No matter your skin type—or how dedicated you are to your skincare routine—winter’s brutal weather conditions can really do a number on the smooth, supple complexion you’ve worked so hard to achieve in the weeks and months leading up to your wedding. The bitter-cold air and harsh winds can swiftly steal the moisture and glow from your face, leaving skin feeling rough, irritated, and majorly dehydrated (which we all know is not a good look for your big day).
“You have to take special care of your skin during the winter months when the humidity is low and heating systems dry out the air,” says Danuta Mieloch, renowned esthetician and owner of Rescue Spa with locations in both Philadelphia and New York City. She suggests moisturizing often with products rich in hyaluronic acid and avoiding any harsh ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction. And for brides, Mieloch says it’s especially important to “establish a good skincare regimen now, and make sure to follow through with it on a daily basis.”
No need to totally ditch your current line-up of products, though—just swap in one or two moisture-boosting formulas that’ll give your skin an extra layer of protection against winter’s chill. We singled out a few superstar serums and moisturizers, tailored made for each and every skin type; pick which one will work best for you and start slathering it on ASAP.
Dull, parched skin will drink up this luscious new night cream from PCA Skin. Its buttery texture makes it a dream to apply, and just a tiny dollop is all it takes to restore severely dry, tight skin. One of the key ingredients is snow algae, a fascinating species that thrives in frigid temperatures and has the ability to increase the longevity of skin cells. Plus, the cream’s advanced technology adapts to temperature and humidity, which means your skin gets the perfect amount of hydration based on your environment.
Hydraluxe, $147, PCA Skin
Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Oily and blemish-prone skin types require a little extra dose of hydration in the wintertime, too. This thin, nutrient-rich serum floods the skin with moisture and is packed with hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water—without clogging pores. If your skin is really oily, using the gel on its own might be enough to keep your face hydrated; otherwise it can be worn with your usual moisturizer as a second line of defense against chilly air.
Hydrating B5 Gel, $82, SkinCeuticals
When this Korean skincare line hit Sephora shelves in 2015, beauty addicts went crazy for its lightweight, but incredibly hydrating, gel moisturizer. The Aqua Bomb’s oil-free formula keeps combination skin supple and comfortable, and absorbs quickly without leaving behind a sticky or greasy residue. The best part? It has multiple uses: Besides being a fantastic day and night cream, you can also coat your face in a thick layer of the cream and wear it as a moisture-boosting mask.
The True Cream Aqua Bomb, $38, Belif available at Sephora
Organic argan oil is a multitasker that every bride-to-be should have in her vanity: It hydrates dry patches, balances out your natural oil production, and is jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids that nourish the skin. When the temperature dips, Josie Maran’s cult-favorite oil is best when used as a final step in your nighttime beauty routine; patting a few drops into your skin after applying your serums and moisturizer will help seal everything in.
100% Pure Argan Oil, $48, Josie Maran
Sensitive complexions have finally met their match: The Chanel team worked tirelessly for four years (and through 117 rounds of testing!) to create La Solution 10, a no-nonsense, 10-ingredient face cream that soothes and hydrates even the most finicky of skin types. Silver Needle tea, a Chinese-grown variety of white tea, is the formula’s secret weapon; it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps regulate how your skin responds to stress. If you’re prone to redness and irritation—even if it’s just in the winter—this cream is a must-try.
La Solution 10 de Chanel, $80, Chanel
The benefits of this velvety serum are twofold: Immediately after applying, you’ll notice that fine lines begin to blur and skin looks smooth and refreshed. In the long run, it restores the skin’s natural ability to produce hyaluronic acid (the serum itself has five different forms of HA in it). The lightweight gel blends seamlessly into skin, and provides eight hours of lasting hydration. Bonus: It creates the perfect canvas for makeup application.
HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, $120, SkinMedica