We’re all for scouring for the cutest coats, beanies and boots in advance of winter—but cold-weather prep should expand beyond your closet. Without the proper skin-care regiment, freezing temps can turn your complexion into a hot (or in this case, cold), dry mess, due mainly to increased water loss through the skin’s top layer.
“Without that moisture, our skin is more sensitive to external forces such as sun exposure, resulting in cracking, flaking and peeling,” says Manhattan-based dermatologist and Garnier skin-care consultant Dr. Diane Medfes.
We’d like to pass on that (and we trust that you do too), so we’ve gathered ten tips from Dr. Madfes and a few of STYLECASTER’s own editors on how to avoid dry skin this winter. Ahead, everything you need to know to keep your complexion in check.
Originally published November 2016. Updated November 2017.
"Always apply moisturizer to damp skin. The minute you pat your skin dry it starts rapidly losing water, so by the time you apply moisturizer—even if it's just 60 seconds later—your skin barrier is significantly compromised and no amount of moisturizer will replenish it. You can prevent water loss by massaging your moisturizer over slightly damp skin to help it seal in your skin's natural moisture immediately. I love SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Repair."—Chloe Metzger, Beauty Editor
"When my skin is flaking and raw, I like to take off all of my makeup and immediately slather my face in Eucerin Baby Creme. It sounds weird, but it's so insanely hydrating and soothing, thanks to its shea butter and glycerin. I look like an oil slick for a few hours, but by the time I wash it off, my skin is noticeably more hydrated and the flakes are gone."—Chloe Metzger, Beauty Editor
"It's very important to protect your lips from the sun, even in the winter. Use a lip balm with SPF, and look for formulas with more occlusive emollients like bees wax and petrolatum."—Dr. Diane Madfes
"Any time my skin starts flaking away, I use Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells away without damaging the skin barrier, which is easy to do when your face is dry and cracking."—Lauren Caruso, Site Director
"At night, after I cleanse, I throw on a mask, and dab on moisturizer. I love to layer a face oil on top to really hydrate and protect. My go-to is Sunday Riley Juno Face Oil, which is just occlusive enough to lock in the moisture of the products I put on beforehand."—Lauren Caruso, Site Director
"Change your long hot shower into a lukewarm one—higher water temperatures tend to dry the skin out more. And use a sheet mask once a week for increased hydration."—Dr. Diane Madfes
"As soon as the temps drop, my sensitive, dry skin turns into a red, crumbly mess. And thanks to the dry radiator heat in my apartment, it gets even worse overnight. So before bed, as the very last step of my skin-care routine, I smooth a pea-sized dot of Dermalogica Barrier Repair over my face. It's a dimethicone-based skin soother that totally locks in all of my skin's moisture and keeps it from disappearing while I sleep."—Chloe Metzger, Beauty Editor