Remember: Exfoliate During Winter

Exfoliate During Winter

Many people do not exfoliate during winter or, if they do, it takes a back seat to other things. Once the cold sets in and we start piling layer upon layer, some eschew certain grooming procedures (like shaving). There seems to be a notion of, “Why does it matter? I’m all covered up anyway/everyone looks blah during winter!”

I challenge that line of thinking. To think of exfoliation (or even hair removal) as a chore you have to get out of the way in order to bare some skin is looking at it all wrong. That is ludicrous – you don’t just stop bathing as often in winter, do you?

Exfoliate During Winter

…because exfoliation isn’t a seasonal or, “do it once-in-a-while,” skincare behavior. It:

  • gets rid of dead skin (ew) and promotes cellular turnover
  • makes skin appear more radiant
  • makes skin look and feel smoother
  • can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • evens out skintone
  • facially, removes with sebaceous filaments
  • bodily, prevents or frees ingrown hairs
  • preps the skin for hair removal
  • improves the efficacy of other skincare products (like serums)
  • prevent and minimize the impact of blemishes

–and more.

Chemical vs Physical

I’m not here to tell you which method of exfoliation is, “better,” because better is subjective. What is best for you is going to depend on a variety of factors. As for me, I found what I enjoy via trial-and-error. If you don’t want to deal with years of product testing, consult a dermatologist.

As for me, I’m currently having the best luck with a combination of chemical (Alpha Skin AHA gel) and physical (Clarisonic, Silkn ReVit) exfoliation on my face. When my cycle is approaching, I use a Stridex pad for a couple days on my whole face. For my body, I primarily exfoliate physically. For that, I sometimes dry brush before I shower and use the Tree Hut Scrub featured in this favorites. There are a couple places I use Excipial (for my keratosis pilaris) an AHA gel, Stridex pads, or a fruit enzyme-based gel from EWC.

If the barrier is not wanting to buy or keep more beauty tools or products on hand, good news! You don’t need product or tools to exfoliate regularly. A sturdy washcloth or loofah can get the job done with the right attention to detail.


Pedicure care gets its own subtopic, here. Nail salons have pedicure business drop off in the winter – most of us aren’t wearing open-toed shoes or sandals. Waiting a super long time for polish to dry before we put boots back on is inconvenient. I get it – waste the money? But you can care for your skin on your feet without dressing them up with fancy polish.

It isn’t difficult to periodically execute a DIY pedicure. I have some tools that I like to use to facilitate the process, but you can get by without. This manual rasp is effective at smoothing the skin.

The Bottom Line

If you think exfoliation is a, “sometimes,” activity, consider this: exfoliating is a logical next step to cleansing and should not be skipped due to the season. That just means that, come Spring and Summer, you have to work harder to catch up or use more aggressive methods to get your skin back where you wanted it. It is usually easier to maintain than to, “fix,” when it comes to our skin.