It happens every winter – the days get shorter, dryer, and our skin gets a whole lot more miserable. Dry skin gets dryer, red skin gets redder, and we find ourselves in the bathroom at the mall wondering if we really looked that bad when we left the house or if it’s just bad lighting.

This year, vow not to fall victim and ward off winter skin. It’s best to start early. As soon as the night temperatures start creeping lower and you’re flipping on the central heat, it’s time you need to start thinking seriously about a winterized skin care routine.

We’ve highlighted 3 areas below that you can incorporate into your skin care routine or amp up your efforts on if they’re already a staple.

Scrub Your Heart Out

In the winter months your skin is much dryer than it usually is because there is less moisture in the air. Because of this, dead skin cells build up, which can give your complexion a dull, uneven finish. To remove dry skin and smooth out your features, find a scrub that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Look for words like “gentle” or “sensitive skin” on the package so that you know it won’t be too harsh for your delicate facial skin.

If you suffer from acne, you really don’t want to use a product that is too rough either, because it can irritate the active pimples you have on your face. Some exfoliating scrubs have really large beads or particles in them that might be too abrasive for acne prone skin. You’ll want to look for a product that is smoother and has finer particles in it. In the winter months, you can get away with exfoliating once to twice a week. Just be sure to moisturize afterwards to add the hydration back into your skin!

Layer on the Moisture

We’re well aware that our skin is dryer in the winter, which means we need to layer on the moisture to protect and nourish our skin so it isn’t dry and flaky. It’s not just our faces that suffer from dry skin. The skin elsewhere on our body is also lacking hydration, and we need to be sure to cater to it in harsher climates.

You’ll want to find different moisturizers to treat separate areas. 4 Products that are must-haves in the winter months are a good eye cream, facial moisturizer, body lotion, and hand cream.

The skin around our eyes is much thinner than the rest of our face, and therefore it dries out more quickly. Use an eye cream twice daily in the winter, once in the morning and once at night.

For your facial moisturizer, look for a thicker product than you would normally use to really boost the level of moisture your skin is getting and be sure to apply it twice daily along with your eye cream.

We all love the scented body lotion that smells great and looks cute, but really look at the function of the product. The scented lotions might be great in the summer, but in the winter your skin needs more serious moisture, and it’s best to look for products that deliver on function as well. Find products with shea butter and natural oils which are great for getting your skin healthy and glowing.

Another area that often gets dry, cracked and overlooked are our hands and feet. Not to mention our cuticles as well! Hand creams are loaded with heavy oils and ingredients that seep into our skin quickly to relieve their dryness and last all day.

Reduce the Redness

Since our skin is dry during this season, it also creates a lot of redness in our skin, especially on our face. Some people refer to this redness as “wind burnt” or “chapped” skin. Did you know that the same Aloe Vera you use on your sunburn in the summer is great for red skin in the winter as well? Aloe helps reduce redness and inflammation and has instant, skin calming results.

Another item you might have in your kitchen is a cucumber. They’re known to have anti-inflammatory and cooling properties that help soothe irritated skin too. You can squeeze the juice out of a cucumber and apply it to your face with a cotton ball.