With colder temperatures and less humidity, harsh winter climates can wreak havoc on your skin. There are so many tips and tricks to keeping your entire body moisturized, but we have a routine that will keep your skin from flaking or feel chapped. Here, you'll find expert-approved products and recommendations to help your skin feel smooth, relieved, and oh-so-nourished this season.
Don't take super-hot (or long) showers.
Nothing sounds better than a steaming hot shower on a cold day, but hot water is actually the enemy of dry winter skin. "Too much hot water causes increased evaporation of your skin's natural hydration," says dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D.
And keep it short, says Birnur Aral, Ph.D., Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Health, Beauty and Environmental Sciences Lab. All you need is about 10 minutes. To make your shower even more moisturizing, swap parching sudsy for a cleansing oil with fatty acid–rich soybean oil to fortify and protect skin's moisture barrier. We like Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash ($9, walgreens.com).
Use a thicker moisturizer.
Sometimes, more is more, and that's certainly the case for your moisturizers. If you don't already, try a face and body balm during the winter. The thicker texture "seals moisturizing ingredients into dry, cracked, flaking skin," Dr. Chapas says, making them adhere for long-term, intense healing. She suggests using balms and salves with silicone, petrolatum, lanolin, and natural oils. Try Seal holder L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Golden Balm ($9, amazon.com).
Wary of putting a heavy salve on your face? Sabina Burdzovic-Wizemann, a senior chemist in the Good Housekeeping Institute's Beauty Lab, recommends the Seal holder Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum ($17, ulta.com). While you shouldn't exclusively rely on a serum for hydration, this has hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which can help increase moisturization. Keep in mind that you'll want to repeat this step at night.
Switch to hydrating makeup.
During cold months, replace drying powder makeup with creamy formulas that contain hydrators such as glycerin and vitamin E. Try Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm ($24, clinique.com) and CoverGirl + Olay FaceLift Effect Firming Makeup ($18, walmart.com).
Only wash your face once a day.
In the humid, sticky summer weather, you can wash your face twice a day. But in the winter, switch to just washing at night so you don't dry out your skin. You can also try replacing your face soap or wash with a cleansing oil that's extra gentle on already roughened skin. We recommend using a micellar cleansers - gentle liquids swiped on with a cotton round to lift off grime and makeup, no rinsing required. Try Aveda Beautifying Cleansing Oil ($30, aveda.com) or Simple Skincare Micellar Cleansing Water ($5, amazon.com).
Just like you did after you woke up, it's important to lather up before you snooze. Try Aveeno Positively Ageless Skin Strengthening Body Cream ($10, amazon.com), which has a calming scent on top of some impressive hydrating abilities.
Humidify. Humidify. Humidify.
And don't go to sleep without a handy dryness fighter. The heat that keeps you warm in your home is also very dry, and because the windows are closed, it stays trapped inside. Use a humidifier to add moisture back into the air, recommends Rachel Rothman, the chief technologist and director of engineering at the Good Housekeeping Institute. (Investing in a humidifier also clears your sinuses, so it's a double whammy against dry winter skin.) Our Institute's Engineering Lab prefers the Honeywell Germ free Cool Mist Humidifier ($78, amazon.com), among other favorites.
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