Winter Skin and Hair Essentials

Buffing bars, balms, scrubs and serums to combat the effects of cold weather

While certainly not the most diabolical of weather-related woes, skin and hair issues brought on by icy winds, snowstorms, indoor heating and more can be bothersome, uncomfortable and unsightly. First and foremost, it’s crucial to hydrate from the inside (drinking enough water cannot be overstated); using humidifiers and avoiding super-hot showers can also help. There are also countless lotions and potions—some of which we list here—that can be applied directly to the body and hair for support in the colder months.

Rich Bitch Cactus + Vitamin C Moisturizer

Made for dehydrated skin, Freck Beauty’s Rich Bitch Cactus + Vitamin C Moisturizer ($32) lives up to its name. With a super-rich texture, the cream provides intense hydration via prickly pear seed oil and jojoba seed oil, while vitamin C helps to brighten skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. Additionally, kelp extract offers protection from pollution and decreases redness, and rosemary leaf acts as an anti-inflammatory. This lush, potent moisturizer penetrates skin, leaving it feeling soft, smooth and nourished without greasiness.

CEDELLA Papaya Enzyme Toner

From BAO (aka The Black Apothecary Office Inc), an accelerator for Black and Latinx creators in the beauty and wellness space founded by Jae Joseph and Brianna Wise, comes the refreshing and alcohol-free “CEDELLA” Papaya Enzyme Toner ($65). For all skins types, the 5.8-oz toner utilizes geranium, sage and cucumber extract, in addition to the papaya extract enzymes, to tone and stimulate beautifully.

Tinted Serum

For those who want light coverage, Typology’s Tinted Serum ($35) provide just that—without a dry or chalky result. Made with vitamin C, squalane and aloe vera, it brightens and hydrates the skin, and it’s available in six shades.

Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion

Intended for all-genders, this botanical-infused Post-Shave Lotion ($50) works as a hydrator that will prevent irritation and give newly shaven skin a bit of a boost. With soothing notes of sandalwood and neroli blossom, this lotion would also do well in a morning or evening routine, even if it’s not post-shave.

Buffing Bar

Packed with micro-crystals (evenly ground magnesium oxide particles), Soft Services’ bright blue Buffing Bar ($28 for two) physically exfoliates the body and provides immediate results. This utilitarian creation (which comes in simple recycled packaging) feels like a hybrid of the humble bar of soap and pumice stone. The tiny crystals are ideal for keratosis pilaris, rough and dry skin, as well as areas that are prone to ingrown hairs. Use once a week for soft, smooth and fresh-feeling skin.

Superdose Vitamin C Hand Cream

With a fresh, citrus-forward fragrance, Beauty Pie’s new Superdose Vitamin C Hand Cream ($13) is built on a moisturizing base of shea butter, sweet almond oil, coconut oil and vitamin E. These nourishing ingredients are complemented by vitamin C and tranexamic acid, which both aid skin rejuvenation, making it brighter and fresher looking.

Rasa Restorative Potion Body Balm

Thanks to hemp seed butter, Rasa Restorative Potion Body Balm ($88) from KHUS+KHUS is more than a moisturizer; it also promotes a sense of calm and wellbeing. With prickly pear butter, arnica butter, squalane, reishi and more, the ingredients within are packed full of antioxidants that nourish and soothe irritated and inflamed skin. This balm goes on thick and stays active for hours.

Scalp Balancing Bar

Before purchasing any Gemmist products, customers take a hair quiz that includes prompts beyond the standard questions about color treatments, thickness and texture. In addition to shampoo and conditioner, the women-owned brand has a Scalp Balancing Bar ($25) on offer. Intended for use once a week, this paraben-free soap exfoliates and stimulates the scalp—removing build-up and invigorating hair follicles. Though sulfate-free, the bar works up a satisfying lather and smells delicious. It also comes packaged in a little cardboard box, reducing your use of single-use plastic bottles.

HoliRoots Hair Oil

Empowered by the Indian tradition of hair oiling, Nikita and Akash Mehta’s haircare brand Fable & Mane is bolstered by potent roots from India. Fable & Mane’s HoliRoots hair oil ($34) features ashwagandha (aka Indian ginseng, an adaptogen that promotes regeneration and restful sleep), dashmool (a traditional blend of ten herbs, used for nourishing and calming) and castor oil (a fatty acid-rich oil to promote blood flow). Put together, the HoliRoots Hair Oil restores dry hair and strengthens and nourishes roots.

Mohave Ghost Leave-In Conditioner

LA-based haircare company OUAI and Stockholm-based fragrance brand BYREDO teamed up for a leave-in conditioner ($26) infused with the latter’s mesmerizing Mohave Ghost scent. With a detangling formula that hydrates and protects from heat and frizz, the conditioner leaves hair feeling smooth and silky. The limited run product is available in  140ml bottles.

Amethyst Ki Bath Soak

The women-owned and sustainability-focused wellness brand leVerden debuted recently with a four-product Bamboo Forest Collection that includes a refreshing body wash, rich body lotion, fragrant refillable candle and a luxuriant bath soak ($70). All four items harness the power of bamboo salt—a traditional wellness component, created through a process where sea salt is pressed into bamboo stems and roasted for up to three years at high temperatures. All items in the collection work together seamlessly, though the nourishing Amethyst Ki Bath Soak makes for a relaxing entry point.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image by Josh Rubin