13 Winter Skincare Essentials You Didn’t Know You Needed

I don’t really have much to say on the topic of winter skincare woes–the dryness, the itchiness, the flakiness–that has not already been said before. It sucks! It sucks to feel dry, it sucks to be itchy, and it really sucks to have your skin flake off, but I am not the first person to experience and complain about some variation of a winter skin malaise, and I certainly won’t be the last.

Anyway, chances are good that you’re looking for some good skincare products to get you through the winter. While I don’t like to fawn too much over individual products–because, as far as I can tell, everything is pretty much the same–there are some really good winter skincare products that actually work. No matter what your exact skincare needs may be, chances are good that you’ll need some sort of skincare assistance to get you through the winter. So, check out these winter skincare essentials:

1. The first thing you want to do is switch out your regular cleanser for a more hydrating one–I like this oil cleanser from DHC that removes makeup and cleanses the skin completely without leaving you with that dry, tight feeling that sometimes comes from washing:


DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, $28, DHC


2. It’s also important to exfoliate once or twice a week to slough off dead, dry skin cells that might be collecting on your face. This oatmeal exfoliator from St. Ives gets rid of dead skin without drying out the skin too much:


St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub & Mask, $2.99. Target


3. You can (and should) also exfoliate your body. I’m obsessed with this body scrub from Frank Body that uses coffee, almond oil, and Vitamin E to scrub off dead skin and leave it feeling smooth for the whole day:


Frank Original Body Scrub, $16.95, Frank Body


4. It terms of daily moisture, you still need to use sunscreen (considering that, you know, sun still exists in the winter), but you might want to up the thickness level of the moisturizer you use. Try out this day cream from Boots that has the sun protection you need, plus an extra surge of moisture:

Boots No. 7 Day Cream, $18, Skinstore


5. And, for night, you’ll want a super-moisturizing cream that goes deep into winter skin but doesn’t make you break out. For that, try out this seaweed night cream from Mario Badescu that softens the skin but won’t block your pores or make you feel oily when you wake up in the morning:


Seaweed Night Cream, $22, Mario Badescu


6. You know that itchy, tight feeling you get after a hot shower? And, uh, all the time in the winter? Prevent that with this lotion from Burt’s Bees, which has shea butter to lock in moisture and no added fragrance that might irritate the skin:



Fragrance Free Shea Butter & Vitamin E Lotion, $8, Burt’s Bees


7. Hydrating face masks are a major key in the winter–my personal favorite is this mask from Fresh that softens and soothes even the most distressed of winter skin. At $62 for a little over three ounces, it’s definitely a splurge, but a little goes a long way so you can use it throughout the whole winter:

Rose Face Mask, $62, Fresh


8. To the uninitiated, an exfoliating agent designed specifically for the lips might seem…unnecessary. But if you constantly have dry, chapped lips that lip balm doesn’t seem to be able to cure, you might want to try exfoliating them. You can make your own scrub out of coconut oil and sugar, or you can buy this (great) version from Herbivore:


Coco Rose Lip Polish, $18, Herbivore


9. Speaking of decadence, is there any physical display of decadence more powerful than whipping a fancy glass bottle out of your bag and spraying it all over your face? There sure isn’t! Seriously though, a facial moisturizing spray is a perfect thing to add to your beauty regimen in the winter–you can spray it on your face at any point in the day, since it won’t mess up your makeup, and it’s easy to store in your bag, so you can always have it with you:

Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Facial Mist, $17, Kiehl’s


10. On the flipside of decadence, you’re also going to need a lip balm, and, as far as I can tell, the only truly great lip balm is the very utilitarian Carmex brand. Sue me. (It’s also great for dabbing on your nose if it’s chapped from using tissues too often SORRY.) Anyway, Carmex is great:


Carmex Classic Lip Balm, $1.59, Walgreen’s


11. If you want a more glamorous lip balm option, I like this option from Neutrogena that serves as a balm, tint, and sunscreen all in one:neutrogena-lip-balm

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm, $6.83, Amazon


11. If you wear foundation, you should try and switch it out for a BB cream, which adds a surge of extra moisture (and sunscreen) that you won’t get from regular foundation:

Dream Fresh BB Cream, $6.79, Target
12. Coconut oil is great for…a lot of things. (Almost everything, actually.) In the winter, it’s especially good to use as a makeup remover, moisturizer for rough areas on the body, and deep hair mask:coconut-oil

Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, $7.99, Jet


13. This glitter-infused body mousse is…not an “essential” by anyone’s definition, probably. But it is a super fun thing to put on before a holiday party–or just, you know, life–if you want your body to have a little extra hint of shimmer. It’s like highlighter for your extremities, basically. Plus, the mousse is infused with moisturizing ingredients like cocoa butter, almond oil, and Vitamin E to leave your skin feeling soft and nourished:


Fresh Sparkling Snow Whipped Body Mousse, $18.50, Bath & Body Works



Do you have dry skin? Do you have any other product recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

7 Easy Ways To Keep Your Skin Clear In The Winter

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