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7 Swaps to Make to Winterize Your Skin Care Routine

Posted by Nikki Wisher on Nov 14th 2023

7 Swaps to Make to Winterize Your Skin Care Routine

It’s that time of year when we’re starting to switch gears on just about everything – swapping out warm weather clothes for cold weather clothes in your closet, maybe winterizing your home, garden, or car if you’re in an area that gets serious winter weather. But there’s something else you should start winterizing too: your skin care routine.

As much as your current routine might have worked wonders over the summer, the dry and cold winter air is a whole different ballgame, so your skin’s needs will be different for the next several months. Make these swaps to take care of winter dryness and other seasonal issues by making your skin care routine winter-friendly.

Intensify Your Moisturizer

A lightweight moisturizer is perfect for spring, summer, and early fall because your skin feels refreshed but not oiled up or weighed down. In the winter, though, the air is much drier and that dry air will take moisture from anywhere it can get it…including your skin. Because you’ll be more prone to dry skin in the winter, trade out your lightweight morning moisturizer with a heavier and more intense moisturizer

Change Out Your Cleanser

Washing your skin is a must-do all year round, because sweat residue, air pollution, and other debris don’t fly south for the winter. But during the colder months, the cleanser you use in the summer might be too harsh and drying on your skin. Instead, try a hydrating cleanser that still leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean but doesn’t strip away too much of the natural oil your skin needs to retain moisture.

Take a Break from Fragrant Products

In general, the drier your skin is, the more sensitive it is too. That’s because hydration is an important part of your skin’s natural protective barrier. When your skin is too dry, that barrier is weaker so your skin is more affected by irritants. One of the most common irritants is added fragrance. If you notice your skin getting more inflamed during the winter, look for any products you’re using that are scented and swap them out for unscented versions.

Switch Up Your Serum

A serum is one of the most customizable steps in your skin care routine. You can use a serum that reduces signs of aging, a serum that evens your skin tone and reduces age spots…there are serums for just about any skin care goal you may have. During the winter, a hydrating serum is an excellent way to add a moisture boost to your routine. You could add a hydrating serum to your routine or trade out whatever serum you’re currently using. Either way, this is a great option for doubling down on keeping your skin hydrated and smooth this winter.

Adjust Your Sun Protection

Sun protection should be a high priority in your skin care during the spring and summer, especially if you love soaking in some rays or spending time outdoors. You’re probably spending less time outside in the winter, but that doesn’t mean that sun protection should fall to the side. The sun can still do damage when it’s cold, so you don’t want to skip your sunscreen. You might, however, want to change it up and use a moisturizing sunscreen so you can get a little extra hydration with your sun care. 

Tweak Your Exfoliation Routine

Exfoliation is a fabulous way to buff away dead skin cells and surface debris so your skin is smoother and brighter (and so your makeup looks flawless). But exfoliating too often or using products that are too harsh can strip moisture that your skin needs, making you more vulnerable to dry winter skin. So if your skin responded well to exfoliation a few months ago but now your same exfoliant is making your skin dry or irritated, it’s not you – it’s the weather.

For that reason, it can help to lighten up your exfoliating routine until the spring. If you’ve been exfoliating twice per week, maybe step it down to once per week, or swap out your current exfoliant for something milder.

Mix Up Your Face Masks

Who doesn’t love a good face mask? It feels relaxing and pampering while also giving your skin a supercharged dosage of anti-aging, deep cleansing, or whatever your mask is designed to do. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your face masks this winter. But you might try different types of face masks to help with your skin’s winter needs, like a moisturizing mask or a soothing mask to reduce irritation.

Building a Winter-Friendly Skin Care Routine

It can be frustrating to spend months of trial and error to figure out the perfect skin care regimen for your skin, only to have that change when the season shifts. But with a few swaps, you can make your skin care routine winter-friendly so that your skin stays healthy and beautiful until you can return to your usual routine in the spring.