Daylight savings may give us an extra hour of much needed sleep but early sunsets paired with winter weather can result in dry, dull and even flaky skin. Sure, you can add a bit more highlighter or swap your matte foundation for a luminous one but good makeup starts with a good base, and that is a great skincare routine.
A great skincare routine isn’t about piling on pricey products but knowing what works for you, even more so during the winter when you need to replenish moisture and vibrancy lost due to the cold. We reached out to Dr. Debra Jaliman, a NYC-based dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist for a few tips on how to switch up your routine and keep your skin glowing just as it was all summer, even if you can’t have that post-vacation tan.
Change Up Your Skincare Routine
While lighter moisturizers for the face and body might have gotten you through summer, if you have dry skin, they just won’t cut it for cold winter weather. The decrease in temps leaves your skin vulnerable. , “In the cold weather, your skin attempts to conserve heat by constricting blood vessels, which in turn dries out the outer layers of your skin. It also makes the lines more prominent and makes skin dull and flaky,”Jaliman says. “You will most likely need to look for skin products that are more moisturizing and heavier in texture.” For really dry skin she suggests heavier creams rather than lotions or mixing in a few drops of a hydrating serum.
Some key ingredients to look out for? Humectants, which draw moisture into the skin like glycerin, and ingredients that promote hydration like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. There are also products that come in thicker formulas like shea butter and vitamin E, both known to benefit the skin.
While you’re adding in these hydrating products to your routine be sure to cut products that dry skin out. Jaliman suggests skipping alcohol-based products and washing your face with a hydrating cleanser.
Retinol users should also be careful around this time and add in a few heavier creams and moisturizers, “Retinyl palmitate and Retinol can dry your skin out and cold-dry winter weather can leave your skin depleted of its moisture,” she says.
Be Sure to Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliation is as essential as cleansing and moisturizing. “Even the best skin in the world will look dull if it is not well exfoliated,” Jaliman says. Exfoliation clears away dead skin cells revealing brighter skin and helping other products work more efficiently. ”You can exfoliate on a daily basis with your cotton washcloth or disposable cotton pad and a cleanser, or with the use of a cleansing system. If you think daily is too often you can switch to 2-3 times a week,” Jaliman suggests. Another alternative to mild physical exfoliation is mild chemical exfoliation a few times a week. She recommends salicylic acid which will exfoliate the surface layer of the skin and penetrate pores or lactic acid which will work on the surface to buff away dull skin.
Add in A Few Extra Skincare Treatments
Take advantage of the extra time you’re spending indoors with a few at-home treatments. Sheet mask devotees can add a few hydrating ones into their routine. Dr. Jaliman says , “Sheet masks are best for hydration and for penetration of ingredients so they are good for dry, dull winter skin and also for anti-aging and brightening.”
A few specialty treatments she recommends if you do make a visit to your dermatologist are microdermabrasion or genesis laser, a laser treatment that “reduces redness, improves skin tone and texture, and minimizes pore size.”
Now that you know what kinds of products and ingredients you should add to your routine, we’re rounded up a few recommendations to add to your cart.
Winter Skincare Products
Dr. Jaliman’s cleanser pick contains hydrating ingredients like apricot kernel oil, avocado oil and squalane. If you’re not familiar with squalane, it’s a natural oil that “is extremely moisturizing and keeps skin hydrated. Its molecular makeup is very similar to our own skin’s cell membrane and this allows it to absorb rapidly.”
She recommends this toner because it “contains glycerin and honey which are extremely hydrating. Great for the cold dry winter weather.”
This moisturizer is a rich cream formula that’s packed with ceramides for extra moisture.
Buff away dull skin with this gentle chemical exfoliant. The glycolic acid formula gently smoothes and exfoliate skin while hydrating.
Not only hydrating, this hyaluronic acid formula is also soothing if you’re dealing with irritated and dry winter skin.
Hydrate and soothe with this combination of chamomile, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera.
A more affordable alternative is this probiotic and prebiotic packed mask which isn’t just cute (it comes with cloud stickers) it’s hydrating and great for dull dry skin.