The merrymaking is over and we’re in the midst of a new year! Now that the holiday glow is starting to subside, maybe you’ve been working on some resolutions to start 2024 off in the right direction. If you’re anything like us, that most definitely also includes upgrading our skincare routine, especially as we enter the depths of the winter season.

Winter is a joyous time of the year that many look forward to here in Lebanon with the cascading snow-covered mountains in view and winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding in full swing. However, as temperatures drop and we frolic about in the light-reflective snow, sun, and dry winds, our skin is more likely to take a beating, especially when it comes to dryness and dehydration.

Want to prevent those complexion complications? Read on to hack the season with these 7 tips for tip top skin hydration!

1. Apply your products on damp skin.

More water = greater hydration; it’s that simple. By directly applying your skincare routine on slightly damp skin after showering or washing your face, you lock in more moisture from the humidity and subsequent moisturizer, which creates a greater barrier against moisture loss.

2. Look for helpful hydration-boosting agents.

Aside from recovering water levels in the skin, there are some powerful ingredients on the market that lend a helping hand in maintaining moisture and an overall healthy skin appearance. Here are some our favorites for winter and all year round:

- Hyaluronic Acid

This lightweight molecule is already naturally produced by the body, but incorporating it into your skincare routine has multiple benefits, including on hydration levels due to its ability to retain lots of water. It also boosts the skin’s recovery process and stimulates its natural production of collagen and elastin, improving the skin’s texture.

- AHAs

It may seem counterintuitive to use an exfoliating acid (alpha-hydroxy acid) on dull, dry or dehydrated skin; however, this gentle agent helps to clear away dull and dead skin to make way for better efficacy and penetration of your hydrating skincare formulas. It also helps to clear pores and smooth wrinkles, making it one of our favorites for year-round routines.

- Ceramides

Especially when it comes to combatting harsh external factors in winter, ceramides can be a saving grace. These rich emollient agents provide a thicker barrier over the skin to minimize the effect of aggressors and lock in more moisture, while creating a better environment for the skin to repair itself.

- Niacinamide

Just like our bodies need vitamins, so does our skin, and Niacinamide is a vitamin powerhouse. Also known as vitamin B3, it can offer many benefits to your complexion. Nicacinamide helps to restore the skin’s lipidic barrier, protect against oxidative stress, soothe inflammation and improve overall skin texture.

- Vitamin C

Another vitamin we love to have in our routines is the popular vitamin c. In addition to providing antioxidant protection, vitamin c stimulates our skin’s production of collagen and helps to brighten the complexion, improving the skin’s radiance, texture and skin tone.

Some of our picks:

3. Avoid fragranced products.

Oftentimes skin irritations can be caused by fragrances in products, leading to itching, dryness and redness. With the aggressive outdoor conditions, those with sensitive or reactive skin especially can experience more flare-ups of irritation, which can be exacerbated by fragrances.

4. Switch to thicker/richer formulas.

Particularly for those who have dry skin, winter’s conditions call for a thicker layer of protection against dryness and dehydration. Oil-based products help to preserve and repair the skin’s hydrolipidic barrier, leaving you more protected against aggressors and discomfort. However, if you have oily or combination skin, oily products can lead to more oiliness and breakouts, in which case, it’s better to choose a good hydrating serum or cream that’s oil-free.

We like these for dry to normal skin:

And these for combination to oily skin:

5. Don't shower in water that's too hot.

Although it’s tempting to crank up the faucet to full blast to warm up from the cold, very hot water can have a drying effect on the skin. That’s why it’s preferable to stick to moderate temperatures when showering to avoid over-drying and further agitating the skin.

6. Try misting with a facial spray throughout the day.

On top of your moisturizing routine, facial sprays are a great way to add some extra hydration and are perfect to carry with you for an extra boost as you go about your day. Many of these formulas are made with thermal spring water or aloe vera, which have soothing properties, as well.

Spray away!

7. Use a good sunscreen, even if it's cloudy.

Yes, even in winter, sunscreen is an essential part of daytime skincare. Harmful UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and reach your skin, inhibiting its reparative processes, especially as these processes naturally decline with age. Look for a broad spectrum formula with at least SPF30 to minimize your chance of sun damage and other sun-related issues.

Protective SPF finds: