How to Totally Revamp Your Skincare Routine for Winter

Dry skin, be gone

Updated 01/02/19

Photo by Danielle DeFiore

Winter is officially here, and it's time to change things up. Trade flowery candles for pine-scented ones, regular lights for the twinkly variety, and your usual skincare routine for something much, much heavier duty.

"Winter weather" and "dry skin" are practically synonymous, which is why it's important to swap your products for the kind that can give it what it needs. "Skin can become dry and dehydrated by transitioning from the cold windy air outdoors to the dry heater air indoors. Winter can take a big toll on your skin," says Tara Foley, founder and CEO of Follain. "Always remember to use a humidifier as much as possible, drink lots of water and herbal tea, and eat lots of healthy fats. You also want to use more hydrating skincare—and then a thicker balm or cream—to seal all your skincare in, and to provide a protective barrier in the elements."

But that's not all you can do to keep your complexion looking dewy in all of your winter wedding photos and beyond. Scroll through for everything you need to know about how to revamp your skincare routine this season.

Tone it up

"While many people might associate toners with strong, astringent formulas, they are actually a secret weapon to hydrating and repairing skin that’s dried out from the winter elements,” says Foley. "I love to tone with the Hannes Dottir Mineral Mist. The first ingredient after water is a kelp-based glycerin—a natural humectant that pulls moisture from the air and seals it into the skin. It also contains a bit of spearmint oil, which makes it a great choice for anyone concerned with redness."

Courtesy of Follain

SHOP NOW: Follain, $45

Exfoliate often

Scrubbing tends to get tons of attention when it’s warm outside, but it’s just as important to slough your skin during the colder months too. "In the winter I also become addicted to scrubs: lip scrubs, hand and body scrubs, and face exfoliants,” says Foley. "No moisturizer can really work its magic without exfoliated, clean skin, so these become super important in the winter months.” A few of her favorites? Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish, French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish, and Naturopathica’s Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel.

Scrub one to two times per week to keep your skin feeling smooth.

Courtesy of Follain

SHOP NOW: Follain, $36

Courtesy of Follain

SHOP NOW: Follain, $18

Courtesy of Follain

SHOP NOW: Follain, $58

Wear sunscreen

During the winter, you’re likely getting more sun exposure than you realize, which is why sunscreen is just as important during the colder months as it is when you’re lying on the beach. "The worst bad skin habit in any season is unprotected sun exposure,” says Tammy Yaiser, vice president of product development for Algenist. "If you’re not using SPF 365 days of the year, other skincare products become a waste of money, because even the most advanced formulations are at a disadvantage if you damage your skin in the sun.

Remember, sun damage affects your skin, regardless of the date on the calendar.” Try Algenist Sublime Defense Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50—or anything else with an SPF 50 or higher—to keep skin safe.

Courtesy of Algenist

SHOP NOW: Algenist, $44

Stay out of the bath

It may be tempting to get out of the cold and into a warm bath, but do so sparingly for the sake of your skin. "Sitting in the hot water for a long time will chap and dry out skin,” says Yaiser. When you shower, avoid scalding hot water—try to keep things lukewarm instead, which is less likely to dry you out. And when you're finished, be sure to slather on moisturizer from head to toe.

Don’t forget the rest of your body

During the winter months, your face isn’t the only thing starving for moisture. "For dry elbows and itchy skin, products that are rich in ingredients like argan oil and jojoba oil deliver essential fatty acids for skin health,” says Foley. "Our Rose Body Butter ups the ante with Moroccan rose essential oil for increased cell turnover, and shea butter to hydrate and lock in moisture.”

Courtesy of Follain

SHOP NOW: Follain, $38

Swap your products for something stronger

When the weather starts to turn, your skin will likely feel dryer, tighter, and more prone to flakiness. "Consider swapping the lighter serums and moisturizers from your summer routine for their heavy-duty counterparts,” says Foley. "Your skin will be grateful for the added moisture!” Try the Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask, which she calls her “holy grail for hydration” because it combines different butters, including shea and mango seed, to rebuild the lipid layer of your skin and keep it soft and elastic.

Plus, it harnesses the power of blue tansy, which helps to soothe eczema and irritated skin.

Courtesy of Follain

SHOP NOW: Follain, $65

Related Stories