How Your Beauty Products Need to Change for the Cold Weather

Just as you prep your closet for the colder months ahead, your beauty routine needs to change accordingly. Protecting the skin from the elements is crucial, as well as incorporating moisture into your routine, even for the oiliest of skin types. Hair and body are just as important as the face in colder weather, when frizz and flaky skin is always a factor.  

Dr. Trevor Cates, Dr. Taz Bhatia and world-famous hairstylist Enzo Angileri all weigh in on how to keep your beauty routine in check during the winter months. By integrating these six simple changes into your beauty regime, you can make the winter a little less damaging to your physical appearance in both the long and short term.  

Change your cleanser

The outside elements aren’t the only things that can strip your skin. Cleanser is frequently something that strips the skin, but it’s not always noticeable until the colder months, when the skin is extremely parched. Dr. Taz recommends changing your daily cleanser. “Most of us suffer from more oily skin in summer and drier skin in winter,” she says. “Pick up a cream cleanser or an oil-based cleanser for the winter.” If you’re scared of cream or oil-based cleansers because of very acne-prone skin, there’s still hope. “If you suffer from acne or constant skin breakouts, at least try a pH-balanced cleanser to avoid stripping your skin” Dr. Taz says.
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Dry, flaky skin plagues most folks during colder months. Even people with oily skin will notice flaky areas, possibly around the nose or on the forehead. Dr. Cates recommends exfoliating the skin, at least once a week, to slough off dead skin cells or dry patches. “Use a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin that build up more rapidly in dry cooler weather,” she says. “Avoid abrasive exfoliants that scratch your skin because this can damage the collagen in your skin. Collagen makes your skin firm and prevents wrinkles.”

Dr. Taz recommends avoiding harsh exfoliators and trying a DIY approach. “Physical scrubs with apricot kernel seed are helpful occasionally, but can be too rough on the skin,” she says.  “A great and easy exfoliator to make at home is using 1 teaspoon of Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt mixed with olive oil or 1-2 teaspoons of full-fat yogurt. Mix that with 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour and the juice of half a lemon.”
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It’s obvious that moisture is important in colder months, but sifting through all the products out there can be difficult. Dr. Taz has some ideas on what to look for in a winter moisturizer, as well as some DIY tricks that can make your current moisturizer more nourishing for the cold times ahead. “Switch to a thicker moisturizer with hyaluronic acid or ceramides,” she says. Try a moisturizer like Indie Lee’s Squalane Facial Cream that has hyaluronic acid and olive-derived squalane oil. If you don’t want to splurge on a new moisturizer, Dr. Taz recommends adding an essential oil that is moisturizing. “Try a moisturizing essential oil like carrot seed oil, frankincense oil or geranium. You can add a few drops to your summer moisturizer, making it more versatile,” she says.
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Choose naturals

Nourish your skin with natural moisturizers that are non-toxic,” Dr. Cates says. “Soothe your lips with cocoa butter, shea butter and vitamin E rather than synthetic chapsticks. You’ll literally end up eating your chapstick and lipstick, so that’s one of the most important products to choose natural.”

Protect your skin

“Just because it is not as sunny does not mean you’re not getting skin damage from sun exposure,” Dr. Cates says. Using an SPF year-round is crucial, even if you don’t think you’re outdoors that often. The very act of walking or driving to and from work leaves you open to sun exposure that you should protect yourself from. “Keep using mineral sunblocks on your face and the tops of your hands. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide-based options are the best to use,” she says.
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Embrace hair masks

Hair guru Enzo Angileri has several recommendations for keeping the hair in tip-top shape during the winter months. First and foremost, trim off the dead ends. “The number-one thing I would recommend for your hair to prepare for the colder weather is a little trim to take off the dead ends from summer damage. Coming off of summer months it’s likely your hair has been ravaged by the sun, salty water and wind,” he says. Also, only wash your hair two to three times a week in order to not strip it of moisture. Lastly, he recommends a moisturizing hair mask. “I would also recommend staying on top of a hair regime that includes using a weekly moisturizing hair mask and a daily leave-in treatment, like Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher Leave-In Treatment,” he says.

Dr. Cates has a DIY hair mask treatment that he recommends. “During the winter months, hair tends to get dry and brittle. Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil until liquid and use it as an overnight treatment on your hair,” he says.
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Lisa Bensley is the founder of BeautyByBenz, a health and beauty blog that is really just an excuse to buy too much makeup. When she is not writing, she's probably boxing, obsessing over her Dachshund, Stanley, reading, or binge-watching Law & Order: SVU. Follow her (and Stanley's) antics on Instagram.