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Top cold weather skin care tips

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Cold weather beauty

While it may not be winter yet, the snow and sub-zero temperatures will be here before you know it. We may not be looking forward to the cold, but we still want to be prepared for it, so we’ve put together some simple skin care rules for staying gorgeous when winter comes. Read on for our best in cold weather beauty musts.

Woman with winter skin

Don't skip the sunscreen

Try this now:  We love COOLA Organic Suncare ($32 to $36 for face-specific products), a line of light, non-greasy sunscreen made with organic, good-for-skin ingredients. The fresh cucumber scent is a great bonus.

Just because the sun isn't shining as brightly as it was in July doesn't mean you can put your sunscreen away until next summer. It may not be bathing suit weather (more like multiple layers weather), but protecting your skin from the sun's rays is still a complexion must. Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen (one that offers both UVA and UVB protection) with an SPF of at least 15. Find a face-specific product and apply before your day cream (let dry first) and then follow with the remaining steps of your beauty routine.

Stay hydrated

Sipping on a cool beverage may not be your first choice during the winter months, but it's just as important to stay hydrated now as it was during the hot, hazy days of summer. While you may gravitate towards hot chocolate and specialty coffees, do your best to drink water throughout the day. If warmer drinks are more what you crave, sip herbal tea instead of something caffeinated or filled with sugar. Sipping regularly will help keep you energized all day and make sure skin looks healthy and supple – not dry and lackluster.

Exfoliate regularly

Try this now: We love Joanna Vargas' Exfoliating Mask ($75), a gentle exfoliant that can be used as a scrub or a leave-on treatment for smoother skin, clear pores and a refreshed, radiant complexion.

Winter usually means dryer skin, which makes it even more important to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead skin cells and promote cell turnover. Skimping on this important step can leave skin looking dull and tired, whereas making sure to scrub (gently) once or twice weekly will ensure a smooth, even texture and brighter more youthful tone. Just be careful not to overdo it – you don't want to irritate the skin with too much rubbing and pulling. Opt for a gentle but effective formula that will leave your complexion looking healthy. Even just gently going over your face with a damp washcloth after you cleanse can help remove dead skin.

Moisturize effectively

If your skin tends to be drier in the winter months, you may want to switch to a heavier moisturizer to combat the effects of the wind and dry air. You can also consider adding a serum beneath your night cream to further lock in moisture. Don't forget about hands and lips – two other areas that tend to dry out more as the temperature drops. Keep a hand cream and lip balm in your purse so you can hydrate chapped skin on the go. Check out some of our go-to picks.

More skin care tips

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Top 4 enemies to complexion perfection
5 Skin care mistakes that age you

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