5 Skincare Ingredients You NEED In Your Winter Regimen



We’re about – *looks at watch* – a month or so into winter and have a couple more to make it to the balmy side. Meanwhile, our skin is struggling to keep up with the lack of moisture in the air and could definitely use a glowy infusion. Skincare to the rescue! We asked a couple of dermatologists to share which ingredients they swear by come winter. Here are their faves along with a few choice products that’ll deliver the goods.


Ceramides are basically like kryptonite for dry and flaky skin. “Ceramides are fats that help prevent moisture loss,” explains Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “You can improve the barrier function of the skin by adding a skincare product containing ceramides.” Ceramides typically create a thicker-feeling cream and are perfect as the final step of your nighttime regimen.

1-CeramidesSource: The Inkey List, Undefined Beauty, InnBeauty, Fig.1

Try It!
The Inkey List Ceramide Night Treatment, $15
Undefined R&R Gel-Crème, $28
InnBeauty Project 10+10 More-Sturizer AM & PM Moisturizer, $34
Fig.1 Ceramide Moisturizer, $28

Hyaluronic Acid

2-Hyaluronic-AcidSource: Skin Proud, Paula’s Choice, Shani Darden, Good Molecules

While ceramides serve as an occlusive type of moisturizer that locks hydration in, hyaluronic acid attracts moisture. “Hyaluronic acid is able to bind 1,000 times its weight in water so it’s an incredible hydrator for the skin,” says Dr. Jaliman. “It helps to hydrate it and smooth the surface and is also great for acne-prone skin as it won’t clog pores. It’s a go-to ingredient for dry, winter skin.”The key thing to remember with any hyaluronic acid serums iis that they need to be locked in with a moisturizer to ensure it traps all that moisture in your skin. We also love to do a little face mist spritzing prior to HA products, so it can trap in that water.

Try It!

Skin Proud Smooth Talk 2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $14
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster, $37
Shani Darden Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer, $48
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $6

Glycolic Acid

3-Glycolic-AcidSource: Bolden, Peter Thomas Roth, The Ordinary, Pixi

Exfoliating your skin is super important year-round, but things can get pretty dire in the winter thanks to ultra-dry air, chilly temps, and wind. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that breaks down old dead skin cells to reveal the glowing skin underneath.

“As skin becomes parched, it loses its delicate acid mantle,” adds Dr. Audrey Kunin, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of DERMAdoctor. “Reacidifying the skin helps restore essential skin chemistry while also helping chemically exfoliate dead, flaking dry skin.” Remember to go slow with acids and if you’re using retinol in your nighttime routine, alternate with acids so as not to over do it.

Try It!
Bolden Nightime Repair Serum with 10% Glycolic Acid, $30
Peter Thomas Roth Even Smoother™ Glycolic Retinol Resurfacing Serum, $65
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, $9
Pixi Glow Tonic, $18


4-GlycerinSource: Pestle & Mortar, Milk Marvel, Aveeno, WISHFUL, Eucerin

This ingredient might not sound as fancy as others trending on TikTok, but it’s a dermatologist mainstay and you will see the difference after using it! Dr. Jaliman says, “Glycerin maintains the moisture in the skin. It is also a great hydrator and I always look for this ingredient in products when trying to combat dry skin.”

Try It!
Pestle & Mortar Balance Facial Spritz, $49
Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum, $68
Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum, $24
WISHFUL Honey Balm Jelly Moisturizer, $43
Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream, $7

Vitamin C

5-Vitamin-CSource: Minimo, Herbivoore, Hyper, DERMAdoctor, Versed

“Vitamin C protects against oxidative stress, supports natural collagen production, [and] evens and brightens skin,” says Dr. Kunin. There are all sorts of formulations to choose from, including dry oils, serums, and creams. It’s best to apply this one in the morning so you can take advantage of the antioxidant benefits. Also, Dr. Kunin recommends using formulas that contain vitamin C boosters such as ferulic acid and vitamin E.

Try It!
Minimo Skin Essentials Bling 20% Vitamin C Drops, $26
Herbivore Nova 15% Vitamin C + Turmeric Brightening Serum, $64
Hyper Even Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum, $36
DERMAdoctor Kakadu C High Potency Evening Oil 20% Vitamin C Ester, Ferulic Acid + Vitamin E Esters, $74
Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum, $20

Which of the above dermatologist-approved winter skincare ingredients are you adding to your shopping cart first?

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.