When winter comes around, unfortunately, our tans go away (I know, it’s a sad story, but we’re all in the same boat!). And let’s be honest: When that happens, we immediately feel the need to restock on our makeup essentials; only we go a few shades lighter.
BUT, what a lot of us neglect or forget about is our skincare routine! What’s the use of restocking all those must-have beauty products if you don’t have a clear, bright & glowing base for them, right?
All this to say, not only does winter take our tans away, but it also brings cold (FREEZING, if you’re from MTL) dry air that can do all kinds of stuff to your skin (& I’m talking bad stuff), such as leave it irritated, flaky, cracked, dehydrated, dry, dull & ultimately, inflamed. Basically, winter air is drier & humidity is lower. This change in temperature combined with the dry indoor temperatures from heaters, strips away our skin’s moisture!
The logic behind all of those things happening to your skin is that when it loses its moisture barrier (a.k.a. its protective layer), it weakens its ability to protect & shield itself. This is why the lightweight skincare products you became obsessed with in the summer, when your skin is oilier & humidity levels are higher, might not do the trick in the winter.
But, hey, there’s always a solution!
And yes, that means that although you cannot make the freezing cold winter weather go away (Oh how I wish we could), you could take some steps & make some swaps to shape up your skincare routine so that your skin can make it through with the rest of you!
NOW, where to begin! Let me just put it out there that this post will contain LOTS OF INFO. I’m not here telling you to go out & buy every single one of the products I suggest or recommend or to make every & all of these swaps! If you do, you might just go broke. No kay, I’m kidding. But seriously, skincare is EXPENSIVE. You have to pick & choose what swaps you want to make based on how YOUR SKIN REACTS in the cold winter months & based on what you feel you may be lacking in your routine or what you feel needs a little change-up!
IN A NUTSHELL, you’ll want to use thicker formulas & denser water-based & very hydrating creams, containing antioxidants, hyaluronic acid & other essential vitamins. But without further ado, let’s get right into it & I’ll explain in MUCH MORE FURTHER DETAIL!
INCORPORATE A HYDRATING SLEEPING MASK
This is not something you should do every night, but you could (& should) definitely incorporate it at least 2x/week. What’s great about these masks is that you lather them onto your skin as the last step in your skincare routine & you go to bed with them on & let them work their magic overnight!
They work overnight to hold much-needed moisture to the skin. If the mask works (& LET’S HOPE IT DOES), you should wake up with refreshed, soft & plump skin! Some sleeping masks even contain certain ingredients that will help improve firmness & elasticity, as well.
- Top pick: LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask. It contains tons of great active ingredients, such as Hydro Ion Mineral Water, evening primrose root extract & apricot extract, as well as skin-soothing agents that are mild & gentle. What I love most about this mask is how refreshed & super moisturized my skin is when I wake up in the morning, without leaving my skin sticky or with that “excess product” feeling.
- Runner up: Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask. There was SUCH a hype surrounding this product, so I gave in to the hype & bought it. I have to say that while I do really like it, I think the million-people-waiting-list hype was a big exaggerated. BUT YA KNOW. It’s still pretty awesome. It’s basically made with amino-acid rich watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid (hello hydration!) & AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids) that work to refine your pores, gently exfoliate & clarify your skin. What I love most about this mask is how plump, soft & radiant my skin looks when I wake up in the morning.
EYE CREAM HERE. EYE CREAM THERE. EYE CREAM EVERYWHERE!
As you guys know, my main concern at any & all time of year is dark circles. Eye cream nourishes & moisturizes the delicate eye area to treat the signs of aging (or better yet, to PREVENT ‘em before they start!!!). While I use eye cream ALL YEAR ROUND, in the winter, it becomes even MORE CRUCIAL. How come?
- The skin around the eyes is THIN, so that area, especially (& the rest of your face too), need an extra dose of hydration to stay looking plump!
- When your skin is dry & dehydrated, the fine lines & wrinkles show more! Basically dry skin = highlighter for your wrinkles.
- The delicate skin around the eye area can also get easily chapped when cold dry winds cause the your eyes to constantly water (which is why I also suggest investing in a good quality waterproof mascara for the winter months).
It’s best to look for CREAMY, THICK, DENSE & RICH EYE CREAMS. Basically, the creamier, the better. Look out for products containing collagen & elastin to help rebuild your skin’s structure & fill out fine lines, as well as peptides to help support healthy tissue development & last but not least, antioxidants, to ensure cell regeneration & renewal & fight free radical damage!
ALSO, if you’re someone who already uses eye cream but you only do so in the AM or PM, you might want to consider UPPING YOUR EYE CREAM GAME & doing it both in the AM + PM!
I also recommend investing in some under-eye patches, which are super hydrating & often contain ingredients such as collagen to help firm the delicate under-eye area & reduce the appearance of dark circles.
MY EYE CREAM RECOMMENDATIONS
- Peter Thomas Roth Power K-Eye Rescue
- Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Treatment
- Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate
- Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm
- Farmacy Beauty Eye Dew
- Youth To The People Anti-Aging Eye Cream
MY EYE PATCH RECOMMENDATIONS
- Peter Thomas Roth 24K Pure Luxury Life & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
- Honest Hazel Eye Patches
- Boscia Sake Brightening Hydrogel Eye Masks
Regularly exfoliating in the winter is crucial to get rid of all the dry & dead skin cells, to banish dull skin & to reveal a glowing complexion. BUT, the physical exfoliants & face scrubs that contain granules to physically scrub off dead skin cells can be too harsh on your already vulnerable winter skin & can make your skin even dryer. They are a short-term fix. They might get the “crap” off, excuse my language, but it will also irritate your skin & may cause flakiness to come back or get worse. YOU NEED TO BE GENTLE WITH YOUR SKIN IN THE WINTER.
Exfoliators are also essential for your moisturizer to be able to absorb properly. And really, what’s the point of using & investing in a quality moisturizer if you’re not giving it a good clear base to seep & absorb into?
If you have really sensitive skin, try using facial oil (which I will recommend below!) until you slowly see flakes start to come off (oils also serve as great bases for makeup since it doesn’t make the skin red!). Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, you can go the facial oil route or you can opt for a gentle exfoliant, like a chemical exfoliant, that contains AHA’s BHAs or enzymes to dissolve the top layer of dead skin & wash it away.
I usually exfoliate 2x a week but I may up it to 3 in the winter just because my skin is going to be a bit drier overall!
- My TOP & ONLY PICK is the Peter Thomas Roth Firm X Peeling Gel (Read my full post about it HERE). What I love most about it is that you literally see the dead skin cells fall & peel away, but it’s so freaking gentle that you don’t even feel like you’re exfoliating!!!
OKAY, don’t neglect the hands. Skincare includes not only your face but also your ENTIRE BODY! Between dry air, driving with a heater vent hitting your hands & constant hand washing to avoid cold & flu season, your hands can get dry, chapped & even reveal little cuts. When the top layer of your skin is super dry, the protective layer is compromised leaving skin vulnerable to damage & injury.
ALSO, the skin on our hands has very few oil glands, so it’s important to restore moisture to maintain the skin’s protective barrier. Look for a rich & nourishing cream that will help make dryness disappear & keep your hands moisturized throughout the day!
- Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme with Calming Shampure Aroma
- J.R. Watkins Shea Butter Hand Cream (Lavender or Acai & Pomegranate)
- Moroccan Oil Hand Creme (precious Core) Fleur De Rose
- Barr Co. Soap Shop Shea Butter Cream
INCORPORATE OILS INTO YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
If you’re someone who already has dry skin or dry patches, unfortunately, in the winter, they may get even drier & start feeling tight & uncomfortable. As you guys know, no matter what season it is, I’m a regular user (& some may say, abuser) of OILS! I use them in winter, summer fall or spring & slather one on every night & switch it up depending on how my skin is looking/feeling.
BUT, if you haven’t hopped on the oil bandwagon just yet or you use them sparsely, consider adding one to your winter skincare routine! They are super nourishing, hydrating natural, contain tons of active ingredients, vitamins, minerals & nutrients that your skin NEEDS & CRAVES, especially during the cold weather months.
There isn’t really one all-around oil that I would recommend because most oils are formulated to target different skin types/issues. This is why you’ll see that I’ll recommend quite a few. I have quite the collection, let me tell ya, but I didn’t buy ’em all at once so play it by ear, one step at a time, take it slow – it’s all about trial & error & figuring out what works for YOU.
- Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil: Very concentrated in antioxidants, has anti-aging properties & is super moisturizing, nourishing & soothing! What’s great about it is that it doesn’t have a super oily texture & it’s super easily absorbed by the skin.
- Rosehip Oil (To read all about the benefits & how I use it, click here: A Breakdown of All (Well, Most) of the Skincare Benefits of Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Oil a.k.a. A-Freaking-Miracle-&-a-Half-That-Will-Make-You-Glow-Sans-Making-a-Hole-in-Your-Wallet!)
- Sibu Beauty Sea Berry Seed Oil: It’s super hydrating, restorative & regenerating. It helps reduce skin inflammation due to its omega-7 fatty-acid content, as well as its antioxidant properties that help repair the skin’s tissue! It has been used to tackle damaged, problematic skin! In fact, a lot of people that have rosacea have used this oil to treat it& IT WORKED! So, if it works of that, imagine what it can do for simple skin irritation, redness & acne breakouts. AND BTW, the reason that it works to calm & sooth roasecsa is because it has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties & ultimately, redness is caused by JUST THAT, so imagine what it can do for you!
- Sunday Riley UFO Oil: So, this is a medicated oil that contains salicylic acid to help clear acne/breakout causing-buildup & dirt from clogged pores! It’s super fast-drying, smoothes skin & also contains tea tree oil & cumin seed oil! Another great ingredient is liquorice, which helps to brighten acne discolouration/redness & helps even out complexion! Lastly, it contains milk thistle & cucumber seed oil, which both fight the drying effect of salicylic acid & help hydrate/nourish the skin! So this baby will keep your skin hydrated & help you fight clogged pores/acne/breakouts!
- Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Oil (Read all about why I adore this stuff HERE: All About Lactic Acid & Good Genes & Luna Sleeping Night Oil by Sunday Riley a.k.a. My-Secret-To-Radiant-Luminuous-Glowing-Red-Carpet-Worthy-Skin!)
- Cocokind Skincare Chia Oil: Significant source of omega-3 fatty-acids & omega-6! It protects & nourishes skin cells, all while containing antioxidants & phytonutrients. It’s super gentle on the skin, really moisturizing & very nourishing! This is definitely one that you could use as a gentle exfoliant as mentioned above (especially if you have very sensitive skin!).
One oil product that I will be trying out this winter & incorporating into my new routine are (Lord knows these won’t be the only ones, but these are the ones I’ll be starting with!).
- Jojoba Oil (I have the one by Divine Essence Aromatherapy): This is something I will slowly start incorporating into my skincare routine throughout the fall/winter months. I’ve done a lot of research about it & while it’s known as an oil, it’s actually a wax ester, which is the closest compound to natural skin oil or sebum. When you use jojoba, basically, your skin believes it is responsible for production enough oil, thereby reducing its own oil production. So… you’re kinda tricking your skin, BUT REAPING BENEFITS WHILE YOU DO!
INCORPORATE A HYDRATING MASK INTO YOUR ROUTINE (at least once a week!)
The obvious reason for this is HYDRATION. HYDRATION. HYDRATION. What’s great about masks is that they give instant major hydration to the skin, without feeling heavy or clogging your pores! Look for masks that contain vitamins, collagen & plant extracts!
- Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask (Read my full blog post on this mask HERE)
- LANEIGE Multiberry Yogurt Repairing Mask (Read my full post on this mask HERE)
- Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Mask (Read the full post on this mask HERE)
- Juice Beauty Organic Green Apple Peel Mask (Read the full post on this mask HERE).
I’m also going to be trying out the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask (Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator!)
GEL OR RUBBER MASKS ARE GREAT OPTIONS TOO!!
Moisturizers usually contain hyaluronic acid, which pulls in moisture without the typical oils & butters. To really supercharge the hyaluronic acid, you can top it with a gel mask or a rubber mask to trap moisture close to the skin & give acid time to sink it & get absorbed!
DR.JART Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution
- DR. JART Hydration Love Rubber Mask
- DR. JART Firm Lover Rubber Mask
- Origins Flower Fusion Rose Hydrating Sheet Mask
SERUM HERE. SERUM THERE. SERUM ALWAYS.
Serums are thinner than mositurizers but contain a very bioactive & potent concentration of active ingredients to target certain sin concerns, one of which is almost always DRY SKIN. They are generally super moisturizing & usually contain ingredients that combat the signs of aging.
Serums that contain hyaluronic acid are great for the winter time as they use this powerful humectant to grab moisture out of the air & hold it to your skin’s surface to deliver deep & lasting hydration.
Serums should ALWAYS be applied before moisturizer so that the ingredients can really absorb into the skin & give your skin the maximum benefits! (I usually wait anywhere between 5 to 7 minutes between applying my serums & moisturizer!).
- Vichy Minêral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Daily Booster
- Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum
- YTTP Tripeptide 37, Kale, Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid
- Algenist Liquid Collagen
Some serums that I will be trying out this winter are:
- Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM. BTW:Although retinols are great for anti-aging, they also are drying. If you don’t want to scale back on retinol (& I do not), make sure you’re using one that also has moisturizing properties, like hyaluronic acid or vitamins. This one, in particular, contains retinol (OBVI), vitamins C & E & encourages the skin’s overall renewal process. It’s supposed to help improve skin tone & texture, help with collagen production & reduce lines & wrinkles to create young complexion! It’s moisturizing & helps reduce redness & irritation, all while mitigating the retinol’s drying effects. OH & IT’S OIL & FRAGRANCE FREE!
- Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment: A 100% natural, emulsifier-free, hydrating treatment serum. This serum pairs the deep hydration of purified water with skin-rejuvenating Pure Argan Oil. It’s lightweight but intense & it’s made to penetrate deeply & absorb quickly to fortify and repair skin for instant, long-lasting hydration that produces a fresh, radiant glow. Purified water plumps and hydrates while argan oil preserves and nourishes, locking moisture in and preserving skin’s youthful cushion.
- Ole Henriksen Truth Serum: This is an anti-aging, Triple vitamin C, collagen-boosted serum!
Who hasn’t experienced chapped or painfully cracked lips in the winter? Our lips are more susceptible to drying out because the skin on our lips doesn’t contain oil glands so it doesn’t have a protective moisture barrier & cant replenish its own moisture.
Keep in mind that matte formulas may also sometimes dry out your lips! In the winter, you want to use rich, thick & moisturizing balms. The most dense ones are usually those found in tubes or pots.
Lip exfoliants every now & then are also a great idea! You can also just gently rub them with a damp/warm washcloth.
- Darphin Aromatic Purifying Lip Balm
- Fresh Beauty Sugar Lip Serum
- Nivea Vanila & Macadamia Lip Butter
- Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment for Lips (Cocoa Butter, Aloe & Vitamin E)
- Kiehl’s Butter Stick
- Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in Mango
- Fresh Beauty Nourishing Lip Balm
- Brazilian Kiss Lip Butter
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm
- Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Lip Balm
- LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask
- GLAMGLOW Wet Lip
- Tarte Pout Prep
- Fresh Beauty Sugar Lip Polish
SWITCH TO A TINTED MOISTURIZER (BONUS IF IT CONTAINS SPF!)
If your skin is drier than normal, swap your powder foundation for a tinted moisturizer to give your skin some extra hydration + SPF protection! Tinted moisturizers are great because they give your skin light-medium coverage, make it look dewy & warmer, lots of hydration & SPF all in one! It’s A TOTAL TIME SAVER (& great for those mornings where you cannot find the power to get out of your warm & cozy bed!!).
OH & yes. You need SPF, even in the winter & even when the weather is overcast (since UVA rays, the ones responsible for skin aging & cancer) still filter thorugh the clouds. SPF will help defend already dry skin against FURTHER DAMAGE. BONUS if youre tinted moisturizer already contains SPF!!!
- Origins Ginzing SPF 40
- Nars Tinted Moisturizer
- Dr. Jart BB Beauty Balm in Medium
INVEST IN A GOOD QUALITY BODY BUTRER!
Guess what, my loves? Just like your face needs a good moisturizer to lock in that moisture, SO DOES YOUR BODAYYYY. While moisturizers & creams are great, BODY BUTTERS ARE BETTER. They are richer, creamier & perfect for dry patches.
Swap the lightweight mostly water-based formula that you used throughout the summer months for something richer containing fatty lipids (such as shea butter, coconut oil etc.) to give your skin a good moisture barrier. When you apply the cream, your skin shouldn’t just soak it up. If it does? It means it’s too lightweight & your skin needs MORE LOVE, a.k.a. MORE MOISTURE & MORE HYDRATION.
A little bod lotion/butter tip that I want to share with you guys is to apply it straight out of the shower/bath while your skin is still damp. This helps lock in the moisture EVEN MORE!
- L’Occitane Organic Certified & Fair Trade Approved Shea Butter
- Kopari Coconut Melt
- Laline Better Butter Cream in Vanilla Pink Pepper
- Parfumerie Tiki Monoï Tiki Tahiti (Vanilla or Coconut)
THAT CLEANSER SWAP!
Most foaming cleansers will strip your skin of its natural oils. This is why, in the cold weather, you want a cleanser that will remove your makeup but also hydrate your skin!
For the winter months, gel, milky & oil cleansers are the way to go! A lot of gel cleansers will actually turn into oils when they are massaged into the skin & melt away makeup, toxins & impurities, all in one! They leave the skin feeling soft & supple, NOT STRIPPED & not over oily.
Also, the thicker the balm, the more of a protective moisture layer it is leaving on the skin, while removing makeup & other dirt.
As you guys know, I use an oil cleanser every night & ever since I started using them regularly, I’ve noticed a substantial change in my skin, especially when it comes to its radiance & texture. I also have a lot less redness than I use to & I feel like my skin tone has really evened out! Oil cleansers are great because they prevent irritation & dryness that may be caused by wind or indoor heating. Since your skin will already be slightly dehydrated and lacking moisture,you don’t want to strip it of its natural oils with stronger cleansers.
Milky cleansers are also great for the winter because they’re super hydrating & refreshing & also won’t leave your skin feeling dried out!
- Kopari Coconut Cleansing Oil
- Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
- Sunday Riley Blue Moon Cleanser
- Living Libations Best Skin Ever Sea Buckthorn Cleanser
- Sunday Riley Oil Cleanser
- Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser
MAKE THE SWITCH TO A WATER-BASED MOISTURIZER
If you’re wondering where to start, this is probably where I recommend!
Warm air holds a lot of water vapour, which in turn, helps skin stay hydrated during the spring & summer. BUT, when it starts to get cold, it’s a different story. Colder temperatures & dry air cause more water evaporation from the skin. This is why you want to switch it up to a moisturizer that will lock in moisture deep below the surface of your skin to leave it looking plump, healthy & refreshed. But, you also want something that will help the dry areas on your face without making your skin look or feel oily!
I recommend switching it up to a HEAVY-DUTY moisturizer & in terms of ingredients, you want to increase emollients, such as mineral oils, ceramides, etc. as they are more susceptible to help hold on to moisture.
- Sunday Riley Tidal Cream
- Egyptian Magic
- Peter Thomas Roth Hyaluronic Cloud Cream
- LANEIGE Water Bank Ultra Moisture Cream
Swap your powder foundation for liquid one. If you have dry and flaky skin, using something mattifing will only wreak more havoc!! Go for something hydrating, like a tinted moisturizer or a liquid foundation that adds moisture & allows skin to breathe!
Waterproof mascara FTW. You know when you’re walking outside & you’re LEGIT SO COLD THAT YOUR EYES START TO TEAR? Yeah, I know. It sucks. Then, with the teary-eyes comes the dripping mascara & the black tiger-eye circles (& don’t get me started about if you even attempt to rub it off… THEN YOU END UP LOOKING LIKE YOU HAVE A BLACK-EYE)… all this to say: a waterproof mascara will solve ALL THOSE PROBLEMS! My go-to is the Mac Cosmetics In-Extreme Dimension (The Waterproof One!)
Lastly, it’s always great to keep a hydrating mist or two on hand! They’re super nourishing & often contain a combination of greens, vitamins, minerals, collagen & essential oils, which all help revitalize, nourish, hydrate & moisturize the skin!!
- Dr. Dennis Gross Collagen C+ Mist
- Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator
- First Aid Beauty Vital Greens Mist
I know this was probably SLIGHTLY overwhelming, but keep in mind what I said initially – these are not ALL SWAPS THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE. You need to decide what you feel your skin care regimen is lacking or what you feel the need to switch up! Please don’t be shy to message me if you have any questions about the products I recommended!
P.S. Not all the products are photographed here because there was SIMPLY NO ROOM IN THE SHOT… FML. If you munchkins need a photo of any of the products or want to know where to purchase them, you know where to find me!!
Love you guys!!!