Dr. Farhaad Riyaz’s 10 Winter Essentials for Amazing Skin

Wintertime is here, which means harsher conditions for our skin. Cold temperatures and dry air can lead to itchy, dry, and irritated skin, so it’s important to make sure you use the right skincare products to keep your skin healthy and looking its best.

The internet is flooded with skincare advice but before you rely on influencers, take a look at some expert recommendations by a professional.

Dr. Riyaz, who is a board certified dermatologist, shares the 10 best winter skincare products for fresh and healthy skin. We have also added product links from to make ordering and restocking your favorites convenient. From moisturizers to night creams, here’s what you should be adding to your skincare routine for the holidays:

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

This great moisturizing cream helps to restore the skin’s natural barrier, locking in moisture and protecting against harsh winter weather. With its rich texture and ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides, this moisturizing cream keeps your skin hydrated for longer. Hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it perfect for hydration. This is an ideal product for sensitive skin as it’s designed to be non-comedogenic (which means it doesn’t clog your skin’s pores) and fragrance-free. The best part: CeraVe products are developed directly with dermatologists so consumers can rest easy.

Best for: dry and sensitive skin

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This gentle, non-drying cleanser is ideal for skin in the winter, as it helps to remove dirt and oil without stripping away natural oils. It’s been a skincare favorite for many years because of its gentleness. The niacinamide and panthenol in its formula have anti-inflammatory properties to soothe irritated skin and prevent breakouts while removing impurities thoroughly. It’s a mild, non-foaming, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free cleanser making it suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

Best for: dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

Sun protection is a must, even in the winter, so it’s important to use a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection like this one from EltaMD. The product contains zinc oxide and other antioxidants and is approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation to protect against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Sunscreen generally needs to be SPF 30 or higher in order to protect against skin cancer. Another key ingredient niacinamide (vitamin B3) lessens damage and discoloration from sunlight exposure. Unlike most sunscreens in the market, this one has a lightweight and oil-free formula that ensures your skin doesn’t get greasy.

Best for: oily and sensitive skin

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

This gentle cleanser helps to remove dirt and oil without stripping away natural oils, leaving your skin feeling nourished and hydrated. The hyaluronic acid in the cleanser keeps your skin moisturized, while salicylic acid exfoliates the skin without causing redness or swelling. Ceramides in the formula keep the skin barrier intact protecting it from dirt and pollutants. It was developed with the help of dermatologists and is great for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Best for: dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

This water-based moisturizer helps to lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated. Its oil- and alcohol-free formula prevents damage to the skin without making it greasy. It’s a popular lightweight product, with a unique gel consistency that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. It contains dimethicone which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As it prevents dryness and is oil-free this gel is perfect for both dry and oily skin.Best for: dry and oily skin

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer

This night moisturizer helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines while you sleep. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and retinol to help improve the look of your skin. Retinol targets wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots by increasing the production of two key proteins in your skin: collagen and elastin which improve skin elasticity and make it smoother.

Best for: dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

This lotion helps to restore your skin’s natural protective barrier and lock in moisture. It contains glycerin, avocado oil, vitamin E, dimethicone, and panthenol—a combination that’s suitable for hydration for all skin types. Glycerin is a popular emollient (skin softener) that prevents skin from drying up or becoming scaly. Avocado oil provides relief to irritated skin, while vitamin E prevents the formation of free radicals that can damage and age the skin. Panthenol forms a film that prevents moisture loss, leaving it hydrated for longer. This lotion is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and great for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Best for: dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum

Another great and affordable product from the Neutrogena Hydro Boost line, this serum helps to replenish the skin’s moisture levels and protect against dryness. Its lightweight and fast-absorbing formula makes it ideal for winter skin. The serum is formulated with hyaluronic acid to attract and lock in moisture, leaving the skin hydrated and glowing. It is non-comedogenic, making it ideal for oily and sensitive skin types.

Best for: oily and sensitive skin

CeraVe Healing Ointment

This ointment helps to soothe and protect dry, cracked, and irritated skin. It’s formulated with petrolatum, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated and heal quickly. The main ingredient petrolatum is also found in petroleum jelly, and it forms a protective film on the skin, preventing moisture from evaporating. This makes it ideal for dry and damaged skin. Other ingredients found in the ointment, mineral oil and paraffin, are emollients that soothe rough, chafed skin, restoring its softness and vitality.

Best for: dry, sensitive, and damaged skin

Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream

This night cream helps to restore the skin’s natural protective barrier while you sleep. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, tocopheryl acetate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl palmitate and olive oil to provide intense hydration and repair. Tocopheryl acetate and ascorbyl palmitate are both effective antioxidants that remove skin-damaging free radicals. This gives the night cream its anti-aging properties and keeps skin free from wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Retinyl palmitate (also known as retinol palmitate) increases collagen formation, which also provides anti-aging benefits. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory and reconstructive properties to soothe the skin and prevent damage. These ingredients work in harmony over the course of the night, rejuvenating and hydrating skin after exposure to cold weather.

Best for: dry, combination, and sensitive skin

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