10 Winter Beauty Mistakes That Are Sneakily Sabotaging Your Skin
Winter is the testiest of seasons when it comes to our beauty routine. It can make our skin dry and dull. It can turn our hair into a sad, staticky, flat thing. And it can cause even the most rested of us to look...tired. Sullen. All while taking a major jab at the immune system. Yay, winter!
There are sneaky beauty mistakes we make in the winter without even realizing it, little tweaks we fail to make that can be the difference between winter glow and winter gloom. Now is the time to get fortified, before we're too far gone.
Here are 10 winter beauty mistakes to stop making before winter hits hard.
Turning up the shower temp
It might be tempting to indulge in a steamy, uber-hot shower for half an hour every day (it's cold out there!), but your skin will not thank you. The extreme temperature not only dries out your skin, but it also can injure your skin barrier, which makes it even harder to retain moisture later. Try to keep the dial slightly cooler than you really want, or at least try to take it quickly.
Forgetting to exfoliate weekly
Skin often gets dry, dull, and, at times, flaky during the winter months, and you might think a few heavy layers of moisturizer alone will do the trick. Really, it's all about getting rid of those dead skin cells that are causing your skin to look less than luminescent. Use a gentle chemical exfoliant that won't dry out your skin or strip your skin barrier, such as Pixi Glow Tonic, instead of a physical scrub, at least once or twice a week.
Skimping on the moisturizer—and not doing this easy trick
This is not a time to smear a dabble of face cream on and hope for the best. Combat dull, dry, or aging skin by taking time to apply more than one layer. For best results, use a moisture-packed serum, such as Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum, to lock in moisture before applying a winter-ready moisturizer, such as Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Hydrator.
The ultimate tip: After getting out of the shower, don't dry your face. Let some of the water droplets naturally evaporate but make sure your face is still damp. Then apply a layer of hydrating serum or moisturizer (one with hyaluronic acid or glycerin!) right onto the still-damp skin to lock in way more moisture than ever before. Seriously, this works.
Same goes for your hair—use those hair masks, folks!
Going heavy on the bronzer
This is a little thing we like to call: overcompensating. Ah, how we miss that summer glow—and how tempted we are to swipe on a heavy brush's worth of shimmery, coppery bronzer onto the hollows of the cheeks (and the temples and beneath the chin) to make up for the pale, sullen skin slowly taking over. Maybe it's the seasonal affective disorder acting up, but we might ignore the fact that we're looking more Snookie than bronzed snow bunny. To capture the perfect amount of glow, choose a subtle bronzer-highlighter hybrid, like It Cosmetics Ombré Radiance Bronzer, and use a lighter hand, friend.
Forgetting your feet do, in fact, still exist
Sure, they're covered up with woolen socks and cute booties and Christmas slippers—but your feet will see the light of day again come spring, and you don't want to be frightened by the sight when that time comes (nor does the nail esthetician). Keep your cracked heels in check with a little at-home pampering via hot water soak followed by a date with an exfoliating scrub or pumice stone. Our personal favorites: this softening foot tool and this Pink Himalayan salt-infused scrub.
Wearing matte lip colors (too often)
Unless cracked, flaky lips are your thing—yum. Matte lip colors, even if applied over a layer of Chapstick, are incredibly drying. We're not trying to squash your holiday red lip dreams, but consider using a satin finish formula, such as Estée Lauder's Pure Color Rouge Lipstick, instead. If you're matte-obsessed, limit it to only a few special occasions throughout the season and make sure to exfoliate and hydrate lips beforehand.
Not switching out your foamy cleanser
In the winter, especially when it comes to aging skin, it all goes back to protecting the skin barrier. That's where cleanser type can be a silent assailant. Foamy, soap-based cleansers (particularly ones with active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs) can strip and dry out your skin faster than greased lightning. Switch to a gentler creamy or milky formula like Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser—or even better, a cleansing oil or balm.
Neglecting your hands and neck
It's a dreadful thing when you find out your hands and neck are the two most noticeable signs of aging. Subjecting them to being rough, dry, and scaly all winter season isn't going to do you any favors. If there's ever a time to splurge on hand and neck masks, it's now. Try Tula Moisture Locking Shea Butter Hand & Nail Therapy and Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Neck Gels (both hydrating and anti-aging!). Otherwise, make sure you're moisturizing often, especially when it comes to your hands and cuticles. No one likes creepy claws poking out of a sweater, hm?
Skipping the SPF now that summer's over
Don't push your daily SPF to the back of the bathroom drawer just yet. It's more important than ever as your face combats the cold weather (that is already tough on your skin barrier as it is) and is privy to just as much sun exposure as any other time of year. Go with a two-birds-one-stone approach by investing in a hydrating BB cream that's also fortified with SPF, such as Neutrogena's glow-boosting Healthy Skin Glow Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30.
Leaving your face mist at home
In the summer, face mists like this fan-fave Mario Badesco number are pretty much life-changing in terms of refreshing your makeup midday. They're cooling, calming, and glow-inducing all at once. In the winter, facial sprays should be easily grabbable in your purse, at your desk, and in the car. Nothing can reinvigorate winter skin quite like a caffeine-infused formula such as Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist.
WATCH: 5 Bronzer Mistakes That are Secretly Making You Look Older
Don't let the winter blues get you or your skin down—make these easy beauty tweaks instead.