Winter Skincare Routine: How to Prepare Your Skin for Cold Dry Weather

Finally: cooler weather, holidays galore, and cozied up moments with friends and family are among us. As we transition out of summer and into fall and winter, there is so much to look forward to. But with every changing season, there are things we have to re-adjust to in our daily lives: Our closets may need a switch-up, pulling out oversized hoodies and sweaters and your dusty pair of Chelsea boots. Maybe your Starbucks order goes from iced to - gasp - hot. These are the obvious changes you can expect.

On the other hand, there are the not-so-obvious changes, like how your skin during the summer is NOT the same as it is in the colder months. You can’t blame her—she’s facing a whole new world that she completely forgot existed until 5 minutes ago when the temperature dropped 10 degrees. No one was really expecting it

But don’t fret. We’re here to help you figure out what the heck to do with your skin as we enter PSL-season. 

Buckle up for a super moisturizing ride.

Need a quick hydration boost in your winter skin care routine? Try our hydrating facial mask to moisturize your dry skin!

Why does my skin get worse in the winter?

Without getting too into the scientific weeds, colder temperatures combined with dry air can cause your outermost layer of skin cells to shrink, thereby causing a dry, rougher surface that many of us experience. For folks with naturally dry skin, winter can be an especially difficult time for their skin. It can feel, at times, impossible to keep moisturized. 

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure your face is feeling bright, healthy, and moisturized through even the frostiest times of year. 

How do you prepare your skin for cold weather?

Now that you are aware of the effect that winter weather can have on your skin, we’ve got you covered with a few suggestions on how to prepare your skin for the drastic temperature change. (Unfortunately, we won’t be able to restock your closet with a new winter wardrobe. Sorry!)

  • Get a Humidifier. (You’ll thank us later). Ok, your skin is dry because Jack Frost has decided to suck the moisture out of the air. But thankfully, you can at least control the humidity of your room and replenish some of that moisture with a humidifier while you sleep. You can find a few cheap options online and place it near your bed for overnight hydration. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed, as if winter never even came. As an added bonus, seasonal allergy sufferers tend to see an improvement in their symptoms due to the moisture in the air.
  • Avoid Long, Hot Showers. We know. This is hard. ESPECIALLY when all you want to do is take a steaming hot shower in the morning (or night, we don’t judge) to warm yourself up. Unfortunately, hot showers tend to dry out your skin, even more so in colder temperatures. While it may be difficult to completely cross hot showers off your list, consider shortening your showers or making this a once or twice a week occasion. Perhaps a weekend treat!
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy. This might be an obvious one, but we can't emphasize enough how important it is to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to 1) fight off any cold-weather viruses that bounce around and, 2) keep your skin healthy, moisturized, and glowing. This includes drinking plenty of water in addition to the copious amounts of hot coffee you’ll likely be slamming down.
  • Moisturize. Perhaps another obvious one, but we want to make sure it’s top of mind. We don’t mean moisturize. We mean moisturize. Your normal spring/summer moisturize you’ve been using won’t cut it this time around. Opt for a creamier, thicker moisturizer—the kind you’d see a famous Hollywood actress applying as part of her nightly routine. It will keep your skin feeling moisturized as you venture out for the day and when you lay your head down for the night.
  • Use Creamier Makeup. For those of you who love your powder-based makeup, we have bad news. It’s going to leave your skin more susceptible to dryness/flakiness during the winter months. For foundations, we recommend using a creamier base like a tinted moisturizer or other liquid formulas with creamier consistencies.

What should I apply on my face in the winter?

We thought you’d never ask. We’ve provided a rundown of the kinds of products you should be using during wintertime to keep your skin happy, healthy, and moisturized. Here’s everything you and your skin need to get through a brutal winter:

A Gentle Cleanser. 

Stay away from anything that might strip your skin of its natural oils, especially in cooler weather seasons. We recommend finding a milder, hydrating cleanser such as a cream-based option. If you have particularly dry skin, a cleansing oil may be the perfect option for you. Pro tip: If your skin feels tight and close to cracking post-cleanse, your skin is dried out. You want a clean surface, not a dry one.

Vitamin C Serum. 

You already know we’re huge fans of a good Vitamin C serum and how it can transform your skin. It should be part of your skincare routine regardless of the season, but we digress. We recommend the Sdara Vitamin C Serum as a winter pick-me-up. The serum is paired with hyaluronic acid for even more moisture-retaining benefits that you crave in the cold and dry seasons.

A Thicker Moisturizer. 

Seriously, you’re going to want to slab some thick stuff on your face. Be generous with it. While you may find that a lightweight moisturize does the trick during warmer months, a nice creamy moisturizer should be an essential part of your morning and nightly routine in the winter. If you tend to have oiler skin, even during colder seasons, we recommend an oil-free moisturizer that still does the job of hydrating your skin.

Gentle Exfoliant. 

It’s okay to exfoliate in the wintertime! However, physical exfoliants are often too harsh for your skin that’s already left vulnerable by the dry air and cold temperatures. We recommend a gentle chemical exfoliant—an exfoliant that uses different kinds of acids and enzymes to remove dead skin cells as a fantastic addition to your winter skincare regimen.


Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Just because the temperature is in the negatives and the air is brisk doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t shining its powerful UV rays right into your skin. There are plenty of great sunscreen options out there, including the Sdara Mineral Sunscreen. As a physical sunscreen, it blocks UV rays while remaining lightweight and leaving your skin with a satin-like finish.

A Hydrating Facial Mask. 

If you’re looking for an extra boost of moisture and a touch of luxury in your skincare routine, we recommend a hydrating facial mask. There’s nothing to hate about spending an extra 15 minutes before bed with a sheet mask on your face (Don’t worry, we’ve accidentally fallen asleep with it on, too.) Try out Sdara’s paraben- and fragrance-free Hydrating Facial Mask for an instantly more radiant complexion.

Save Yourself from the Winter Drought

We know that change is never easy, especially when it comes to implementing new, unfamiliar routines. You may be tied to your current skincare routine, with no desire to switch out your beloved products. But there’s also some excitement involved in discovering a new routine that makes you feel good (hello, self-care gods) and like you’re prepared for a new season of life. 

And hey, we don’t want your skin to suffer from winter wonder-dryness.

Contributing Writer: Evan Neuhoff