How to Update Your Beauty Routine for Winter

By Tara | Updated: 28/04/2024

Despite Sydney’s moderate climate, Winter weather can still wreak havoc on my skin.

As someone whose skin tends toward the dry side, this shift isn’t just uncomfortable—it’s a battle against the elements for my skin barrier.

As the environment changes, so too must our approach to beauty and skincare. The lightweight lotions and gels that worked wonders in the humid summer air now fall short against the dry, icy breezes. It’s crucial to adapt, introducing more hydrating and protective products into our routines to maintain healthy, glowing skin.

These are some of the ways I am changing up my routine this winter, aiming not just to protect my skin but to nourish it, ensuring it remains soft, hydrated, and radiant even as the temperature drops.

In This Article

7 Ways to Change Your Skincare Routine for Winter

Swap to a Gentle Cleanser

If you wake up to dry skin, consider skipping the morning cleanse altogether, or switch to a gentler option. Cleansers can be harsh due to their surfactants, which strip away not just impurities but also the essential oils that maintain our skin’s natural barrier. This can exacerbate skin dryness, especially in cold weather.

Instead, choose a gentle cleanser with mild or natural surfactants or a mixed formulation. Look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, and panthenol. These components help strengthen the skin barrier, increase hydration, and soothe irritated skin, offering much-needed support during winter.

Protect Your Skin Barrier

In winter, I will swap out lightweight formulas for richer, more protective and nourishing creams and moisturisers.

French pharmacy skincare brands know a thing or two when it comes to hydration and protecting your skin barrier. La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5+ is considered one of the best products for winter skin, loved by TikTok, derms and beauty editors. It’s a multi-purpose hydrating, soothing, protecting balm ideal for all skin types but particularly for dry and dehydrated.

Integrate Face Oil

Incorporating hydrating face oils into your winter skincare routine is a game-changer for maintaining supple, radiant skin. Adding just a few drops of a high-quality oil to your moisturiser can significantly boost its hydrating properties. 

Go-To Skincare’s Face Hero, a standout product and Mecca’s ‘winter skin saviour of 2021’, is an excellent choice. The lightweight formula is packed with powerful plant oils that deeply nourish the skin without leaving a greasy residue. 

Hand Cream Is Essential

If you are already dealing with cracked and dry hands from hand sanitiser and extra washing, then dry and cold winter air will do you no favours. I suffer from extremely dry hands, so I cannot go without a good hand cream. Some of the ingredients to look for are Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Glycerine.

Layered Hydration is Key

Toners, essences, and mists are staples in K-beauty and French beauty routines, Designed to be applied immediately after cleansing, they help to balance the skin’s pH and boost moisture levels before applying subsequent products.

Toners often contain hydrating agents like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which attract moisture to the skin. Essences, slightly thicker, infuse skin with a layer of hydration and often include nutrients to aid cell turnover. Mists can be used throughout the day to refresh and rehydrate the skin, especially in dry environments or offices with central heating. 

Add Hydrating Acids

Using chemical exfoliants like AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) in your skincare routine can significantly improve hydration levels. These acids work by gently removing dead skin cells, promoting cell turnover, and revealing fresher, smoother skin beneath. 

AHAs are particularly effective in attracting moisture to the skin, enhancing its natural moisturising factors. BHAs, while known for their ability to penetrate deeper to unclog pores, also possess anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin. Integrating these exfoliants a few times a week can help maintain optimal hydration, keeping the skin plump and radiant.

Don't Neglect Your Lips

Lip care is essential in winter, as cold, dry air can quickly lead to chapped, uncomfortable lips. Unlike the rest of your skin, your lips lack oil glands and are therefore more susceptible to drying out.

To prevent chapping and maintain soft, supple lips, swap out your usual lip glosses or matte lipsticks for nourishing lip balms or treatments. Look for products containing ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, or coconut oil, which provide a protective barrier and help retain moisture, keeping your lips hydrated and healthy throughout the colder months.

Why does our skin get so dry in Winter?

There are a number of factors that contribute to drying out your skin in the winter months. The low humidity both indoors (heaters) and outdoors creates the perfect conditions to worsen dry skin.

Additionally, we tend to enjoy hot and long showers, which dries the skin out further. As mentioned, above in the winter months it is so easy to forget certain parts of your body. You are not moisturising or applying sunscreen like you would in summer. This can contribute to your skin drying out through the colder seasons.

How can we protect our skin in winter?

To put it simply, hydrating and moisturising.

Here are some simple tips to keep our skin in shape this winter:

  • Consider a humidifier for at-home moisture
  • Use thicker moisturising products on your hands and face
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wash your hands with cold/lukewarm water

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Tara Lusk is the founder and creator of Beauty Space
Tara Lusk is a Sydney-based beauty enthusiast and the founder of Beauty Space. She launched the blog in 2018 to showcase the best beauty and skincare brands emerging from Australia, while also providing insider tips and tricks for hair and skincare. With a focus on tried-and-true products, Tara puts the latest cult products to the test to separate hype from substance.

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