3 Professional Glow Experts Share The Winter Skincare Routines They Swear By

Question one: Have you ever wanted to play fly on the wall to witness each and every step of a celebrity esthetician's skincare routine? Same. Question two: Has the cold, dry winter weather ever left you and your cranky skin in the lurch? Flaky… Dry… Chapped… Red? Double same.

We're officially knee-deep within the deep dark depths of winter, and we'd be lying if we said our skin's overall health and glow-hydration ration hasn't been severely compromised. However, we have noticed the skin of our favorite celebrities (and their A-list skin experts) seems to be doing business as usual—clear, calm, dewy, plump...you get the picture.

To get to the bottom of their healthy, balanced, all-around-radiant winter secrets, we went straight to the glow-giving source: three celebrity skin experts who also happen to be super-savvy founders of their very own skincare lines. (In other words, they know a thing or two about keeping skin on good behavior year-round—regardless of frigid temperatures or moisture-devoid conditions.)

Below, I asked some of the best women in the industry—Shani Darden, Renée Rouleau, and Vanessa Lee—to share their skin type, winter skin concerns, and the exact morning and evening skincare routines they swear by to get through the season unscathed. Keep scrolling!

Shani Darden


(Image credit: @shanidarden)

Skin type: "I have fairly normal skin with an oily T-zone.”

Biggest winter skin concerns: "My biggest skincare concerns in the winter generally involve keeping my skin hydrated, glowing, and healthy without needing to use a heavy moisturizer that can cause congestion.”

How she tweaks her routine: "If I’m feeling a little extra dry, I’ll add in Dr. Nigma Talib Hydrating and Plumping Serum No 1 ($185) to hydrate and plump up the skin. I also love to use a humidifier in my bedroom. It adds moisture into the air and helps your skin hold on to hydration better. Sleeping with the heat on can really dry out your skin, and I find a humidifier really helps to offset this.”

Shani's A.M. Winter Skin Routine:

Step 1: A Gentle Cleansing

Step 2: A Protective & Healing Serum

Step 3: A Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Step 4: A Lightweight Sunscreen

Shani's P.M. Winter Skin Routine:

Step 1: A Gentle Cleansing

Step 2: A Brightening Toner

Step 3: Exfoliation OR Retinol

Step 4: A Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Step 5: A Plumping Eye Cream

Step 6: A High-Quality Moisturizer

Renée Rouleau


(Image credit: @reneerouleau)

Skin type: "Simply put, my skin is generally combination but can feel dry in the winter with some signs of aging. (Take this Skin Type Quiz to learn more about skin types—I’m #6!)”

Biggest winter skin concerns: "My biggest skin concern in the wintertime is keeping my skin moist and hydrated so that fine lines show less and the skin doesn’t look dull. On my body, my concern is keeping the skin well exfoliated and moisturized to help keep away dryness.”

How she tweaks her routine: "One of the main changes to my skincare routine in the winter is adding in a serum-infused toner. I use my Moisture Infusion Toner ($43), which is considered to be an essence. It’s so silky when it goes on the skin, and completely hydrates the skin and makes my skin look and feel so plump and fresh. Bouncy skin for the win!”

"I also add in a skin oil on nights when it’s really cold and the air is dry. I take a few drops of my Pro Remedy Oil ($69) and massage it in my hands, and then pat it on my skin as the last step in my nighttime routine. By using this, it provides a protective barrier over my skin to help prevent moisture evaporation from my skin.”

Renée's A.M. Winter Skin Routine:

Step 1: A Low-Foam, Sulfate-Free Cleansing

Step 2: A Hydrating Toner

Step 3: A Vitamin C & E Serum

Step 4: A Non-Greasy Sunscreen

Step 5: A Brightening Eye Serum

Renée's P.M. Winter Skin Routine:

Step 1: Double Cleansing

Step 2: A Breakout-Banishing Treatment Mask

Step 3: A Toner

Step 4: A Rotating Lineup of Targeted Serums

Step 5: A Hydrating Moisturizer

Step 6: A Reparative Eye Cream

Vanessa Lee


(Image credit: @vanessalee_rn)

Skin type: "I have combination and sensitive skin. I mainly experience an overproduction of oil in my T-zone and chin, which leads to whiteheads and occasional superficial breakouts. Simultaneously, I can also experience tightness and dryness in other areas of the face like my cheeks. Because I’m in the medical cosmetic world and am completely fascinated with skincare, I’ve been able to safely and properly nurture my skin so it becomes more balanced, but if I don't invest in the right products, my skin very easily reveals its natural state of imbalance.”

Biggest winter skin concerns: "During the winter, my biggest concern is making sure I don’t dry out and am able to maintain a dewy look. I also love the wintertime for addressing sun damage from earlier in the year. It’s a great time to have a skin reset!”

How she tweaks her routine: "During the winter, I make sure to increase my use of sleeping masks (my go-to mask ingredient is organic oats to help calm and nourish the skin) for an extra boost of hydration. I also take advantage of not having as much time in the sun, and I incorporate a brightening serum along with retinol to drive the brightening ingredients deeper.”

Vanessa's A.M. Winter Skin Routine:

Step 1: A Soothing Gel Cleanser

Step 2: A De-Puffing Eye Jelly

Step 3: A Specialty Facial Oil

Step 4: A Natural, Moisturizing Sunscreen

Vanessa's P.M. Winter Skin Routine:

Step 1: A Gentle Cleansing

Step 2: An Exfoliating Cleanser

Step 3: A Refining Toner

Step 4: A Gentle Retinol

Step 5: A Lifting Sleep Mask—4 Times a Week

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.