As the long, warm days of summer become more of a distant memory, your mood isn't the only thing that can suffer. Frigid temps also wreak havoc on skin, resulting in a dry and dull complexion. The good news: You can fight back. "Making a few simple tweaks to your routine will help keep skin healthy and supple all season long," says Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist in New York City and author of Skin Rules.
Use these tips and techniques to retain your radiance.
Use a gentler cleanser
Switch to a mild, creamy wash that contains hyper-hydrating ingredients such as glycerin and ceramides, advises Jaliman. "These provide squeaky-clean results without stripping skin of its natural moisture." One to try: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($12; drugstore.com). Unless you have oily skin, shelve cleansers that contain glycolic and salicylic acids until spring; they can cause irritation and flakiness.
Get religious about exfoliating
When the temperature dips outside (and spikes inside), your skin responds by slowing cell turnover. As a result, dead skin builds up and zaps your glow, explains Jaliman. Gently slough off dead cells at least three times a week with a cleansing brush to reveal the fresh, healthy skin underneath and allow moisturizers to penetrate more deeply. A derm-approved option: the Clarisonic Mia 3 Facial Sonic Cleansing Device ($199; sephora.com).
Upgrade your moisturizer
Winter elements like cold air, dry heat, and wind are especially brutal on skin's moisture barrier. Switch from light lotions to rich, buttery creams for extra protection, suggests Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Opt for one that contains hyaluronic acid to trap water in skin. Find it in: Dior Hydra Life Sorbet Crème ($56; sephora.com).
Layer it on in the a.m.
Always apply an antioxidant-rich serum in the morning before your moisturizer, recommends Jaliman. "Antioxidants help speed up skin's natural repair system and prevent dulling damage caused by external stressors like pollution and weather." Look for ingredients such as brightening vitamin C and collagen-boosting pomegranate. Try: Weleda Pomegranate Firming Serum ($28; amazon.com).
Don't forget SPF
"Many people don't realize how strong the sun is in the winter, so they skip sunscreen," says Jaliman, but it's actually just as strong and damaging as in the warmer months. Incorporate a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher into your daily regimen. Make sunscreen use a guarantee by trying a skincare-makeup hybrid, such as Estée Lauder Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup with broad spectrum SPF 30. ($38; sephora.com).
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Try a nightcap
"Your skin needs to be stimulated now more than ever," says Fusco. Lackluster skin is often the result of natural aging; skin cells turn over much slower as you get older. And the weather doesn't help. Before bed, apply a retinol cream to boost the production of collagen and elastin and restore your glow. A safe bet: RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream ($23; ulta.com).
Beat the heat
Chances are, you've cranked up your thermostat by now. Unfortunately, the dry indoor heat can sap your dewiness. The fix: "Keep a humidifier running, especially while you're sleeping" suggests Jaliman. These moisture-infusing machines help supplement the water stripped from skin and soothe dry, itchy irritation.
Lay off the bronzer
Even a light dusting of bronzer can leave your now fair complexion looking far from natural. Instead, reach for a highlighter with light-diffusing particles, says celebrity makeup artist Brian Duprey. "Creamy formulas will sink into skin for a lit-from-within glow." We like: Topshop Glow Highlighter ($16; nordstrom.com). Dab a little onto the tops of cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and above your lips, then blend. Craving color? Work a creamy pink blush onto the apples of cheeks to mimic that wind-kissed flush.
Shorten your showers
"A steamy shower weakens skin's moisture barrier and strips away natural oils," says Fusco. Try a lukewarm rinse. Or, if you can't stand slightly cooler water, limit your showers to five minutes. Apply moisturizer as soon as you step out, while skin is still damp, to lock in moisture.