12 Nov 2009

Winter Skincare Tips

Winter season is upon us and lately I've noticed my skin has been getting a bit drier and has needed a bit more attention than in the hot summer months. Here's some basic tips on how you can adjust your skincare for the colder months.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

A lot of people (but not all) notice their skin starts to feel tighter and drier in the winter months, due to dropping temperatures, exposure to nature's elements like wind, rain or snow, and increased temperatures at home or in public buildings. This can take its toll! If you're using a light moisturizer and have noticed increased dryness, choose a more emollient, richer daytime and nighttime moisturizer. You don't have to break the bank - you can even get some good products on the cheap from Olay, Cetaphil, Dove, etc. Also use a richer body lotion if you experience dry skin on your legs, arms, back, and elbows.


Use a facial exfoliator to rid your skin of dead skin cells, which can leave a patchy, uneven appearance and make it hard to apply foundation evenly. Some inexpensive brands are from the Body Shop, or St. Ives, or even the generic aspirin mask. Use a loofah sponge or a natural fiber scrub mitten to exfoliate your body such as your legs, back, etc. You won't get that annoying itchiness associated with dry body skin - just make sure to follow up with moisturizer after.

Hydrate yourself!

Drinking lots of water, or non-alcoholic beverages like green tea can help to restore the natural moisture to the epidermis. Especially in winter when you might not feel thirsty as often, it's important to drink enough water each day. Drinking water has many other benefits, such as reduced water retention, and clearer skin that is less prone to break-outs. Keep a jug of Britta water at the office, or a large bottle of mineral water, and make sure to drink it throughout the day.

Turn down the temperature!

Increased room temperatures in the cold winter months can cause your skin to dry out. There's no need to jack up the thermostat like crazy - keep at an even 21 degrees Celsius. If you get chilly, put on a sweater rather than waste energy and dry out your skin by running your heater on high and running around in shorts and t-shirt.

Protect yourself!

Even though the sun might not be as intense as in the summer, UV rays can damage your skin even in winter so be sure to wear sunscreen during the day. People often wear sunscreen in the summer and then totally forget it in the winter - big mistake! Wearing sunscreen everyday will greatly help to prevent the onset of premature wrinkles. Try to go for at least SPF 15 or above - just because the sun might be hiding behind some clouds, doesn't mean your skin is not exposed to harmful UV rays.

Pamper your skin!

Use a moisturizing or balancing face mask once a week. Again, you don't have to splurge on expensive brands, the Internet boasts hundreds of recipes of great DIY home remedy masks using everyday ingredients such as eggs, olive oil, sugar, or honey. I've also found inexpensive but good single-use masks at the drugstore that cost around $1 each.

Switch your Cleanser

If you're using a harsh facial cleanser, try switching to something more gentle. Try a cream or lotion based cleanser without perfumes, this will calm your skin and not strip off your natural oils that lead to healthy, balanced, and supple skin. Cetaphil or Spectrojel are two inexpensive drugstore brands that are geared towards sensitive, dry, or problem skin.

Got any great winter skincare tips? Tried any great products? Share them in the comments below!


  1. Garnier moisture relief cream is good during the winter time. I like to apply it right after my shower to let it soak into my skin. Also, we always drink hot water w/ honey in it to soothe the throat during the dry season. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Anonymous2:22 am

    Great tips. Thanks! :)

  3. Anonymous2:22 am

    I have a question - I've been needing to know this for a while, but didn't know who to ask, and since this is about skin care.. maybe you can help me. Lotion obviously works for your body but when they say moisturize your face or a face moisturizer..can lotion not be used or is there a special formula? I'm new at this and the selection of products I can use is not VERY wide. So I jsut wanted to know if lotion does the same thing as a face moisturizer. If you can help that would be awesome!

  4. I like to have a bottle of camellia oil on hand and just add a squirt to my regular moisturizer (which is bare bones Cetaphil) when my skin feels dry. I do this with my body lotion too, but use unscented baby oil.

    I use a richer conditioner every few days too, because I find myself using the hairdryer more often when it's cold.

    Another tip - flaxseed. Add a tbsp of ground flaxseed to your oatmeal, or take a flaxseed oil supplement. The omega 3's will help keep your skin and hair nourished, along with it's other benefits. You really notice the difference it makes in winter.

  5. Invest in a humidifier! It's great for your hair, skin, and sinuses.

  6. Turn down the temperature not only on the thermostat but in the shower as well. I love a steamy hot shower, but I notice in the winter months that it makes my skin a dry, crinkly looking mess, especially on my scalp where the hot water hits first...makes me look like I've got dandruff.

    I do have to wash my hands a lot for work, and I try to keep a bottle of lotion with me so that they don't get to the point where they're cracking and bleeding in the winter. Also, at night I often put a heavy duty moisturizer on my hands - they're affected the worst - and then put simple cottom gloves on them. It really does help.

  7. my skin gets very dry during the winter, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion is AWESOME. i recc. for everyone.

    Julia, u forgot to mention our pout! my lips get so dry, and i just use the drugstore lipbalms that do the job very very well.

    hugs from washington,DC!

  8. Thank you for the tips! You are so great.


  9. Thanks Julia! I never had problem with 'dry winter skin' until coming to Switzerland, so you have great tips. One question though, can we actually get Cetaphil here? If so, where? I've never been able to find it at any chemists or pharmacies here - is there somewhere else for me to look? Thanks so much!

  10. i use (face) oils as a moisturiser in winter every other night. one could use the argan oil or i use the face oil from THE BODY SHOP. it is really good and hydrates my skin over night. AND it is really NOT greasy at all. there are no stains on the pillow. promise!!!
    I can only recommend that...

  11. I have a DIY face/body scrub recipe that works wonderfully, as a scrub and as a moisturizer. Put a few tablespoon of sugar in a jar, add a bit of olive oil and a bit of honey in order to create a fluffy mixture. I don't have exact quantities but I just do it like that, adding a bit of each until I have a nice fluffy consistency. Very simple and very efficient! The sugar exfoliates and the olive oil and honey moisturize without leaving a greasy feeling. I use it every 3 or 4 days and also use it as a lip scrub (yummy!) It leaves your skin soft and dewy.

    In the fall and winter my legs and arms get very dry so I buy a richer body wash. This year I got Olay Body wash plus cream ribbons with almond oil. I also take baths more oftenly using stuff from Lush or just rich bubble bath products from the drugstore (I love almond oil). As a moisturizer, I use Vaseline cocoa butter deep conditioning body lotion, especially after shaving.

  12. Oops, and don't forget the most important thing - lipbalm!!! I use The Body Shop's shea butter lipbalm. They come in packs of two and I find them really helpful at preventing dryness if you use it everyday.

  13. Awesome tips! I love them! One skincare tip I have is to try a body oil after a shower every few days. Like almond oil, which absorbs easily. Also try a salt scrub in the shower that contains shea butter. For the face, I'm currently LOVING Burt's Bees Day cream with royal jelly from the Radiance Line.


  14. Anonymous3:37 am

    I get dry lips something terrible in the winter months! I've used all sorts of chap sticks but one day some one told me to mix vasaline and honey together. I love it! It heals the cracks in my lips and works as a great clear lip gloss and even a lovely lip primer as long as you apply it thin enough.
    Great skin care tips, Julia! Keep up the good work! :-)

  15. Good useful advise. However I have to note that althoug sunburnt must be avoided, excessive sunprotection will lead to vitamin D deficiency and this is too damaging for health.

  16. Tea: Actually sunscreen doesn't prevent the production of vitamin E, it just helps to block UV rays, it doesn't mean Vitamin E won't be produced.

  17. Anonymous2:42 am

    hi Julia...nice tips...!I would just like to add...that if someone has broblems with dry skin...one can soak a cotton pad in olive oil and just dab the dry areas softly...it is especially useful for the nose and chin as well as forehead...and if u do the same round the eyelid and bottom of the eye...u will find out u will never get rinkles around the eyes as long as u use olivi oil once a day...!it also does wonders for dry hair...I come from Greece and we really know are stuff concerning home made cosmetics!so if anyone has any further questions u can ask!!! p.s. u rock Julia...I love the looks u do!!!!!! xxoo

  18. Anonymous5:41 pm

    Tea and MissChievous:

    Vitamin D is synthesized from a precursor in the skin wich is activated by UV rays. I'm not sure if Vitamin D synthesis requires the same wavelengths that sunscreen blocks; I think so but I'm not 100% sure. But I don't know if sunscreen blocks radiation so much...Anyway, just a few minutes of sun in the cheeks a day is enough to produce Vitamin D, also depending on the color of your skin. So I guess using a very strong UV filter over a long period of time in a not-very-sunny place could, at least theoretically, produce a Vitamin D deficiency...However, I think it is unlikely.

  19. Anonymous5:45 pm

    Hey, I'm Anonymous from above answering to Tea's concern. I found this on Wikipedia:

    "The use of sunscreen also interferes with vitamin D production, leading to deficiency in Australia after a government campaign to increase sunscreen use.[41] Doctors recommend spending small amounts of time in the sun without sun protection to ensure adequate production of vitamin D.[42] When the UV index is greater than 3 (which occurs daily within the tropics and daily during the spring and summer seasons in temperate regions) adequate amounts of vitamin D3 can be made in the skin after only ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen. With longer exposure to UVB rays, an equilibrium is achieved in the skin, and the vitamin simply degrades as fast as it is generated.[43]"

  20. This is so helpful thank you! My skin has suddenly gone crazy due to the weather -- totally dehydrated!

  21. Great advices!

    I'm still kinda' lost though. My skin is dry in the cheeks but very oily in the T-zone, and I just purchased (yesterday) Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 3, which I thought would work best for me, but now I'm not so sure and even afraid of haven wasted some more money. :( Well, the only way to know is trying it out, so I will see... :)

    This is going to be only my third winter and my skin was just terrible in the two past years.

  22. Anonymous10:29 pm

    I know this may sound old fashioned, but plain old Vaseline can be just the thing to keep you moisturized this winter. After your evening shower while your skin is still damp, take a small dab of Vaseline and work it into your hands to get it warmed up. Spread it onto your damp skin. You need a only a tiny amount; more will just make you all greasy-feeling. The Vaseline prevents moisture from the shower evaporating from your skin and making it dry. It seals it in and helps to keep you hydrated.

  23. Anonymous1:18 am

    For me, I know that when my lips get chapped in the winter, I haven't drunk enough water. A day of consistent water input solves this problem. but it I have to keep it up every day.

  24. Wonderful is the word for such a well covered blog which more or less clearly specifies how to go through the chill.Dehydrating makes most skin dull and cracked in winter,exfoliating is easy and a good exercise for the hands too,moisturizing is anyway something done by all...sun screen is important and so is a very lip balm.....happy winter days.

  25. Anonymous8:29 pm

    How can I prevent breakouts after exfoliating? I exfoliate at night during my shower and breakout by morning. What am I doing wrong?

  26. I know some people may not want to spend the money but LUSH makes some very yummy smelling and pretty long-lasting massage bars that are super moisturizing and packed full of essential oils and all around goodness.
    It comes as a solid bar so you just hold it between your hands when you're freshly towel dried and as it warms and melts you just rub it all over your body and massage it into your skin.

    Try Strawberry Feels, Soft Coeur or Mange Too.

  27. Amazing blog, great tips. I love using all natural, herbal based products.

  28. Anonymous1:42 am


  29. hi Julia, can i share these tips on my blog and twitter too? =)

  30. very useful information...thanks for sharing that.

  31. One tip about baths… the hot water actually dries out your skin. So the recommendations is 15 to 20 minutes top if you don’t want to dry out your skin

  32. It is gud to know about different types of products which is useful to our skincare..You have done a great job.. http://beautyskincare.us

  33. Hi Julia. I hope you read this, it's the first time i check your blog and it has very interesting content!.

    I use Cetaphil soap since i was 12 years old (i'm 21 now). I use it because i suffer allergies so it's a very good soap! free of perfumes and it leaves your skin very soft.

    I would like to know if you have use other products of these brand, because i only use the soap but here it's a little bit hard to find other stuff.

    Regards from México, i love your Videos!.