Winter is the season of cozy socks and sweaters, warm drinks… and dry skin. Every time you step outside, your skin is bracing itself against elements like coldness, dry air, wind, snow and/or rain. Even if you live in warmer regions (looking at you, California), the overall colder climate means your skin needs a little bit of extra love to stay hydrated and healthy.
If the thought of adding steps to your skincare routine makes you shiver, though, hear us out: the key to winter skin survival is building in extra layers of hydration. Your routine can still be simple and minimal as long as you use the right products.
Hopefully you’re keeping your body covered and warm whenever you’re outside, especially your hands, which can quickly dry and crack without moisturization or protection. You should still be showering like normal, using products like Meant’s Do-All Wash and Do-All Conditioner. You also want to be exfoliating a few times a week to ensure dead skin cells aren’t blocking all the moisture you later put on your body.
You also want to apply your lotion as soon as you are out of the shower — the steam from the shower means your pores are already open and are more receptive to drinking in the creams. While you’re still damp from the shower, Lindsay Knaak-Stuart, founder and CEO of Meant, recommends using a nickel-sized amount of Meant’s Absolute Balm all over your body. And for the places that need extra love, like your elbows, cuticles or knuckles, you can massage in some of the balm throughout the day.
Believe it or not, your face routine can stay relatively the same in the winter — you might just have to swap out a few of your products. For example, switch your cleanser to one that is more milky, oil or gel-based, as they are less stripping than foaming cleansers (unless you have oily or acne-prone skin — then you might want to stick to those). Some of our favorites include Glow Recipe’s Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser, Marie Veronique’s Replenishing Oil Cleanser or Goop’s Luminous Melting Cleanser.
The one thing you should consider adding, if you haven’t already, is some sort of hydrating facial oil or serum. Adding an extra layer between your cleanser and moisturizer is key. One key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which helps your skin retain moisture and you can wear day and night. You can find it in products like The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and Peach and Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum. Natural oils are also effective for the cold. Lindsay’s personal favorite winter serum is Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, and one bottle lasts all winter.
Don’t forget about your lips either — Lindsay loves Love + Sage’s Daydreams Lip Balm, which is gentle enough to use on kids and babies!
And finally, you probably want to scout for a thicker, creamier moisturizer, like Burt’s Bees’ Intense Hydration Night Cream, Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream or Ursa Major’s Golden Hour Recovery Cream. Just make sure to apply an SPF if you go outside — the sun’s rays can still reach you, even in the middle of winter!