How to keep your skin feeling and looking its best when it’s freaking cold outside

Winter is hell on skin: Between the freezing temps outside and blasting heat indoors, you’re likely noticing that you’re more prone to dryness, chapping, and even breakouts. But a solid skincare routine can help keep your skin hydrated without adding oil, leaving you with smooth, happy skin all winter long. Here are our five best tips for making it through the cold months feeling good about your skin:

Cut down on hot showers

We get it. Hot showers feel fantastic, especially if you just put in a snowy workout outside and are coming in feeling like an ice cube. But hot water actually strips skin of necessary oils, leaving it feeling tight and dry. Opt for warm/lukewarm water instead—or, if you must take a hot shower, at least skip the hot water on your face and aim the spray on your body where your skin is less fragile.

Moisturize regularly

It’s never more critical to moisturize regularly than it is in the winter. Morning and night, your skin is in desperate need of hydration, thanks to the cold weather outside mixed with the dry heat that comes from indoor heating. That’s why our Everyday Hydrating Face Moisturizer is ideal: It won’t clog your pores, and while it’s full of nourishing ingredients it’s also light and quick absorbing and can be used in the morning, evening and even a third time after the gym if you’re feeling dry.

Add a humidifier

If you’re really noticing dry, chapped and cracked skin, it might be time to get serious about hydration by also adding a humidifier into your room at night to help contend with dry skin. "Low humidity levels degrade the skin's natural moisture barrier, which can lead to flaking, cracking, and peeling," dermatologist Dendy Engelman told Allure magazine. "Abrasive factors such as indoor heating, strong winds, and hot showers can disrupt the [skin's] lipid layer, which serves as a barrier [of] protection against bacteria, pollution and other harmful environmental assaults."

Keep your face covered

A physical barrier covering your face while you’re outside can go a long way towards preventing chapped, dry lips and cheeks. Use a buff or some other face covering if you’re walking, running or riding a bike outside in windy weather and freezing temperatures. And even in winter, remember to use sunscreen if you’ll be outside for extended periods. It might get dark earlier, but sun damage is still possible during daylight!

Be gentle

You may find that winter weather brings out the worst in your skin in both directions: Dryness and breakouts are both common. It can be tempting to treat both issues with force rather than gentleness, opting for harsh exfoliators or ultra-heavy moisturizers. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever used a heavy-duty body lotion on your face out of desperation!) But skin doesn’t improve overnight, and it doesn’t improve with force. Instead, focus on the tips we’ve covered, and keep a consistent morning and evening routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin.