If you use the same skincare products during both the winter and summer, you may be surprised when your complexion goes from glowing in June to dull and red in January. That's because the needs of our skin can change based on the season, and in the winter—regardless of your skin type—that means using gentler, less aggravating products. "Skin tends to be more dry and dull in the winter because of loss of moisture in the air," says Shani Darden, facialist to celebrities like Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, and January Jones. "Unfortunately, this can trigger an overproduction of oil that results in breakouts and other issues."
The good news is that you don't need to completely overhaul your entire wedding beauty regimen during the coldest months of the year—just switch out select products and add gentler, more moisturizing ones as your skin needs them. Here, Darden gives us a breakdown of how each skin type should be treated during the winter.
Regular to Oily
Forgo oil-fighting cleansers and stick to something gentle and non-comedogenic. Regardless of your skin type, your face may become more sensitized during the colder months. Darden likes her Shani Darden Daily Cleansing Serum; you can also try CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. Follow up with a vitamin C antioxidant serum to protect the skin from free radicals and UV damage. Darden recommends iS Clinical Super Serum Advance, which brightens and also helps diminish uneven skin tone. Finally, a moisturizer with sunscreen is a must—all year long. "I love Supergoop's Everyday Sunscreen because it's hydrating enough for dry skin, yet it won't clog your pores," she says.
At night, cleanse again with your gentle cleanser, and then use a retinyl palmitate serum (it's a gentler form of retinol), like Shani Darden Texture Reform. "It boosts collagen, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, smooths the overall texture of skin, reduces pigmentation, and even helps with acne," she says. "It's a great one to incorporate into your regimen several months before the wedding, but shouldn't be started in the weeks leading up to the wedding." (You need to give your skin some time to adjust and make sure every product reacts well to it.) After that, if your skin needs extra moisture, you can use a light hyaluronic acid serum to plump the skin. "I love Dr. Nigma's Serum No 1," she says. Follow up with an oil-free moisturizer.
Exfoliating one to two times a week with a chemical exfoliant will help the skin glow. "Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads will allow products to penetrate deeply," Darden says. "Many people are scared to exfoliate in the winter, but this is when it's extra important. You have to remove that dead layer of skin on the surface in order for your products to penetrate the skin deeply."
Dry to Sensitive
"Dry skin, especially in cold weather, can be more easily irritated," Darden says. "When the moisture barrier of your skin is damaged, it becomes a lot more susceptible to redness and inflammation, which can then lead to breakouts." She recommends sleeping with a humidifier in your room, because when the heat is on and the air is extra dry, a humidifier will add moisture back into the skin.
As for products, a gentle cleanser is a must. Darden's cleansing serum works for all skin types, as does CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser. An antioxidant serum is great for dry and sensitive skin types too—just make sure all products used are fragrance free and formulated for sensitive skin, as they create more redness and inflammation, Darden says. Try Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Face Oil. As for an effective moisturizer on top, Darden recommends iS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion for dry skin. Don't forget to add a sunscreen on top. We like Elta MD UV Physical Broad Spectrum SPF 41.
In the evening, use a treatment product that will strengthen and moisturize the skin, like SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel. If it doesn't irritate your skin, you can try a product with retinyl palmitate, like Darden's Texture Reform, to boost collagen in the skin and minimize wrinkles. But the key overall is to keep all of your products gentle and hydrating. Try Fresh Rose Face Mask a few times per week, as it contains moisturizing algae along with soothing rosewater, cucumber extract, and aloe vera gel. Finally, find a moisturizer that will keep your skin supple throughout the night. We like Tatcha Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream.