L'Officiel Lab: The Best Products to Combat Dry Winter Skin

Winter can be a tough time for skin, so we're sharing our top ten hydrating products to arm you against the impending zombie doom of January.
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Photo via Instagram / @bellahadid

Welcome to L'Officiel Lab, a series in which every month, we'll be putting together a thoughtful round-up of the best that the beauty world has to offer. Each product mentioned is obsessively researched and comes highly recommended by a serious skincare lunatic.

The consensus is in: winter is the worst season – at least when it comes to maintaining good winter skin care and any semblance of togetherness. Cold, dark days and nights whip around frozen winds that are actual kryptonite for hair, lips, and complexions. Even in an eventful place like New York City, winter can make you feel like you’re an isolated character in Ethan Frome: freezing, helpless, and holding onto your pickle dish for dear life.

To make matters worse, sufferers of fungal rashes like dermatitis and eczema often count winter weather as a trigger for flakey flare-ups. Makeup application can quickly go from looking smooth to spackled after just a couple of hours on a 20-degree day. To me, winter often feels like a zombie apocalypse, where something malevolent is slowly coming for you and everything you hold near and dear.

There is hope, however, as a good winter skin care routine can help to rejuvenate some of the life you've lost. Hydrating creams and goopy treatments are the best artillery against the impending zombie doom of January. Below, find the 10 best winter skincare products and treatments to help your skin maintain its composure on even the driest winter day.

Biologique Recherche

A facialist told me that this mask replicates a newborn’s protective skin barrier at birth. It sounded creepy, but I was really into it. If something is good enough to protect a newborn baby’s skin, it’s definitely good enough to protect mine. After all, I turn into a whimpering toddler when it’s not warm and sunny out and my skin’s a mess. On days when my skin is really thirsty, I wear this to bed as an overnight winter skin care treatment; it smells amazing. 

Biologique Recherche Creme Masque Vernix, $193, Rescue Spa

Susanne Kaufman

Every product from this clean Austrian brand is amazing. This calming winter skin care mask combines shea butter, aloe vera, and honey among other clean ingredients to give your face the boost that it so desperately needs. This is my secret weapon against dry patches and post-inflammatory erythema (the pesky little red marks that stay after a breakout has come and gone). I like to apply a thick layer to dry skin as a spot treatment and then wipe it off with a dry flannel after an hour; it works every time. 

Susanne Kaufman Calming Mask, $70, Susanne Kaufman

Emma Hardie

This balm is a desert island product. One of London’s top-rated facialists, Emma Hardie, has her own line of clean products made in the UK. The Moringa Cleansing Balm is phenomenal. I use this all year round, but especially in the winter. Foaming cleansers can strip your face of necessary oils and may damage the lipid barrier; this cleansing balm is applied directly to dry skin and massaged in circles to clean pores before wiping it away with a warm, damp cloth. Adjusting this one step in your winter skin care routine will change your life for the better.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, $63, Emma Hardie

Augustinus Bader

I have yet to find someone who doesn’t love this cream, especially in the winter. Victoria Beckham swears by this all year round, and I’d do anything to look as good as she does, even if that means saying goodbye to smiling. I use it on eczema, wind-burns, dry patches, and pretty much everything else. Simply put: this stuff really works.

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, $265, Nieman Marcus


This little-known brand is The Ordinary’s luxury sister line. The products are for the true winter skin care science lovers, so they can be tricky to decipher for those looking for an immediate solution. Allow me to break this one down for you: Hydration Vaccine (HV) is like a Ziploc seal for your skin after serums and moisturizers, protecting it from hydration loss. Apply it as the last step of your routine and you’ll be very grateful.

NIOD Hydration Vaccine, $55, NIOD 


I’m a minimalist when it comes to home interiors, but no amount of Japanese interior design theory can stop me from getting Dyson appliances. Even if you’re cynical at the thought of having a humidifier, your mind will change when you plug in the Dyson AM10. The dermal benefits are real: dry skin is no match for this humidifier, even after a night of sleeping face down in your pillow. Frankly this is less of a luxury and more of a necessity when it comes to winter skin care. If the likely possibility of catching a cold comes up, your dry cough is no match for a humidifier. Invest in one of these, and you’ll never turn back.

Dyson Humidifier, $500, Dyson

Leonor Greyl

Known by beauty insiders as “the holy Greyl,” this hair mask is the real deal. Apply it to damp hair so that the follicle is open for maximum moisture absorption. I like to saturate my hair in this mask and then wear a silk bonnet before bed like a housekeeper on the Mayflower. I leave it on overnight for super deep conditioning, and I literally wake up with new hair.

Leonor Greyl Masque Quintessence, $145, Leonor Greyl

Pestle & Mortar

A clean Irish skincare line, Pestle & Mortar is a gem in my medicine cabinet. This hyaluronic serum is perfect if you want a really straightforward boost of hydration. Right after I use it, my skin is plump and insanely dewy, and it doesn’t pill under makeup application. 

Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum, $59, Pestle and Mortar

Le Labo

Let me start off by saying I try a lot of products. My lips are drier than most because I have a weird aversion to drinking water. It feels like some kind of childhood punishment and I can never finish a glass unless I’m dying of thirst—and by that time, it’s too late. Lips are the first signs of dehydration, so it makes sense that mine always look like if woodchips were a body part. Of all the lip balms, jellies, and Chapsticks I’ve ever used, this one is in the top three. There’s no scent or flavor, the texture is great, and the packaging is perfect. 

Le Labo Lip Balm, $15, Net-A-Porter

Tata Harper

This is an incredibly hydrating face mist, and it smells great. I use it under makeup, over makeup, after cleansing, before cleansing—pretty much all day long. It’s a must-have on the plane and it promises to enhance the potency of serums that you layer on over it, making your winter skin care that much more powerful. Of all the mists out there, this one is the most hydrating and definitely my favorite. Little-known secret: if your face mist doesn’t have hyaluronic acid in it, it’s actually drying your skin out.

Tata Harper Floral Essence, $94, Tata Harper



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