5 Warming Skincare Products to Help You Forget How Cold It's Getting

It sounds like magic, but it's actually science.

People tend to call me a drama queen when I try to explain just how cold it gets in the desert sometimes. I mean, 45 or 50 degrees may sound balmy to you, but winters in Phoenix feel surprisingly chilly, especially once the sun sets.

OK, maybe I'm a little spoiled by my west-coast sunshine. But in all seriousness, any way I can make myself warmer in the colder months is a plus. That means taking particularly indulgent steamy showers, extra layers of clothing, heavy blankets and—why not?—thermal skincare products. Yes, products that warm up on their own.

It sounds like magic, but it's actually science. Here are a few of my favorites!

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser, $28

I actually bought this Boscia cleanser for my boyfriend because it looked unisex and I liked that it warmed once activated with water. After using it, I kept it for myself instead. It warms up noticeably and instantly, and feels soothing.

This cleanser leaves my skin clean but not stripped, and a little goes a long way. I use it with the Boscia charcoal Konjac sponge, per the brand's suggestion. It's a luxurious, expensive-feeling duo for an intermediate price.

Farmesthetics Warming Oil, $18

This is a very mild warming oil that smells earthy and clean. I mostly use it on my legs after shaving (I'm telling you, if you haven't converted to oils over lotions for this, you're missing out). However, it's quite aromatherapeutic, and I like to use it on my neck after a hot shower, as well.

The warming effect happens once you rub the oil in between your hands and is caused by your own body heat. Because it warms so easily, it makes for a good massage oil. The mild scent also inspires meditative breathing, and I appreciate that Farmaesthetics uses 100% natural ingredients.

OROGOLD 24K Bionic Complex Thermal Mask, $298

At $298, this OROGOLD 24k Bionic Complex Thermal Mask is clearly the fancy pants splurge of the group. For those unacquainted, OROGOLD uses actual 24K gold in their products (they even come with an authentication certificate). Gold is one of those buzzy beauty ingredients that doesn't have a ton of research surrounding it, but it's been linked to improving skin elasticity and firmness. Some say it also has a soothing effect.

In any case, if the gold doesn't impress you then maybe the thermal action will. Like the others on this list, it warms gently once applied. I use it on special occasions, and I have to admit that it does a really nice job of making my skin feel hydrated, firm and surprisingly smooth.

Dermalogica MultiVitamin Thermafoliant, $54

I actually haven't used very many Dermalogica products, but it feels like every forum or beauty-related Facebook thread I venture into consists of at least one person talking this brand up. This MultiVitamin Thermafoliant "skin polisher" is both a chemical and physical exfoliant, boasting the following powerful ingredients: retinol, salicylic acid, vitamins C and E, and prickly pear extract.

The thermal effect, activated with water, is soothing and noticeable. Again, the warming allows the product's other ingredients to work even better than they would otherwise.

ilike Hungarian Paprika Gel Treatment, $48

This iLike Hungarian Paprika Gel Treatment is an interesting product that's meant to be layered underneath other masks. It works by increasing blood circulation wherever it's applied, which in turn causes warming of the skin. This allows your skin to better absorb whatever you put on after it. The brand recommends an AHA fruit peel (a product they sell), but you can use it with another AHA-packed mask.

The warming and tingling sensation happens within the 20 minutes after application while you wait for the products to set. Afterward, you wipe off with a damp towel and follow up with your normal routine. The ingredient list is straightforward and all-natural; the capsaicin and cherry pepper are what make your skin feel tingly and warm.

  • Have you used any warming products before?
  • How does your self-care regimen change in the colder months?