Winter Skin + Hair Essentials

Scrubs, serums, potions and lotions that combat the effects of cold weather

Between the icy, harsh wind outside and the drying effects of heating indoors, winter weather can wreak havoc on skin and hair—resulting in irritation, inflammation, itchiness, dullness, weakness and beyond. While plenty of these issues can be aided with improving one’s diet and hydration inside the body, there are also countless products that can help buff, puff, nourish and soothe on the outside. Here we have scrubs, serums, oils and more that we have tested and found to be effective and gentle—especially during the colder months.

Coconut Milk Body Polish

Fragrant without becoming overwhelmingly so, Herbivore’s Coconut Milk Body Polish ($36) smells light and sweet thanks to its many real coconut-derived ingredients. With certified-organic coconut oil, as well as coconut extract and powder, the scrub provides plenty of nourishment while it exfoliates. Super-effective, the exfoliating sugar should only be used on the body (it’s not for faces) and a little goes a surprisingly long way. With no synthetic ingredients—from dyes to preservatives and fragrances—this scrub leaves skin feeling moisturized and fresh, with a faint, lingering coconut and vanilla scent. 

Marble Body Brush

Gilded’s patented handmade marble brush ($88) features natural fiber bristles intended for dry brushing your skin. Dry brushing removes dead cells, enhances blood flow and smoothes skin effectively. This elegant brush should be used once or twice weekly to help with radiance and suppleness. Gilded founder Blair Armstrong started the company in order to provide products for the body that are just as effective, clean and luxurious as those made for the face.

Hydrating Coconut Milk Bath

From sexual wellness brand maude, this Hydrating Coconut Milk Bath ($18) infuses tub water with minerals (like magnesium, potassium and zinc) to aid in relaxation. Made with Dead Sea salt, baking soda and dehydrated coconut milk, the blend also promotes circulation and detoxification. After soaking for 20 minutes, your mind and body should feel both fresh and nourished.

Uplifting Hand Cream

Housed in a refillable matte glass bottle, Plainly’s rich Uplifting Hand Cream (€24) absorbs into skin quickly. The potion’s 97% naturally derived and vegan-certified ingredients center around sustainably grown organic cacay oil. With orange peel oil and a hint of rosemary mint, the mild fragrance is refreshing and zesty. Price is in Euros.

Synbiotic Polyamine Shampoo

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your scalp (in turn, your hair) but VENN’s Synbiotic Polyamine Shampoo ($58) is like nothing else we have used. The brand’s proprietary combination of probiotics (Aspergillus Ferment, Bacillus Ferment, Saccharomyces Ferment and Lactobacillus Ferment) and prebiotic (Levan) helps to restore the scalp’s microbiome as well as nourish and protect the skin and hair. With a faint eucalyptus scent, it lathers up nicely, but doesn’t leave hair feeling stripped. Especially useful for those with fine or weak, damaged hair and individuals who are seeing more hair loss due to weather and stress, this shampoo is effective but gentle.

Happy Campers Wearable Treatment

As the weather gets colder and harsher, many people begin the search for hydrating skin- and hair-care.  A leave-in treatment that nourishes your hair, evo’s Happy Campers ($29) can be sprayed throughout your tresses or pumped into one’s hands first to create a creme effect that’s even more concentrated. Either way, the formula hydrates and smooths, while protecting from heat and UV rays, without leaving hair feeling greasy or heavy. Vegan and cruelty free, Happy Campers is made without sulfates, parabens or gluten, and smells subtly fresh with light floral notes.

CBD Lip Balm

From High Falls Hemp, this CBD-infused lip balm ($10) is creamy but never feels tacky, sticky or greasy. Their NY-grown, full-spectrum CBD blends with natural beeswax for the formula; as well as coconut oil, sweet almond oil and essential oil of spearmint for plenty more nourishment. The rich formula also helps to reduce inflammation in damaged lips.

Supernatural Triple Vitamin A+ Face Oil

From Emma Lewisham, this lush Supernatural Triple Vitamin A+ Face Oil ($90) can make a big difference with only a few drops, three times per week. 100% natural, this formula includes three concentrated sources of vitamin A, as well as vitamins B, C and E, antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids, lipids and omegas. Together they work to hydrate, promote collagen-production (as well as inhibit enzymes that deteriorate collagen) and improve skin’s elasticity and firmness. The formula is clean, and the brand also aims to provide their range of products via a transparent, efficient supply chain that reduces waste and energy.

Fine Peel Exfoliating Mask

Gentle but effective, K-beauty brand FEMMUE’s wash-off Fine Peel Exfoliating Mask ($42) buffs and cleanses, leaving your face looking bright and feeling smooth. With 99.6% natural ingredients, the formula provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits from Camillia flower extract, along with cactus extract and cedarwood bark oil. Unlike many other exfoliating blends, this one feels rich, lush and nourishing throughout the process and after leaving it for 20 minutes, skin feels supple and hydrated.

Marigold Hydrating Creme

Clean but rich, Mukti Organics’ fresh, herbaceous Marigold Hydrating Creme ($62) is intended for the face, but can be used on any patch of skin that’s suffering from the effects of winter weather. The Australian brand uses native ingredients including extracts of Kakadu Plum, Cornflower and Willowbark to protect and soften, along with vitamin E and Roman Chamomile to soothe. With a thick consistency, just a little is needed as daily moisturizer or it can be applied heavily and worn for 10 minutes as a deeply moisturizing mask.

Black Obsidian Gua Sha Tool

Based on the Chinese Medicine technique, facial Gua Sha tools are meant to be used in a gentler manner. This smooth-edged, black obsidian version ($30) from Alder New York is perfectly shaped to work over the various grooves of your face—from your chin and jaw to cheeks and forehead. After cleansing and applying oil or serum, simply work the tool gently over your face from the center outward. The outcome should not only reduce puffiness, but also accentuate the angles of your cheekbones and jawline. It can also be useful in relieving aches and tension caused by TMJ. Black obsidian itself is believed to help release negativity and offer protection.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image by Josh Rubin