Winter Moisturizers

Wow, it’s been freezing here lately. I don’t know if it’s last year’s mild winter or my two-week stint in Florida, but I’m struggling with the cold. I gave up trying to put together even remotely cute outfits; I’m all about the fleece lined leggings, chunky sweaters, thick wool socks, and the puffiest puffer coats I can get my hands on.

Beyond just feeling chilly, though, the dry weather is affecting my skin. As I was going through my morning routine this weekend, I realized I should share some of my favorite moisturizers for my entire body.

Starting with regular water. The first step to beating the dryness is just generally staying hydrated. Normally I have to force myself to drink water throughout the day, but I’ve been so thirsty that I can’t go anywhere without a bottle of water and I have a glass of water next to me at all times. At home I have a Brita pitcher, and I refill it at least twice a day.


HANDS // The one place that I feel the worst is my hands. With dogs, I’m always washing my hands throughout the day. I have to use hand lotion all the time. I try to apply a ton right before I go to bed so it can sink in overnight (no idea the legitimacy of this, but mentally it works?). This is my absolute favorite hand cream. It’s thick, dries nicely (not greasy!!!!), and has a lovely light scent. I have a big tube on my nightstand that I use before bed and then smaller tubes in my car, in pockets, by the sinks, in my purses, etc. I can never have enough! If you need something extra strength, you should get this. My mom got me hooked on it while I was in Florida and man, it’s great.

HAIR // After my hands, the next place where I notice the dryness the most is my hair. Static. Electricity. It’s my worst nightmare in the winter months. (I keep a ponytail holder nearby all the time in case my hair starts standing on end.) I don’t have a perfect solution, but using a mask on my hair every week does make a difference. I use this one while I’m in the shower– the best part is that I smell like I went to Drybar! The key is to really let it set in; I normally take a bath before rinsing it out.

LEGS // Bahhhh! Is there anything worse than shaving legs that are extra dry? I cringe just typing that out. I find that regular shaving cream tends to dry out my skin, but in the winter I can’t shave without something. I cannot recommend this product enough. It will change your life if you don’t already use it. Unlike a shaving cream, it’s oil… but when you lather it up, it turns into a thin foam. Sometimes I skip it throughout the year, but I absolutely can’t go without in the wintertime.

BODY // As far as body lotions go, I don’t think you can go wrong. I have a lot of favorites: Bliss Body Butter, Aveno Body Lotion, and Dove Body Lotion.

LIPS // Burts Bees is my everyday go to lip balm. In the winter, though, I apply extra stuff to my lips to keep them from getting chapped. Vaseline is my favorite. It’s a classic. I don’t particularly love the way it feels on my lips (so thick), but they always feel the best when morning comes along. Kiehl’s has a great option too, and this eucalyptus treatment is amazing if you already have crossed into chapped lips territory!

FACE // I saved the best for last. I’ve been featuring this facial moisturizer on my blog for years. It is the best product that I have ever purchased. I’m obsessed and can’t go a day without using it. I actually discovered it when my face was literally raw from dry wind in NYC. I’ve never looked back. (Just an FYI: There’s an oil-free version, but the regular feels and works the best in my experience!)

Do you have a favorite?

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I was just thinking this morning that I need to change up my mousturizing routine. I am usually pretty good about keeping my skin as moisturizer as possible (especially in the harsh Nebraska winters) but I need to find some new and better products. I will definitely try some of these out!
Taylor |

Miranda | Miranda's Notebook

Oh I really want to try that Origins face cream now! I discovered Elemis over the summer, and I really love their moisturiser. In the winter, I use a body oil on my legs and arms as it seems to help combat that extra dryness! xxx


I use Neutrogena Day cream with SPF during the day, and the Neutrogena Night Cream at Night. I have two toned skin, and both do their job beautifully without making my skin oily…and are also affordable. I splurge on estee Lauder Advance Night Repair.

Jordana @WhiteCabana

Ugh. I’m experiencing the same thing. Winter cold is not for me, and there’s absolutely no way to stay completely warm and cute. The two just don’t go together.
I’ve been using a drugstore purchase cream – Cerave – for a while now, and I’m liking it. I was gifted some Almond-flavour products from Occitane for Christmas, and it’s been great, too. I also have Dr. Bronner’s products in rotation, too.


What are your favorite fleece lined leggings? Those sound great to lounge in when you work from home!


As someone who has struggled with dry skin my whole life (dermatologist-level stuff), winter can be murder on my skin. Your intuition was correct about putting on lotion before bed, but it’s actually most helpful to make sure you moisturize right after getting out of the shower to capture that moisture. If your hand ever get so bad that they start to bleed, you can put vaseline on your hands and then put on some gloves on while you sleep to help lock it in (again, I am an extreme case).


I was just in Florida too and my skin is totally drying out! Here’s what I use and recommend to anyone:

Lips: Egyptian Magic (also amazing for a first aid kit – I use this for any burns, sun burns, scars, when I travel for extra moisturizing basically anything)

Hair: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (it’s amazing and actually was developed for Audrey Hepburn)

Body: Tammy Fender Rose Geranium and Tangerine Lotion (pricey but smells amazing and totally natural) I also love anything by Kiehls.

Face: Darphin Hydraskin Light (amazing and really light on my skin)

Jess Zimlich

I went from living in Kansas City with a car (driving everywhere) to living in Chicago without a car and walking practically everywhere! My skin has taken a beating (especially my face). I love Josie Maran’s Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter and I just ordered the body butter version, too! I never thought to use an oil in place of shaving cream – need to try that 🙂


I took accutane this year, so experienced a lot of next-level dryness, so I’m feeling better prepared this winter! Aquaphor has neat little squeeze tubes – I usually keep one in my purse for dire situations that lotion won’t fix. (I also (gross) put it up my nose in the winter when I just can’t anymore! Also love Lubriderm everyday lotion with SPF – it’s the first body SPF lotion I’ve found that doesn’t make me feel like a greaseball that I can wear all year round to protect myself!


I’ve making the switch to natural / non-toxic products so I feel like my winter moisturizing routine has undergone a complete renovation. Right now I’m loving SW Basics “Cream.” It has 3 or 4 ingredients and provides rich, heavy duty moisture. If I’m feeling extra dry I also love adding Acure’s Argan oil to my face and the ends of my hair. Works magic!


I swear by oils for moisturizing! Ever since I switched to face and body oil post shower I haven’t missed regular lotions, which, during a brutal Chicago winter, have never cured my dryness. A good tip too: oils are great at locking in moisture- so the best way to get and stay moisturized is to use a regular lotion first, and then seal it with oil on top! Same for lips- use your Burt Bees first to cure the dryness, then the Vaseline on top to seal it in!


I’m glad you mentioned staying hydrated in the winter as a way to combat dry skin, because that is truly the first variable you need to adjust when you have dry skin! I use Kiehl’s products regularly (face and body moisturizers) and they’ve treated me well so far, they literally changed the game for me.

I typically shave my legs with my body wash (Dove) but I’m definitely adding the oil to my Nordstrom cart! Also, was thinking I need to try a hair mask when I took my winter hat off this morning and my hair was static city. Excited to try both these products!

Stay warm!
XO, Taylor


My skin gets so dry in the winter, I swear I spend half my paycheck on moisturizers since I’m always putting it on (the other half on coffee but that’s not a winter thing!)! My absolute favorite for my face is Neutrogena Naturals night cream. It’s made such a difference! It has vitals B, C and E, has no harsh chemicals and is not tested on animals. If you ever want to switch it up from your normal, I highly recommend it!


My skin has been exceptionally dry this winter and I use coconut oil instead of lotion. It’s super moisturizing and doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. It works wonders (especially on my keratosis pilaris but that’s a different story).



I have been using the coconut body butter from Trader Joe’s to combat the brutal dryness that accompanies winters in Utah. It’s very affordable, smells wonderful without being overwhelming and uses shea butter and coconut oil to moisturize your skin!

Evelina Snell

Completely agree with the Shea Butter – life saver. Coconut oil straight from the jar (mine turns to a solid in the winter and is easy to use – get mine at Trader Joe’s). The thing that keeps me the warmest is anything made by SmartWool – invest in the socks – they are the only ones I wear in the winter!!! Their long underwear is amazing too. Stay warm!


This post couldn’t have come at a better time! It’s been colder than usual where I live and my skin has been so dry it hurts. Definitely going to check these out. Dry skin is the worst!


Shea butter hand cream gives me life!!
Do you have any favorite places to get fleeced lined leggings? I go to college in Wisconsin and I get chills just thinking about going back for second semester next week.


I absolutely cannot go to bed without putting on Nuxe Rev de Niel lipbalm on. My lips get so dry and chapped in the winter and this stuff is a miracle worker. Lovely light scent, beautiful packaging, and it’s made in France. Holy grail Winter weather item!

Amanda Burrows

Thanks for this post Carly! I love to overuse moisturizer during the colder months. My personal fave is from Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. It is such a nice thick cream for daily use! I also use a rose setting spray that adds moisture as I go throughout my day as needed.
Have a great week!
Affordable by Amanda


I swear by that Kiehl’s hand salve! I’m a nurse so my hands get super dried out with constant hand sanitizer/washing. When my lips are really dry I like to use aquaphor, which I think is a little thinner than vaseline so it doesn’t feel as thick but it works really well. Also, when my legs are so dry that they’re itchy, I mix a little benadryl cream in with my lotion before putting it on my body. Another tip my dermatologist told me for a dry face is if you have a drying prescription like a retinol, put your moisturizer on, let it sink in, then put on your retinol. You still get the anti-aging, anti-acne effects but you don’t dry out as easily. I also end up putting on another layer of moisturizer on top of that during the winter.

Hannah Ueland

Hi Carly – hands down the best moisturizing cream for your body is Nivea Skin Firming. It smells so good and makes my skin so soft. You can get it anywhere! I 10 out of 10 recommend.

Shannon McLaughlin

Drybar’s Hydrating Shots work amazingly well too – especially if your hair is on the thinner side!


I actually got hooked on L’Occitane hand cream because I read something in one of your blog posts a couple years ago!
My face has been getting all dry and cracked due to the cold weather, and I’ve been putting rose-hip oil before moisturizing and vaseline after moisturizing my face. Seems to be working! I’ve been also using vaseline for lips, and regular ol’ Chapstick! Burt’s Bees isn’t enough for me, sadly.
Have you tried Jack Black’s Intense Lip Balm?! I bought a tube from Sephora and it’s been helping too!

Sarah Murray

Not really a product, but my favorite tip for dry/static-filled hair in the winter is a dryer sheet. My grandmother used to rub our hair down with one in the winter, and I swear nothing works better to get static out of your hair. I know it sounds ridiculous to use a dryer sheet, but just a quick swipe over your hair will remove static. I keep a dryer sheet in my winter coat during the colder months. Try it and let me know what you think!

Katie McC

Man I’m from Florida! I cannot imagine the dry/cold weather! These are super helpful tips thought. I hate lotion that’s greasy. Worst nightmare!!! That facial moisturizer sounds amazing. Even living in Florida, when my face gets dry because the humidity drops, I feel it’s so hard to find a nice moisturizer than won’t make my face break out. When I recently went to North Carolina for a week I found one I liked but it had wax in it so it kept making me break out. ughh. I use mostly all natural products and it tends to keep my skin a lot better! Man I guess shaving legs gets tough all around lol. It hurts to swim in the ocean and I guess it hurts in cold weather!


Burts Bees medicated lip balm is life changing!!
My lips get so cracked and dry, but this is a total game changer. A must try!


Yes!! I swear by Night-A-Mins and have spent many winters trying to convince all my friends and family to use it!


Canadian winters are really brutal and super drying, so I run a humidifier with essential oils during the winter months and it helps a lot. I also cleanse my face with Argan oil 1-2 times a week instead of a regular moisturizer. Clinique moisture surge is my usual go-to moisturizer but if my skin gets a little too dry I’ll use a few drops of the pure Argan oil instead at night every now and then.

I also make my own body oil with almond oil or jojoba oil and essential oils and apply it after I get out of the bath or shower.


glossier just came out with an extra rich moisturizer yesterday. I am so excited to try it!


I’ve been using the new Glossier rich priming moisturizer for a week or so now and it’s been so amazing for my skin—especially in the middle of a super freezing cold front.


I am just here to enthusiastically DITTO your recommendation for L’Occitane hand cream! I bought some last winter after trying my friend’s and it is incredible. It dries so nicely, and I never feel like I have to wash my hands after. I have the lavender scent. It’s pricy but has lasted me almost a year (a little goes a LONG way).


A few months ago I discovered Advanced Clinicals Argan Oil lotion. I absolutely LOVE it. It isn’t greasy and I can use it on my entire body (my face is particularly sensitive to makeup, etc. so this is a huge plus). Additionally, I swear by Aveda hand relief for the winter months. It is so creamy, smells amazing, and locks in moisture.

Loved this post! I’m going to have to try the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.


Every winter I use the C.O. Bigelow rose salve on my lips and it keeps them from getting chapped. I put it on before bed and wake up with moisturized lips. My husband also uses it on his knuckles in the winter when they get chapped and it fixed them right up!


I am terrible about using lotions, etc but I can say that for the static electricity hair, my fix is dryer sheets! I carry one in my purse and when your hair gets staticky, just take the sheet out and simply rub it down your hair two to three passes and voila! It actually works coming from someone who uses very few products.


S.W. Basics cream is THE BEST heavy duty moisturizer out there for when your skin is super dry. You can also use it on your legs after shaving (or anywhere, anytime, for that matter). It also lasts forever and is all natural!


Hey Carly! I wanted to leave you a comment and just tell you how incredibly inspired I am by you. The way you have handled what life has thrown at you these past few weeks is honestly just incredible and if I can be even just a little bit like you one day I would be lucky.

I guess I just needed to write you this asap, because I saw a skiing picture that a certain someone posted on instagram, and put two and two together and now I am furious on your behalf.

You are wonderful, graceful and just an amazing girl and you deserve only the best in your life.