How to Winterize Your Skincare Routine
A dermatologist weighs in on how to winter-proof your skincare routine as the temperatures drop.
Transitioning our wardrobe from fall to winter attire is a routine that Canadians know all too well. Our beloved linens and silks get relegated to the back of our closet, hidden behind bulky wools, corduroys and cashmeres, as we attempt to capture the feeling of a warm hug amid sub-zero temperatures. And forget about slipping on a single sweater; layers reign supreme when it comes to cold-weather cocooning.
But did you know that as your clothes shift and evolve for the season, so, too, should your skincare routine? Take inspiration from your wardrobe and opt for thicker textures and multiple layers for extra protection. Intentional layering of hydrating elixirs like serums, creams and balms will lock in much-needed moisture, ensuring that it doesn’t escape from your skin barrier.
“In the winter, skin is more prone to dehydration, which can present as dryness, cracking and eczema,” explains Dr. Roni Munk, a Montreal-based dermatologist. “It’s important to change your skincare routine to better adapt to the climate. In colder weather, I recommend that people not only moisturize more frequently — to better tolerate harsh and dry conditions — but also use a thicker moisturizer. The thicker the emollient, the more hydrating it is.”
Reach for products that include ceramides or hyaluronic acid in the ingredients list, as they help replenish and strengthen the skin barrier, which inevitably takes a hit in extreme temperatures. “Hyaluronic acid, in particular, will actually help us maintain our own internal moisture levels, as opposed to just adding additional exterior moisture,” says Munk. And if your skin is sensitive to cold temperatures, he suggests reducing the concentration or frequency of use of the exfoliants in your routine, like retinol and acids such as glycolic, salicylic, lactic and mandelic.
As you prepare to embrace (or simply try to make the best of) the coldest time of the year, swaddle yourself in luxe sweaters and scarves, balms and creams.
Beautycounter Mighty Plump Ceramide Water Cream
Formulated with two forms of hyaluronic acid for intense hydration and an immediate plumping effect, and barrier-protecting ceramide for even more moisture, this weightless cream is a must this season.
Orveda Rich Brew Cream
Featuring both glycerin and hyaluronic acid, this luxe, intensely moisturizing cream is suitable for all skin types — even the most sensitive skin — and promises to firm and lift facial contours while improving the glow of your complexion.
Uriage H.A. Booster Serum
Skin in need of a little boost? Try incorporating Uriage’s new H.A. Booster Serum into your routine. Made with 1.5 per cent pure and natural hyaluronic acid, it instantly gets to work on signs of dryness. The result? Plumped, smoothed and hydrated skin.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Water
Inspired by the brand’s cult-favourite Magic Cream, the latest skincare innovation from Charlotte Tilbury is now available in a lightweight, bouncy gel texture, making it ideal for oily or combination skin that needs a burst of hydration during the winter.
Yves Rocher Intense Moisturizing Care Hydra-Végétal
This intensely hydrating moisturizer can also be used as an overnight mask, if your skin is feeling extra-parched. In fact, during a clinical study, 96 per cent of participants claimed that their skin felt hydrated in the morning.
Shiseido Waso Calmellia Multi Relief SOS Balm
Enriched with camellia oil from Japan, this multi-purpose balm can treat dry areas of the face, body or hair (yes, really!). In fact, you’ll see and feel results in just one day.
Dr. Hauschka Apricot Day Cream
Enriched with vitamins and fatty acids that revitalize your complexion and help your skin retain moisture and protect it from drying out, the latest from Dr. Hauschka is a wintertime must.
The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum
This do-it-all serum is designed to support skin barrier repair while soothing discomfort and reducing the look of redness — all crucial when the temperature starts to dip.
Omy Laboratoires Smoothing Body Cream
Don’t forget about the skin on your body! The newest launch from Canadian brand Omy Laboratoires is designed to relieve dryness and restore your moisture barrier, while also protecting against roughness through exfoliating and moisturizing properties. This can benefit skin prone to ingrown hairs, eczema, psoriasis and keratosis pilaris.
Miracle 10 Soothe
Ideal for post-treatment care, and those suffering from inflammatory skin conditions, which can ramp up in the winter, this probiotic-rich serum improves the look of irritated, inflamed skin.
This article first appeared in FASHION’s November 2023 issue. Find out more here.
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