9 Buys That Will Transform Your Skin

We suffer from skin amnesia. Let’s call it skamnesia. Here’s how it goes: Life is capital-G great until the mercury drops. Wind, rain, and odd ice storms hit. We're too busy swapping our summer wardrobe for a fall one to notice that we're slowly morphing into a well-dressed...alligator. Then, we remember — cold weather messes with our skin. Every. Single. Year. Not anymore. Swap the scaley self-loathing for these simple tricks, ahead.

Related Links:
The Highest ranked Drugstore Moisturizer Right Now
Crucial Products Your Hair Type Needs This Winter
43 Products That Give You Instant Results
1 of 11
If Your Cleanser Bubbles, Get A New One
In the summer, your foaming wash makes sense. In winter, even the most gentle formulas can strip your skin of its natural oils. (FYI: You need those to avoid the alligator scenario.) Switch to a cream cleanser or a wipe-off lotion, like this one, that moisturizes and removes the crud.

“This helps balance skin, even if it's prone to oiliness. [If] your skin is hydrated...your glands no longer overreact by producing more oil,” says Amy Forman Taub, MD, dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Advertisement
2 of 11
Take A Good Hard Look At Your Moisturizer
In a nutshell, you need to cram as much moisture into your skin as possible. “The most hydrating formulas have ingredients like glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, that pull water into your skin,” says Jeannette Graf, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Fact: This is not going to be the lightweight lotion that knocked around in your beach bag. It needs to be the Incredible Hulk of that formula. (We like Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion.) It will feel heavier and creamier when you smooth it on and your skin should feel soft and supple for several hours afterwards.
3 of 11
Don’t Go Nuts With Exfoliating
It’s a tough one: You want to slough away the dead cells so your skin doesn’t look dull and your turbo-charged moisturizer absorbs. But overdo it in cold weather and skin gets dry, red, and flaky. Dr. Taub suggests exfoliating once or twice a week with a gentle scrub, like this one from Fresh, or a peel. And when your skin starts to feel a little tight, double-down with a hydrating serum underneath your moisturizer so you get ahead of dry patches.
4 of 11
— SPONSORED —

Swap Your Base
If Old Man Winter is drying out your skin to sandpaper-like proportions, you need all the moisture you can get from your beauty products — base makeup included. Instead of a thick foundation, which can emphasize the look of dry skin, try a moisturizing cushion compact, like this one from AMOREPACIFIC. The lightweight formula is packed with bamboo sap, so it quenches parched skin while offering buildable coverage. Flakes — what flakes?
5 of 11
Tweak Your Bathroom Habits
Little changes make a big difference when you’re naked. First, a lukewarm — not piping-hot — shower helps skin maintain moisture. Switch to a hydrating body wash (yep, same reason). Then, act fast when you step out. Pat skin dry and slather on a rich moisturizer while your body is just slightly damp — ”all within about three minutes,” says Dr. Taub. “You’ll lock in a lot more moisture.” Oh, and keep the bathroom door shut to take advantage of all that steam. Every little bit helps!
6 of 11
Take A Bath
We know, we know — you’ve been told it dries out your skin. Correction: A boiling hot, half-hour bubble bath will turn you into a stale Twinkie. “But if you limit your soak to about 10 minutes, bathing adds water to the skin," says Dr. Graf. The trick is to moisturize as soon as you get out (we love Vaseline's easy-to-use spray lotion) and avoid bath oils — they smell amazing, but can lead to irritation.
Advertisement
7 of 11
Stash Tubes Of Barrier Cream EVERYWHERE
If someone was about to punch you, you’d throw your hands up in self-defense...right? That’s the way you need to think about the windy, snowy nightmare outside your front door. Before you head out, dab a little barrier cream onto the bits that get hit the hardest — lips, cuticles, and cheeks. “In the winter, the air literally sucks the moisture out of your face. This stuff is like saran wrap for your [skin], preventing water from evaporating off the surface,” says Dr. Taub.
8 of 11
Take It Easy With Retinol
It’s one of the best anti-aging ingredients out there, but when the temps drop, it can make your skin red and patchy. We’re not suggesting you suspend wrinkle-fighting until spring. Instead, apply a thicker moisturizer over your anti-aging products, says Graf. Or switch to a gentler, not weaker, formula that has hyaluronic acid to combat dryness (like Neutrogena Wrinkle Repair Night) or contains slow-release retinol that works without causing irritation. And if you’ve never used retinol before, don’t start now. “Your skin is already prone to dryness, so you're more likely to experience irritation," says Dr. Taub.
9 of 11
Start Using A Face Oil — Now. We Mean It.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about face oils. We can pretty much guarantee that every beauty single editor in the world will be slathering them on all winter. Still getting your head around it?

“All skin types benefit from facial oils—even people with oily skin. They calm and protect,” says Dr. Graf, who recommends smoothing them over moisturizer (or even makeup) to form an extra layer against the elements. The skin drinks this stuff up, so don’t worry about greasy residue.
10 of 11
Don’t Ignore Your Feet
Even if you're hiding them in boots, it's important to stay on top of your feet — especially considering how much pain cracked, calloused heels can cause. Once a week, Dr. Graf recommends soaking them in Epsom Salts, exfoliating, and then slathering on a thick moisturizer like this one.
11 of 11
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement