It's no secret that each season presents a unique crop of potential skin issues, but we'd argue that winter is the direst. The particularly lethal combination of frigid temperatures, clanking heaters, howling winds, and dry air work to absorb the already thin layer of oil that traps moisture in the skin, inviting painful conditions like eczema and psoriasis to rear their ugly heads.
That's not to say that those without these autoimmune skin conditions won't feel winter's wrath. Severe dry skin and chapped lips run rampant around this time of year, making raw, wind-whipped cheeks and flaky lips the norm for the foreseeable future. If you're like me, your hormonal acne will still find a way to present itself despite the inhospitable conditions, leaving you with eczema in one area and acne in another.
In other words, we need all of the skincare advice we can get come winter. Considering the MyDomaine team's collective obsession with skincare, I polled the editors about their winter skin saviors and firsthand experience with dry, moisture-starved skin. Read up on our team's hero products below.
My skin is so, so sensitive to weather changes. As soon as the temps drop below 65 degrees, my skin is red and chapped. The SkinCeuticals triple lipid restore lotion has been my savior. It's pretty thick but melts quickly into the skin and deeply hydrates. The vitamin E, ceramides and antioxidants add extra hydration as well as a bit of anti-aging benefits. I'd strongly recommend this moisturizer for anyone with sensitive and dry skin like mine.
With a consistency that's reminiscent of liquid glue, this intense, all-purpose moisturizer is my go-to skin salve during the colder months. I slather it on my hands at night before bed for optimal results.
Before you scoff at the steep price tag, this skincare device really is worth shelling out the money for. Electric currents penetrate pores to stimulate collagen production for firmer, tighter skin. It honestly gives my skin new life during the colder months.
During winter, I use this mask twice a week to combat dull, dry skin. Made with natural sources of beta-hydroxy acid, which is a chemical exfoliant, this resurfacing mask sloughs away dry skin for a more radiant complexion.
I have sensitive and acne-prone skin, and this cooling serum from iS Clinical melted away any signs of redness or irritation after just one use. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and essential botanicals, it was literally made for dry, irritated, and sensitive skin. It's a winter skincare staple.
After reading countless rave reviews of this cult favorite product on our sister site Byrdie, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this magical serum. Though I had my reservations in light of my recent flare up of facial eczema, I'm pleased to report that this serum did not irritate my highly sensitive skin. Instead, the combination of vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid served as a brightening, moisturizing, anti-aging powerhouse. If you're looking for a skincare pick-me-up, look no further. It lives up to the hype.
This milky serum from Dr. Barbara Sturm lives up to its name. Formulated with plant-based ingredients like cardiospermum, echium, and sunflower, it reduces redness, irritation, and burning while abating the skin's sensitized reaction in general. Unsurprisingly, it's become a staple in my eczema skincare routine.
Any ceramics lover will be familiar with the incredibly soothing consistency of this slip cleanser. Although clay isn't exactly the most moisturizing ingredient, it's balanced with olive oil, rice oil esters, and vitamin C to hydrate and purify the skin. It's incredibly mild and perfect for sensitive skin—my face is baby smooth after cleansing with this in the morning and before bed.
This moisturizer is super rich and creamy, which my skin craves in the winter.
When the seasons change, my skin gets ridiculously dry—like flaking, cracking dry (ew, I know), so I need a highly moisturizing, restorative balm. This is way too intense to pile onto my whole face, but I love it for those smaller problem areas. It's also saved my nose post-cold and flu season when I've been blowing it too much on rough paper towels.
Lately, I've been loving Drunk Elephant's B-Hydra Intensive Serum to give my skin a hydration boost. I apply it on top of my vitamin C serum and underneath my moisturizer at night and wake up to dewy, plump skin.
Exfoliating is important if you want your skin to absorb all of your serum's nutrients and stay hydrated, so I like to use Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads a few times a week before applying serums. They're a gentle chemical exfoliant that improves skin texture without irritating the skin.
My morning skincare routine usually includes a few pumps of this hydrator. I'm prone to redness, which this moisturizer calms, plus it's brimming with green tea and chamomile extracts to fight free radicals throughout the day.
When I have time for a mask, I love using this naturally derived aloe vera one. It's designed to hydrate damaged cells while repairing and soothing the skin and leaves my face feeling fresh and bright.
This nighttime serum is perfect for overnight hydration. I use it as the last step in my nightly skincare routine so I can wake up to skin that feels soothed and moisturized.
It’s luxe in price for a reason. This cream is the holy grail of moisturizers and combats every winter skin concern with its incredibly rich and hydrating formula. Not only that, it tightens, supports, and tones your skin. I love to lather this on morning and night, but I will often apply extra at night like a face mask, and I’ll wake up in the morning with soft, supple baby skin. It’s deliciously indulgent, but I savor every last drop.
If you thought that the cloudy gray skies of winter meant you can put your sunscreen away then you thought wrong. The sun might not be as visible, but it can still be felt via the UV rays that still make their way through the clouds and onto your skin. This is heightened when you’re on a skiing holiday. I love this tinted sunscreen because its light and hydrating with a little coverage for those days when you don’t want to wear makeup. It provides a barrier that protects your skin from the harsh winter rays and winds. Trust me I wear it every day, even inside the house. Yeah, I’m crazy like that.
When I really want to ramp up the hydration, then serums are my go-to. I cannot rave about this one enough. This serum hydrates the skin, balances out oil production, and decreases dry/inflamed skin and decongested pores. It’s great for acne-prone skin too. Its skin refining complex helps to remove dry winter skin to reveal smooth and stronger skin.
Dr Lancer is a legend in the business, and I just started trying his The Method series, but I really love the Polish step. It sloughs off dead winter skin cells but isn’t harsh or dehydrating; in fact, it is the opposite. It has hyaluronic acid and avocado oil so it hydrated and replenishes winter skin while removing the excess dry skin. It’s a game changer.
I travel with this mask everywhere. It’s rich but never heavy and my skin just drinks it up. I love to leave it on at night as a sleep mask, and the brand's new travel size is perfect for protecting skin from the pressurized cabin air when flying. I also love the smell.