How do I change my skincare routine for winter? 8 Step


Winter can really do a number on your skincare routine for winter. The cold, dry air sucks moisture from your skin, leaving it feeling tight and flaky. Plus, indoor heat further contributes to dry, dehydrated skin. It’s important to adjust your skin care routine during the winter months to account for the change in climate. Your regular products may not provide enough nourishment and hydration when the air is cold and moisture-depriving.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use moisturizers that are richer and more hydrating in winter
  • Exfoliate 1-2 times per week to remove dry, dead skin cells
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture back into dry winter air
  • Look for moisturizers and cleansers with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides
  • Protect your skin from windburn and cold temperatures when going outside
  • Use warming products like a facial oil, cream, or mask at night

Here are some tips for changing up your skincare routine for winter in the winter to keep your skin looking fresh, dewy and perfectly moisturized all season long:

1. Use a Richer Moisturizer

One of the key steps is switching to a more nourishing moisturizer during winter. Look for a moisturizer that is specifically formulated for dry or normal-to-dry skin types. Stay away from gel moisturizers, as these provide lightweight hydration that won’t cut it in the winter.

Look for the following ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid – Attracts and binds moisture to skin
  • Ceramides – Repair skin’s moisture barrier
  • Glycerin – A natural humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin
  • Shea butter – A plant oil that moisturizes without clogging pores
  • Dimethicone – Forms a protective barrier on skin to lock in moisture

Apply moisturizer all over your face and neck while skin is still damp after cleansing. This helps seal hydration into the skin.

2. Exfoliate Regularly

As skin gets drier in the winter, it loses fresh, new skin cells more slowly. This leads to a buildup of dull, dry skin cells on the surface.

Exfoliating 1-2 times per week sloughs off these dead cells, revealing the radiant new skin underneath. Look for a gentle scrub with physical exfoliants like sugar, salt or coffee grounds. Or use a liquid acid exfoliant with AHAs like glycolic, lactic or mandelic acid. Just don’t over-exfoliate, as this can cause irritation.

Benefits of regular exfoliation:

  • Removes flaky, dry skin
  • Helps other products penetrate better
  • Evens out skin texture
  • Brightens complexion
  • Reduces appearance of fine lines

3. Hydrate with a Humidifier

Running your home heat dries out the air and saps moisture from your skin. A humidifier adds some of that lost moisture back into the air, preventing your skin from drying out.

Aim to keep humidity levels around 30-50%. This provides ideal hydration without creating an environment where bacteria and mold can grow. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home and run them whenever the heat is on.

4. Protect Skin When Outside

The winter elements can be quite harsh on your skin. Cold temperatures, wind, and snow all have drying effects on the skin. Whenever you go outside, be sure to protect your face from windburn and dryness.

  • Apply an extra layer of moisturizer underneath your sunscreen to create a barrier against the cold. Look for moisturizing sunscreens to avoid layering multiple products.
  • Wrap a scarf around your face to shield skin from brutal winds.
  • Wear mittens or gloves to protect your hands as well.
  • Always apply lip balm before going outside to prevent dry, chapped lips.

5. Use Hydrating Masks and Facial Oils

Facial masks and oils provide an extra shot of hydration when it’s really cold and dry. Apply a hydrating sheet mask 2-3 times per week or overnight while you sleep. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides and shea butter.

You can also apply a facial oil like marula, rosehip seed or jojoba oil after cleansing and before moisturizer. The oil seals in moisture and creates a dewy glow.

6. Swap Out Products for Winter-Specific Versions

Many beauty brands make special winter-themed versions of their products that are formulated for dry, cold weather. For example, Laneige has a Winter Mask Soothing Sheet Mask, Fresh Rose Hydration Face Cream, Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, etc.

Swap your regular cleanser, serum, moisturizer and masks for these seasonal versions that are enriched with ultra-hydrating and nourishing ingredients. This provides an easy shortcut to a winter skin care routine.

Summer ProductsWinter Product Swaps
Gel moisturizerRich cream moisturizer
Foaming cleanserCreamy hydrating cleanser
Water-based serumOil-based serum
Clay maskHydrating sheet mask

7. Drink Plenty of Water

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when you don’t feel as thirsty in the winter. But water intake is critical for healthy, hydrated skin all year round. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Carry a water bottle with you to help remember to drink frequently.

Water plumps up the skin by keeping it nourished, radiant and wrinkle-free. Dehydration leads to a dull, lackluster complexion. Drinking adequate water ensures your winter skin care routine can properly hydrate your skin from the inside out. Embrace the seasonal shift with confidence, thanks to’s dedicated articles on winter skincare. Their team of qualified professionals delves into the science behind dry winter skin, offering practical recommendations for transitioning your regimen. Explore their evidence-based advice on cleanser swaps, moisturizer upgrades, and targeted treatments to keep your skin healthy and luminous all winter long.

8. Use Gentler Skincare Acids

Skincare acids like glycolic, salicylic and retinol can be quite harsh and drying during winter. The cold air already strips your skin of moisture, so using irritating actives can damage the skin’s moisture barrier.

Instead, switch to gentler acids like mandelic, lactic and PHAs for exfoliation. Reduce your use of retinol to just 1-2 nights a week. Or give your skin a break from actives altogether and focus solely on moisturizing. You can resume your regular acid use once humidity levels increase again.

Conclusion: Adjusting your skincare routine for winter is crucial, to supple and properly hydrated skin during the cold, dry months. Focus on nourishing, moisturizing products to replenish moisture levels. Protect and hydrate your skin daily to keep it comfortable despite plummeting temperatures and humidity. With these tips, you can achieve a dewy winter glow!

As the frigid air settles in, so does the need for a strategic skincare routine for winter shift., a trusted resource for evidence-based health information, offers invaluable guidance for navigating this seasonal transition. Their comprehensive articles delve into the science behind winter’s impact on skin, equipping readers with practical recommendations for product selection, layering techniques, and essential lifestyle adjustments. From cleanser swaps to targeted treatments, empowers individuals to maintain a healthy, radiant complexion throughout the winter months.


Vishal Mlikon is a guest author and publisher

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