Winter Is Coming: How To Shift Your Skincare Routine For Colder Weather

a mixture of facial and skincare products

Snow-capped mountains, chilly air, and dark nights illuminated by roaring fireplaces: winter is almost here. Is anyone else scratching their head and wondering where this year went? 

Even though 2021 seemed to fly by, we still have a couple of months left in the year. That means it’s time to start rethinking our winter skincare routines and prep our skin for the cold months ahead! 

As the seasons change, so should our skincare routine. After all, we make adjustments for our bodies during the winter, swapping out sandals for wool socks and linen pants for fleece-lined leggings. Why not do the same for our skin? 

Why Winter Calls For Advanced Skincare

As anybody who’s dealt with cracked lips in winter knows, cold air does a great job of sucking the moisture right out of your skin. We’ll also venture to bet that you’re taking hotter showers during the winter to beat the cold. Unfortunately, hot water also packs a powerful dehydrating punch. Combine all this with the fact that our oil-producing sebaceous glands seem to hibernate during the winter and we’ve got a perfect recipe for dry, irritated, and inflamed skin in the winter months. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of natural skincare hacks out there that counteract winter dryness to plump, firm, and protect the skin. Retaining moisture in the skin is essential to weathering the winter. Here’s how to do it: 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate 

This goes for any time of the year, but it’s especially prescient in winter: keep drinking water! Staying hydrated will keep your body functioning flawlessly, and that includes regulating a healthy moisture balance in the skin. Try adding a squeeze of lemon or a few slices of cucumber for extra hydration. 


cucumber and lemon water

Try A Humidifier

The dry air isn’t doing anyone any favors. A humidifier will add moisture back into your environment, which will help keep dry, flaky skin at bay. If you want to take it a step further, try a natural facial steam, which doesn’t just hydrate, but also lets you enjoy the calming, soothing properties of certain herbs.

Skip The Harsh Ingredients

Because your skin is already likely to be irritated by the cold air, removing irritants from your skincare routine is key to surviving the winter chill. That means foregoing chemical peels, opting for naturally-scented products instead of those with artificial fragrance, and easing up on exfoliation. 

Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Regimen

Probably the most revered hydrating skincare ingredient out there is hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Better yet, the effects of hyaluronic acid are almost instantaneous — you’ll notice plumper, firmer skin after just one or two applications. Apply it morning and night after cleansing your face by gently patting into dry skin. 

Lock In Moisture Using A Honey Mask 

Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it helps the skin retain moisture. After washing your makeup off, apply honey to your face for about 15 minutes. Not only will it give your skin a healthy glow, but it can also reduce the appearance of redness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Look To Natural Facial Oils

Highly hydrating facial oils, such as rosehip and jojoba, make an excellent nighttime facial moisturizer. They’ll work to repair the skin’s moisture barrier overnight without clogging pores. 

Woman with flowers on her skin

Pay Extra Attention To Your Lips 

Your lips are some of the most vulnerable targets for harsh winter air. Create a natural barrier around them with essential oil lip balms or a plant-based alternative to petroleum jelly

Don’t Forget The Sunscreen

Even though it’s cold and gray out, those pesky UV rays will still reach your face and do their damage. Keeping your face layered with protective sunscreen will ensure the rest of your skincare products work smoothly without interference from the sun.

Cecilia Seiter

Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She writes largely about sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty, wellness, and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Los Angeles, CA.