13 skincare favorites for winter weather

Nothing makes me pay more attention to my skin than winter weather. When the humidity starts to drop, my skin feels it immediately. Once it starts getting legitimately chilly, it’s time to reach for my more moisturizing products and fine-tune the rest.

I owe half of my skincare routine to friends who give great gifts. If you’re the one giving, know that it’s such a great gift option! I love when I can surprise a friend with a product I’m certain they’ll love that they perhaps haven’t discovered yet, or that might be a bit of a splurge for them. (A note for gift givers: keep your friend’s skin particularities in mind, e.g., if they have sensitive skin, or need to avoid certain ingredients, before giving them something new to try.) If they end up loving it, it becomes a gift that keeps on giving—my favorite kind.

At this point in my life I have a pretty firm idea of what I like and don’t like in skincare products, and what does and doesn’t work for my skin. If you’re still experimenting—or if you just like to sample a variety of products for a good value—I recommend giving a skincare or skincare/beauty subscription a try. I’ve especially enjoyed the BeautyFIX subscription from Dermstore and the Allure Beauty Box. Both also make excellent gifts for adults or for teens.

I’m sharing my go-to winter skincare products below, chosen specifically for my sensitive and prone-to-dryness skin this time of year.

Makeup remover. I’ve used Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm for years.

Face wash. My face does best with something gentle, like Grown Alchemist or Amore Pacific (which also have wonderful scents—something else I highly value in a daily-use product). They’re pricey but I just use a tiny dab and a full-size bottle lasts well over a year. That’s worth it to me.

Vitamin C serum. A more recent addition to my skincare routine. I use Sunday Riley, but I’ve been urged to try this dupe. I use it in the morning.

Face moisturizer. I have a variety of moisturizers I keep in rotation, but my favorite is Wedela Skin Food. (For lighter moisturizing, like in the summer, I use something like Glossier Priming Moisturizer.) I moisturize morning and night (even in the summer).

Sunscreen. It’s important to use sunscreen all year round. (How I wish twenty-year-old Anne had known this!) The two I use on a regular basis: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen (over makeup) and Elta MD Clear Sunscreen (under makeup).

Lip scrub. A friend gifted me this wonderful French Girl Rose Lip Scrub. (Pro tip: I kept forgetting to use it—until I stuck it in the shower next to my face wash.) I use this every other day or so.

Body wash. A friend gave me Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash earlier this year and I’ve happily used it every day since. The smell reminds me of the rose-shaped soaps my grandmother kept in her bathroom for years. I love the feel of it and my dry, sensitive skin actually likes it, too.

OUAI Scalp and Body Scrub. This is an essential item in my winter survival kit. If the dry winter is hard on your scalp and skin, take note.

Hand cream. A tried and true classic: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula. I keep this in my purse and use it multiple times a day.

Heavy duty moisturizer. For serious winter moisturizing, I love Wedela Skin Food Body Butter, which I use all over, and also lightly on my face.

Aquaphor. I’m not sure what we would do without this healing ointment. Several family members keep tubs on the nightstand during the winter months for a thick application on their hands and any other irritatingly dry places before bed.

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream. I got a bottle of this in a holiday gift box. It is AMAZING, and also amazingly pricey. Not sure if I’ll be buying a refill but if anyone has a similar product they love I would love to hear!

Masks. I adore the smell of the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peeling Masque; I find it soooo calming.

I’d love to hear about your skincare favorites. Tell us in comments?

P.S. 10 beauty favorites I use (almost) every day.

13 skincare favorites for winter weather


Leave A Comment
  1. Vanessa says:

    I love hearing about amazing products! Thanks for sharing. I started using a lotion bar a couple years ago and it’s wonderful. Since there is no water, it is very thick and helpful for my super dry skin. The one I’ve used and loved is from a small company called MadeOn and the BeeSilk which is their classic lotion bar is still my favorite. You can also get it in tubes almost like large lip gloss and use that for applying to specific locations.

  2. rachelz says:

    I recently picked up a CBD-infused moisturizer from Kristen Bell’s Happy Dance brand. I think it’s called “Look Alive” and it delivers! Really brightens my whole complexion.

    As for masks, my current obsession is this pumpkin enzyme resurfacer from Peter Thomas Roth. I love the effects it has on my skin and gosh it smells amazing.

    I’ve been on the hunt for a great, super lathery bar soap to use in the shower. I’m really *trying* to limit my single-use plastic consumption, but bar soap keeps letting me down. Would love to know what folks have found that works!

  3. Heidi says:

    Unfortunately a few Neutrogena items are discontinued, among them the Norwegian formula. I’ve been using Eucerin baby eczema relief body creme. Works really well on hands and absorbs quickly.

  4. Suzanne C says:

    I love to use a lip scrub, too. It’s important to protect your lips during the winter months, so I dab on a lip balm after exfoliating. There are several I like, but my favorite is Laneige’s Lip Treatment Balm. (The daytime version.) It’s so rich, but still comfortable to wear, as long as you don’t put too much on!

  5. Annie says:

    I joined Beautypie a year ago and I love all of their products-especially the serums. My dry skin has never looked better. And the prices are amazing.

  6. Lee Ann says:

    At least two websites I found recommend Weleda Skin Food Original as a duplicate for the Augustinus Bader cream that you mentioned. Here’s one review:

    I use Boots SPF 30 face cream for sensitive skin year-round and I really like how it feels. LoLo Bars moisturizers are excellent; they are heavily scented, but they have an unscented version for those who need it.

  7. Lynette says:

    Thanks for the recs! I must use only gluten-free products (because Celiac) and I prefer to use products that are as natural as possible. So in addition to Wedela and Sunday Riley, I’ve also had good luck with 100% Pure, Beauty By Earth, and Earth Harbor for face, and Andalou Naturals and Burt’s Bees for body. 🙂

  8. Erin says:

    I love Goop’s GOOPGLOW face lotion; it’s worth the hype. I also like Laneige’s water sleep mask and lip sleep mask to keep my skin hydrated in the winter. Year round, I use Kiehl’s calendula face wash because it’s gentle and balanced, and I also use Davines OI oil in my hair and massaged into my scalp – it keeps my hair healthy and shiny, and isn’t greasy at all (and I have fine hair).

    • Erin says:

      Oh, and I forgot, I SWEAR by Fresh’s Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment – I keep one at my desk and one in my purse at all times. It actually moisturizes and heals dry lips rather than just providing temporary relief, and it’s not greasy.

  9. Cindy Homan says:

    L’Occitane Shea Butter hand cream-#1 in the world. Their Almond shower oil is a sensory experience you will not regret and your skin feels like silk if you follow up with the almond lotion.
    DHC cleansing oil for face-keeps it from getting dry at all 🙂
    La Roche Posay favorite daily moisturizer and sunscreen.

  10. cindy homan says:
  11. Nancy says:

    I am so bad about putting on lotion after showering…any suggestions for in shower lotion or oil for my very dry skin? Thanks

  12. Annette Silveira says:

    I’ve never used the Sunday Riley Vitamin C but I do use the Timeless version and it’s very good. I use Cosmedix’s retinol and niacinimide from Paula’s Choice. My skin has never looked better.

    • Liz says:

      Ursa Major golden hour cream is made for men and women. It’s supposed to be for night but in winter I use it as my day cream. It’s thick and really heals dry or damaged skin. I really like all of their products.

  13. As a tomboy, I’ll admit I don’t have routines around skincare. However, the two products I can’t live without are both 100% natural and made in Alaska:

    –Alpenglow Face Cream (good for hands, too!)– I like the Forget-Me-Not scent, though all are yummy, made with real essential oils (and also available unscented): https://www.alpenglowskincare.com/collections/face-cream

    –Alpenglow Cottonwood Balm– A therapeutic salve, great for healing chapped, cracked, irritated, or cut skin: https://www.alpenglowskincare.com/collections/cottonwood-balm-massage-oil

    She also makes products for men!: https://www.alpenglowskincare.com/products/gift-bag-mountain-man

  14. Thanks for sharing! we used aquaphor for really bad dry spots too, but then I found the healing balm by Honest Co (at target and in a tube). Does an even better job but feels just the same and I feel much better about the lack of petroleum jelly!

  15. Jessica Lucy says:

    With a legacy of excellence in Publishing and with a support of various organizations, we are currently organizing, “27th world Congress & expo on Dermatology” (AESTHETIC MEDICINE 2022) scheduled during April 13-14, 2022 at Perth, Australia with a theme of “Exploring New Ideas and Research in Skin Care”.

    On behalf of the Conference Executive Board, we are glad to invite you as a Speaker/Delegate at AESTHETIC MEDICINE 2022.Looking forward to hear from you at earliest regarding your participation in the event.

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