Winter is a precarious time for our skin. Dryness and dullness are veritable concerns, and without close supervision, the natural, healthy glow we worked so hard to achieve over the spring and summer disappears with alarming swiftness. Also, the disco-bronze formulas and sparkling tinctures we relied on in July don't necessarily feel appropriate for December, January, and February. We want to glow, but this time of year, we have specific skin standards that are a bit more subtle and believable.
Luckily, we have an arsenal of winter skin treatments on deck that not only help to renew our skin and fortify quick-to-crack and flake limbs with hydration but encourage a lit-from-within kind of glow to boot. Sure, we have a few gold and shimmery-spiked formulas in the mix, but only ones that lend a minimalist sheen that's gleam-y—not glittery. Keep scrolling for 15 essential winter skin treatments that will seriously upgrade your skincare and bodycare routines this season.
Why You Need It: Kristyn Pradas is THE self-tanning and glow artist to the stars (think Ashley Graham, Ariana Grande, the Hadids, and pretty much every single Victoria's Secret model), so it's safe to say she knows a thing or two about crafting the most heavenly of body glows. I've been lucky enough to receive a few spray tans from Pradas (the best I've ever had), and I'm just as addicted to her luxe take-home line.
This new skin treatment from Pradas (which she also infuses into her tans!) is perfect for winter, and features key ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, marshmallow root, collagen, rose, and chamomile to lock in moisture, tighten, and plump. Plus it absorbs instantaneously, so you're glowing ASAP—zero dry time required. I never go out on Friday night without dipping myself from head to toe.
Why You Need It: A retinol treatment for your body… We're not sure why more brands haven't worked up versions of this heavenly skin-saving treatment sooner. Not only does the mix of caffeine, bakuchiol (a natural retinol alternative), and safflower seed brighten the skin for instantaneous radiance; it also (fairly dramatically) tightens and firms your skin to reduce the look of cellulite, as well as uneven tone and texture.
Why You Need It: Skin-renewing and exfoliating, fancy microdermabrasion treatments are one of the most-wanted in-office treatments in dermatology right now. So how nice of the skin geniuses at Dr. Brandt to bring the magic to the comfort of our homes. The brand sells a separate formula for your face, but we're prioritizing this version, which is specifically designed for our lizard-like extremities. Professional-grade crystals, aloe butter, and chamomile extract work harmoniously to polish, soothe, hydrate, calm, and replenish your skin in one fell swoop. Massage it all over for two(ish) minutes; then rinse well.
Why You Need It: Technically, this heavy-duty cream from Sunday Riley is meant for your face, but I find it's a tad too heavy to use on an everyday basis. (I'm very acne-prone, and you can read my full review here!) That said, I've taken to slathering the ceramide-stuffed formula atop every other rough part of my body like my feet, hands, elbows, knees, etc. and have never had skin that's felt (or stayed!) so silky smooth. This glazed jar of goodness is truly a winter skin miracle.
Why you need it: As someone who's not a huge stan of straight-up body oils (except for a select few A+ formulas), I've found this beautifying body serum to be a satiny alternative for addressing my winter skin woes. Already a cult-favorite, it delivers velvety smoothness, cellulite-reducing firming properties, plus, a satisfying slug of omega- and vitamin-rich oils (think grape seed and rose-hip) to keeps skin supplied with optimum moisture and nutrition.
Why You Need It: If you're a shimmer person, Tarte's new, non-greasy gel is essential to your winter skin lineup. Despite how flashy it looks from the outside, it actually doses your skin with the perfect amount of gilded gleam to subtly enhance the look of your arms, collarbones, legs, cheekbones, or wherever you feel you need a mid-season pick-me-up. Plus, the addition of vitamin E and marine plant extracts ensures your skin health takes a turn for the better as well.
Why You Need It: $165 is a lot to fork over for a body cream, but when you consider you only need a one-teaspoon portion for your top and bottom half, you realize it's a worthy investment. Celebs, beauty editors, and makeup artists applaud the Augustinus Bader title, and the formulation is just as fantastic as the brand's iconic face creams. The star, of course, is the German professor's signature Trigger Factor Complex, which is comprised of natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins, and synthesized molecules strategically designed to reawaken and recharge your skin's natural healing and rejuvenation processes.
Why You Need It: I bought this liquid-gold balm because Margot Robbie's go-to makeup artist Pati Dubroff said it's one of her favorite beauty products. Need more convincing? You can use it anywhere on your body (complexion included), it's TSA-friendly, and it's saturated with the dreamiest skin fixer-uppers (like healing chamomile, anti-inflammatory St. John's wort, and conditioning shea, jojoba, and evening primrose).
Why You Need It: Nécessaire has established itself as one of the most essential brands in the realm of bodycare. Its new non-scrub exfoliator is exceptional—a must for sloughing off dead, flaky skin with efficient, mess-free flare. I also love that you can choose from fragrance-free, sandalwood, or eucalyptus. I'm not usually a huge fragrance person, but the eucalyptus and sandalwood transform any kind of bathroom situation into a seriously divine spa-like experience.
Why You Need It: I have a steadfast list of body scrubs I'm pretty darn obsessed with and never stray from. Yet this new-to-me scrub from Detox Mode has incited a major upset in my lineup—in fact, it's all I've been using this winter. Since body scrubs are one of those beauty products that don't last long (you have to use quite a bit per application), I appreciate the feasible price point, along with the glow- and dew-promoting roster organic grape, macadamia, sesame, and jojoba seed oils, plus additions like ylang-ylang, cacao butter, sea buckthorn, carrot, grapefruit, ginger, and turmeric.
Why You Need It: This goat's milk–, green tea–, and rose-steeped shea butter is the equivalent to a beatifying cream cheese frosting for your body. It smells delicious—not too sweet, but kind of sandalwood-y and warm—and it has an impressive lineup of ingredients, considering the less-than-$10 price tag. I also have the bodywash, body lotion, and hand cream, and the ritual has become the most joyous part of my beauty ritual this winter.
Why You Need It: As beauty editors, we receive (at minimum) 15 pitches per day trying to sell us "the latest and greatest" CBD-infused beauty product. Frankly, we're pretty sick of it, but certain brands and products have gotten our seal of approval—Saint Jane Beauty is one of the few. (The brand's CBD lip glosses are exceptionally beautiful.) This new body serum from the brand is our latest winter skin obsession: Not only does it feature 28 highly active botanicals to brighten lackluster winter skin, but it also has 200 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD to soothe ache-y, chilled-to-the-bone muscles.
Why You Need It: We don't need much convincing when it comes to wrapping our parched winter skin in a slinky layer of shimmering J'Adore, but this beautifying, gold shimmer-spiked gel from the brand is one of our favorite winter skin pick-me-ups. The finish is more pearlescent and luminous (versus tackily glittering), and it smells like the classic French floral fragrance to boot.
Why You Need It: As a limited-edition item from beloved brand Farmacy, this rich body cream won't be around long. Nourishing and antioxidant-wealthy ingredients like buckwheat honey, royal jelly—plus fatty acid–saturated butters from mango, cacao, and cupuaçu—are whipped together for a pillow-light application, offering up a serious dose of hydration.
Why You Need It: Many luxe, oil-enriched body creams have a tendency to linger on the skin in a sticky, oily way we don't necessarily appreciate—but not this one. A new(ish) debut from Ouai, this mixture of cupuaçu butter, coconut oil, and squalane soaks in fast, but still leaves you with long-lasting moisture and glow. (Even after a workout, a shower, or both.)