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Winter Skincare Routine: How to Protect Your Skin in Winter

Winter Skincare Routine: How to Protect Your Skin in Winter

By Joshua Pierce, Head of Education at Credo

All seasonal temperatures and climates come with a unique set of challenges… skincare challenges. Winter time skincare obstacles can range from cold bitter winds that chap your skin to dry arid indoor heaters or fireplaces that rob your skin of vital moisture. 

So how do you deal with all the different elemental curve balls being thrown at you day and night throughout the winter? You change up your winter skincare routine, of course! Your skin wants to be cocooned in rich balms, oils and hydration masks this time of year.

The winter skincare tips we make below are of course geared towards a colder winter climate. If you by chance live in a region that has lovely, warmer weather during these months; the recommendations will likely still work for you! Just keep in mind that some of these textures and formulas will be on the richer side for how to protect your skin in winter, so you may alternate different products that have the touch and feel you prefer.

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansers are one of the most misunderstood categories in skincare. You’d be surprised how many Credo clients just reach for a cleanser that smells good. What you want to think about is how stripping or drying a cleanser can be to your skin!

While our moisture is literally evaporating out of our skin all day and night, it’s important that you don’t accelerate that process with the wrong cleanser. In the winter, reach for cleansers with a rich, creamy or oily texture. These will help the skin retain water and hydration! Check out these cleansers: Doré Le Cleanser, Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil, and Bloomeffects Tulip Nectar Cleansing Cream

Clean Facial Cleansers

Side note… Clean Circle makes these little reusable makeup remover wipes that are FABULOUS for removing stubborn eye makeup. They are absolutely a life saver for anyone who is concerned about rough removal of products around the eyes.

Step 2: Toner

Unless you have acne-prone skin or struggle with your skin feeling dull and listless, we recommend you reach for toners that lean into hydration vs stripping or drying out the skin and pores. If you are dependent on a toner that has specific active ingredients to treat your skin, perhaps alternate it with one of these hydrating options every other day/night.

We love the following toners because they boost the skin’s hydration since you typically apply them to dampened skin. When the skin is slightly damp it is more receptive to a formula! As you towel dry your face, be sure not to dry it too much so the toner can really sink in. These formulas are our top picks for hydrating toners: Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray, Sahajan Balance Toner, Marie Veronique Balancing HypoTonic 

Clean Beauty Toners

Step 3: Serum

If you could put a little cape on your serum bottles, you should. Because they are the SUPER HERO of your winter skincare routine. Serums are filled to the brim with all kinds of powerful ingredients that are designed to reach the deepest levels of the dermis. 

After you’ve enveloped the skin in toner, you will apply your serum (or serums, multiple, if you’re extra skincare savvy.) The serums we’ve chosen, you guessed it, all target richer levels of hydration. 

Now, in this step of your winter skincare routine, you’re more than welcome to use an oil based serum. Here, we feature a water based serum and one that is oil based. If you choose the oil based serum you can always layer more oils with it or choose to skip the “oil step” coming up. The biggest difference between the two is that the water based serum will feel as if it’s absorbed much quicker into the skin. For an oil based serum, try the One Love Organics Botanical E Youth Preservation Serum, and for a water based serum, try the Kypris Antioxidant Dew Serum.


DISCLAIMER: This is where we diverge from the traditional steps of a skincare regimen. Typically we say to apply products from the thinnest to thickest textures. Cleanser to toner to serum to moisturizer to eye cream to oil. However, we’re going to switch it up on you and teach you how to slug your moisturizer as your final step of your winter skincare routine!!


Step 4: Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is some of the thinnest on your face. It’s a no-brainer that this area will need extra protection. Just like serums, we’ve chosen a couple of different eye creams that will give different levels of occlusive moisture: WLDKAT Orchid Stem Cell + Magnolia Berry Adaptogen Eye Gel, Ere Perez Cranberry Lip & Eye Butter, and Herbivore Botanicals Moon Dew 1% Bakuchiol + Peptides Retinol Alternative Eye Cream

Most eye products that provide uber creamy richness will be labeled as “butters” or “balms” Everything else will lean more towards a traditional, lighter weight texture. If you are a makeup wearer, you’ll want to use a lighter weight, traditional eye cream so that your makeup lays nicely over the top.

Step 5: Oil

Tis’ the season to go hard on the oils. Your skin needs the barrier support that this step can provide! Since oils are a larger molecule that sit higher on the surface of the skin, it makes them the perfect step to add to your regimen if you suffer from seasonal dryness the winter brings.

The trick with oils is to NOT do what the influencers tell you. In the videos you see them empty a full dropper of oil onto each side of their face. That won’t be necessary. Instead, just warm up two to three drops of your favorite oil onto the palms of your hands. From there, evenly press the oil into your skin. You can layer a couple different oils… or mix multiple oils into the palms of your hands! I’ve been loving the Maya Chia Super Naked Plum + Chia Oil, True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil, and Three Ships Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum

Step 6: Moisturizer

This section is for all you slugs out there! HA! Not the slimy little devils in your garden. We’re talking about all of you who know the power of skincare slugging. Slugging is a method of applying a dense, oily, balm on top of all your other skincare steps.

We’ve picked out a few balms that we know you will love. They each feature skin loving ingredients that are suspended in a decadent caste of luxurious, skin drenching balm. The balm will create a seal that protects your skin against the elements, while also helping to support the absorption of your previous skincare steps. It’s a winter time win, win! A few great ones to check out: Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream, Klur Sculpture + A Overnight Enrichment Cream, and Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm


Learning how to protect your skin in winter against harsh winter air, dry indoor air and all the other free radicals out there is the key to keeping a winter time glow. We covered a lot of products and winter skincare tips that do just that for your new winter skincare routine.

However, all skin is unique. Click on the bubble at the lower right hand of your screen to engage in a live chat with one of our Clean Beauty Experts. They can investigate which products will work best for you. As always, our store associates are available seven days a week to help choose the perfect regimen for hair, skin, makeup or body care! We hope to see you soon online or in store!


Happy holidays,