Winter has its perks: celebrating the holidays, cups of hot chocolate by the fireplace, snuggling in a blanket while reading a book. While you may be ready for the coziness of the colder months, your skin likely is not. You’ve likely noticed dry, flaky skin and chapped lips no matter how much moisturizer and chapstick you apply. So what gives?
In the winter, “the air becomes colder and dryer, with less humidity, causing us to lose moisture from our skin into the surrounding environment,” explained Robyn Gmyrek, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Columbia University in New York City. Cold weather also means staying indoors more with our heaters on, which can dry your skin out even more.
But this isn’t the only reason our skin dries out in the winter. “In addition, pollution is worse in the winter months, which heightens the risk of free radical damage which leads to premature aging,” said Michael Somenek a board-certified facial plastic surgeon practicing in Washington, D.C. He explained that this can lead to the typical winter dry skin, but also exacerbate rashes, eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea.
Our bathing habits also play a role in drying out our skin in the winter. “Long hot showers feel great during the cold winter months, but may actually cause damage to the protective barrier of our skin and promote further water and moisture loss,” said Rina Allawh, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, other than changing your bathing habits, it’s hard to avoid the factors causing your dry skin in the winter. So what can you do to combat these winter skin woes? We’ve asked the leading professionals what they change in their skin care routine as the temperatures drop, and which products they find work best. Here is what they had to say.
SkinMedica’s TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Glossier Super Glow Vitamin C + Magnesium Serum
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
EltaMD UV Restore Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Senté’s Dermal Repair Ultra Nourish
Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Moisturizing Body and Face Cream
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Facial Cream
Alastin Gentle Cleanser
Skinbetter AlphaRet Peel Pads