Face the elements with A&E’s guide to affordable winter skincare

December means the holidays are right around the corner — but it also means the start of dry skin season.

Thayers Witch Hazel Toner, Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Serum, Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask and Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion are displayed on Monday, Nov. 27.

Ellen Schmidt

Thayers Witch Hazel Toner, Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Serum, Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask and Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion are displayed on Monday, Nov. 27.

Haley Bennett

Most beauty product advertisements rely on their ability to make you feel inadequate, giving you problems you didn’t know you had.

However, winter skin care isn’t a made up problem. Winter in Minnesota can mean six months of freezing temperatures, and you need a protective layer between your pores and the relentless wind. 

Natural

Lips: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm Naked (Target, $2.69)

Toner: Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free (Target, $7.49–$10.95)

Lavender, rose or unscented, you can’t go wrong with this mild toner.

Moisturizer: Skinfood Aloe Vera 93% Soothing Gel (Ulta.com, $8)

Face mask: Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask (Target, $2.50)

Face masks seem like beauty pro territory. They’re not. They take about 5 to 10 minutes and leave your skin feeling tingly in a good way. Freak out your roommates AND de-gunk your pores.

Overnight: Yes to Grapefruit Pore Perfection Night Treatment (Target, $15.99)

This is a short-term treatment when your pores need some extra care. Each day for a month, after toning and moisturizing, smooth on a pump or two of this stellar spot remedy that smells deliciously like grapefruit and lilac.

Body lotion: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (Amazon.com, $5.89)

Essential if you survive frigid winters with steamy showers.

Hair: OGX Extra Strength Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Hair Oil (Target, $9.68)

Using oil to smooth out your hair can be a slippery slope because just a little bit goes a long way. It works best after a shower, when your hair is about half dry and a little tangled. Starting with the ends of your hair, rub in the oil until most of it is off of your hands. It should feel soft and smooth but not greasy. Finger-comb through the snarls and you’re good to go.

Fragrant

Lips: Yes to Coconut Naturally Smooth Lip Balm (Target, $2.99)

With just the right amount of coconut flavor, by January you’ll be pleased to have chosen a sweet and tropical lip balm (That is, if you can hold on to lip balm without losing it in less than two weeks).

Toner: Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water (Walgreens, $7.79)

Micellar water uses oil molecules in gentle water to wash away impurities without stripping your skin. No need for cleanser or a rinse afterward.

Moisturizer: Pond’s Cream Dry Skin (Walgreens, $5.79)

This one will combat the driest of skin without oiling it up.

Face mask: Feeling Beautiful Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask (Ulta.com, $4.29)

Body lotion: Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion (Ulta.com, $6.99)

Overnight: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Pro-Recovery Skincare (Walmart.com, $13.35)

Either use this as its own overnight mask or in the morning to avoid drying.

Hair: John Frieda Frizz Ease Expert Finish Polishing Serum (Target, $6.19)

After a few frozen weeks, it gets difficult to deal with winter here. But at least you can look and smell great while you battle the bitter winds.