How to Change Your Skincare Routine for Winter
In order to give new Vegan Milk Moisturizer (our first-ever cream moisturizer!) a proper welcome, we thought we’d do a deep dive into the art of moisturizing. When should you do it? How much is too much? Do I need to do if I’ve got oily skin? These are all questions that we’ll be answering in a series of stories dedicated to keeping your skin hydrated and feeling good.
by Freya Drohan
While the cooler season brings with it many delights, the shift can also wreak havoc on our skin, meaning a new winter skincare routine is likely in order. Skin also tends to be the driest in the winter when temperatures plummet, and the reliance on central heating, roaring fireplaces, and hot, steamy showers can further reduce humidity in your skin as natural oils dry up.
To figure out whether there’s a general blueprint for how to handle skincare like a pro during the cold snap, I asked Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, a Miami-based dermatologist, and Stacey Kaplan, a New York-based esthetician, for their winter skincare tips and tricks.
PSA: Soaking in hot water is baaaad for your skin in winter.
When it comes to indulging in luxurious winter bubble baths, Dr. Loretta advises avoiding the urge to soak in scalding water, even when it’s super chilly outside.
“Only bathe in tepid water. Warm and hot water dries you out much more,” she warns.
How should I dry my skin after bathing?
Once squeaky clean, Dr. Loretta recommends gently patting instead of rubbing yourself dry with a towel to avoid irritation.
Also, apply a moisturizing product while your skin surface still feels damp. You know that phrase “trap in the moisture”… This is how it’s done, folks.
What face products should I opt for in winter?
“For your face, be sure to use a sulfate-free cleanser, and preferably one with hydrating essential oils and peptides,” Dr. Loretta says. “Then, apply a water-trapping serum to lock in moisture for at least six hours after a single application.”
Irritants and drying agents are also a no-no, according to Dr. Loretta. Instead, she recommends singling out “formulas that use essential oils that have proven hydration boosting benefits.”
Should I change my skincare routine for winter?
SkinSpa New York’s senior esthetician Stacey Kaplan, who has combination skin, says she takes a different approach each day depending on how her face feels.
In winter, she swaps out her lighter, water-based moisturizers for heavier, oil-based products to create a “faux barrier to protect the skin from irritation.”
Kaplan adds: “On dryer days, I’ll start with a hydrating mask, followed by a super hydrating serum, and finish with a non-greasy, medium-lightweight moisturizer.”
Best face moisturizer for winter? Why not DIY!
Kaplan also says that the secret sauce to beating winter dryness is to take your current moisturizer and get a little crafty.
“The best thing is to add two or three drops of any lightweight oil – like argan oil, grapeseed oil, or jojoba oil to name a few – to your current moisturizer to give an extra boost of hydration.”
Luckily, Vegan Milk Moisturizer is already formulated with argan milk, grapeseed oil, and olive-derived squalane, which seal in moisture and balance intense hydration with a refreshing, lightweight feel.
When is the best time to moisturize in winter?
Just like après soak, moisturizing is an essential part of your nighttime routine before you catch some Zzzs. According to Katie Sobelman, known by her online alias The Organic Esthetician, skin is more permeable while we sleep, particularly around midnight.
“Your skin is also more dehydrated during the night due to elevated body temperature and moisture loss through perspiration,” she notes. “Using a richer moisturizer in the evenings ensures your skin is reaping all the benefits of this added moisture.”
How often should I exfoliate in winter?
Sobelman also preaches the importance of regular, gentle exfoliation. This is something we should be doing “at least” twice a week.
“Dead skin tends to accumulate in the dryer, colder months – sloughing off dead skin allows for products to penetrate deeper and be more effective,” she says. “For those with more sensitive skin, opt for an acid rather than a scrub. The physical abrasion of a scrub, even a gentle one, can cause irritation and lead to broken capillaries.”
She recommends looking for products containing lactic acid; an alpha hydroxy acid that penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate collagen production and increase hydration. “It’s fantastic for dissolving dead surface skin while also leaving it plump and dewy,” she adds.
Now that you know how to switch up your skin routine for the season, grab a latte with oat milk and Vegan Milk Moisturizer (also with oat milk) and welcome the winter months with a glow.