Winter Skincare Ingredient’s You Need

a woman applying facial cream

Winter skincare is a tricky subject, even for those who are well versed in the subject. To get the most from your skincare routine, you have to be in tune with how your skin looks and feels.

These rules apply to the winter season too. Most people benefit from changing their skincare routine a little bit and the switch doesn’t always have to be expensive. You can thank The Ordinary for that.

They’ve made singular ingredients so inexpensive it doesn’t make sense to not buy them!

The point is, by making a few tweaks and being aware of the most hydrating skincare ingredients, you can keep your healthy glowing skin all year round.

Also, when we talk about hydration, it is specifically referring to ingredients that can actively add or retain water. Winter can make the skin pretty dry and dehydrated regardless of skin type.

These tips are for everyone.

Winter skincare ingredients to look for


A humectant which draws water to itself.

Products to try:


Emphasis on the A, this is not squalene. This one is a naturally occurring (although if you buy it in a bottle it’s obviously not) emollient which keeps the skin smooth.

Products to try:

Hyaluronic Acid

HA has a little bit of a bad rep now but it’s still as useful as ever. It draws moisture in from its environment. However, it’s best to use this with a mist or a slightly damp face as it can suck moisture from your skin too. Can anyone say osmosis?

Products to try:


Ceramides are essential part of a healthy skin barrier, keeping moisture locked in and potential irritates locked out.

Products to try:

More winter skincare tips

Use oil based/cream cleansers

Foaming cleansers tend to be more stripping than oil/cream based. In winter, when you’re skin is dry, it’s best to keep the natural oils in.

Use gentle exfoliators

I’m not a fan of physical exfoliators anyway but if you are this may be the time to switch. Physical exfoliation is more likely to dry your skin.

If you use chemical exfoliation, try using something more gentle like Mandelic Acid during the winter months. You’ll still get the effect of exfoliation without causing your skin too much stress.

Use a serum and a eye cream

You may not use these steps usually but if you experience really dry, dull or extremely oily skin in the colder months, these steps can make all the difference.

Focus on a hydrating serum and eye cream, not exfoliating and you’ll be nourishing your skin barrier. Your skin needs hydration, use different vectors to give it. You’ll notice the difference.

Use a hydrating toner not an exfoliating one

This goes hand in hand with less exfoliation. I know many people love exfoliation when it’s cold because they think there’s more dead skin to slough away however, too much can dry your skin out.

Winter skincare is all about hydration. Exfoliation helps, but you can get great exfoliation without over doing it.

Use one gentle, but effective, exfoliator and spend the rest of the routine on hydrating.

Use rich creams (slugging)

Slugging is one of my favourite skincare treatments and it is especially useful in winter. It locks in all the nourishing products in your routine and acts like a real barrier to help protect.

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