Ten winter skincare solutions

Tired of chapped lips, dry skin and cracked heels? Luckily, there are ways to fight back against parched, flaky skin season. “Our skin dries and dehydrates in the winter, due to the seasonal shift of less humidity and colder air,” explains Andrea DeSimone, Holistic and Organic Aesthetician. “The effect of winter on skin is dehydration, sensitivity and redness, as well as a loss of elasticity and glow, plus an overall drier complexion.” And here’s some bad news for the ladies: women generally have thinner skin and less oil than men so their skin can get even drier.

But DeSimone says the solution is simple: “You must shift your skincare regimen with the seasons.” That’s because your skin acts differently from summer to winter and the best game plan is to adjust your routine to suit your skin’s needs. These simple strategies will keep your skin healthy, beautiful and problem-free all winter long.


We can’t say it enough! “Moisturizing, especially before skin dries out after a shower, will lock in the moisture and prevent excessive dehydration,” says Dr. Julia Perederiy, a Research and Development Scientist of Groh/Entia Biosciences. “This will keep the top skin layer intact and reduce inflammatory winter skin conditions.” While it’s important to keep skin hydrated year-round, it’s especially crucial in the winter. “When you don’t apply moisturizer, it forces your oil glands to work harder than they have to in order to produce protective oil that must be maintained,” says DeSimone. “You need a barrier to protect the skin from the chapping air and dry, hot indoor heat.”
TRY: Bliss Fabulous Drench ‘n’ Quench


“In winter, skin produces less oil, so for many skin types, oil must be added back into the skin to maintain its balance,” says Renée Rouleau, Celebrity Esthetician and Founder of Renée Rouleau Skin Care. “Look for moisturizers containing safflower oil, avocado oil, and shea butter.” Or, you can layer an oil under your moisturizer to deliver additional hydration and antioxidant protection.
TRY: L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil SPF 30


When it’s cold outside, we tend to turn up the heat at home, which depletes skin of its natural moisture, leaving it feeling tight and dry. “People then add extra moisturizer to compensate, but this will not always solve the problem,” Rouleau says. “If skin is already tight, it means there is dry skin build-up on the surface, so rather than loading on moisturizer, increase exfoliation to remove dryness.”
TRY: Clarisonic Smart Profile


“During winter, change to a creamier cleanser, giving skin a looser clean feeling and respecting its lipid barrier,” says DeSimone. Look for a mild formula that won’t over-dry and cause damage. “Remember the rule: the more lather, the more drying to the skin,” says Rouleau. “Use sulfate-free cleansers for a gentle clean.”
TRY: Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Crème Cleanser


A humidifier keeps moisture in the air — and in your skin — so keep one in the bedroom while you sleep. “Skin needs at least 30 percent humidity to stay soft, but there is only about 10 percent humidity in heated indoor environments,” says Dr. Marvin Hausman, Founder and Chief Science and Technology Officer of Groh/Entia Biosciences. “The low humidity and stripping of protective skin oils causes faster evaporation. The top layer of the skin shrinks, which reduces efficacy of its barrier function and can lead to skin inflammation, crusting and painful cracks.”


It’s true that beauty comes from within — especially glowing skin. “Drink more water to stay better hydrated from the inside out,” says DeSimone.


The lack of moisture in the air combined with the drying heat can take a real toll on your hands. “Add in all the alcohol-based hand sanitizers used to prevent colds and flus, and it really makes for rough, cracking hands,” Rouleau says. “To keep hands soft and moist, try wearing gloves whenever possible, exfoliate using glycolic acid, keep hand lotion in your bag, and sleep with cotton gloves on in the evening.”
TRY: Le Métier de Beauté Rejuvenating Anti-Aging Hand Créme with SPF 50


Incorporating more products into your routine makes a major difference during the colder months. “Applying moisturizer consistently is important, however when your skin craves more hydration, the answer is not always adding extra layers of moisturizer,” Rouleau says. “The solution is using a specialty serum underneath your moisturizer to hydrate the skin, because the damp skin will help to absorb your regular moisturizer more effectively.” Eye cream is another must to keep the delicate skin hydrated and stave off signs of aging.
TRY: La Prairie Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection á Porter


“The elbows and feet are affected because they never see the light of day this time of year, while hands and lips are overexposed and dehydrated,” says DeSimone. She suggests patting on a small amount of honey, then olive oil on lips before bed, and soothing rough elbows with olive oil. “Pay attention to your neck in the wintertime too,” Rouleau advises. “Friction caused from collars and scarves can rub on the neck, causing dryness and irritation. Use a hydrating cream mask on your neck once a week to replenish essential moisture, as well as use a mild facial scrub in upward motions.”
TRY: Rodial Snake Neck Mask


To protect your skin during the harsh winter months, it’s not just about moisturizing more — using formulas with key ingredients is crucial. “Finding the right moisturizer to hydrate dry skin lies in the ingredients — ones that actually repair the lipid moisture barrier in the skin and prevent transepidermal water loss,” says Rouleau. “These ingredients will make your skin moist, supple, and smooth. It’s a fact that hydrated skin is healthy skin, so start looking at your ingredient labels to find the perfect moisturizer.” Scan the label for the following ingredients when choosing a moisturizer: