As the weather get colder and the humidity drops, dry skin can be spotted from a mile away. Taking care of your skin and changing your routine is a must for the colder months. Spending a little bit of extra time giving your skin the nourishment it needs can make all the difference in the health of your skin. Cold weather skin care needs are completely different than warm weather needs, and usually require more products. No matter your skin type, it’s likely that your skin gets dry in the summer. If you have normally oily skin, this can be a relief, or can cause more problems as the dry air causes your skin to produce more oils as compensation. If you already have dry skin, then cold and dry air just makes the problem worse.
No matter your skin type, i have some great remedies for the dry skin that comes with cold weather, as well as some great products for different skin types. It’s important to understand your skin type and your skins needs. If you have sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, or acne prone skin, theres no denying that your skin needs a little extra TLC in the cold weather months.
Drink More Water
I know that’s the first thing in every skin care post, video, tips, etc. But it’s so true. Especially in the winter months when the weather is cold and dry, you need even more water to keep your skin hydrated, you can’t expect any product to help if you’re not hydrated well enough.
Eat Your Greens
Greens are jam-packed with tons of vitamins and minerals. All of which are necessary for your skin health. Making sure to get your greens in each day is a great way to keep your skin, and the rest of you, health. If you hate vegetables (like me) you can sneak your greens in a few different ways. In a smoothie, either by adding greens or some sort of superfood greens powder (they’re everywhere). Or you can take a supplement like i do, which has all of your daily greens needs, i take this one.
Cutting out Dairy and/or Gluten
This one isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve been having issues with your skin and nothing seems to work it could be worth a shot. I personally don’t have issues with dairy or gluten, but you may be sensitive and not even know it. If you you have issues with texture, acne, eczema, etc. it couldn’t hurt to try. Additionally, cutting out red meat and processed foods can help too. I notice a serious decline in the health of my skin if i’m eating too many processed foods. Ultimately, nourishing your body the way it needs to be nourished is so important for the health of your skin.
At the end of the day, everything you put into your body is reflected on the outside, and it’s important that you’re taking care of your overall health. Getting in all of your water, your nutrients, and avoiding foods that your body doesn’t like will make a larger difference than you think.
Cold Weather Skin Care: Cleansing Products
A good cleanser is the foundation of any solid skin care routine. Anything you put on your skin and anything you put in your body won’t make much of a difference if your skin is dirty. It’s important to ensure your skin is completely clean before you put anything on it. In the winter, using a makeup remover followed by a gentle cleanser is important in ensuring you’re not stripping your skin of the necessary natural oils, but still getting your skin completely clean. Additionally, exfoliating once or twice a week, depending on your skin type, is important to get off all of the dead skin and help avoid flaking and peeling.
All skin types
My top recommendation for all skin types has always been the Clinique take the day off cleansing balm. It’s a semi-solid balm that melts with the warmth of your fingers and removes EVERYTHING without stripping the skin. It’s $29 on Amazon and lasts quite a long time.
If you’re looking for something quick or cheap i highly recommend the Simple micellar water or the micellar water wipes. Micellar water is a great option for all skin types and it’s great at removing makeup without drying the skin. The wipes are super convenient and great for travel, while the micellar water works perfect on a cotton round.
All Skin Types / Normal & Combination Skin
My favorite gentle cleanser for normal skin, and really all skin types is the Alchimie Gentle Cream Cleanser. It’s very gentle but does a great job of cleaning out your pores and removing anything the makeup remover didn’t. It’s on the pricier side, but is well worth every penny.
A budget-friendly option is the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser. I used this all through high school and i loved it. Again, it removes everything without stripping the skin and is less than $7 on Amazon.
My favorite dry skin cleanser is the Sahara Rose Luminous Clarifying Cleanser. This is one that i often switch to in the winter time as my skin dries out. I find that it’s moisturizing while still being a great gentle cleanser. I like that use of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory as i often wake up with puffy skin in the morning, and this is great to combat that. It’s only $18 and well worth it.
If you have very dry skin, that can be sensitive, i highly recommend the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser. This is great if you have skin that’s flaking or peeling, or skin often reacts to products. You can get it at your local drug store or on amazon for relatively inexpensive, and it lasts quite a while.
If you have very oily skin that stays oily through the cold months, it’s important to take care of the oil, without stripping and drying the skin that can be more sensitive during the winter months. I feel that the best option for this is the sister product to my favorite Alchimie facial cleanser, the Alchimie Purifying Facial Cleanser, it’s great for breaking down oils and removing dirt without stripping and still softening the skin.
Exfoliating your skin is a great way to remove dead skin and even the texture, especially when your skin is dry. However, it’s important that you’re using the right one for your skin type. Scrubs can be harsh and stripe your skin if you’re not careful. Additionally, using them too frequently can do the same thing.
A mechanical exfoliator is one that exfoliates by physically removing the dead skin cells. These typically include, brushes and sponges and can typically be combined with your favorite gentle cleanser.
I personally use the Clarisonic Mia, its the base model of the Clarisonic and has lasted me for years. You can buy replacement brush heads for inexpensive every couple of months and it works great. You can also buy different textures of brush heads to suit your needs. I usually use this with my cleanser before I do a mask, that way i’m putting a mask on fresh skin cells but not using too many different products at once.
I also like using exfoliating facial sponges, especially when i’m on the go or traveling. They work best if used a few times and then disposed of. They provide a similar result to the Clarisonic, but only last through a few uses.
These are exfoliators that use chemicals to break down dead skin cells and remove them, they’re usually in the form of some type of chemical peel. I’ve tried many, and most of them do nothing. But the ones that do work, work great. My favorite ones are the Caudalie Glycolic Peel, and the Philosophy Microdelivery Triple-Acid Peel Pads. I find that the Caudalie peel is great if you have dry skin, because it will exfoliate without stripping your skin. The Philosophy peel pads are a bit more intense, but give great results. I wouldn’t recommend them if you have super sensitive skin or already peeling / flaky skin, but they work great if you need an intense “reset” for your skin.
Combination Exfoliators are probably what you think of when you think about an exfoliators. These are your typical scrubs, that usually combine some sort of mechanical exfoliator such as sugar or sea salt, with some sort of cleanser or chemical exfoliator.
My absolute favorite face scrub is the Fresh Sugar Face Polish, it smell incredible and works great. The Fresh brand is one of my favorites, they use a lot of natural ingredients and are reasonably priced, i’d highly recommend any of their products.
The Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser is another one of my favorites. This is great to use in the shower in the morning, the orange and ginseng wakes you up and gives you that glow that we’re all after.
Toners are often overlooked, or skipped altogether because a lot of people don’t understand what a good toner is meant to do. A toner should balance the pH of the skin, which is great for maintaining your normal skin bacteria, keeping away acne and avoiding stripping of the skin. However, lots of “toners” actually do quite the opposite, it’s important to find one that actually does the job for you, and one that doesn’t contain alcohol.
For myself, i typically just stick to basic pure witch hazel, you can get it pretty much anywhere for very inexpensive, it helps to balance the skins pH, even the skin tone, and leave you with a glow, it’s also great for fighting acne!
My other favorite toner is the Kiehls Cucumber Herbal Alcohol Free Toner, it’s great if your skin is on the more oily side, it does a really good job of dissolving and removing oil as well as keeping it at bay. If you have skin on the dryer side, i’d highly recommend the Caudalie Moisturizing Toner, it does exactly what a toner is supposed to do while providing a bit of extra moisture for your skin.
Serums are a great way to tailor your skin care routine to your specific needs. Cleansers and moisturizers can only get so specific when it comes to your needs, however serums are designed to care for your skin in very specific ways. Luckily, there’s tons on the market and you can definitely find exactly what you need. While they can get pricey, it’s typically well worth the investment and they usually last quite a while.
If you’re looking for a brightening glowy effect: The Drunk Elephant C-firma Day Serum is wonderful. The vitamin C helps to way you up and make you look it as well. It’s perfect to give your skin the extra TLC it needs.
If you’re looking for an all-around serum: The Ole Henriksen Truth Serum is great. It’s a collagen boosting serum and helps to bring moisture back into the skin while promoting healthy and younger-looking skin as well. Collagen is one of my favorite additives in a serum.
If you’re looking for moisture and anti-aging: The Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum is a must-have. Peter Thomas Roth products are all around great products. Everything that i’ve tried from them has done exactly what it’s supposed to do. The hyaluronic acid in the serum helps to bring moisture into the skin and hold it there, while providing anti-aging properties as well.
More anti-aging: The Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion Serum is a thicker serum than the water drench, and is supposed to be used over night. Retinol is on of the best anti-aging additives on the market. It promotes new cell turnover leaving younger looking skin. Although pricey, it’s well worth it and a little goes a long way.
Moisturizers are probably the most important part of a winter skin care routine. With dry and cold air comes dry and dull skin. Being able to bring moisture back to your skin and prevent it from getting dry in the first place. A good moisturizer is key to great skin in the winter.
If you don’t haver super dry skin but want to make sure that your skin is still getting all the moisture it needs, i highly recommend the Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturizer. It’s great to use in the morning with a thicker moisturizer at night. This one has a great orange smell that really wakes you up, while still being super hydrating.
If you have dry skin that gets even dryer in the winter, my hands down all-time favorite is the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense is the best. It’s great for using both morning and night because it doesn’t leave your skin greasy but provides a ton of moisture all day.
If you want a great night-time moisturizer the Sahara Rose Sumptuous Regenerating Cream is prefect. Its very thick and nourishing and has tons of natural ingredients that promotes moisture and cell turnover in the skin.
The Alchimie Kantic Calming Cream is another great option for the winter. If your skin gets dry and irritated this is perfect. It has tons of natural ingredients that help to calm and nourish the skin while providing tons of moisture.