There are a bunch of reasons to love winter – cozy nights around the fireplace with a cup of tea and your favorite book, time for your trendy turtleneck sweaters, and finally, Christmas holidays everyone is looking forward to since the busy autumn season arrives (at least in my case). Forgetting something? It is also time to tweak skincare in winter. Dry skin, chapped lips, red cheeks can be huge dealbreakers.
So, here are 10 essential tips I came up with to help you build a better skincare routine in winter.
#1. Skincare in winter Tip: Up your cleansing game in winter
Transitioning from one season to another is a stressful time for the skin. During this period, it needs some gentle cleansing. Using milk, cream-gel, hydrophilic oil cleansers, or foam cleansers can definitely benefit the skin throughout winter. One thing to bear in mind here is choosing cleansers with moisturizing effects.
Your skin loses so much moisture in winter, you need to make up for it by using products with extra hydration. Look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, peptides, Vitamin E which are powerhouse hydration names. And yes – we double cleanse in THESKINVERSE house. Meaning, your cleanser with an oil-based cleanser first, followed by your go-to water-based cleanser. Don’t skip toners afterward!
#2. Winter skincare Tip: Switch to thicker moisturizers in winter
Ever notice how it seems like your skin becomes even drier after being outside for even 15 minutes? It feels like all the moisture evaporates. That’s actually partly true. In winter, due to negative environmental factors, the skin retains moisture worse – and it begins to evaporate rapidly.
There is also this opinion that it is impossible to use a moisturizer in winter, as moisture can freeze and damage the epidermis. But if you give the cream time to absorb (around 30 minutes) – apply it well before going out, there will be no problem.
Just like with cleansers, when it comes to moisturizing creams for skincare routine in winter, look for moisturizing ingredients (petrolatum, peptides, hyaluronic acid, fatty acids) and ingredients that will help the skin preserve this moisture – squalane, ceramides, vegetable oils. Did you know that putting Vaseline on your face in winter can be a lifesaver? Especially for dry skin. It is just another name for petrolatum jelly we mentioned before.
#3. Winter Skincare Tip: Use serums in winter skincare for extra boost
It is no secret that using serums in your skincare routine is essential. Because they tackle a specific problem your skin faces, it is like giving your skin that daily repair boost. Plus, serums are absorbed by the skin almost instantly and deeply make their way down to pores which is great news for, well all skin types.
It is also obvious that every skin type faces different problems every season. For example, dry skin gets even drier, flakier. Acne-prone skin tends to lose its moisture while sensitive skin experiences even more redness as temperature drops and cold winds blow.
By choosing a serum that targets your skin concern, you will make your work even easier. Because yes, the serums will do all the work for you! If you are acne-prone, use serums with active ingredients like niacinamide, tea tree oil, or salicylic acid.
If your skin is on a sensitive side, opt for serums with Centella Asiatica, chamomile extract, aloe vera calendula that will deal with redness and calm down the skin. And, yes, don’t forget that every serum should contain hydrating ingredients for skincare in winter!
#4. Winter Skincare Tip: Sunscreen isn’t only for summertime, sweetie
I hope by this time everyone knows about this. If not, I am always happy to let others know. One of the mottos for a lifetime is Sunscreen, rain or shine. (literally)
Did you know that snow reflects 80% of UV lights while dry beach reflects only 15%? What this means is that your skin isn’t safe from the sun in winter.
Harmful sun rays affect the skin all year round, and wintertime is no exception. It is imperative that you develop the habit of wearing sunscreen daily to prevent photoaging. Because otherwise, your skin will age faster. Constant exposure to the sun is the number one reason behind photoaging.
That’s why so many skincare products have an SPF added or we have Vitamin C serums that fight sun damage. Skincare in winter should involve protection from UV lights, so NEVER skip SPF at the end of your daytime routine. AAD recommends wearing SPF 30 or higher.
#5. Winter Skincare Tip: Prevent dry, chapped lips
Skincare in winter doesn’t have to involve the face or body alone. Lips are the most sensitive parts of the face, it is generally the first one to be affected. Chapped, dry, cracked lips are almost the first signature sign of winter. And licking your lips constantly isn’t a solution. Did you know that your own saliva can irritate the skin even more? It is a skin condition known as lip licker’s dermatitis, aka lip licker’s eczema.
The best way to prevent dry lips in skincare during winter is by wearing lip balms or some kind of ointment. Look for hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil, Vitamin E, avocado oil, or shea butter. Some lip balms will have an SPF which is especially great for those skiing sessions during holidays when you are exposed to the snow and the sun. Don’t forget to reapply it after eating or before going out.
#6. Winter Skincare Tip: Steer clear of alcohol and hydrate inside out
I know this one is easier said than done (especially during Christmas). But moderation is key. Steering clear of something doesn’t really happen overnight, it is a step-by-step process. However, I believe that you can gradually get there.
Research shows that not only does alcohol lead to facial aging, but it also dehydrates the body which is the last thing you want when it comes to health. It also worsens certain skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and so on. So, by cutting down on your alcohol intake you will make sure to walk your “skin” down the wintertime with minimal damage.
If you have the habit of drinking often, for example, 3 glasses of wine, drop it to one and see how it works. Chances are it will also improve your skin, especially if you are prone to redness or dryness. Drink green tea instead. It is packed with antioxidants and is good for the digestion system.
Making sure to drink eight glasses of water can be a challenge for some of us. You don’t have to get there in one day. Start with 4 glasses, for instance, and increase the number over time.
#7. Winter Skincare Tip: Don’t forget to take care of your hands
If having dry lips is the number one sign of skin damage caused by winter, dry hands is probably the second. With such cold weather, it is almost impossible to keep your hands hydrated all the time. You might get dry hands as a result of over-washing with soap too, they tend to strip the skin of its natural oils.
Try to wash your hands with liquid soaps which are much more hydrating for the skin. As for hand screams, normally, any hand cream does the job of moisturizing the hands. With that said, in winter, you need thicker hand creams with occlusives (aka ingredients that lock the moisture on the surface of the skin) such as shea butter, lanolin, and petrolatum (vaseline). Don’t forget to put the cream on the elbow area as well since it gets cracked and dry.
#8. Winter Skincare Tip: Hot showers aren’t good for the skin
I know how tempting how showers (or baths, in that matter) can be at the end of a long, winter day. Been there, done that. Taking a hot shower in cold weather will do more harm than good. It will leave your skin dehydrated and irritated. Just like overwashing your hands, taking a hot shower will strip the skin of its natural oils. So, don’t overdo the showers and stick to lukewarm showers or baths.
Don’t forget to apply body lotion or moisturizer after lukewarm showers to keep your skin well hydrated.
#9. Winter Skincare Tip: Get a facial whenever you can
Getting a facial as a part of your skincare in winter really means giving your skin the rest it deserves. If you are following the steps of a skincare routine, you know that sometimes it needs something more. And that can be achieved by a more professional approach.
Getting a facial will ensure deep hydration, increased blood circulation, and a tailor-made approach aimed at your skincare concerns. Facials also “feed” vitamins and antioxidants into the skin and have anti-aging benefits as well. They are also a part of your ME time and self-care which we all need so badly in busy cold winter months. So, getting a facial once a month or so can definitely pamper up your skincare routine in winter.
#10. Winter Skincare Tip: Treat dry heels and ankles
Most of the time we forget about our feet overall in the winter months. I guess that’s because they are hidden under boots or heavy shoes we wear in seasons, unlike summer, for example, when our feet are mostly open.
Cracked, dry heels can be softened by some extra care. Again, make sure to use moisturizers to attend to dry areas. But first, soak your feet in a lukewarm bath for 15 minutes or so, this will help the skin soften up.
Then rub your heels with a loofah or a foot scrubber so you can shed the dead skin cells. Finally, use a basic vaseline-based cream or a heavier cream like Aquaphor Healing Ointment to fix dryness and cracks. Do this often so you can avoid extreme cracks or dryness along the way.
Bonus tip: Top tips for every skin type for skincare in winter
Tips for Sensitive skin:
Such skin easily turns red both from cold temperatures and wind. The reaction of the blood vessels to harsh weather conditions, as well as “cold-heat” modes, result in a feeling of tingling, accompanied by tightness, general discomfort, and sometimes peeling.
According to conducted clinical studies, the use of products with panthenol and niacinamide can effectively prevent redness and dryness in sensitive skin in winter.
Thus, look for creams with these ingredients in the composition. Niacinamide, for example, is included in a number of serums and moisturizers.
More on Niacinamide: The Complete Guide To Vitamin B3 For Skin
Tips for Oily/acne-prone skin in winter:
Winter skincare routine for acne-prone, oily skin can be challenging but it is doable. Oily skin has a thicker stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin), which, together with sebum, forms its own protection. So the risk of getting a more negative reaction to cold weather is much lower.
The main aim of winter skincare for oily skin should be not to overdo it with cleansing and not to dry the skin. But if you are acne-prone, you suffer from moisture loss in winter more than others who have normal skin.
Research attributes this to the fact that oily skin suffers from the lack of ceramides in the stratum corneum of the epidermis, which leads to dehydration in the winter season. For example, products with ceramides will strengthen the skin barrier and overall moisture retention.
Tips for Dry skin in winter
Dry skin is completely defenseless against cold temperatures, and the risk of discomfort and severe peeling is very high. Winter makes the condition even worse in case of dry skin. The best winter skincare tips for dry skin in winter would be to consider the most delicate cleansing and the use of products with enhanced protection, softening, and soothing properties.
Squalene, Hyaluronic acid, antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, argan oil, avocado oil should be Dry skin 101 ingredients in winter skincare.
Tips for combination skin in winter skincare
If you have combination skin, you need to focus on protecting the U-zone, which is more prone to dryness. Spread a light moisturizing gel or your usual cream all over your face, and apply a thicker cream or oil to drier areas. Again, opting for products with moisturizing ingredients is key.
Winter skincare requires some preparation, but hey, so does everything. By tweaking your skincare in winter you can provide the skin with the extra care it needs. Be gentle to your skin, take good care of it and healthy skin in winter will follow.