Top 5 Must-Haves for Winter Skincare Routine

Winter is coming, and those warm sunny days are long gone. We’ve swapped out our hot girl summer attire for those cute cozy sweaters. You knew it was time to transition away from the aroma of citrus and lavender, and stock up on pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon-scented candles. You crave a hot cup of tea, a blanket, and whatever’s popular on Netflix for the perfect Friday night indoors, sheltered from the cold. Everything has changed. But there is something we often forget goes through a transition of its own with each new season – our skin! 

A good skincare routine is hard to find. We go through trial and error. Once you find something that works for your skin, you practice it religiously. You say a prayer that they never discontinue your favorite products or else you’ll have to start from square one. But what happens when your skin changes? You can’t do the same things you’ve been doing. You have to reassess and adjust to accommodate your skins needs.

Our skin is not the same all year-round, so the same rules should apply to our skincare routine. No, you don’t need to throw away your holy-grail products just yet, but you might need to upgrade them a little. Here are a few must-haves for a “That Girl” winter skincare routine. 


When the weather is hot and humid, we’re worried about our skin looking greasy. Your skin might be prone to breakouts due to buildup of oil and dirt from your eventful happy hour. Things get even worse when you go to brunch the next morning and remember that you didn’t wash last night off of your face before bed. Luckily, when winter arrives, we no longer have to worry about oily skin. 

However, dry skin becomes our new enemy, and letting it get out of control can yield the similar results. When the air is cold and dry, our skin lacks moisture and becomes flakey and crusty. Not cute. So, we need to rethink our moisturizers for the winter. 

The right moisturizer for dry winter skin will bring the much-needed hydration to your face, while also providing oils for your skin so it can retain that hydrated. Professionals say some of the key ingredient to look for in a winter-skin moisturizer are Shea butter, Hyaluronic acid, Cocoa butter, Glycerin Ceramides, Colloidal oatmeal, Petrolatum, or Dimethicone. Of course, not all of these ingredients will work for everyone. Keep in mind what you already know about your skin and any conditions you may have. Many brands have a variety of moisturizers to choose from, so you can stick with what you know, while also adjusting to your skin’s seasonal needs. 


Think back to summer 2022. You were finally able to go outside and soak up the sun. Perhaps you took a day trip to the beach or spent an afternoon looking up at the clouds; sprawled out on your favorite picnic blanket. Either way, you probably developed a bit of a summer tan. At the time, you didn’t really think about how your skin had changed, so you absentmindedly took a trip the mall to try on new foundations before ordering online. 

You swatch a couple different shades from your favorite collection onto your forearm (the best spot to get the most accurate match with your face is the collarbone or neckline, but you’re just making all the mistakes today. Aren’t you?). Once you’ve found what you think is the perfect match, you snap a pic of the number on the bottle and order it from your phone. 

You watched tutorial after tutorial waiting for your makeup to arrive, and on the day it does, you rejoice as the poorly done forearm swatching actually paid off! You stood in the mirror for twenty minutes feeling yourself. This foundation shade sent from the heavens had you glowing all summer, didn’t?

Snap back to the present, its winter 2022 and you put on the same foundation before a night to dinner with your partner and their friends. It isn’t until you’re practically done with dinner that you go to use the bathroom, get a glimpse of yourself under those florescent lights that every restaurant has, and gasp in horror. Your face is at least two shades darker than your neck! What happen to your foundation sent from the gods? 

Nothing happened to your foundation. It’s your skin that changed. That lovely summer tan has faded away. Your skin has gone back to its original complexion and might even be a bit paler than you previously were. So, guess what? It’s time to change your foundation for the winter! Journey back to the mall, swatch near your neck this time, and order a new shade fit for your winter skin. No, you don’t have to throw away the old foundation just yet. Save it for when the sun rolls back around and bakes you like a brownie next summer. 


The face card never declines . . . but that’s not the only place we have skin, ladies! It may be the first thing we see in the morning when we stumble into the bathroom and look in the mirror, but the skin is the body’s largest organ. We have to take care of ourselves from our nose, down to our toes. 

Some of us have problem areas that go away during the summer months. You’ve forgotten about that dry patch on your back, but it did not forget about you! Suddenly you’re sitting at your desk at work battling it out with the dry patches all over your body. You discreetly try to scratch and soothe the irritation but it’s useless. The only thing that can calm your alligator skin is the correct moisture.

Don’t even think about those fragrance riddled lotions that are basically just creamy perfume. You’ll need to add something with some retention to your skincare routine. Go for the lotions that offer 24 to 48 hours of moisture and are fragrances free. Now, of course your skin proudly won’t stay moisturized for that long. But that almost impossible promise means the ingredients are made to penetrate the skin for a deep healing effect that will help with those dry patches and ashy feet. The lack of fragrance also means the formula is more focused on adding the bounce back to your skin and less centered on making you smell like sugar cookies. 


You might think that you need to go to a spa or pricy esthetician to get an effective facial, but that isn’t true. You can be bougie on a budget and create a do it yourself spa treatment at home. The winter air can be so aggressive and not matter how hard we try, it will cause some damage to our skin. 

Facemask are a great way to do somewhat of a “quick repair”. The mask traps the ingredients in the skin and creates barrier to either hydrate, moisturize, dry or exfoliate the skin depending on its purpose. Of course, during the winter, we want to go for moisture and hydration. Leaving the mask on for the recommend amount of time allows the ingredients to penetrate your skin in a short amount of time. 

Again, you can stick with your favorite brand and find a mask option that works for your skin’s needs. Avoid the character masks, masks with glittered, or anything gimmicky and cute. We’re looking for a skincare routine that will help our skin thrive; not a fake one to perform on your boyfriend while puts forces the most unconvincing smile known to man. 

Oils and Serum

This one can be a little tricky, girls. Many of us are still confused about how oils and serum can fit into any skincare routine, regardless of the weather or time or year. To many of us, it just seems like something else we’re being pressured to buy, tied to the everlasting false promise of enteral beauty. 

However, both serum and oil can have amazing benefits depending on which ones you use. Face serum are known to give the collagen in your skin a boost. This helps it stay firm and plumps out the fine lines and wrinkles caused by Mr. Winter’s dry icy bite. When you use a serum, your skin becomes more radiant and full of color.

Similar to serums, face oils help strengthen the outer layer of your skin. Oils such as vitamin E work by softening and sealing the outer layer of the skin, this preventing loss of moisture and hydration. This will ensure that no matter how cold and brittle the air gets, your skin is protected against the harsh elements.  

Now, that you have your shopping list and needed updates, you’re well on your way to having your own personalized winter skincare routine! It’s always important to remember that self-care shouldn’t be something we put on hold. Just because summer is over, and you’ve covered up your skin doesn’t mean you should neglect yourself. Take care of you year-round. The seasons may change, your body may shift, but never stop taking care of yourself because you are “That Girl”. 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this article are merely suggestions. No material in this article is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider (such as a dermatologist) with any questions you may have regarding a skin condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.
by Tajinnea Wilson

Black woman who often writes about things related to the Black-American experience. I'm a writer and digital media professional based in Philadelphia who is currently seeking out opportunities to learn and grow in the field of communications. My background as writer has afforded me the opportunity to work on various projects that are dependent on effective storytelling. I specialize in essay writing, resume and cover letter writing, blogs, listicles, poems, screenplays, speeches, and more.


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