Winter time skin care routine: The Ultimate Guide To Keeping Your Skin Soft and Smooth

Winter weather with lots of gloominess is here – I’m talking lots go wind, rain, cloudy skies. This is when we have to pay extra attention to our skin. And not one on our face, but also on our hands and bodies. Keep reading to learn how to look after your winter skin and have the perfect winter time skincare routine!!

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How do I care for my skin in winter?

It’s very important to moisturise extra your skin in winter, but also to keep up with the good skincare habits you have all year round. It’s important to drink your water every single day so that your entire body is well hydrated – and this will reflect on your skin too! Once or twice a week, exfoliate your skin – use a chemical exfoliant for the face, and a physical one for your entire body. Replace your light summer cream by a thicker and more moisturising one. Make sure to also put lotion all over your body, as soon as you are out of the shower. While you may not be going around in skimpy clothing like in summer, your skin on your body will get drier in winter. So make sure to give it the love it needs.

What I’m using for my winter time skincare routine

There are quite some differences between my summer and my winter time skin care routine. I usually have the same gentle face cleanser – my skin is sensitive to harsh cleaners so whenever I find one that doesn’t irritate my skin, I use it forever. In summer, I opt for a lighter toner, whereas in winter I choose a thicker and hydrating one that I layer twice.

The serums that I use all year round are vitamin C (morning) and a retinol-based one (night). For Vitamin C I recommend Rohto Mentholatum Melano CC Vitamin C Essence, By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum and Paula Choice’s Resist C15 Super Booster). They are all non-irritating, but I prefer those with opaque packaging, so I don’t have to take a trip from the bathroom to the fridge. For retinol-based products, I could not recommend enough the ones from The Ordinary and they never disappoint. Make sure to start small – I built up my resistance from once a week to every other day.

In summer, I finish my routines with SPF (morning) and a light cream (night). You can find great SPF creams from COSRX and AXIS-Y. My favourite light cream for the night is this lightweight & easy to apply cream from AXIS-Y. In winter, I add an extra layer of this cream before the SPF. And for my winter night skincare routine, I swap the light cream with a heavier one (I enjoy using this duo cream). And when it is absorbed, I pat into my skin some oil – my favourite is The Inkey list Squalane oil.

My winter face routine also includes sheet masking more often (either a classical sheet mask or a FOREO one). And once a week I make sure to chemically exfoliate my skin – my current favourites are the NEOGEN pads and the classic Cure Natural Aqua Gel (one of the cult Japanese beauty products) that never fails.

What activities cause winter skin damage?

The low temperatures, dry and harsh weather can severely impact your skin by making it dehydrated. On top of that, the indoors are also drier because of the heating. To avoid this, make sure to avoid long hot showers and baths, and put from time to time a humidifier. As always, don’t forget to use sunscreen – if you have snow, then it’s even more needed! And lastly, do not even think of using tanning beds – they are extremely damaging to the skin. The safest way to tan your skin is by using a self-tanner.

humidifier on wooden stool
Photo by cottonbro on

How can I care for my hands during the winter months?

Let’s not forget about our hands too! We are doing everything with them and we often neglect them. I cannot count how many times I have left my hands unprotected in the cold, for them to look all red and dry. Learn from my mistakes! If the weather is cold, wear your gloves. Especially now, in a pandemic, we are using hand sanitisers more and more – and this is another drying factor. Make sure to use hand cream a few times per day. And when you do your whole body exfoliation, pay extra attention to the hands too. These days, I keep a tube of hand cream on my night table and before bed I add some of it one last time.

winter skincare_loccitane_
Hands down the best hand cream

Looking for more winter time skincare routine tips?

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