The Dry Season

by Abbie Kozolchyk

For much of the nation, any given winter packs a dermatologic triple-threat: dry outdoor air, even dryer indoor air and buffeting winds. But with this winter’s addition of masks and perpetual handwashing, skincare anxiety is running unseasonably high. Thus the intel and antidotes you’ll find here.

First, know that masks may prove beauty allies in winter, however counterintuitively: “They can help trap moisture,” explains Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist at New York City’s Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue. “The only way they’d exacerbate dryness is if they were too tight and causing friction.” Of course, even with a well-fitting mask (the Robot Bunnies Luxe Face Mask 2.0 is our new favorite), you’ll want to ensure that the fabric doesn’t syphon off any of the moisture you intended for your skin, so factor a bit of absorption time into your routine. The simplest rule? “Wait until your face is dry to the touch before putting on your mask,” says Engelman.

As for what you’re applying underneath (actually, what you’re applying anywhere), it should be extra-nourishing—and used immediately post-cleansing, while your skin is still damp, for maximum moisture retention. These eight new finds—and one cult classic—are all naturals for the job.

Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer is the latest barrier-forming hydrator from the beloved green beauty pioneer. Among other botanicals, pomegranate and orange derivatives create a silicone-like slip on your skin’s surface, minus the synthetics. tataharperskincare.com

With its roll-on, rosehip seed-infused soothing powers, For the Biome’s Awaken Eye Serum is one of the new line’s standouts—so much so that you may find yourself straying outside the intended under-eye zone, right onto your lips. forthebiome.com

Melt a touch of Eminence Organic Skin Care Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil in your palm—then massage this new marula-, camellia- and tourmaline-fortified blend into your face—to see how a little dab will dew you. eminenceorganics.com

A newcomer, the Naturopathica Manuka Honey Hydrating Gel Mask makes a perceptible difference in 15 to 20 minutes, but can also stay on overnight for a megadose of moisture. Though famously nourishing manuka honey is clearly the star, glycerin co-stars as a humectant—and prickly pear extract as an antioxidant. naturopathica.com

Blending slow-steeped organic rose petals, cold-pressed raw oils and açai stem cells, Peak Scents Organic Rose Phyto3 Facial Oil is a cult favorite among editors and celebs. Amazingly moisturizing on its own, it also layers well at bedtime with the Organic Rose Phyto3 Night Cream. peakscents.com

Named for—and filled with—the vitamin- and fatty acid-rich harvest of Amazonian Ucuuba trees, the new Natura Brasil Ucuuba Restorative Body Butter starts out dry but melts on contact with your skin, then keeps you hydrated for hours. naturabrasil.com

Because you’ll also want to replenish your skin even as you’re cleansing it, consider swapping out potentially stripping warm weather cleansers with the likes of the new glycerin- and hyaluronic acid-infused Tatcha The Rice Wash Soft Cream Cleanser for face—and Aromatherapy Associates new essential oil-rich, oil-to-milk Shower Oils for body. tatcha.com; aromatherapyassociates.com

Grown in accordance with permaculture principles, the avocadoes that anchor the new Retrouvé Dermal Defense Hand Cream are among nature’s best answers to endless handwashing and general winter desiccation. For good measure, the formula is also enriched with glycerin and panthenol, among other skin soothers. retrouve.com

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