The dead of winter is upon us: biting chill, strong winds and rain as grey skies hang above. It's enough to put your mood on a bit of a downer—not to mention your complexion. Cold weather can make skin dry and dull, and irritated, red, or flaky in a flash.
But don’t worry! It is still possible to make our skin happy, plump and radiant during these cold winter months.
The goal of skincare in the winter season is to maintain a glow and avoid flaky, chapped skin. Read on below for some tried and tested tips to keep your skin looking at its best all winter long, plus some skincare recommendations!
1. Double cleanse AND switch to gentle cleansers.
If you’ve been following our blogs for a while, then you know that we are all about double cleansing, the first and crucial step to a truly effective skincare routine.
Double cleansing starts with an oil-based cleanser to break down the oil, makeup, sunscreen, and grime on your skin, followed by a water-based cleanser that whisks everything else away, and making your skin all ready to maximise the next steps of your routine.
In winter, you might not be going out a lot; you're certainly not sweating as much. But that doesn't mean you don't need to cleanse your skin. We still need to remove oil, dirt and makeup/sunscreen to clear our pores and maintain a clear complexion. So the key is to cleanse regularly with products that are not drying to the skin, with the weather already being plenty drying.
While some prefer micellar or a cleansing water as their first cleanse, an oil or balm cleanser is a better choice in the winter. They are gentle on the skin and contain nourishing oils and emollients to gently break down makeup without stripping your skin, which is imperative when your skin takes a beating from wintery elements. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, don’t be afraid of using these types of cleansers—your second cleanse should remove any oil left behind.
Strong cleansers can make your skin dry even more and itchy. For the second cleanse, choose water-based cleansers that are gentle and with hydrating ingredients.
- Dr. Althea Amino Acid Gentle Bubble Cleanser
- Barr Centella Calming Gel Cleanser
- Sioris Day By Day Cleansing Gel
- Laneige Moist Cream Cleanser
- Sioris Cleanse Me Softly Milk Cleanser
- The LAB Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Foam Cleanser
- Pyunkang Yul Calming Low Ph Foaming Cleanser
- Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
Exfoliating is important all-year round, but it’s especially important in the winter to clear away dead skin cells and help your other skincare products penetrate better.
One great ingredient to add to your winter skincare arsenal is the AHA Lactic Acid, the most gentle AHA that exfoliates and hydrates your skin at the same time.
3. Get your next-level hydrators ready!
✅Sheet masks are perfect for when you're binging Netflix and sipping in hot cocoa at home. Hydrogel masks are our favorite type of masks—they don’t dry out and potentially draw moisture out of your skin (in cases you forget the time). If hydrogel sheet masks are not your thing, focus on sheet masks that have hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic acid.
|✅Sheet masking when at home, spraying mists when you’re up and about. Mists can be kept in your bag or by your desk for a quick and easy way to hydrate when you're out and about. Take a break with a few spritzes to plump up, especially areas that feel dry.|
|✅Another way to amp up your hydration game is by including an essence in your routine. Essences are basically toner-serum hybrids that are light and easily absorbed by the skin for deep-penetrating hydration.
4. Lock in that moisture.
Moisturising after your essence and/or serum steps makes sure that the hydration stays in the skin.
For winter, choose moisturisers that contain occlusive ingredients; you would want to go for thicker cream-type moisturisers over lotion or gel-type products to really protect your skin from the winter weather. Look at products that contain ceramides to help repair and protect your skin barrier.
- Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream
- COSRX Hydrium Moisture Power Enriched Cream
- Dr. Althea Resveratrol 345NA Intensive Repair Cream
- Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
- Some By Mi Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Cream
- COSRX Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream
- Benton Let's Carrot Moisture Cream
Even people with oily skin may suffer from winter dryness. Contrary to popular belief, dryness is not good for any skin type; oily skin will overcompensate the dryness by producing even more oil. This is why the dry winter air or harsh acne products can trigger excess sebum and increase the risk of clogging the pores, which then feeds into the cycle of breakouts. Following that logic, you need to moisturise, even if you have oily skin.
If you’re acne-prone, choose a water-based cream. A water-based moisturiser will melt into the skin without leaving it shiny.
5. Moisturise around the clock.
Wrap up your routine with a sleeping mask at night, or finish off with a facial oil for added moisture.
Sleeping packs are more than your regular night cream. They intensely hydrate your skin and deliver some mind-blowing nourishing benefits. The results are immediately noticeable when you wake up in the morning: soft, elastic skin with less visible fine lines.
Add a facial oil to your routine if your skin feels it’s in need of some extra hydration, but don’t use too much. (Don't use pure oils like jojoba or argan oil, either.) Facial oils It can be used alone as a more hydrating moisturizer, or you can mix it in with your current moisturizer for a supercharged boost. Adding 2-3 drops of oil into your moisturizer is a seamless way to boost your everyday routine.
6. Don’t skip your sunscreen.
Sunscreen is an essential part of your skincare routine. And yes, this is true all year long, no matter how cold or hot out it is. It is a common misconception that just because it’s cloudy, rainy, or snowy and the sun's not out a lot in winter, you don't need sunscreen. Not true. UVA/UVB rays are there as long as the sun burns at the center of the galaxy, and you need to protect your skin from these invisible rays in the daytime all year round.
Did you know? You can still get brown spots and pigmentation from being outside whether it is in December or July. No bueno? Use your sunscreen.
Choose sunscreens that contain hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. You can either double up on moisture by applying your sunscreen over your moisturizer, or use your sunscreen as your daytime moisturiser, depending on how your skin feels.
Browse our sunscreen collection and choose one for your skin type. You can read our guide to choosing sunscreens here. Having trouble with acne? Here's why (and how) you can protect yourself from sun damage without aggravating your skin.
7. Protect your kissers.
Winter skincare routine ain't complete if we don't talk about lip care.
Low humidity in the air, combined with frequent lip-licking to combat the dry air, create the perfect conditions for chapped lips. Do you know that your saliva can actually strip your lips of moisture causing them to become drier and drier? That’s where a lip balm comes in.
Use a lip mask at night and lip balm during the day.
- Klavuu Nourishing Care Lip Sleeping Mask
- Frudia Mango Honey Lip Mask
- Frudia Blueberry Hydrating Lip Balm
- Holika Holika Good Cera Super Ceramide Lip Oil Balm
- Frudia Grape Honey Chu Lip Essence
- Benton Honest Lip Balm
- Frudia Coconut Honey Salve Lip Cream
8. Know your winter skincare ingredient must-haves.
Be more conscious and learn about your winter skincare ingredients that can help your skin get through the winter months. Here are some essentials:
- Urea. A gentle exfoliant, it’s a great go-to ingredient throughout the winter months for both face and body when our skin barrier can’t necessarily tolerate the strong, active ingredients it does in spring and summer.
- Lipids. Ceramides are long-chain lipids that support your skin cells, keeping them in an orderly matrix. Our ceramide levels drop significantly between summer and winter, meaning our skin loses more water through transepidermal water loss. Studies have shown that the combination of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids is even more effective than each ingredient alone.
- CBD or Cannabidiol. CBD is a natural compound present in the Cannabis sativa plant. The cold winds and hot air from indoor heaters and ACs blast our skin during the winter months can make our skin feel more irritated. CBD has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory.
- Sioris Falling into the Rose Mist – contains Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil. Spray this mist on your face throughout the day (and night) to keep it hydrated and moisturised.
- Squalene is another great winter moisture ingredient. Squalene is a natural oil produced by the skin. As this production decreases as you age, you can replenish through your skincare and nourish and moisturize your skin.
- Purito Plainet Squalene Oil 100
- Purito Dermide Cica Barrier Sleeping Pack
- Vegreen 730 Moisture Cream
- Pyunkang Yul Calming Moisture Repair Balm
- Barr Centella Calming Barrier Cream
- Accoje Reviving Cream
- Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Moisture Cream
- Some By Mi Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Cream
- Toun28 Waterful Lotion Ceramide + Antarcticine
- Retinol. Skin can feel more irritated in winter, but it’s still important to regard a healthy dose of vitamin A in your skincare routine to help speed up the cell turnover, which becomes sluggish during the winter months. Keeping your skin stimulated will keep it looking more vibrant, healthy, and less wrinkled.
- Neogen Dermalogy Real Bakuchiol Firming Serum contains 10% Bakuchiol, a natural ingredient that's scientifically proven to be just as effective at retinol at targeting hyperpigmentation and fine lines without irritation—making it a great option for sensitive skin types too.
Here's to staying warm, cozy, and rosy this winter season! ⛄❄️