Winter Beauty Checklist: 5 Super Simple Swaps for Dry Skin

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

With the end of summer comes the fall of crisp, autumn leaves. And leaves aren’t the only thing that’s gotten a little less hydrated. The cold weather, lack of moisture in the air, plus wind and central heating can wreak havoc on our temperamental skin.

As a licensed master aesthetician, I constantly hear my clients complaining of dry skin in the winter. So I thought I’d share with you the top five tips and tricks I give them during this season.

1. Fight winter dryness with a cool mist humidifier

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Keeping a humid environment is one of the easiest things you can do in the winter. Cool mist humidifiers will help bring moisture back into the air so that the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) isn’t drying out.

Low moisture levels could be hurting your skin health! So definitely have one in the bedroom while you’re sleeping, but it doesn’t hurt to have them all around your house.

2. Slather on the sunscreen

I know, winter is not usually the time associated with tans and burns and photosensitivity, but stay with me: Sun protection is year-round!

On a beautiful day, clouds may let up to 80 to 90 percent of the sun’s rays; 10 to 20 percent if it’s not sunny. But keep in mind snow may reflect as much as 80 percent of the rays back onto your face as well! So winter is no time to slack off.

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I recommend ISDIN Eyrofotona Actinica ($55) for face, which is proven to undo sun damage according to the brand’s website, and Coola Mineral Body SPF ($32), which is easy to find and works well!

3. Avoid taking piping hot showers

Sorry to your skin. Hot showers may feel amazing, however, they really dry the epidermis out.

Instead, turn the dial to warm and remember to hydrate the body with lotion or an oil immediately after to lock in moisture. I like OGX Coconut Miracle Oil ($6.99) for it’s availability, price point, and quality of hydration.

4. Exfoliate! Well!

If you don’t exfoliate, the dead skin acts as a barrier, causing your lotions to just sit on the surface. It’s good to exfoliate your skin 2 to 3 times a week.

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This Stimulate Bath Mitt ($39) gets the dead cells off your body while ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish ($67) gently resurfaces your facial skin.

5. Bring out the good stuff

Often left uncovered, your face gets the brunt of the winter conditions. To keep your skin’s natural barrier strong, it’s important to have a face cream, with ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids.

These ingredients help mimic the skin’s natural barrier so your skin can do a better job holding water and protecting you from the elements. I like Trio by Skinbetter ($135), although you’ll need to sign up for an account in order to purchase.

If that’s not enough try adding in a hyaluronic serum, to help bind water to the skin, it can hold up to 1000x its weight in water. My recommendation here is PCA Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum ($115).

Lastly, to prevent the moisture from evaporating into the dry winter air, mix a couple drops of a face oil into your moisturizer. Herbivore Emerald CBD Oil ($48) is a good option for this occlusive technique, which will add an extra barrier for hydration.

Depending on where you live, some of these tricks may be optional (not the sunscreen though, that’s always mandatory). But if you notice your skin changing with the seasons, it’s smart to switch up your routine along with it. After all your wardrobe changes, so why not your skin care?

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