skin so make sure you’re hydrating as much as possible with both moisturizer and eye cream. If you’re like most combination skins, you probably don’t use as much moisturizer on your nose and forehead ordinarily, but if you feel like you need it in the winter, go ahead.
Winter skin care for your 20s and 30s
We’d love to tell you that due to your youth, your skin will easily make it through the winter with no problems or discomfort whatsoever, but that would be a big lie. The truth is, you’re just as susceptible as anyone else to dry, uncomfortable skin in the winter. Not only should you make sure you’re using a good moisturizer, you should make sure you’re using an eye cream as well to make sure the skin around your eyes stays hydrated.
Anti-aging winter skin care
Lack of humidity and really dry skin feels like someone is literally sucking the moisture out of your skin with a turkey baster, which can not only make skin feel older but look older. A good idea is to take some toner and press it right into those places like in the corner of the eyes, the jowls, and the lips where wrinkles and lines tend to form easily. This will add a little extra moisture to the skin.
It’s also not a terrible idea to apply an extra layer of moisturizer at night and just let it absorb while you sleep (just make sure you use an old pillow case because it WILL get on anything it touches). And as long as you’re not wearing make-up, feel free to apply more regularly (three times a day is absolutely fine).
Winter skin care for sensitive skin
Strangely enough, sensitive skin acts in very similar ways during both summer and winter in that they usually become even more sensitive in extreme weather. If you have sensitive skin, make sure you don’t do anything to exacerbate the conditions like physical exfoliation (which literally involves rubbing the skin) or introducing products with harsh chemicals.
Also, like those with dry skin, people with sensitive skin should really watch their shower temperature to make sure they’re not drying out their skin more than necessary. You may also want to think about using a detox mask or other exfoliant just a little less in the winter—if you use one four times a week, think about using it two times a week (but try not to cut it out entirely because exfoliation helps moisturizer really get in the skin).
Winter skin care for dull skin
Unfortunately, skin has a tendency to get a little dull in the winter. To give skin back its glow, be sure to exfoliate with a gentle, chemical exfoliant. If your skin is dry, once a week in the winter is plenty (just be sure you’re following up with a moisturizer).
You’ll also want to make sure you’re using a vitamin C serum which will really help brighten the skin and keep it looking alive!
So whether you’re hitting the slopes or making snow angels, these suggestions about how to adjust your winter skin care routine to the season should keep your skin looking, well, as fresh as snow!