Simple Swaps for Winter Skincare

Lightweight moisturizers and barely-there serums are just what the doctor ordered when the temperatures are close to triple digits. But they’re no match for the rigors of winter. Pair the relentless elements outside with dry air inside, and you’ll see why your summer skincare routine needs a few simple alterations.

Routine hand washing can chap the skin on your hands, which is already dry in the winter. Make sure to follow up with a moisturizer every time you wash, and reach for something a little more intensive in the evenings before bed.

Pro tip: Help those parched palms with a simple pair of cotton gloves. Just lotion up and glove up – even an hour or two will really make a difference.

We recommend: Vaseline Intensive Rescue Healing Hand Cream is ultra moisturizing, but the quick absorption is what makes it a must for winter. Toss this small but mighty cream into your backpack or bag to soothe those dry, cracked hands when you’re on the go. Pick up a bottle here.

Skip the long, hot showers. It seems counterintuitive, but the heat will actually strip the moisture from your skin. Shoot for ten minutes or less in the water. And switch to a creamy cleanser specifically formulated for dry skin.

We recommend: Mama Mio Omega Shower Cream isn’t just for moms – this rich cleanser feels like more like a lotion and the scent will make anyone swoon. Natural ingredients like almond and avocado oils, aloe vera, arnica and chamomile help nourish, hydrate and soothe chapped, winter-dry skin. Get it here.

Because it’s so delicate and thin, the skin beneath your eyes needs a little extra TLC anytime of year. But come cold weather, you’ll want to keep it extra hydrated to reduce irritation, puffiness and dark circles. Don’t dab on whatever you have lying around – you may find it burns or stings. Creams that are formulated for the eye area will be much more gentle.

Pro tip: Take off your makeup every night, and use about a pea-sized amount of eye cream beneath both eyes. Avoid using more than that – active ingredients designed to reduce wrinkles and dark spots can irritate your skin if you over apply.

We recommend: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate is an intensive eye cream that boosts circulation with Butcher’s Broom and nourishes with lavender oil. Get all the benefits of a good eye cream – reduced appearance of fine lines, reduced puffiness and darkness – plus an extra boost of moisture for the dry winter months. Snag some here.

Clear away dead skin cells gently with a mild exfoliant twice weekly – face and body. Use warm water – not hot – then while skin is still damp, smooth on your moisturizer. If you wait more than a few minutes after washing to lock in moisture, your skin starts to dry out. Use a serum on your face at night before bed for extra hydration.

Pro tip: If you find your skin is feeling tight or is flaking, consider it a sign that you need a better moisturizer. And don’t skip the SPF, no matter what the calendar says.

We recommend: Repair your skin overnight with a soothing night cream like this one from The Body Shop. It gently hydrates with no fragrance, color or alcohol additives. During the day, protect your skin with Origins Rejuvenating Moisturizer. All-natural ingredients work to repair your skin’s moisture deficit.

Lips will chap far faster in the cold winter air. Avoid irritation and cracks with thick ointments before bed, and keep a lip balm handy for use during the day. Avoid licking your lips, which just compounds the problem.

We recommend: Slick on some color but don’t sacrifice moisture with Clinique’s Almost Lipstick. It’s lightweight, glossy and flattering too. For something a little heavier duty – and without the color – try Glossier Balm Dotcom. Packed with castor seed oil, lanolin and beeswax, this skin salve works on your lips, cuticles and anything else that needs a shot of moisture.