Beauty hacks: How to get glowing winter skin

Girl with smooth skin

Gemma Watts

Posted June 17, 2021

Don’t let winter derail your beauty routine. Here are five tips for flawless winter skin.

We all long for soft, supple, hydrated skin. But if we aren’t adequately protecting our complexion from the winter chill, our efforts may be in vain.

The cold winter air sucks the moisture from our skin, leaving many of us looking – and feeling – dry and dull. Cool, dry air is the enemy of glowing skin, so fight back and reveal a radiant, hydrated complexion by working a few skin saviours into your winter routine. (Plus: How to turn your bathroom into a day spa.)

How to care for your complexion during winter

Change your showering habits

Glowing skin is hydrated skin, but there are a few seemingly standard habits that could be undoing your hydration efforts. One such habit? Hot showers. A warm, steamy shower may be one of the greatest temptations of the cooler months, but it could be leaving your skin dry and lacklustre.

RACV One Spa City Club manager Marnie Bennett says hot showers and baths can disrupt the skin's mouisture balance, stripping it of the essential oils that give it its natural luminosity.

"When you have a hot shower, it softens the skin's natural oil barrier, which is then washed away with soap. Without this barrier, skin easily loses moisture, leading to dryness," she says.

An overly hot shower can also exacerbate skin conditions and irritations associated with dryness, such as eczema, which can worsen in the cooler months.

To ensure your skin maintains a natural glow year-round, begin by changing your shower habits. Avoid the temptations of a long, hot shower and opt for a shorter, ever-so-slightly cooler one, instead. Or, wash your face over the sink rather than in the shower – our showers are generally hotter than the water we fill the sink with, so this habit is better for your skin and will save precious water and shower time.

Person applying lotion to hands

Photo: Unsplash


Start fresh 

Your first instinct when trying to impart a glow on the skin may be to invest in as many hydrating products as possible, but it’s important to start with a fresh canvas. If your skin is dry and flaky, moisturising creams and hydrating serums will simply sit atop the skin, blocked by those dry cells.  

To thoroughly hydrate dry skin, it’s essential to prep your base through exfoliation. When exfoliating the body, physical exfoliation through granulated scrubs or dry body brushing is a great way to remove dry skin as well as boosting circulation, which will also contribute to that winter glow.  

Marnie recommends choosing a ‘chemical’ exfoliant. Look for products containing naturally derived AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). Glycolic and lactic acids, two of the most common form of AHAs, while salicylic acid is one of the most common BHAs. These are often gentler than scrubs as they work by dissolving dry skin cells rather than sloughing them away. Just be sure to use them on alternating days.

Rehydrate and rebuild

Now that you’ve adjusted your showering habits and have dealt with dry, flaky cells, you’re ready to rehydrate the skin and rebuild its all-important barrier function. To deliver a serious glow, look for ingredients that hydrate deeply. Serums rich in hyaluronic acid are ideal during the cooler months. 

Layer your hydrating serums with richly moisturising oils and creams for the face and body. These slightly thicker textures will work to lock in that first layer of moisture, leaving the skin supple and glowing. Look for moisturising creams rich in antioxidants to keep the skin looking and feeling youthful.

Girl feeling her face

Photo: Unsplash


Get enough sleep

Even with a new, winter-worthy beauty regimen, Marnie says no amount of serum can undo the impacts of stress and sleep deprivation. It turns out, you really do need your beauty sleep.

Fake it ’til you make it

Beautiful skin, in any weather, requires discipline – it won’t happen overnight. Fortunately, there are products designed to help you fake it ’til you make it. To give your skin a faux glow, choose products for both the face and body that have a subtle illuminating quality. Natural ingredients such as mica (an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic shimmer pigments) are perfect for giving the skin a beautiful sheen, washing it with an ethereal, light-reflecting glow... ideal as you wait to reap the benefits of your new routine.