Forget blizzard warnings. Winter should come with another weather advisory—rough beauty conditions ahead. From sensitive skin, to red cracked lips, dry cuticles, and flaky, dull skin, we’ve all been a victim of one (if not many) of the winter skincare woes. With the changing of the season, comes us storing away our favorite light lotions and super cleansers in favor of a gentler, more hydrating bunch. But it’s hard to know which products you should use and when. Which—drumroll—brings me to the official unveiling of my guide to surviving that dry, windy air with ease.
So gear up! It’s time to adjust our regimens and face everything from the frosty nights to the office central heating.
The Winter Beauty Survival Guide
- Gently Cleanse. This is always the first step, regardless of the season, but because it’s wintertime, it should be shorter than normal. We do not want to strip the skin! Your cleanser should be gentler than what you use in the warmer months since winter brings dry and less-humid air, which causes the moisture to be drawn from your skin throughout the day, leading to dry, scaly and itchy skin (i.e.: winter itch). Look for cleansers with natural oils (like green tea oil), in their list of ingredients so you can cleanse and moisturize simultaneously! Also, a great oil or balm cleanser will leave your skin soft and dewy, not tight. Product Suggestions: Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser, de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm
- Moisturize. During the wintertime, both your face and body deserve a richer moisturizer. So leaf behind the lighter lotions behind and make way for a heavier cream that’s packed with active ingredients. A good cream help the skin to maintain moisture and keep a healthy skin barrier that decreases water loss, which is crucial during the colder months. When it’s dry, our skin is more vulnerable to all sorts of damage because the lipid barrier that protects your skin—not just from moisture loss, but from incoming trouble like pathogens that can cause infection—is more easily compromised. Products containing bioactive moisturizing ingredients, such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Avocado Oil, Argan Oil, and Vitamin E deliver soothing and hydrating lipids and hydrators to skin! So protect with plants! Product Suggestions: One Love Organics Skin Dew Coconut Water Cream, Weleda Skin Food, Ahava Night Replenisher
- Replenish with oils. Face oils are great for achieving a glow, as well as, replenish the top layers of skin so that it can retain moisture and repel assaults from wind and cold. Add a few drops of your oil to your moisturizer to get the benefits of both! Product Suggestions: Drunk Elephant Marula Oil, La Mer Renewal Oil, Tatcha Gold Camellia Face Oil
- Ease up on the exfoliation. We all know that a little cell-shedding every now and then makes your skin look and feel much better. But, overdoing it can cause sensitized, dry and dehydrated skin, which is the last thing you need in the cold, dry, winter months. Opt for gentle exfoliators such as lactic acid, adzuki bean powder, or mushroom extract! Product Suggestions: Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, Sunday Riley Good Genes
- Pucker up. Your lips need just as much care as the rest of your face come winter time. From the cold air whipping around, to licking your lips, to wearing too much lipstick, there are so many factors that contribute to chapped lips—all of which can dry them out and make them flaky or, worse, cracked. We've all been there; it's super painful. So to avoid this dilemma, make sure you moisturize your lips regularly with a lip balm that has ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed antioxidant-rich fruit seed oils to help rejuvenate lips by providing long-lasting moisture! Stay away from fragrance and flavor filled formulas! Product Suggestions: Pangea Organics Lip Balm
- Give yourself a hand. Your hands are just as susceptible to winter itching and dryness as your face, so apply an antioxidant-rich nourishing cream throughout the day after washing your hands. And, ditch the alcohol hand sanitizer; look for one with tea tree oil instead.
- Cool it. While a hot shower sounds like the best idea to take off the chill, you will exasperate skin dryness. Take a tepid shower, and apply your moisturizer within the first two minutes of patting yourself dry!