Self Care

11 Ways to Nourish Your Skin During Colder Weather

Winter skincare secrets — baths, facials, foods, and more!

By: Lexy Parsons

While summer skincare gets lots of attention, let’s not forget about our skin during those cold winter months! Because, let’s face it, the harsh winter weather can do a number on your skin. From dry, chapped lips, to scaly dehydrated skin, to rosy red winter cheeks, your skin is probably looking for some major TLC. And while you could totally treat yourself to some skincare staples, there are lots of other things you can do without breaking the bank (or spending a dime). From amping up your hydration to modifying your skincare routine, we’re breaking down all you need to know! Think of this as your cold-weather skincare guide. 

RELATED: 30-Day Glowing Skin Challenge 

11 Healthy Winter Skin Tips for Cold Weather Glow

#1 Amp Up Your Hydration

Staying adequately hydrated during the cool winter months is one of the best (and easiest) things you can do for your skin. You may not be sweating as much, but the cool, dry air outdoors, coupled with the forced dry heat indoors, can suck all the moisture right out of your skin. Try to sip on a minimum of 7-8 glasses per day, and carry a water bottle with you at all times!

#2 Don’t Forget About SPF

If you thought SPF was only a summer skin necessity, think again! While there are lower levels of UVB in the winter, UVA rays (the rays that damage our skin and speed up skin aging) can penetrate (and damage) your skin year-round. And considering snow is highly reflective, this is especially true if you’re spending time outdoors in the snow! Just as you would in the summer, it’s a good idea to make SPF part of your daily skincare routine. 

#3 Leave It to The Professionals

If you’ve been considering a facial treatment like a peel, laser, or micro-needling treatment, winter is the perfect time to do it. With less sun exposure, you reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. Plus, professional services can help stimulate collagen production, increase blood flow, and leave your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Regardless, regular facials are an amazing form of self-care!

#4 Be Gentle with Your Skin

While it may differ from person to person, it’s normal for your skin to be extra-sensitive during the cool winter months. You may notice skin symptoms such as increased redness or irritation, dryness, itchiness, and even cracks or rashes. While this is a normal response to windy weather and low humidity, try to be extra gentle with your skin. Avoid toxins and irritants (such as harsh detergents or fragrances), use mild or gentle skincare products (more oils and moisturizers, fewer acids), and wash your skin with care (using soft cloths and room temperature water). 

#5 Revamp Your Winter Skincare Routine 

Switching up your skincare routine from season to season is a good habit to get into! While this may look different for everyone, here are some cold-weather skincare suggestions:

  • Use a calming cleanser that won’t irritate your skin or strip away any oils. 
  • If you currently moisturize once per day, consider moisturizing morning and night if your skin is extra dry. 
  • Avoid extreme temperatures when you shower or wash your face — keep it room temp and mild!
  • Try a heavier moisturizer than usual if you’re experiencing cracked or flaky skin.
  • Invest in a humidifier — you can even add some essential oils to it!

#6 Eat Your Way to Glowing Skin

Aside from avoiding excess sugar and refined fats, there are many foods you can add to further enhance your skin glow!

  • Omega-rich fats like avocado and salmon are full of oils that stimulate collagen production and maintain skin hydration. 
  • Water-rich foods like spinach, citrus, and berries help hydrate you from the inside out!
  • Vitamin A and C-rich foods like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and mango can protect your skin from damage and help boost collagen production.

#7 Be Mindful of Dehydrating Drinks

Remember to sip smart this winter! Though cozy and tasty, drinks like coffee and alcohol are diuretics, meaning they dehydrate you even more than you already are! While you don’t have to give them up completely, try to monitor how much you’re drinking. There are so many tasty alcohol and caffeine swaps, too! Swap coffee for herbal tea or matcha, or try going booze-free with a buzzless botanical beverage.

#8 Give Your Lips Some Love

Chapped, dry lips? Give your lips some love this winter. Aside from staying hydrated, keep lip balm with you at all times. And choose something that’s moisturizing to help lock in moisture (even better if it has SPF in it). Oh, and be mindful if you’re a lip-licker — it may be exacerbating the problem!

#9 Don’t Forget About Your Hands and Feet

Your hands and feet are often an afterthought, but they’re in need of some winter wellness too! As a result of losing too much moisture, you may experience dry feet or hands, maybe even cracks or splits in the skin. The best thing you can do is frequently moisturize your skin — thick ingredients like coconut oil will work wonders. You can even try an overnight treatment with something ultra-nourishing like shea butter! And don’t forget to cover up! Protecting your hands and feet with socks, slippers, gloves, and mittens is a must.

#10 Treat Yourself to A Moisturizing Face Mask 

Winding down the day with a moisturizing face mask is a great way to show your skin some love. Thick and rich ingredients like shea butter, petrolatum, and squalene are ideal (think: Hailey Bieber glazed donut skin thick!), as they will help form a protective layer over the skin and penetrate deep to moisturize. And don’t waste any leftovers — you can do the same for your whole body!

#11 Soak in the Moisture With a Bath

Aside from getting all the stress-relieving and therapeutic benefits of a bath, you’ll also soak in some skin benefits (literally). And not only are baths a great way to rehydrate your skin, but they’re also easy to modify for all your skin needs. If your skin is feeling inflamed or irritated, toss in some skin-soothing oatmeal and honey. If you’re looking to soften your skin, drizzle in some olive oil. Plus, you can never go wrong with Epsom salt! It’s great for soothing sore muscles, and considering it’s loaded with magnesium, it may even help support sleep!

Skin Survival: Winter Edition

Maintaining glowing, radiant skin is possible — even in the cool harsh months of winter! By hydrating inside and out, minding your diet, and adding in some simple self-care tips, your skin will survive (and thrive) through the coldest season. If you’re experiencing increased skin irritation, redness, or just feeling extra dry, try these cold-weather skincare hacks. From at-home face masks to stress-relieving baths, there’s something for everyone!