With the start of cold weather comes more layers, more Netflix bingeing, and, usually, more skin issues. Already-dry skin gets worse in the face of blustering winds and freezing temps, while normal and even oily skin might get hit with cold-induced itchiness and flakiness for the first time. Slathering on moisturizer seems like the obvious remedy, but anyone who’s tried it will tell you it doesn’t always work—in fact, most times, it either leads to breakouts or leaves your skin feeling dry and raw as ever. We turned to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau and pleaded asked for help: How do we keep our skin glowy and Gigi Hadid–esque in the face of winter? How do we avoid bad winter skin? Luckily a few simple hacks will do the trick. Keep scrolling to seem them all!
We’re all about beauty treatments that work their magic while we sleep, which is why Rouleau’s first tip resonated especially well. “Use a humidifier in your bedroom, especially if you are acne-prone,” she says. Though switching to heavier, richer products might seem like an easy way to combat dryness, it can lead to clogged pores in acne-prone skin. A humidifier is an easy fix: Rouleau says it will put more moisture in the air, which will regulate your bedroom’s environment and keep your skin hydrated. “Your skin can grab more hydration without requiring you to buy a new moisturizer,” she promises.
Fact: A hydrating serum is your friend in the colder months, even more so than a moisturizer. Always use one before you apply moisturizer—Rouleau says damp skin can actually absorb regular moisturizer more effectively. For an added boost, apply a few drops of serum to your skin before applying your favorite sheet mask. “Masks seal in serums so the active ingredients absorb deeper into the skin,” Rouleau says. “Serums have smaller molecules and a better ability to [be absorbed].”
If you like to take your sweet time between all the various steps of your skincare regimen, it’s time to rethink your technique. Rouleau says that it’s vital that you immediately follow your cleanser with toner, and then apply your serum on your skin while it’s still damp. Speeding up your skincare routine will ensure your skin stays hydrated throughout the process, and thus more able to absorb the products you apply.
You heard us right—instead of overmoisturizing, Rouleau says to increase your exfoliation to avoid bad winter skin. “If your skin is dry, tight, and flaky, it means you have dry-skin-cell buildup on the surface of the skin,” she says. “So rather than loading up on cream to rehydrate dry skin cells, increase your exfoliation instead to remove the buildup.” She recommends using a gentle exfoliator two to three times a week, followed by an AHA serum and your go-to moisturizer at night.
Now, look into these 15 moisturizers that will revive dry winter skin.