When cold weather hits, you may have to do more than switch out your wardrobe to adjust to the temperature. As your skin gets used to dryer air, harsher temperatures, and for some, a major lack of moisture and hydration, you may have to adjust your skincare routine for the winter months as well. If you’re one of those people who notices a visible shift in your skin when cold weather starts, pay attention! We’re breaking down the winter skincare tips you need to know to keep your skin hydrated until spring.
Playbook spoke with NYC-based dermatologist Angela Lamb, MD, to get the deets on what winter skincare tips you should implement to keep your skin healthy and hydrated all season long.
If you’re not using an oil already, consider adding one to your routine. To get the best hydrating effects, Dr. Lamb recommends an oil and moisturizer combo. “I like to apply an oil after cleansing and then apply a moisturizer on top,” she says.
When choosing an oil, it’s best to look for one that will help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier, and provides antioxidant protection during the day. Ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin E, and niacinamide are powerful antioxidants that will protect your skin from environmental factors such as UV rays and pollution, which can cause premature aging. Vitamin E will also help strengthen the skin’s barrier by locking in moisture.
Dr. Lamb recommends using Each & Every’s Skin Goals Facial Oil ($55), made from plant-based ingredients. True Botanicals Natural Chebula Immunity Serum ($90) and Versed Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil ($20) are great choices as well.
Dr. Lamb notes that going through your skincare routine twice a day is “a must” in the winter. Complete the same steps — using an oil after cleansing and before putting on moisturizer — in the morning and again in the evening.
In addition to the ingredients listed above, Dr. Lamb recommends looking for “simple ingredients that trap in moisture.” She recommends emollients like chia seed oil, hyaluronic acids, and shea butters. An emollient is a key ingredient found in moisturizers. Emollients cover the skin with a thin film to help trap moisture and keep it locked into your skin.
Dr. Lamb recommends using a humidifier in your bedroom as you sleep to help lock in moisture overnight. As you sleep, the skin loses moisture if it’s in an environment that falls below 30% humidity.
Use a smart humidifier like the Dyson Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde ($900) humidifier that displays humidity levels on-screen and auto adjusts to increase humidity levels as you sleep. Or, opt for one that pulls double duty and acts as an aromatherapy diffuser, like the Canopy Humidifier ($125). If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, try turning on the LEVOIT Humidifier ($39.99), a quiet, cool-mist humidifier, while you slumber.
Finally, make sure to hydrate your skin from the inside out by increasing your water intake. Since you may not sweat as much during the winter, your body may not signal to you that it’s thirsty the way it does in the summertime. To stay hydrated during the winter, the American Heart Association recommends women to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water daily, while advising men to consume twelve 8 oz glasses of water daily.
Additionally, Dr. Lamb suggests eating more high-fiber foods during the winter. “You definitely need to drink more water and [consume more foods and] ingredients that are high-fiber to absorb water,” she advises.
About the author
Brittany Leitner is an award winning poet and journalist who specializes in health, wellness, beauty, and travel writing. She previously held editorial positions as the senior lifestyle editor of Elite Daily and the managing editor of DoctorOz.com. She's currently based in Brooklyn, New York.