Winter Skincare Essentials for College Students (Plus Exact Routines)

Keep your skin glowing this winter with these essential skincare tips.

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During the wintertime, it is essential to have a good skincare routine and the proper skincare products to ensure your skin stays glowing all season long.

Whether you are new to skincare or you are trying to find the best products for your skin this winter, there are certain tips that you should know to protect your skin and keep it from becoming dry in the cold weather.

This guide to winter skincare for college students will explain exactly how to keep your skin glowing this winter and what products you should use to help your skin stay hydrated. Also, this post will detail the morning, daytime, and nighttime skincare routines you should use to ensure you are looking your best. Let’s get into it!

Skincare Tips for the Winter

1. Moisturize

Everybody knows how important having a moisturizer is for your skincare routine. And, since the winter brings colder weather, having a good moisturizer is even more essential to protect your skin from the cold, dry weather.

You should use a moisturizer in the morning and at night, especially throughout the wintertime, to protect your skin.

So, the next time you shop for skincare products, check out this simple daily moisturizer by Neutrogena to add to your everyday skincare routine. It’s fragrance-free and mild, perfect for all skin types including sensitive.

2. Exfoliate (in moderation!)

Many college students may not think of this step when doing their skincare routine, but it is also very important for the wintertime.

You will want to make sure that you exfoliate any dry skin that may be caused by the colder weather to keep your skin looking fresh. This is not only important for your face but also for your body because other parts of your body may become scaly during the wintertime.

Just make sure to be conservative with exfoliation — once a week is more than enough if you’re using a physical scrub like the Aveeno one above. If you notice irritation, do it even less frequently. Otherwise, you risk stripping your skin barrier and making dryness worse.

3. Use Serums

Another skincare product that a lot of people overlook is facial serums. Facial serums like this Vitamin C serum can help to give your skin the glowy look that you want!

Adding this extra step to your skincare routine at night or in the morning can help you achieve glowing skin even during the wintertime.

So, if you’re in need of a good serum for the winter months, I recommend this vitamin C serum to layer on before your moisturizer for an extra boost of antioxidants.

4. Wear Gloves

You might not think of gloves as part of a skincare routine, but for me, they are! And they should be for you too.

One part of your body that you need to protect during the wintertime is your hands. Your hands may become very dry during the winter due to exposure to cold temperatures and frequent hand-washing and sanitizing to avoid winter germs.

You will want to ensure that you not only keep your hands warm with some thermal gloves but also that you are making sure the cold weather does not dry out your hands! You can even layer on some hand cream first and then wear your gloves to lock in the moisture.

So, for your everyday activities during the winter, invest in some good gloves like these to protect your hands from the cold.

5. Use Lip Balm

Another really important part of your body to take care of during the winter is your lips! Your lips may also become dry and chapped from the cold, so you must protect them from the cold weather conditions.

Therefore, you absolutely need a good lip balm that you can add to your daytime skincare routine so that you will never have to worry about your lips becoming chapped from the cold!

One of my absolute favorite lip balms is the Laneige Lip Glowy Balm, which will keep your lips hydrated and protected this winter. It feels amazing on your lips and smells so good. This one is viral for a reason!

6. Apply Sunscreen

Even though we may not be sunbathing in the wintertime, sunscreen is still a super important part of your skincare routine year-round. Sunscreen has to be worn even during the winter because if you are exposed to the sun at all, your skin can be damaged. Period.

So, make sure that you don’t remove sunscreen from your skincare routine during the winter because it is still extremely important to protect your skin! This clear Elta MD one provides broad-spectrum SPF 46 protection and layers well under makeup.

7. Use Body Lotion

You may not normally use a body lotion, but during the winter, it’s needed if you want to avoid scaly and itchy skin.

So, if you have noticed that some parts of your body have started to get drier from the cold weather, I recommend applying a body lotion like this moisturizing lotion from Cetaphil daily, especially after you shower.

Consistency with lotion will help to keep your full body glowing this winter!

8. Use a Hydrating Toner

Another part of your skincare routine that you may have overlooked is a toner! Toners are important to add to your everyday skincare routine to eliminate excess makeup or sunscreen residue on your skin and even provide extra hydration.

This hydrating toner from CeraVe contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to add extra hydration to your skin. That means it’s perfect to use during the wintertime to help combat dryness!

9. Use Lip Masks at Night

Not only is it important to have a good lip balm to carry with you throughout the day during the winter, but you should also consider adding a lip mask to your nighttime skincare routine.

A sleep mask like this one from Laneige (again, a viral product for a reason!) is the perfect thing to apply to your lips before bedtime during the winter to give them the extra hydration that they need.

Pro tip: If your lips are super dry, you can add an extra layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor on top of the mask to boost its effectiveness.

10. Find Gentle Makeup Removers

Of course, if you wear makeup, you will also need a makeup remover to ensure you are cleansing your skin properly and removing any excess makeup.

But, what is important to note about makeup removers during the winter is that you will want to get one that is gentle so that you know it will not dry out your skin. A lot of them will strip your skin, and that’s the last thing you want.

So, if you have been looking for a good makeup remover for the winter, this gentle makeup remover by Cetaphil will do the trick! You can also try cleansing balms like this one from The INKEY List if you want something extra gentle and soothing.

11. Follow a Routine

Okay, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the information above or have never really tried a skincare routine before, you may want to check out some skincare sets to get you started.

Skincare sets like this one from Fresh can be great options when it comes to winter skincare for college students. We’re all busy, and these sets can help you properly cleanse and moisturize your skin without having to do tons of research and experimentation with products.

No need to worry if you are a beginner when it comes to skincare because this set will provide you with a great start.

Winter Skincare Routine Example

Now, let’s put it all together! Below, I’ll go through and detail sample skincare routines for the morning, afternoon, and evening during the winter.

Morning Skincare Routine for Winter:

1. Face Wash

To start out your morning skincare routine, you will want to make sure that you properly wash your face.

I like to start with a face wash in the morning, like the Cetaphil Gentle Face Wash, although many people (especially those dealing with excess dryness) just splash their faces with water in the morning.

It’s personal preference whether you want to use an AM cleanser, but either way, make sure you wash your face in some way in the AM.

2. Toner

As mentioned, a toner is also an important part of a skincare routine, so you should consider adding it to your morning skincare routine.

In the morning, after you wash your face, apply the CeraVe Hydrating Toner I talked about above to get your skin prepped for moisturizer and makeup. This will help to keep your skin looking hydrated throughout the wintertime.

BTW, Toner can also help to remove excess residue or oil from the night before that you still may have on your face. So, it is super important to ensure you are using toner as part of your routine.

3. Moisturizer

After applying your toner, you will want to immediately add a moisturizer to give your skin the hydration it needs, especially during the wintertime.

So, if you don’t already have a moisturizer you love, I recommend going in with the Neutrogena Daily Facial Moisturizer to keep your skin glowing.

This will keep your skin hydrated and ensure you are avoiding getting dry or cracked skin from the colder weather.

4. Sunscreen

As mentioned before, sunscreen is also a huge part of a good skincare routine, even during the wintertime. Being exposed to the sun in any way means you must properly protect your skin.

So, you should add sunscreen to your everyday morning skincare routine to give your skin the protection it needs.

And, if you don’t already have sunscreen as part of your skincare routine, I recommend adding the Elta MD Sunscreen to your morning skincare routine after you have applied all of your other skincare products. It’s a super popular sunscreen that I absolutely love.

Daytime Skincare Routine for Winter:

1. Apply Lip Balm

During the day, taking care of your skin is important because of the harsh conditions that cold weather can bring in the winter.

So, one of the skincare products you should always have on you is a lip balm. A lip balm is super important during the cold weather months because it can help ensure that your lips don’t become dry or cracked from the cold while you are out doing everyday activities. Again, I love this Laneige one.

2. Apply Hand Lotion

You should also consider bringing a hand lotion with you at all times. Your hands are also a sensitive area that can become affected by cold weather conditions. So, it is best to moisturize your hands often to prevent them from becoming dry or cracked!

If you need a good hand lotion, you can’t go wrong with this Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream, which is currently the best-selling hand cream available at Sephora.

Evening Skincare Routine for Winter:

1. Makeup Remover & Face Wash

Not only is washing your face important in the morning, but it is even more important at night because you will want to wash off all of your makeup and any residue on your face before going to sleep.

So, ensuring you wash your face with a good cleanser at night should also be an essential part of your skincare routine during the wintertime!

If you wear makeup, you will want to do a double cleanse at night. First, remove your makeup with a makeup remover or cleansing balm. Then, wash your face with your regular facial cleanser. This will ensure your skin is clean and ready for the rest of your products.

2. Toner

Again, a good hydrating toner is key to keeping your skin moisturized during the winter months. Use your toner at night, just like you would during the day.

3. Serums

Serums like the Vitamin C serum for your face are also good products to add to your nighttime skincare routine to help rejuvenate your skin and make sure it is glowing!

To ensure your serums are absorbed properly, it’s best to apply them to clean skin after cleansing but before applying oils or moisturizers.

3. Moisturizer

Of course, we cannot miss the most important step!

You will also want to make sure you are using a good moisturizer in your nighttime skincare routine in winter. Using a moisturizer at night is incredibly important to rehydrate your skin while you are sleeping and lock in your serums.

So, after you have applied all of your other skincare products for the night, make sure to add on a good moisturizer like the Neutrogena daily facial moisturizer!

5. Lip Mask

A lip mask is also a great product to add to your everyday nighttime skincare routine during the winter because it can help moisturize your lips overnight so that they do not become too dry from the cold weather conditions!

If you need a good one, definitely try my favorite one from Laneige. Everyone I know loves it and you’ll be addicted once you try it!

What skincare tips will you be using for this winter?

What are your favorite winter skincare products for college students? How do you protect your skin during the wintertime? What does your winter skincare routine look like? Tell us everything in the comments.

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