While January is often marked by the desire to implement new routines and regimens, it's also the perfect time to reprioritize basics we know we should be incorporating into our daily lives, but might be neglecting. Of course, when it comes to winter skin care, hydration is one of those fundamentals.
For the latest installment of our Shop This List series, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry stopped by TODAY to share a few of her tips and product picks to address winter skin care concerns. From a redness-blurring sunscreen to a gentle retinol formula for dry, sensitive skin, these picks will help you revamp your routine for the harsh winter months. Plus, Henry shed light on the benefits of niacinamide, squalane and other buzzy ingredients.
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According to Pinterest’s 2024 predictions, body care is set to take over the skin care world this year. With all the consideration we give to our faces, why not prioritize everywhere else, too? Henry says the sugar in this body wash acts as a gentle exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells — crucial during winter when skin tends to become dry, flaky and unable to absorb moisture. And the product works triple duty, as cocoa butter imparts its deep moisturizing capabilities, and vitamin B3 in the form of niacinamide improves skin texture and barrier function, according to Henry. Plus, the brand says the product washes off clean, so you never have to worry about an oily, coated feeling.
While you’re zeroing in on skin this winter, don’t forget that your hair needs moisture, too. According to Henry, the manuka honey and mafura oil in this hair mask do an excellent job of deeply moisturizing and rejuvenating dry, brittle strands, which is a common issue during the colder months. To get the best out of the product, the brand recommends sectioning clean, wet hair and applying the mask liberally. Using a wide tooth comb, distribute the product evenly from root to tip and rinse after five minutes (or longer).
While Goop is known for making luxury beauty and wellness products, the brand recently launched Good.clean.goop, a skin and wellness line offered at a more accessible price point. According to Henry, the cream is formulated with ceramides for reparative hydration as well as niacinamide, which helps improve skin tone and smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Plus, Henry says the blend of silky, nourishing butters will leave your skin looking and feeling healthy, supple and soft to the touch.
Retinol is known (and loved) for its anti-aging benefits, but Henry notes that it's also recognized for its potential to cause irritation. A gentle formula is ideal for winter in particular, when skin may be drier and more sensitive. Specifically formulated for sensitive skin and first-time retinol users, this lightweight option from Versed offers the benefits of traditional retinol without redness, dryness or other traditional side effects. Henry explains that the combination of microencapsulated retinol — which delivers the active ingredient deep into the skin without causing surface irritation — and natural retinol alternatives such as arophira and bakuchiol, works toward skin renewal by aiding in cell turnover (which can be sluggish in cold weather). The result? Brighter, more youthful-looking skin.
Lips often get neglected in our skin care routines, according to Henry — but that shouldn't be the case, especially in the winter. Henry explains that lip skin is prone to dryness and chapping, particularly when exposed to wind and harsh weather conditions, due to a lack of oil glands and other unique properties. Formulated with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalane and castor seed oil, this lip mask is a non-greasy, non-sticky formula designed to soothe dryness and lock in moisture, according to the brand. And we don't mind the $7 price point, either!
Derms everywhere have been encouraging us to wear SPF year-round and Henry is no exception. As she says, it’s a misconception that sunscreen isn’t needed in winter. This Hero Cosmetics mineral sunscreen provides necessary protection against UV rays, which are present no matter the time of year. It's also a lightweight, non-greasy and fast-absorbing formula, making it ideal for winter use when you might layer more products on your skin. While you can wear it alone, it can also be worn under make-up, especially since the product's sheer green tint helps to blur seasonal redness. Just make sure it’s the last step you apply before your base!
Skin care technology can be a fun addition to any routine and right now we're eyeing this portable humidifying tool by Plum Beauty. Place this compact humidifier on your nightstand, desk or vanity to add moisture to the air, which can be beneficial when indoor heating systems are drying out the environment, according to Henry. That added moisture can help maintain skin hydration, reducing the chances of dry, itchy skin. With the option to choose between two mist modes, continuous or intermittent, you can bring spa-like sensations to your everyday — and the fine mist can stay on for up to 12 hours!
How we chose the best Target winter skin care
These winter skin care recommendations were based on expert insights, market research, product reviews and Shop TODAY editor picks. We curated this list to feature a variety of products designed to target specific winter skin concerns, such as dryness, redness and sun protection. Additionally, we made note of products that feature key ingredients such as retinol, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.
For sponsored content, the Shop TODAY editorial team independently chooses, tries and reviews products to recommend that are sold by the advertiser. The advertiser does not review or approve the content. Learn more about Shop TODAY.
Meet the expert
- Dr. Michelle Henry, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and and dermatologic surgeon. She is the CEO and founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan, as well as a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Previously, she was a Procedural Dermatology Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Henry's areas of expertise include general dermatology, Mohs micrographic surgery and cosmetic surgery.