Between frosty, low-humidity air outdoors and powerful heating indoors, winter can wreak havoc on skin and hair. While it’s certainly not the most diabolical of weather-related woes, dehydration can lead to problems—dryness, dullness, itchiness, redness, brittleness, flakes, frizz and more—that are distracting, unsightly and uncomfortable. It’s crucial to hydrate from the inside, while using humidifiers and avoiding super-hot showers can also help. But when it comes to potions, lotions, masks, serums, shampoos and more, all the products selected here help to refresh and nourish your skin and hair—especially during the colder months.
Resurfacing Enzyme Polish
Gentle but effective, Dr Loretta’s Resurfacing Enzyme Polish ($60) uses physical and enzymatic exfoliators (bio-fermented polish, pomegranate enzyme and niacinamide) to smooth and refresh skin. The creamy formula can be used as a cleanser and left on as a mask to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores and encourage brighter, softer and more supple skin.
Deliverance Soothing Trinity Serum
From women-founded Dieux, the Deliverance Soothing Trinity Serum ($69) helps with fine lines by plumping skin, but it also soothes irritated skin—especially useful after spending time in the cold air or after a day with the heat blasting. Two ingredients—encapsulated cannabinoid complex and water lily complex—calm the skin and help to reduce redness, while various others work to smooth fine lines.
From EADEM (founded by Marie Kouadio and Alice Lin), Cloud Cushion ($58) feels simultaneously airy, buttery and rich. The sublimely textured moisturizer sinks in quickly and without a greasy residue, leaving skin feeling supple and smooth. Three plant ceramides provide nourishment and help plump up skin; tucuma extract adds anti-inflammatory, -bacterial and antifungal elements; while glycerin protects the skin barrier—which is crucial in trapping moisture and reducing dullness. Like all the brand’s products, it has been developed by chemists and dermatologists of color and formulated for different skin shades, with melanin always front of mind.
Lip Bento Balm + Scrub
This practical two-in-one lip kit ($19) from Kaja (meaning “let’s go” in Korean) comprises a strawberry-scented and -flavored scrub with a flavor-free lip balm. Unscrew the bottom to use the gentle scrub, and flip the cap to reveal the creamy balm—which also provides a subtle gloss. With the aid of grape seed oil, strawberry extract, vitamin E and olive squalane, lips feel super-smooth and nourished after this quick treatment.
Ginseng Nourishing Glow Mask
Helmed by Ze Yan, OMAD is a holistic skincare company rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. From the brand comes the Ginseng Nourishing Glow Mask ($20), a calming yet energizing formulation that blends six Chinese medicinal herbs with Nicotinamide (which helps with dark spots) and Ceramide (for improved moisture retention). It also boasts Frankincense oil to support the reduction of wrinkles and renew skin cell growth, ginseng to mitigate redness and puffiness and Reishi mushrooms which aim to reduce signs of aging while moisturizing the skin.
Balancing Face Oil
Epara (which means “to cocoon oneself” in the Nigerian dialect Ebira) crafts high-quality skincare products using natural ingredients ethically sourced from co-ops and small farms in Africa. Their Balancing Face Oil ($105) combines moringa, marula and ylang ylang III oils. Gentle yet potent, this formula helps to brighten and soften skin, while also reducing hyperpigmentation. Price is in Pounds.
Regenerative Veda⁴ Bond Complex Shampoo
Founded by first-generation Indian American Michelle Ranavat, RANAVAT is inspired by self-care and devotion to rituals in India. The brand’s new Regenerative Veda⁴ Bond Complex Shampoo ($48) is a sulphate-free, bond-strengthening formula designed to increase hair’s resistance to breakage while softening it to the touch. RANAVAT also donates 1% of the proceeds to The Desai Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on women and children.
Daily Scalp Serum
Made with apple cider vinegar—which has antibacterial and antifungal properties—this Daily Scalp Serum ($49) from dpHUE aims to remove buildup, as well as clarify, calm and nourish irritated or oily scalps to promote healthier hair. Especially useful in the dry, colder months, the formula contains various other ingredients including peptides and red clover extract to reduce shedding; aloe vera, lavender and fire tulip to soothe; and more.
MahaMane Smooth & Shine Hair Oil
New from Fable & Mane, the MahaMane Smooth & Shine hair oil ($38) nourishes while protecting hair from heat and the elements. The formula comprises ingredients like shikakai (known as “fruit for the hair”), ashwagandha (which can help strengthen follicles) and rosemary. The leave-in solution—applied to towel-dried, damp hair or dry ends—shields hair from harsh winter weather, as well as heat up to 450F. A few drops of this potent oil go a long way, as they help to tame frizz and smell delicious.
Herbarium Body Lotion
Created by multidisciplinary design brand FRAMA in collaboration with South Korean creative studio Be My Guest, the Herbarium Body Lotion ($45) is a fast-absorbing and long-lasting moisturizer that promotes cell renewal. Its bevy of natural ingredients (including shea butter, vitamin E and rapeseed oil) protects the skin, leaving behind a soothing feeling with a sophisticated citrusy and woodsy aroma. It comes in a 90ml travel size or as 375ml.
Made for those tight, dry patches of skin, Strange Bird’s smooth, glossy Bird Balm ($36) possesses a light and silky quality that many balms lack. The cream-to-oil formula can be applied all over the body, but is especially effective on spots like elbows, knees and feet. Nourishing shea butter combines with ginseng, ginger, goji berry and peppermint for a potion that boasts antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Violet and Ambrette Hand Cream
From high design, cruelty-free and non-toxic nail care brand Emilie Heathe comes the Violet and Ambrette Hand Cream ($48), a potion of the utmost quality. On the nose, floral notes of violet and gardenia marry with the herbaceousness of sandalwood, cedar wood, amber and musk. The formula aims to provide deep moisture through sunflower seed oil, aloe extract and shea butter. Traditionally Asian components, including sea buckthorn berry, ginseng, white tea and rice, nod to founder Emily Rudman’s Korean heritage.
Hero image courtesy of Josh Rubin, all others courtesy of respective brands