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My Struggle With Dry Winter Skin + What Helped

We have had some seriously cold weather here recently.  There hasn’t been much snow, but I’ve lost track of how many times the weather network issued us an Extreme Cold Weather warning.  Thanks, we know it’s freaking cold, no need to rub it in…

With each passing year, my skin gets increasingly fed up with where I live and this year the dryness was the worst ever.  My skin peeled so much in mid-December that I couldn’t even apply makeup because it just flaked off (gross).  Plus my skin felt really tight and uncomfortable.  Until Hubby and I move to Costa Rica, I knew that I had to make some changes in my routine to combat my dry, winter skin.  I hadn’t really planned to share this as a blog post, but now I wish I had taken some before/after photos (below is not me) because in only a month, these simple changes made a huge difference – I no longer have scaly skin!

Here’s what I did:

No More Scalding Hot Showers

I stopped drying my skin out with scalding hot water.  When it’s cold, I like to linger in a hot, hot shower and although it helps my chilled bones, it was wreaking havoc on my skin so I turned down the heat a little and started washing my face with lukewarm water (below is also not me – although that’s what my skin felt like).

No More Over Washing

I stopped associating dry skin with clean skin.  Years spent battling combination/oily skin with acne trained me to think that my skin is clean only when it’s stripped of any oil.  I toned down on the scrubbing and also transitioned to a gentler cleanser.  I still use my favorite makeup dissolving cleanser after I remove my makeup, but for any other time I started using Beautycounter Nourishing Cream Cleanser.  My friend, Faith, is a consultant and she sent me a care package of Beautycounter goodies over the holidays and got me hooked.

More Moisturizing at Night

I started moisturizing at night!  I was moisturizing every morning but I didn’t like to moisturize at night because I’ve always had this weird idea that my skin needs to breath.  Now I use the Beautycounter Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream when my skin is really tight, but I prefer the Countermatch Intensive Moisture Serum because it sinks in quickly and feels like there’s nothing on my skin.  I just needed to find the right product for overnight moisturizing, because now I feel like my skin can still breathe, but I wake up to more hydrated skin.

More Time Between Moisturizing and Makeup

I started applying my moisturizer earlier in the morning.  My morning routine used to consist of washing my face, taking the dogs out, washing my hair, eating breakfast, drying and straightening my hair, then moisturizing before checking the time, realizing I’m running late, hurriedly slapping on some makeup and running out the door.

One night I fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos and stumbled across someone who does makeup tutorials for dry skin and picked up this gem: you should really let moisturizer sink in for at least five minutes before applying makeup.  I was giving my moisturizing 5 seconds to absorb so I switched up my routine a little and started moisturizing before I bare my face to the frigid cold when I go out with the dogs.  That helped me SO much.  Plus I started using the Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion during the day, which adjusts hydration levels throughout the day – keeping my skin balanced.  It keeps the flakiness at bay, while still feeling light under my makeup.

More Moisture During the Day

I started moisturizing when I get home from work.  When I get home from work, I remove my makeup and wash my face with the cream cleanser and then I apply a fresh layer of moisturizer – usually the serum (love it!) because it feels weightless.  I used to just scrub my face until it felt squeaky clean, but now I care for it a bit more and it seems to appreciate that.

More Water!

I’ve been drinking more water.  In the summer, I definitely drink 10+ glasses a day (go me) but in the winter, I turn to tea and my morning coffee and that caffeine really dehydrates me.  Someone introduced me to warm water with fresh ginger and lemon and I love that so much more than plain lemon water.

In reality, none of these tips are earth shattering, but they really help me a lot.  The key has been finding products I like and want to use – especially something that’s light enough for me to wear overnight.

I have skipped around to different moisturizers over the years and my bathroom drawer has quite a few that I abandoned for whatever reason (led to breakouts, stung on super dry skin, didn’t absorb quickly, made my skin even drier, etc).  The Beautycounter packaging drew me in and made me want to try everything, but now I keep using it because of how it makes my skin feel.  Plus, Beautycounter prohibits 1500 chemicals thought to be harmful or questionable.  I’ve never been one to panic over “chemicals” (because life is chemicals), but I don’t like the idea of coating my skin with anything that is thought to be harmful – even if it’s a possibility.  I just don’t want to play around.  I’ll risk it for a doughnut, but not skin cream – especially when the skincare market now has great brands that are better for you, but perform just as well.

This post wasn’t sponsored – I’m just super grateful that Faith introduced me to Beautycounter so I wanted to share my experience and some of my other (free) tips, since it seems like so many of us are battling super cold temps recently. If you’re curious about the products, or overwhelmed by what’s available, drop Faith a line.  I’ve peppered her with questions about what certain products are like in person (like a certain makeup palette I really want) and she’s very knowledgeable.  Plus she shares makeup-free photos of her skin on social media, so you can see the products work their magic.  Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for more info.



  1. Heather
    January 15, 2018 / 11:42 pm

    I can relate to everything in this post! A combo of cooler showers and minimal soap usage has helped tremendously. As you mentioned, I always thought my face and body needed to be squeaky clean every single washing. A couple of years ago, I stopped daily scrubbing of anything but the potentially dirty parts.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 16, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Haha, I love the way you worded that last sentence! It's true, I think overall many of us over scrub so many bits and pieces 🙂

  2. Vanessa
    January 17, 2018 / 1:27 am

    Darn! I was hoping it would be something simple like fish oil capsules. My skin is awful these days in Michigan. I am not likely to moisturize more than once a day but I will start drinking more water. Thanks.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 17, 2018 / 1:57 am

      I wish a pill were enough… seriously, upping my moisturizing to morning and night helped soooooo much. Another idea that might be easier is to invest in a humidifier. If your air is super dry indoors that contributes to scaly skin too. Hopefully spring comes quickly for us all 🙂

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