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When you swap out your wardrobe for the changing seasons, you may want to consider making a few changes to your beauty routine, too. Cold air outside, hot air inside and dry air everywhere can disrupt the skin’s protective barrier, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD). This disruption leads to parched, itchy skin—especially in people with underlying conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Plus, wintery weather can also result in frizzy, brittle-feeling hair or dry, damaged nails.
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Making a few simple changes to your routine—using warm water instead of hot, running a humidifier and wearing protective gear outside, to name a few—can help mitigate these winter beauty woes before they start. Still, you may find your skin and hair needing some extra TLC, which is where products designed to ease signs of dry skin, hair and nails come into play.
Ahead, find some of the best products to stock up on for winter, based on your top beauty concerns.
1. For preventing cracked hands: Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
After testing the best hand creams, we at Reviewed awarded this salve the accolade of Best Overall pick. The convenient squeeze tube has a flip cap that dispenses a creamy formula that’s thick enough to deeply moisturize dry, cracked hands. Still, it’s non-greasy and feels lightweight enough to absorb into the skin without more than a gentle massage. The moisturized feeling lasts well throughout the day, too, despite inevitable hand-washes, so even a purse-friendly 2.5-ounce tube will last you quite a while.
2. For keeping lips split-free: Vaseline Rosy Lips
Vaseline, like all occlusives, works to reduce dryness by creating a seal over the lips to lock moisture into them. You can get all of the same benefits of the original formula—and a little extra, like a pretty pink tint for your pout—from the brand’s Rosy Lips. The lip therapy comes in the most adorable 2-inch container, so it’s easy to stash wherever you need it—your desk drawer, purse, glove compartment or even your pocket. It also has a slight rose scent that elevates the entire experience, but if your skin is sensitive to fragrance, you can opt for the unscented original version.
3. For catching hangnails before they snag: Tweezerman Grip & Snip Spiral Spring Cuticle Nipper
Cuticles and nails are more prone to cracking and snagging—ouch!—when they’re dry, and picking at them only makes things worse. A cuticle clipper can help, as you can easily snip any dead skin or hangnails before they catch on something, therefore preventing more future discomfort. This pair is a step above the typical set because it has a fully enclosed spiral spring handle that’s a lot more durable and easier to control than the typical cross bar that hinges between the handles. Plus, these have a super-sharp precision tip, which means you can get into all nooks and crannies around your nails.
4. For hydrating chapped cheeks: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration Moisturizer
If the skin on your face feels parched and flaky, you’ll sing the praises of this moisturizer. The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream delivers exactly what it promises: “intense hydration.” While testing it among the best face moisturizers out there, our tester found that a dime-sized amount of the silky formula spreads easily and feels cool on skin as it absorbs, leaving behind super-smooth skin. The product is great for sensitive skin, too, as it’s fragrance-free.
5. For keeping hair shiny and frizz-free: Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray
Struggle with frizzy, static hair during the cooler months? This lightweight and non-greasy spray, which has more than 30,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, could be the answer. Its formula contains a proprietary “anti-humidity complex” that repels water as well as chamomile and calendula extracts to fight humidity-induced frizz, static and breakage. All you have to do is apply it to damp, towel-dried hair before heat-styling it. The benefits last through up to four washes, according to the brand.
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6. For adding a healthy glow: Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Glow Drops
If you’re missing your summer tan, these wildly popular self-tanning drops will give you a subtle glow without the harmful effects of UV rays. Available in three shades—light, medium and dark—all you have to do is mix a few drops with your preferred face moisturizer or foundation. The benefits extend beyond the tan—the product is packed with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, avocado oil and chia seeds to moisturize skin, too.
7. For preventing scratchy feet: Pedi-Scrub In A Sponge Foot Buffer
When the skin on your feet gets dry, it tends to crack and may even snag on your socks or blankets. A quick buff with this exfoliating sponge can remove dead skin and smooth your skin. You have your choice of five scents: argan oil, citrus eucalyptus, clean and fresh, lavender tea tree oil and papaya. First, use the textured, exfoliating side to buff away dead skin and calluses while cleansing with tea tree oil, then flip it over and use the smooth side to moisturize with shea butter. The sponge claims to last for more than 20 washes.
8. For a smoother makeup application: Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Hydrating Makeup Primer
A makeup primer is always a good idea because it helps create the ideal smooth canvas for makeup, but it’s a necessity in the winter when skin skews dry. Before applying foundation or other complexion products, swipe this makeup-gripping formula onto your skin. It claims to hydrate using hyaluronic acid, give your skin a natural glow with niacinamide and ensure your makeup won’t settle into any fine lines or creases with blue agave extract.
9. For UV defense: Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen
Yes, you need to wear sunscreen every day, even in the winter, according to dermatologists. Many people prefer mineral sunscreens over chemical ones because they use reef-safe zinc oxide to create a protective shield over the skin. The downside: Many formulas leave a white cast on the skin. Our tester says this sunscreen by Summer Fridays is different, though. Its lightweight and silky formula is easy to massage into skin and, once rubbed in, only leaves a subtle light tint after layering on more for reapplication. It’s also a great pick for winter because it contains moisturizing ingredients like vitamin E and squalane.
10. For quenching itchy, dry skin: Bio-Oil Skincare Moisturizer
Flaky legs, cracked elbows… our bodies need just as much care as our faces—particularly in the winter when the cold weather is rough on skin. Thousands of Amazon reviewers swear that Bio-Oil is the key to keeping skin hydrated. The multi-use oil contains vitamins A and E, plus a blend of plant extracts and oils, including rosemary, lavender, calendula, chamomile and purcellin. Although it’s an oil, it’s non-greasy once massaged in and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores or contribute to acne.
11. For keeping a flaky scalp at bay: Nécessaire The Scalp Serum
The scalp is part of the largest organ in your body—the skin—which means it’s just as prone to the drying effects of winter as your hands or face may be. This Nécessaire serum aims to prevent a dry, flaking scalp. The formula, which is infused with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and a peptide blend, aims to moisturize the scalp and rehydrate dry, damaged hair. Fill the dropper—it’s about 1 milliliter worth of serum—and apply once daily to dry or towel-dried hair.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.