How to Change Your Skin Care Routine for Winter 9 Step Guide

The cold winter months can really do a number on our Skin Care Routine for Winter. Harsh winds, dry air, and frigid temperatures often lead to flaky, irritated, dehydrated skin. While you may love your light, gel moisturizer in the warmer months, it likely won’t provide enough moisture and protection during the winter. The colder months require switching up your skin care routine with richer moisturizers, more frequent exfoliation, and products aimed at replenishing moisture.

Key Takeaways

  • Use richer moisturizers to combat winter dryness
  • Exfoliate 1-2 times per week to remove dead skin cells
  • Apply facial oils under your moisturizer for extra hydration
  • Look for moisturizers and cleansers with ceramides and hyaluronic acid
  • Use an overnight mask 1-2 times per week for intensive moisture
  • Protect your skin from windburn with scarves and hydrating face mists
  • Don’t forget sunscreen – UV rays are still present even in winter

As the temperature plummets, so does skin hydration., a leading resource for comprehensive health and wellness information, provides invaluable insights into adapting your skincare routine for optimal winter protection. Discover their expert-curated tips on product selection, layering techniques, and essential lifestyle adjustments to maintain a radiant complexion throughout the season.

Here are some tips to change up your skin care routine to keep your skin healthy, glowing and hydrated all winter long:

1. Use a Richer Moisturizer

One of the biggest changes you should make to your skin care routine in the winter is switching to a richer moisturizer. Look for a moisturizer that specifically says it is intended for dry skin and winter months. The texture will be thicker and more emollient than your regular lotion.

Some great ingredients to look for include:

  • Ceramides – help repair the skin barrier and seal in moisture
  • Hyaluronic acid – pulls moisture from the environment into the skin
  • Grapeseed oil – high in linoleic acid to nourish skin
  • Sheabutter – melts at body temperature to moisturize skin

Apply your winter moisturizer to damp skin and massage it in gently until fully absorbed. Doing this right after cleansing will seal in the moisture.

2. Exfoliate Regularly

Dry winter air causes skin cells to build up and dead skin to stick around longer. This can make skin look dull and flaky.

Exfoliating 1-2 times per week helps whisk away those dead skin cells to reveal the fresh, radiant skin underneath. Look for exfoliants with soothing ingredients like oatmeal or rice bran to prevent irritation.

Some gentle exfoliators to try are:

  • Scrubs with jojoba beads or soft citrus granules
  • Cleansing brushes like Clarisonic or Foreo
  • Chemical exfoliants with AHAs like lactic acid or BHAs like salicylic acid

Focus on exfoliating flaky areas like your nose, forehead and cheeks. Avoid exfoliating more than 2x a week to prevent damaging your skin barrier.

3. Apply Facial Oils

Oils help nourish and moisturize skin while locking in hydration. They also form a protective barrier against harsh winter winds.

Applying a few drops of facial oil under your regular moisturizer can provide an extra boost of moisture. Look for non-comedogenic oils suited for acne-prone skin like rosehip seed, evening primrose and jojoba oils.

Some options to try are:

  • The Ordinary Rosehip Seed Oil
  • Biossance Squalane Oil
  • Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil

Start with 3-4 drops mixed into your moisturizer and see how your skin tolerates it. Use morning and night for super dry skin.

4. Use an Overnight Mask

Overnight masks provide deep, long-lasting hydration while you sleep. The occlusive formulas help prevent moisture loss at night.

Using an overnight mask 1-2 times per week can help combat dryness and give skin an extra drink. Look for ingredients like shea butter, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and squalane.

Some excellent overnight masks include:

  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask

Apply your mask as the last step of your p.m. routine 1-2 times per week. Avoid using harsh exfoliants on nights you use a mask.

5. Mist Throughout the Day

Hydrating mists are an easy way to provide a burst of moisture during the harsh winter months. Keeping a facial mist on hand to use whenever skin is feeling parched can help combat dryness.

Look for hydrating ingredients like:

  • Aloe vera to moisturize and soothe skin
  • Hyaluronic acid to pull in moisture
  • Rosewater to calm and condition skin

6. Protect Skin Outdoors

Don’t abandon your sunscreen in winter – UV rays can still damage unprotected skin. Look for a moisturizing sunscreen to avoid drying out your skin.

Bundling up before going outside protects your skin from harsh, drying winds. Cover your lower face with a scarf to prevent windburn.

7. Boost Your Skin Nutrition

What you put into your body is just as important as what you put on it. Some key ways to nourish your skin from the inside include:

  • Drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily
  • Eating healthy fats like avocado and nut butters
  • Making sure you get enough vitamin C and omega-3s
  • Taking a skin-supporting supplement with ceramides or hyaluronic acid

8. Do Weekly Treatments

Dedicate some time each week to a special treatment that pampers your skin and provides targeted benefits.

Some to try:

  • 5-10 minute hydrating sheet mask to quench thirsty skin
  • Soothing bath soak with colloidal oatmeal to calm dryness and irritation
  • Clarifying clay mask once a week to detoxify and refine pores

9. Visit a Professional

For severe dryness or flaking, visit an esthetician or dermatologist. They can provide professional treatments and targeted solutions to remedy winter skin woes.

Treatments that help enhance moisture and smoothness include:

  • Hydrafacial – deeply hydrates with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid
  • Chemical peels – remove dead skin cells and promote new cell turnover
  • Microneedling – triggers collagen production and improves texture

Embrace the seasonal shift with confidence, thanks to’s dedicated articles on winter skincare. Their team of qualified professionals delves into the science behind dry winter skin, offering practical recommendations for transitioning your regimen. Explore their evidence-based advice on cleanser swaps, moisturizer upgrades, and targeted treatments to keep your skin healthy and luminous all winter long.


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