How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated & Glowing This Winter

It can be daunting to know how to properly treat your skin throughout the year, especially if you live in a climate where seasons change and the winter months turn your precious face into the Sahara. I feel your pain, girl. After years in a dermatologist’s office, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way, and found a brand that actually changed my life. Bye forevs, flaky skin!

Step 1: Transition to oil-based cleansers.

The natural pH level of your skin falls between 4.5 and 5.5 on the pH scale, where 0 is the most acidic, 7 is neutral, and 14 is the most alkaline. The prime pH-level is slightly acidic, falling between 5-6. Washing your face with foaming, chemical cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, which spikes our skin’s pH-levels and creates over-dryness. When this happens, oil glands produce too much sebum, which will clog your pores and lead to extra-oily skin.

The right cleansing oil can be more hydrating than traditional face washes because they don’t contain harsh, drying chemicals found in foaming agents and detergents.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you should grab your nearest cooking oil and lather up! When transitioning to an oil based cleanser, look for those that contain lighter oils like grapeseed, argan, lavender, or coconut oils. These oils will pull out impurities while maintaining a healthy pH balance and keep your skin hydrated. Contrary to popular belief, oil pulls out oil from skin, so don’t be afraid of clogged pores if you have an oily complexion! Start transitioning by using oils only at night, and remember it can take up to eight weeks for your skin to adapt to new products. I love this one from Cocokind! Their cleansers and moisturizers are oil-based, so they’re perfect pulling out impurities while keeping skin hydrated in the winter time.


Step 2: Exfoliation Exfoliation Exfoliation.

This step is pretty straightforward. The goal in exfoliation is to eliminate dry, dead skin cells to expose the next layer of radiant skin. Removing old skin cells helps your products work more effectively, because they’re able to penetrate more deeply and cleanse when skin is freshly exfoliated. Most dermatologists recommend light exfoliation after cleansing three times per week.

The key word there: light! Too-vigorous or harsh scrubbing can irritate the skin. In fact, irritation on the protective skin barrier can actually dehydrate your skin and lead to redness, breakouts, roughness, and wrinkles.

Look for products that use fine, gentle particles. And remember – the harsher the scrub, the less often it needs to be used!

I love this one! This sea moss exfoliator is gentle for scrubbing away enough dead skin without damaging your protective layer. I use it 3 or 4 times per week after cleansing.

Step 3: Hydrate.

It is true that we are what we eat – and drink! Think of it this way: our skin is an organ, and like any other part of the body, it’s made up of cells. Cells are made up of water, and if not replenished properly, they won’t function optimally. Your skin is the last organ that water goes to when consumed into your body, so it’s important to drink enough of it that our skin feels the love by the end!

Hydrated skin from the inside out is one of the best ways to slow down aging and prevent wrinkles. There are a lot of theories of how much water is enough, but a solid measuring point is six to eight glasses each day.


It can be overwhelming to know where to start when switching up your skincare routine. When a friend introduced me to CocoKind, my life actually changed. CocoKind is a natural skincare brand on a mission to provide clean, conscious, and accessible skincare that empowers women. When founder Priscilla Tsai was frustrated with her own struggles with breakouts, she created her own concoctions of natural remedies in her home. These remedies became the facial cleansers, toners, exfoliators, and moisturizers that have popularized the brand and transformed men and women’s skin all over the world! Plus – all of their products are under twenty dollars, so you don’t have to break your bank to keep your glow! Here’s a word from Priscilla on her mission in starting the company:

“Creating a clean skincare line that is accessible has been one of my core values since day one of creating Cocokind. The unfortunate reality is that most quality, clean beauty products have price points that are out of reach for the majority of Americans (not to mention the rest of the world). In a time when there is little education and transparency about what we are putting in and on our bodies, we believe clean products need to be available to everyone regardless of demographic. It is my hope that making clean skincare products and educating the consumer about the importance of using natural ingredients will help this movement grow, and positively impact our health and the environment.”

Happy hydrating!

Emily Schrems

Emily is a writer and professional nomad obsessed with the craft of storytelling. She is enamored by inspired conversation, diverse culture, and how a solid group of girlfriends and good coffee can heal nearly everything. A bold, “yes” is her mantra, especially in response to an outdoor adventure with her pup, a delicious cocktail and all things west coast. Visit her website,– to connect with her and read additional pieces of writing.