beautiful woman applies moisturizer to her face looking at the mirror
Photo: Kampus Production

As the winter season approaches, our skin faces a new set of challenges. Cold winds, low humidity, and indoor heating can leave our skin feeling dry, flaky, and less radiant. However, with a well-thought-out everyday winter skincare routine, you can maintain healthy and glowing skin throughout the chilly months.

In this blog post, I will try to guide you through a simple 5-step routine to help you achieve that coveted healthy and radiant look, while also highlighting common mistakes to avoid and DIY skincare recipes to try. I follow this routine myself, and can't be happier with how my dry skin started to look (and feel!). So, are you ready to start?

How to Change Skincare Routine for Winter?

The transition from fall to winter calls for adjustments in your skincare routine. During the colder months, it's essential to prioritize hydration and protection. Swap out lightweight products for richer, more nourishing ones. Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Kiracofe states, “You don’t need to change every product you use, but you should switch to heavier creams when it’s cold.”

Here's how to adapt your routine for the winter season:

  • Cleanser: Opt for a gentle, hydrating cleanser to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils. Look for sulfate-free formulas that cleanse without over-drying.

  • Exfoliation: Reduce the frequency of exfoliation, as the cold weather can make your skin more sensitive. Consider switching to a milder exfoliant and use it sparingly to remove dead skin cells.

  • Serum: Incorporate a hydrating serum with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides. This step helps lock in moisture and prevent dehydration.

  • Moisturizer: Choose a thick, emollient moisturizer with ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, or oils such as jojoba and argan. These create a protective barrier, preventing moisture loss.

  • Sunscreen: Don't forget sunscreen even in winter. UV rays are still present, and a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen shields your skin from potential harm.

various skin care products and tools on top of a marble table
Photo: Viva Luna Studios

Optimizing Winter Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

If you have naturally dry skin, winter can exacerbate the issue. To keep your dry skin hydrated and cure it from the uncomfortable itchiness and dry patches, consider these additional steps:

Humidifier: Invest in a humidifier for your home to add moisture to the air. This can significantly benefit your skin, especially when the indoor heating system is running.

Hydrating Masks: Incorporate hydrating sheet masks into your routine once or twice a week. These deliver an extra dose of moisture and improve your skin's texture.

Overnight Treatment: Use a nourishing night cream with ingredients like retinol, peptides, or antioxidants. Night creams are thicker and more concentrated, providing deep hydration and skin repair as you sleep.

5-Step Winter Skincare Routine for Glowing Skin

Achieving a radiant and glowing complexion during the winter months is entirely possible with a well-crafted skincare routine. The cold weather, harsh winds, and indoor heating can often leave your skin feeling dull and dehydrated. However, by following a simple 5-step winter skincare routine, you can maintain that coveted luminous look.

  • Step 1: Gentle Cleansing

Start your winter skincare routine with a gentle cleanser. Opt for a sulfate-free formula to cleanse your skin without stripping away its natural oils. Try staying away from hot showers and baths,  as it can be harsh on the hair and skin. Instead, use lukewarm water to wash your face. A gentle cleanse not only removes dirt and impurities but also prepares your skin for the subsequent steps in your routine.

  • Step 2: Exfoliation with Care

Exfoliation remains a crucial step in your winter routine, but it requires a more delicate approach. The cold weather can make your skin more sensitive, so reduce the frequency of exfoliation and choose a milder exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants with glycolic acid or lactic acid are excellent options, as they gently remove dead skin cells, revealing a brighter and smoother complexion underneath.

  • Step 3: Hydration with a Serum

Hydrating serums are your best friend during winter. My favorites are oil serums with additional nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or Vitamin E. These powerhouse hydration boosters help your skin retain moisture and prevent dehydration. Apply the serum while your skin is still damp from cleansing or exfoliating to lock in that essential hydration.

  • Step 4: Nourishing Moisturizer

A rich and emollient moisturizer is a non-negotiable step in your winter skincare routine. These creams create a protective barrier on your skin, preventing moisture loss throughout the day. Shea butter, cocoa butter, and nourishing oils like jojoba and argan are ideal ingredients to look for. Don't forget to apply moisturizer both in the morning and before bedtime to maintain a well-hydrated and radiant complexion.

  • Step 5: Shield with Sunscreen

Despite the chilly temperatures, never underestimate the importance of sunscreen in your winter skincare routine. UV rays are still present and can damage your skin, even on overcast days. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and apply it as the final step in your morning routine. This layer of protection ensures that your skin remains safe from potential harm while maintaining its radiant appearance.

woman mixing diy face mask in a bowl
Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Popular DIY Winter Skincare Recipes You Should Try

I love using homemade recipes for my skincare, especially during the colder time of the year. If you enjoy DIY skincare just as much as I do, winter is an excellent time to experiment with natural ingredients to combat dryness and promote healthy skin. 

‣ Honey and Oatmeal Face Mask: Mix honey and finely ground oatmeal to create a soothing and hydrating mask. Apply it to your face area for 15-20 minutes, after rinse it with water;

‣ Avocado and Yogurt Mask: A homemade avocado mask is my favorite recipe ever! Mash ripe avocado with yogurt to form a creamy mask that replenishes moisture. Leave it on for 15 minutes so your skin can absorb all the necessary oils and rinse it off;

‣ Coconut Oil Body Scrub: Combine coconut oil with sugar or salt to create an exfoliating and hydrating scrub for your body. Use it in the shower to slough off dry skin;

A Few Common Winter Skincare Mistakes to Avoid

While adapting your skincare routine for winter is crucial, it's equally important to avoid common mistakes that can harm your skin. However. there are a few very common winter skincare mistakes we all do, but we must avoid. Among them are:

Hot Showers: As tempting as it may be, avoid hot showers, as they can strip your skin of essential oils. Opt for lukewarm water instead.

Over-Exfoliation: Resist the urge to over-exfoliate, as this can irritate your skin further. Stick to a gentle exfoliation schedule.

Skipping Sunscreen: Never skip sunscreen, even on cloudy days. UV rays are still present and can lead to skin damage.

Final Thoughts…

Achieving healthy and radiant skin during the winter months doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a simple 5-step everyday skincare routine tailored to the season, you can maintain your skin's natural glow. Remember to adjust your products for the colder weather, prioritize hydration, and protect your skin from the sun. 

If you have dry skin, consider additional steps like using a humidifier and incorporating hydrating masks and night creams. Lastly, have fun experimenting with DIY skincare recipes while being mindful of common winter skincare mistakes to avoid. By following these guidelines, you can keep your skin looking its best even when the temperatures drop. Your radiant complexion will be the envy of the season.

Lots of love,