Winter Is Here — keep glowing & stay hydrated with this doctor-approved skincare routine

Fine tune your cold weather lineup.

There are a few surefire signs that winter has arrived — that moment you finally turn on the heat in your home or reach for a blanket to keep you warm on the sofa, and your coffee order turns into a foam, festive latté situation. One beacon that’s never failed to signal the start of the season? That’s right, it’s dry skin. And not just dehydrated because that’s actually a completely different thing, but a flaky dryness that zaps my skin of any glow. It’s a sign of the season, but it also serves as a not-so-subtle reminder that it’s time to transition to a winter skincare routine.

The main objective of any cold-weather skincare regimen is moisture, moisture, and then more moisture for good measure. But there’s an art to how you layer in those hydrating ingredients. Keep reading for what ingredients to look for and avoid as well as a step-by-step routine to help fine-tune your winter skincare lineup.

When to transition to a winter skincare routine.

Your skin will likely let you know when it needs something different, but a good rule of thumb is to clock the moment you catch a chill. As soon as you feel the dryness in the air, start adding more hydrating products to your routine. Cold air carries less moisture than humid, warmer temperatures, so skin requires a bit more manual moisturizing to keep things balanced.

Key ingredients for a winter skincare routine.

While summer is all about lightening things up, cooler temperatures require a few more hydrating ingredients to lock in moisture and protect the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

This is great for instant and prolonged hydration. It gives the skin an extra boost of collagen while locking in moisture.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide is one of the two major forms of vitamin B3, the hero ingredient that calms inflammation, supports collagen production, and helps create a healthy skin barrier to keep your complexion glowy even in harsh temperatures.

Ceramides

Ceramides are lipids to help make up our natural skin barrier. Replenishing the ingredient topically with a moisturizer can make all the difference for those dealing with dry skin, eczema, or psoriasis.

Lean On Cream.

Consider swapping your lightweight go-to for a balmy or creamy cleanser. Your moisturizer could use a rich cream upgrade too.

On the other hand, consider cutting down on AHAs and BHAs. They are incredible ingredients, but they tend to dry out the skin and make it more sensitive to redness.

The best skincare routine for winter.

To help you fine-tune your own routine, we’d like to share a few of our tried-and-true favorites to step up your own winter lineup.

Start with a cleanser that prioritizes moisture.

Dr. Lara Devgan Advanced Revitalizing Cleanser

Enriched with peptides and hyaluronic acid, Dr. Devgan’s cleanser gets the job done without stripping skin of vital moisture.

Facile Bare Necessity Gel Cleanser

This cleanser is simple and gentle — after all, cleansers are for cleansing, not for stripping. This cleanser is a soap-free, low-foaming gel that deep cleans pores without drying thanks to hyaluronic acid.

Next up, a hyaluronic acid serum.

SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier

This potent product feels like a cool drink of water after cleansing the skin.

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

For a budget-friendly option, CeraVe’s serum is a favorite among beauty editors.

Follow up with an antioxidant serum.

Dr. Lara Devgan Vitamin C+B+E Serum

Containing vitamin C and hydroquinone, Dr. Devgan’s advanced formula protects the skin from free radicals and helps heal any hyperpigmentation caused during the summer months.

Naturium Vitamin C Super Serum Plus

Supercharged with vitamin c, retinol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and salicylic acid, this antioxidant-rich serum will help to brighten, smooth, firm, and target the look of fine lines while shielding skin from environmental stressors.

For a nighttime routine, the next step would be retinol to encourage cell turnover.

Dr. Lara Devgan Retinol & Bakuchiol Serum

Dr. Devgan’s bestselling formula promotes rapid cell turnover, improves texture, and repairs the skin from hyperpigmentation.

CosMedix Serum 16

For an over-the-counter option that’s a bit easier on the wallet, CosMedix offers a greaat retinol for beginners and those with sensitive skin.

A hardworking moisturizer is key.

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 242

Featuring pure ceramides, a dry skin essential, and fatty acids, this popular cream is a personal go-to when my skin needs quenching in the wintertime.

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense 72H Lipid-Replenishing Hydrator Moisturizer

A blend of ultra-moisturizing lipids and hyaluronic acid, this workhouse moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated for hours on end.

Don’t forget the neck.

Revision Skincare Nectifirm Advanced Neck Firming Cream

If tech neck is your concern, Nectifirm is your answer.

RoC Multi Corrextion 5 in 1 Chest, Neck & Face Cream

RoC has a reputation for delivering great results without breaking the bank (their Correxion Eye Cream is a retinol dream). This all-in-one hero features SPF and super moisturizing glycerin.

Every good anti-aging, winter skincare regimen also needs to address the eyes.

Dr. Lara Devgan Peptide Eye Cream

Dr. Devgan’s hyaluronic acid-equipped serum hydrates the area around the eyes while reducing the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

Tatcha The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment

This beauty editor-favorite cream looks as gorgeous sitting on your vanity as it does abolish dark circles.

Even in the winter, cap things off in the morning with a solid SPF.

Isdin Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

This derm-approved mineral SPF also comes with a tint for a dewy, protective glow.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

It’s one of the most popular sunscreens for a reason. It’s totally invisible, weightless, and scent-free, not to mention a great makeup-gripping daily primer with broad-spectrum SPF 40 protection. What more could you want?

Or better yet, let your makeup double as sun protection.

Dr. Lara Devgan SPF 50 Concealer

Dr. Devgan’s easily blendable concealer protects the area under the eyes from UV rays while reducing the appearance of dark circles.

Trinny London BFF Eye

This buzzy, affordable eye serum is worth the hype. Equipped with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, the product also doubles as a concealer.

Dr. Lara Devgan SPF 50 Dusting Powder

Dustable Zinc SPF makes it easy to apply protection on the go, even over makeup. Dr. Devgan’s formula offers a gorgeous mattified look.

Brush On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder

This sheer mineral sunscreen swipes on like a dream.

And finally, a skincare step that works while you sleep.

Canopy Humidifier Starter Set

The device that convinced me sexy humidifiers existed, Canopy’s nightstand-friendly product works hard at night to kill bacteria and keep your complexion glowy.

A special winter bonus.

Dr. Lara Devgan Platinum Lip Plump

An often overlooked part of your sun-ready routine, lips receive a healthy dose of SPF 30 with Dr. Devgan’s cult-loved product, while staying protected from the dreaded winter chap.

Make Beauty Serum Lip Balm

It’s a serum and a balm and a lip gloss all in one. Providing instant hydration, this serum lip product softens, smooths, and plumps with a long-lasting shine and cushion.

Emilie Heathe Lip R&R Exfoliating Lip Balm

A unique scrub-to-balm formula that gently exfoliates lips with dissolving sugar beads and a silicone scrubbing tip.


Prolonged exposure to cold air often results in dry and flaky skin or can trigger other issues because the freezing temperatures and low humidity levels result in dry air that draws moisture away from the skin. Harsh winter winds and dry indoor heat can make the problem worse and lead to cracked and even bleeding skin. Skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may also flare up during these cold, dry months. Without the use of additional moisturizers and proper protection from the elements, these skin problems can become itchy or painful, and have a negative effect on your appearance. With all the amazing skincare products listed above, there’s no reason to be lazy anymore when it comes to taking care of our skin.

Stay safe, healthy, and live life to the fullest.

Xoxo, Messycafe.


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