7 Things Beauty Editors Will Never Do to Their Skin in Winter (and 8 They Will)

A change of seasons means it’s time to change out your wardrobe, but it also means it’s time to switch up your skincare routine. In the summer, we tend to opt for lightweight, gel moisturizers and cooling products to combat the heat. The winter brings drier, cooler climates, which can seriously mess with your skin. 

I know how I change up my skincare routine in the winter (hint: so much moisture that my skin is practically swimming), but I wanted to know how other Who What Wear staffers change up their skincare routines for the colder months. Their answers might surprise you and open your eyes to things you should probably be doing to your skin—I’m about to order a buffing bar for my body thanks to our Branded Content Beauty Director Caitie Schlisserman’s recommendation. Keep reading to find out what we always do to our skin in the winter and what we avoid like the plague.

Erin Jahns, Senior Beauty Editor


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

Never: Skips Eye Cream

"I know a lot of people are 50/50 on eye creams and whether they're actually necessary, but I can't go without them, and if I forgo my favorites in the wintertime, especially, my under-eye area quickly turns dry and crinkly (not great when trying to apply concealer). For the morning, I like something that's a little lighter and helps tighten everything up, and at night, I'll tap on something a little richer to help marinate my eye area in nutrition while I sleep."

Erin's picks:

Always: Shelves Oil-Free Moisturizers

"I actually don't make too many changes to my facial skincare routine once winter sets in. (I pretty much have it honed and like to stay consistent to keep my acne-prone skin in check). That said, I do pay closer attention to my skin's hydration levels, which usually means opting for a richer face cream in lieu of the lighter, oil-free formulas I gravitate toward during the spring and summer."

Erin's picks:

Always: Treats Her Scalp Like Her Face

"We should be treating our hair and scalp with the same level of TLC we do our complexions all year round, but I really take it up a notch once winter hits. To avoid dryness, flakes, and itch (which all seem to set in the moment the clock strikes fall), I'll swap in a gentle exfoliating shampoo once a week to nix all of the ick without stripping my hair and scalp of essential hydration. I'm also a big fan of pre-shampoo masking treatments. I find they leave my hair so much shinier and softer than the formulas I apply in the shower or after I shampoo. Counterintuitive but true!"

Erin's picks:

Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY


(Image credit: @sarahayang)

Never: Forgets Body Lotion

"​​The skin on my body has gotten more sensitive this year for some reason, so it's more prone to irritation and dryness. I make sure to coat my body in lotion after I take a shower so I lock in that moisture and my skin feels smoother."

Sarah's pick:

Always: Goes Overboard on Moisture

"Because my skin gets really dry, I make sure to always keep some kind of facial moisturizer on hand so I can apply throughout the day. I also just discovered the power of facial oils (I know I'm late), so I like to add that into my routine either in the morning or at night. Basically, I'm constantly applying some kind of moisturizing or hydrating product to my face during the winter."

Sarah's picks:

Always: Masks Multiple Times a Week

"My skin is prone to dryness, so it's especially vulnerable in the winter. I make it a point to use a face mask two to three times a week to give my skin an extra boost of moisture."

Sarah's pick:

Never: Over-Washes Her Face

"I can be a little too overzealous with washing my face at times, but in the winter, I try to avoid going overboard. So I try to be as gentle as possible with my face-washing routine. I wash in the morning and before bed, but I make sure to use an ultra-gentle cleanser. I also avoid anything harsh, like chemical exfoliants that have a high concentration, or scrubbing my face too much."

Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor


(Image credit: @shawnasimonee)

Never: Uses Chemical Peels

"I love a good chemical exfoliant, but when it gets cold and dry out, I tend to take those down a notch in my routine. Because I use a prescription-strength Retin-A cream at night, things tend to get ugly in the dryness department during this season. That's when I'll switch out my toner with BHA to a gentler formula."

Shawna's pick:

Always: Uses Body Serum or Oil

"During the winter especially, I love to make sure I'm keeping my skin healthy and glowing by using a body serum or oil. Sometimes I'll use one before my regularly scheduled lotion treatment or just keep it to an oil. It's a great way to keep my skin from getting ashy during the winter."

Shawna's Picks:

Caitie Schlisserman, Beauty Director, Branded Content


(Image credit: @c__bellamy)

Never: Skips SPF

"My SPF never gets a break. Even during the colder months, my routine stays the same. I will never not wear it on my face, even if it’s overcast and rainy. I've been burned before (literally) for ignoring my parents when I was growing up, and I sadly had to learn my lesson the hard way."

Caitie's pick:

Never: Takes Long, Hot Showers

"It's so tempting to take long, hot showers when it's freezing outside, but it actually does your skin more harm than good. Water repels oil, meaning a long, hot shower can actually strip skin of its natural oils, so I try to keep mine to a few minutes max. If you're worried that my showers aren't luxurious, I still find time to use my scalp massager; don't worry."

Caitie's pick:

Always: Uses Body Products With Lactic Acid

"I live in L.A., so the weather is almost always nice out, which means I can get away with using coconut oil on my body to moisturize it for the majority of the year. But once it starts getting cold (at least for L.A. standards), I swap it out for products that are a little richer and formulated with things like lactic acid. I have keratosis pilaris, which is always way more noticeable during the fall and winter, so I need products that gently exfoliate and moisturize at the same time."

Caitie's picks:

Always: Exfoliates More Often

"I exfoliate my face and body way more often this time of year—two to three times a week. It really helps keep my skin looking as healthy as possible. Having dead-skin-cells buildup is not cute and gets painfully itchy if I leave it untouched for too long, especially on my body."

Caitie's picks:

Katie Berohn, Associate Beauty Editor


(Image credit: @ktberohn)

Never: Ignores Lipcare

I’m always diligent about keeping my lips hydrated, but in the winter, I become truly obsessive. First, I always apply my eye cream to both my eyes and my lips to smooth and firm. (This is my favorite beauty secret!) The last step of my skincare routine every night is slathering on an occlusive lip mask to seal in moisture while I sleep so that I can wake up with soft, pillowy lips—even in the depths of winter. 

My picks:

Always: Moisturizes Immediately After Showering

If you want intensely moisturized skin, you should be applying body lotion when your skin is still wet to lock in hydration right out of the shower. You can do this with any lotion, but I love using formulas specifically designed for in-shower moisture. Sometimes applying body lotion can feel like a chore, but when I apply lotion as an extended part of my shower, it feels a little less daunting.

My pick:

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.