It may be tempting to revamp your skin routine with the New Year, but here is why sticking to this winter skin plan is important.

winter

If you have the same skincare routine year-round, we hate to have to tell you that you are doing it wrong—but, you kind of are. It may be tempting to revamp your skin routine with the New Year, but since it is still winter, it is smart to keep things simple and get your skin ready for the sunny spring days.

What are the three most important things you should be doing for your skin this winter? We spoke with Dr. Ted Lain, a board-certified dermatologist, to find out.

Moisturize

According to Dr. Lain, this is the most important thing you can do for your skin during these cold months.

“During the dry winter months, the natural moisture in the skin is extracted by the dehumidified air,” he explains. “This leaves the skin’s top layer dehydrated, dry and peeling.”

You know how you don’t want to get dehydrated? Well, you don’t want your skin to, either! According to Dr. Lain this can all lead to inflammation, which in turn causes redness, itching and rashes. So be sure to apply a generous amount of lotion throughout the day to keep your skin dewy.

Apply Sunscreen

We have mentioned this before, but just because the sun isn’t always out, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any dangerous affects.

“The most common form of skin cancer is caused by an accumulation of sun damage,” shares Dr. Lain. “Therefore, minimizing direct sun exposure to unprotected skin is extremely important for those who are active outdoors.”

Look for a tinted moisturizer that includes sunscreen and you can eliminate the I’m too lazy to put on sunscreen excuse.

Minimize Exfoliation

We know, exfoliating feels so good! But in the winter months, you definitely want to do it less (we were surprised, too).

But why? “This can easily lead to redness when the skin is already dry during the winter months,” notes Dr. Lain. Keep that redness and irritation at bay by moisturizing more and exfoliating less.

So how will doing these three things help get your skin ready for the change in weather in spring?

“Maintaining healthy skin during the winter ensures that you can increase your outdoor activity when spring arrives, without having to deal with dryness and sensitivity,” adds Dr. Lain. “This can flare with higher temperatures and sun exposure, so doing these things in winter not only helps your skin now, but it can help minimize future skin issues, as well.”