You can avoid your ex at your mutual friend's holiday party and carrying your groceries home in the cold by ordering in, but escaping dry, winter skin is a lot tougher.
Dehydration has a domino effect on complexions. When there isn't enough moisture skin gets flaky, and combined with the season's frigid winds, can look red and blotchy. Switching up your routine with products that target your seasonal skincare concerns, along with tips on how to repair and moisturize skin so it's soft and smooth—even when the ice isn't going to thaw anytime soon.
Keep scrolling for 12 ways to soothe and repair dry winter skin.
VIDEO: 5 Ridiculously Expensive Skincare Products
1. Don’t Forget Below the Neck
Red, blotchy skin is just one of winter’s many unfortunate side effects. A color-correcting concealer will even out your complexion, don’t forget about your neck and décolleté, too. Treat this sensitive area with the same super-charged products you would use on your face. A serum will have higher concentrated ingredients than say, a moisturizer. Look for a formula that’s anti-inflammatory such as Dr. Sebagh’s Rose de Vie Serum Delicat, which is infused with calming Symcalmin and hydrating organic virgin rose muscat oil.
2. Hydrate with Honey
Los Angeles aesthetician Kate Somerville's product line is coveted by celebs like Rachel Bilson, but sometimes she advises her clients to use products in their pantry. “Honey is a great hydrator, so it will attract water to your skin cells and then lock it in. It also has antimicrobial properties, so it’s great for all skin types, especially the acne prone.” Her secret recipe: “Take a teaspoon of honey and massage it onto clean skin. Leave it on for about ten minutes and then rinse with warm water. Your skin will feel so soft and smooth.”
3. Embrace Skincare Innovations
Rodial’s Stem Cell Magic Gel is a multitasking moisturizer doubles as a mask to completely recharge dehydrated and tired complexions. Alp rose stem cell technology balance skin’s moisture, while a tightening complex minimizes and plumps firmness.
Rodial | $85
4. Slather On a Body Lotion
“Avoid the sauna, which is dry heat. But embrace a steam bath or long hot shower,” advises Fishman. “When you get out, immediately lather a thick moisturizer on damp skin. Since the steam has opened up your pores, your skin is extra absorbent." We like Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin, a fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Aveeno | $7
5. Bring Humidity Indoors
“Air is naturally drier in the winter and we spend so much more time indoors getting dried out by heating systems, so humidifiers are a must,” says New York City dermatologist, Cybele Fishman. We like Dyson’s sleek Air Multiplier AM10 Hygienic Mist Humidifier.
Dyson | $400
6. Keep Feet Soft
Just like your hands, sub-zero temperatures can leave your feet dry and flaky, too. Fishman suggests rubbing in a decadent foot cream and sleeping in socks, “so the moisturizer will penetrate the thickest layers of the skin.” Along with shea butter, L’Occitane’s foot cream is packed with soothing arnica and lavender essential oils that refresh worn soles.
L'Occitane | $29
7. Hands On
Often neglected, cuticles deserve some of your attention because they protect fingertips and nails from getting dried out and brittle. Caudalie’s antioxidant-rich Hand and Nail Cream nourishes skin, but isn’t so greasy that you’ll leave fingerprints behind on everything you touch after applying it.
Caudalie | $15
8. Lighten Up Your Moisturizer
Blame it on the alcohol. Skin tends to get congested from living it up during the holiday season, and you’re probably forgetting to drink enough water. Swap your moisturizer for a lightweight formula that’s spiked with hyaluronic acid like Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel to prevent further clogging pores.
Neutrogena | $20
9. Use an Exfoliating Treatment
Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial is the equivalent of getting an in-office facial at home. A team of 25 percent AHA and 2 percent BHA acids work to resurface complexions by sloughing away built up dead skin cells that are causing uneven texture, breakouts, and dullness. Nourishing antioxidants keep the powerful acids from drying out skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes once a week, and follow up with its accompanying facial oil for even more hydration.
Drunk Elephant | $80
10. Switch to a Gentle Cleanser
If your skin is already red and blotchy from hard winter wind, using a heavy cleanser is just going to cause more irritation. Instead, switch to a gentle, lightweight cleanser that’s free of fragrance and known irritants. We love SkinCeutical’s Gentle Cleanser. It’s specifically formulated for sensitive complexions and removes excess dirt, oil, and buildup from complexions without stripping skin of its essential oils needed for hydration.
Skinceuticals | $34
11. Don’t Forget SPF
Just because you’re not going to be lying on the beach any time soon, doesn’t mean you can shelf your sunscreen until the first day of summer. Walking to and from your car can even cause UV/UVB damage. Apply a sunscreen that offers complete coverage. We love Elta MD’s UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, a lightweight sunscreen that’s gentle enough for all skin types and also includes hyaluronic acid in its formula for extra hydration.