The crisp days of winter may be beautiful, but they can take a big toll on your skin.  In fact, the colder months can be brutal to our skin’s health — causing dryness, flaky skin, irritation, and clogged pores.  That’s why it’s so important to revamp your skincare routine to counteract the changing seasons and harsh weather conditions; doing so will help maintain healthy, glowing skin.  Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five easy ways that you can revamp your skincare routine for the colder months.

Cleansing carefully is key

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An essential part of revamping your skincare routine for the colder months is how you cleanse. Cleansing is super important — it washes off dead skin, excess oils and sweat from your skin, helping it to stay healthy and absorb skincare products (like those nourishing moisturizers we talked about before).

However, you need to cleanse carefully during the winter. Pick a gentle, hydrating cleanser that won’t strip essential oils from your skin. If you wear heavy make-up, you may need to buy a stronger oil-based cleanser or double-cleanse to remove it properly.

It’s also best to use warm water instead of hot water when you’re washing — hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils too, causing your skin to dry out and become chapped. Simply by reducing the time and temperature of your baths and showers, you can help to prevent flaky, dry skin and exacerbating eczema flare-ups.

When it comes to drying your skin after you wash, you should pat it lightly with a towel rather than rubbing it aggressively, according to this article by Allure. Being too vigorous when drying yourself can lead to skin irritation and inflammation, making your skin much worse.

Use a rich winter moisturizer (and regularly)

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One super beneficial thing you can do to revamp your skincare routine for the colder months? Moisturize (and then moisturize some more).

Dry skin is exacerbated by cold, dry weather, which is why conditions like eczema can get much worse during the winter. Moisturizing regularly during the colder months can help to lock in moisture, and protect your skin from damage or eczema flare-ups (you can read more on how to get rid of eczema on your face on this guide from The Independent Pharmacy.)

Incorporating regular moisturizing into your skincare regime is a great way to keep your skin hydrated and healthy during winter, but you need to make sure the products you use are giving your skin what it needs.

Moisturizers that include rich ingredients like jojoba oil, argan oil, and shea butter are great for your skin health, protecting against moisture loss and reducing the risk of skin irritation. And if you really struggle with sensitive skin or a condition like eczema, you can buy specially-formulated moisturizing products that will soothe irritations and hydrate your skin.

Don’t forget to exfoliate

We often think of exfoliating as something we only need to do during the summer when our legs are on show. However, exfoliation is just as important to do during the colder months. Without it, your skin can look dull, dry and flaky, and pores can easily become blocked.

Revamp your winter skincare routine with a gentle exfoliator that will clean your skin and keep it feeling smooth and supple. There are some excellent winter-skin-friendly exfoliators out there — just check out this list from Image.

Exfoliating will also help your skin to look healthy too; it gets rid of excess dead skin and unclogs pores (which helps to prevent breakouts and skin irritation) and boosts blood circulation, leaving your skin healthy and glowing.

You don’t need to exfoliate daily during the winter — just once or twice a week will do to keep your skin looking and feeling amazing.

Apply sunscreen & protect your skin

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We often don’t even think about applying sunscreen during the winter — it’s a skincare practice that we only employ during the summer months when we can feel the heat on our skin.

The cold winter weather can trick us into thinking we don’t need to worry about sunscreen. But just because the temperature has dropped, it doesn’t mean that the sun can’t cause damage to your skin. In fact, UV rays can even harm your skin and cause sunburn on cloudy days.

Adding sunscreen into your skincare routine will protect your skin from sun damage, something which is particularly important if you’re going on a skiing holiday this winter, or you live in an area of the world where it’s snowy regularly (the sun’s rays reflect off the snow as well, hitting you from all angles).

Protect yourself from other elements too: the biting wind and low temperatures can damage the delicate, thin skin on your hands and ears all too easily.

Covering up with gloves and hats can protect your skin as well as keeping your body at a warm temperature — just remember to avoid contact with certain skin-irritating fabrics like wool or nylon (cotton is best).

Use a humidifier to keep skin hydrated at night

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It’s not just the cold, windy air outside that’s drying your skin out and causing eczema flare-ups. The central heating inside your house pumps out hot, dry air that can easily irritate your skin, leaving it dull and scaly.

Using a humidifier in your home will add some much-needed moisture back into the air and prevent dry skin from getting worse.

It may sound weird adding a humidifier to your skincare routine, but it does work — trust us. They’re generally small and cheap too (here’s Health’s round-up of the best) so you can simply add one to your bedstand to make sure your skin doesn’t get too dry during the night.

A good skincare routine is important, but it will only benefit your skin if you revamp it to counteract the changing seasons. Follow these five simple tips to revamp your skincare routine for the colder months, and your skin will stay happy and healthy this winter.