If you’re pulling your favorite boots, coats, and chunky sweaters out of storage for the colder days ahead, it’s also time to pull out your winter skincare essentials. Each season calls for its own wardrobe, whether that’s clothing or beauty products, so you look and feel your best.
The right skincare for winter effectively guards your skin against the harsh elements of the season. Chilly and blustery temps outside, and heaters cranked up high inside, dry out your skin. That increases your risk of redness, flaky patches, chapping, and a parched complexion that makes lines and wrinkles more pronounced.
Curating a winter skincare routine doesn’t just prevent those problems from cropping up on your complexion. It pampers and protects, too, so that even when the weather outside is gray and gloomy, your skin looks glowing.
Crafting the Ideal Winter Skincare Routine
This is the time of year to use products designed for dry skin. You want skincare that is formulated to hydrate and moisturize, which gives you benefits such as:
- A soft, even skin texture
- A diminished appearance of lines and wrinkles
- A Nourished, conditioned complexion that feels supple and firmer
- Fewer blemishes and breakouts
- Protection from environmental irritants
- Reduced redness or irritation
Here are some of the most important steps to follow in your winter skincare routine for dry skin:
Step 1: Cleanse Morning and Night
A gentle cleanser is a must at any time of the year because it balances the skin without stripping away its natural oils. As with moisturizer, winter calls for a creamier product than the lightweight cleanser you rely on during warm-weather months. A balm feels soothing on dry skin while dissolving impurities, so your complexion looks refreshed.
Step 2: Use a Retinol
Retinol promotes a more radiant complexion as it supports cellular turnover. Skin looks brighter and clearer, but it also appears smoother and more even because dead skin cells aren’t building up on the skin’s surface, forming flaky patches and dulling the complexion.
Your winter skincare moisturizer may contain retinol; if it doesn’t, find a serum you can apply in the evening after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing. If you’re new to retinol or have sensitive skin that gets stressed easily, try retinyl palmitate, which is the least irritating retinoid.
Step 3: Moisturize
A powerful, emollient moisturizer is the cornerstone of your skincare routine for both day and night. The hydration it supplies fortifies the skin’s moisture barrier, which helps prevent damage as well as dryness; the latter can cause your skin to produce excess oil, which may lead to acne.
Plus, a well-hydrated complexion has a plumped, more youthful appearance, making it essential skincare for winter. This is the season when you want to exchange your lightweight summer moisturizer for a thicker, more luxurious cream that intensely hydrates your complexion.
Step 4: Always Apply Sunscreen
The sun may not be out in the dead of winter, but its UV rays can still cut through the cloud cover and damage your skin. Sunscreen should always be part of your skincare for the winter season. Use a product with broad spectrum coverage and a minimum SPF 30.
Step 5: Carry a Moisturizing Lip Balm
Chapped or cracked lips are painful, making simple things like talking or eating a chore. The delicate skin on your lips needs just as much protection as the rest of your face during winter. A lip balm that nourishes and hydrates is an everyday staple; you may even want more than one so you can keep them handy in your purse, gym bag, and nightstand drawer.
Step 6: Nurture with an Overnight Mask
Low-humidity cold snaps can be particularly drying for your skin (and that’s exacerbated when you try to escape the freezing outdoors by turning on your furnace when you get indoors). Those are the times your skin may need extra moisture in the form of an overnight mask, which goes to work while you sleep.
Incorporate these masks in your winter skincare routine for dry skin about once or twice a week, or as often as needed, depending on how your complexion is holding up in the cold climate.
When to Switch Routines from Fall to Winter
You’ll know it’s time to use your winter skincare when change is in the air–literally. Keep an eye on the weather forecast not just for the temperatures, but also for the humidity levels; less humidity in the air means more dryness. And if you’re chilly enough to start using indoor heat or taking hot showers, that’s another sign to start implementing your skincare for the winter season.
Important Winter Skincare Ingredients
The best winter skincare routine for dry skin incorporates high-quality ingredients, from potent botanicals to the latest in advanced skincare technology. Here are some names to look for on your product ingredient labels:
- Hyaluronic acid: attracts moisture to the skin
- Niacinamide: a B vitamin that helps calm and reduce redness
- Shea butter: a rich emollient that moisturizes the face and the body
- Vitamin C: a tremendous antioxidant that helps protect skin
- Ceramides: support your skin barrier and help your complexion stay hydrated
Keep in mind that there are also ingredients you shouldn’t be using in your winter skincare, such as alcohol, fragrance, mineral oils, and other skin irritants. Instead, focus on products that combine clean beauty and clean science, using ingredients that are good for you (and for the planet).
How to Support Your Skincare for Winter
Here are two ways to enhance the effectiveness of your winter skincare routine:
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers counteract winter’s low humidity levels, so these machines can prevent your skin from getting too dry. Use a portable humidifier during the day if you’ve got the heater running, and especially at night in your bedroom while you sleep.
Nourish Your Body from the Inside
Eating well and drinking plenty of water supports skin, so it looks luminous. You may want to add a supplement such as The Skin for a 360-degree approach to winter skincare. This product strengthens the gut microbiome to re-energize cells for healthier-looking skin.
Augustinus Bader Winter Skincare Products
Looking to add some pieces to your winter skincare wardrobe? Try the following products, which are all powered by our scientifically advanced TFC8® technology that encourages cellular renewal for the long term: