How to Create a Skin Care Routine for Winter
Winter is here, meaning it’s time to start thinking about how to take care of your skin. From extra dryness to redness and irritation, winter can take a toll on our skin. But don’t worry! There are simple steps you can take every day to keep your skin looking healthy and glowing, no matter the weather outside.
Step 1: Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize Twice Daily
An essential part of any skincare routine is cleansing and moisturizing. Cleansing helps remove dirt, bacteria, oil, and makeup from the skin's surface, while moisturizing helps replenish lost moisture and protect against harsh winter conditions. It’s essential to use gentle cleansers that won’t strip away natural oils or cause irritation. For extra dry skin, look for cleansers with ingredients that repair skin barrier function, mimic skin cell membranes like ceramides or squalane, and do not contain preservatives or emulsifiers.
After cleansing, always use an appropriate toner followed by moisturizer for your skin type (oily, ‘balanced,’ or dry) to help lock in hydration throughout the day. I refer to this as the ‘daily routine.’
Step 2: Use Sunscreen Year-Round
You might think you don’t need sunscreen in the winter since there’s less sun exposure during this time of year. However, UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and windows, so sunscreen should be used daily as part of your routine—even if you aren’t spending much time outdoors. Remember, the sun also reflects water and snow. Look for products that offer broad-spectrum protection with SPF 30 or higher and apply it after moisturizing each morning before heading out into the cold weather. Reapplication is a good habit, especially when directly in the elements, and I like a dry sunscreen for reapplication as it is also easier over makeup.
Step 3: Exfoliate And Mask Regularly
Exfoliating is often more necessary during the colder months when our skin becomes dryer than usual due to a lack of humidity in the air. Exfoliating will help slog away inactive (they are NOT dead) cells on your skin's surface, leaving your complexion brighter and smoother than before. However, it’s important not to over-exfoliate, as doing so can cause irritation, inflammation and even breakouts. Your exfoliation routine should match your skin’s tolerance to it, and in most individuals, once or twice a week maximum is plenty, depending on your individual needs. It is an excellent habit to pair exfoliation with a mask to replenish and boost your skin. I refer to this as the ‘weekly boost.’
With winter comes colder temperatures, leading to drier skin if not taken care of properly. Creating a simple yet effective skincare routine tailored specifically for winter will help keep your skin looking healthy all season long! By following these three easy steps—daily routine, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen during daylight, and weekly boost regularly—you will have glowing, radiant skin all winter long!
Written by: René Serbon
CEO Dermal Systems Inc
Chair of the Education Board for the International Association for Applied Corneotherapy