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The Ultimate Winter Skin Care Products List + Tips

The Ultimate Winter Skin Care Products List + Tips

Dry Winter skin got you down? I have the ultimate Winter skin care products list + tips. After living in Phoenix, AZ for nine years, I thought I knew dry weather. Then, we moved to Denver – and well, let’s just say Colorado takes it to a whole new level.

Not only is Denver incredibly dry but during the Winter you have forced indoor heat as well. The first year living here, my skin was literally screaming it was so angry.

With my dermatologist’s help, and some trial and error, I have found solutions. NO more dry Winter skin problems for me. I truly hope this Winter skin care products list (and tips) help you as well.

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is the act of brushing your skin with a dry boar bristle brush – ideally just before you shower. I typically dry brush about once a week. Dry brushing is excellent for exfoliating rough, dry skin. But it’s also said to unclog pores, increase blood circulation and promote lymph flow/drainage.

This article on Goop explains how to dry brush in detail, but essentially you brush starting at your feet working upward in small strokes always brushing towards your heart. I swear, it almost feels massage-like, and leaves my skin smoother than anything else I’ve tried. It’s one of my favorite rituals.

Of all the items on this Winter skin care products list, this is the biggest bang for your buck. All you need is a dry brush which ranges in price from around $10-$30. Here are a few I’d recommend. And yes – wash the brush occasionally (every few weeks) under hot running water with mild soap and let it air dry.



In addition to dry brushing, I like to exfoliate in the shower 1-2 times a week. I almost always do this on days that I dry brush + one other day during the week. It just helps slough off any remaining dry skin. These are my go-to products, and I love them both – it’s really a matter of preference.


Nécessaire Scrub – This scrub has finer beads than traditional sugar/salt scrubs and exfoliates both chemically and physically. A trio of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids remove dead skin cells, while pumice and bamboo charcoal soften skin with zero irritation. It works! I love all the scents, but Sandalwood is my go-to. If you prefer unscented, that’s available too. This leaves your skin feeling exfoliated and clean.

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish – This scrub is made with chunky real brown sugar crystals, a blend of oils (primrose, sweet almond, apricot kernel, and jojoba), ginseng root extract, peppermint, and citrus oils. You can feel this scrub exfoliating with the chunky crystals and it’s very oil-forward. After showering, your skin feels smooth and very moisturized. In the warmer months there is little need for an added moisturizer. In the Winter, my skin drinks it up, and I typically use a lotion as well.

Lotion Up

This is important! Do not fully dry your skin before moisturizing. I keep my body lotion just outside my shower, and generally apply in the shower or as soon as I get out. Lock in that moisture! It makes a world of difference.

Like exfoliators, there are a few that I like. These are my top two.


Nécessaire Body Lotion – A fragrance-free multi-vitamin moisturizer that absorbs quickly. It is made of three luxe oils – Marla, cacao and meadow foam – that infuse skin with vitamins to moisturize and soften. Niacinamide helps to restore skin for a healthy glow. And over time, it claims to visibly improve skin’s tone, texture, and firmness. This is my most-used.

Kiehls Creme de Corps Body Moisturizer – Also fragrance-free, though I think it has more of an Earthy smell than Nécessaire. It does fade fast and is not noticeable – no worries about it competing with your perfume. It’s formula contains beta-carotene, a naturally derived antioxidant that gives it an orange tint.  Cocoa butter softens and lubricates the skin, and sesame oil softens. This lotion has almost a cult following.

The Body Serum


This is admittedly one of the more splurgy things on this Winter skin care products list. But, if you really need to bring out the big guns, this! This serum delivers five molecular weights of hyaluronic acid for multilevel hydration, and vitamin B3 helps support the skin’s moisture barrier. Skin instantly feels hydrated and appears plump and smooth.

I love to mix this with the Nécessaire body lotion – a little goes a long way and this lasts quite a while for me. This has been a game changer for me, and I highly recommend it if you live in an extremely dry climate like Colorado.

Cleanse Gently
25% off with code: 8YEARS


I’ll admit that most of my skincare is dermatological grade. But the one product I always go back to that I don’t buy at my Derm’s office – this Colleen Rothschild cleanser. If you haven’t tried it yet, just do it already. I promise you won’t be disappointed – it’s like a spa treatment at home. It removes every trace of makeup without drying. And even though it is an oil-based cleanser, it does not cause breakouts – and I’m breakout prone!

Adjust Your Retinol


When we first moved to Denver, I’d been using Tretinoin (prescription grade retin-A) for years...every.single.night. When I first met my dermatologist in Denver, he said – your skin won’t be able to handle that here. I smirked to myself, yeah right, my skin has adjusted. This stuff doesn’t phase me.

Well, a few months into my first Winter and I was calling his office – what was that retinol product you recommended again?! Ha! THIS is it and I’ve been using it ever since. There is a max and a mild version (both linked above) – I use the max. If you’ve never used retinol, I suggest starting with the mild and working up to the max.

According to my dermatologist this works just as well if not better than the prescription type and is much gentler on the skin. I’m able to use it every night generally – even in the Winter. But, if my skin does start feeling dry, I just back off to every other night for a week or so.

If you use a retinoid/retinol and your face is extremely dry – this is the first place I’d look.


Moisturizers are not all created equally, and in the Winter you may need a heavier night time cream. These are the two I use:


Senté Dermal Repair Cream – This is what I buy from my dermatologist and it’s his top pick. It’s stupidly expensive but the best of the best. If you can stomach the price, it’s so worth it. It’s non-comedogenic (aka it won’t clog our pores). And not only is it extremely moisturizing but it also aids in wound healing, minimizes wrinkles, and helps inhibit melanin production. This one is moisturizing enough for Winter but also perfect year round.

Colleen Rothschild Extreme Recovery (currently 25% off) – This stuff is also good. And at less than half the price of Senté it’s hard to dispute. I always have one of these in my bathroom and often switch between the two. It’s thick and creamy and works! Its ingredients also claim to help even skin tone and fight fine lines. This one is on the heavier side and I mostly use it in the Winter months.

YES, You Need A Facial Oil

My biggest weapon against dry Winter skin? A facial oil! Of all the products on this Winter skin care products list, THIS product has made the most difference for my face. It’s taken my skin from flaky and dull to glowing. And it’s never caused breakouts for me.

I’ve also tried the much raved about Vintner’s Daughter, and it’s good. But it’s more expensive and I think this one works just as well. It’s the one that I buy over and over.


In the morning – I mix a few drops with my sunscreen. It adds moisture and gives my face a healthy glow. I do this year round, even in the Summer.

Night – I pat a few drops over my moisturizer. I do this in the dead of Winter when my skin sucks up all the moisture it can get. But in warmer months, I often skip this step. Or some nights I’ll skip my moisturizer and use this in its place.

Any extra remnants gets rubbed in my cuticles.


Yep, those lips need to be exfoliated too – especially before applying a brighter lipstick. I’m not super loyal to a certain brand, but here are a few I’ve tried and can vouch for…


Or, you can always make your own with items you likely have in your kitchen – DIY Exfoliating Lip Scrub.


My lips get so dry in the Winter that I’ve tried almost everything. I have Burt’s Bees and Aquaphor stashed all over my house, but these are the higher grade lip masks I like to use. And my go-to daytime lip gloss that is also extremely hydrating.


Laneige Lip Mask – This is a fan favorite. It does have a sticky feel to it but is perfect to apply before bed and wake up with hydrated lips.

Revision YouthFull Lip Replenisher – This is a favorite skincare brand, and when Dermstore had a sale I snagged this to try. This instantly makes a difference. Not only does it hydrate but it also plumps. I use this as a nighttime mask and also during the day if my lips are super dry. A little goes a long way and I’m still on my first tube – I bought it in the Fall.

Westman Atelier Squeaky Clean Lip Balm – I’ve raved about this lip balm a lot. It’s my go-to everyday for subtle color. It’s made with organic jojoba, almond, and Argan oils plus shea butter. It’s a lip color and treatment in one. I think I’ve collected all the colors at this point but my most used right now are the color Nou Nou (a cool beige that looks good on everyone) and Garconne. (See all of my favorite Westman Atelier products here.)

Lula Beyond Balm – The Do-It-All WONDER!

Lula Beyond Balm

Lula Beyond Balm

This is the most versatile item on this Winter skin care products list and is a new-to-me product that I learned about from a fellow blogger – @writinginblackandwhite – and it’s quickly becoming a favorite.

It’s a rich face balm that melts into the skin to nourish, calm, and soothe. It reveals naturally glowing skin and can be used on its own or layered with makeup. It’s also great as a night treatment. It’s filled with nutrient-rich natural ingredients.

This balm to me is a do-it-all. I sometimes use it at night as a moisturizer. On no-makeup days, I rub a bit between my palm and pat it on my cheeks for moisture and glow. It’s amazing on super dry cuticles, hands, elbows…any rough patches. Oh and did I mention lips?

I seriously love this stuff. 15% off your first purchase.

Drink The Water

This isn’t earth-shattering…we need to drink the water. When I drink enough water my skin stays hydrated and has more of a glow, and I just feel better. I bounce around different water bottles to try and keep motivated to get those ounces in.

The Hydracy bottle – I love this for its size. It’s easy to take on the go and I know if I fill it twice, I’ve had enough water for the day. You can also infuse your water with fruit but honestly I’ve never taken the time.

And you guys, I know this is a bit over the top, but Apple now has a smart water bottle. It lights up to remind you to drink water and tracks your ounces on an app. I mean, anything to drink more water right?! Color me intrigued.



A humidifier makes a noticeable difference for your skin. When we first moved to Colorado and I was struggling with dry Winter skin (and hadn’t found a lot of these products), I used a humidifier nightly. It helped tremendously, but honestly, I’ve gotten a bit lazy with this.

But if you or your kids are really struggling, grab a humidifier. Most any will work. Just used distilled water to prevent mold and bacteria growth. And even then, keep an eye on it and clean it as needed.

Dry Winter skin is no fun but completely preventable with this Winter care skin products list + tips. I know I’ve listed a lot of products here but my top 4 recommendations are this:

  1. Hydrate!
  2. Exfoliate! Dry Bush and in the shower!
  3. Adjust that retinol
  4. Use a good moisturizer & add a facial oil.

After living in both Arizona and Colorado I feel like I’ve tried it all, and I promise, the items on this Winter skin care products list work!

x Rachel

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