For those of us with dry skin, winter can really reek havoc on your face. Gone are the days when the humid summer air helped keep us dewy and moist all day long. Say hello to chapped cheeks and flakey dry spots.
I’ve gotten even more intense with my skincare routine as the temperature drops and I wanted to share what I’ve been using, and a few mini reviews for products I haven’t talked about before. A lot of my products and the general style of my routine are influenced by Korean skincare routines. I may have a small K-beauty obsession. I know it looks like a lot but I’m not using all of it everyday, so lets dive in!
Step 1: Cleanse
Makeup Wipes: If I’ve been wearing makeup I pretty much always start the first round of cleansing with a makeup wipe. I like a soft but sturdy wipe that’s nice and moist but doesn’t leave a residue on my skin. I’m currently using Labotica Bamboo Water Cleansing Tissues by Leaders and so far I’m loving them.
Cleansing Balm: After I wipe off the first layer of makeup I like to use a cleansing balm, to help dissolve the leftover makeup, waterproof liner and mascara, and basically anything the wipes missed. If you’ve never used a cleansing balm, it’s basically a thick cream, almost vaseline like in consistency, that you rub onto your face where it emulsifies and the oils dissolve makeup without stripping your skin when you rinse. I’ve tried a few different balms at different price points. The cheapest being Yes To Coconuts Hydrating Melting Cleanser, which is great if you’re on a budget. On the high end Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm, which was quite the disappointment given the price. The balm never really melted into my skin and therefore didn’t do a good job cleansing. My favorite (pictured above) is REN Rose Centifolia No. 1 Cleansing Balm. It’s so creamy and does such a good job making my face feel clean.
Water based Cleanser: I’ve been using Dudu Osun African Black Soap for several years now and every time I try to stop I regret it. It can be a little drying but it keeps me free of breakouts and fades dark spots and hyper-pigmentation crazy fast. I use this everyday as my primary cleanser, and on days when I wear makeup it’s my third cleanse after using wipes, and cleansing balm.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Peeling Gel: Peeling gels are a newer product that I’ve been trying. They’re gels that you massage onto your dry skin, let sit for a few minutes, and then rub again. You’ll start to feel the dead skin rolling up and sloughing off, gross but satisfying. Finally you rinse it all away with warm water. I’ve tried peeling gels from Skin Inc, Magis Lene, and Secret Key. I honestly haven’t noticed any major difference between them.
Exfoliating Mask: If I’m not using a peeling gel I like to use an exfoliating mask like REN 1 Minute Flash Facial, REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask or Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Mask.
I prefer chemical exfoliation (acids and enzymes) over physical exfoliation (scrubs and beads) because they’re gentler and give an even more consistent exfoliation. Exfoliating helps to remove the top dead layers of skin so that my serums, and moisturizers can penetrate my skin and work more effectively. I usually do an exfoliating treatment once a week in the winter.
Step 3: Nourish
Serums & Essences: Serums and essences are nutrient dense liquids that help deliver nourishment and hydration to the skin. There’s a serum or essence for just about every skin concern but the two I’ve been using this winter are Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence, which fades dark spots, hydrates and brightens, and Mizon Collagen Serum which hydrates, improves texture and tones skin. These are both newer products for me so full reviews will come later but so far, I’m impressed. I’ve been using them daily before moisturizing.
Sheet Masks: I’ve talked about sheet masks on here before and I’m still hooked on the hydration. My skin feels so dewy and soft after a 30 minute sheet mask. Some of my favorites are Tony Moly, Mediheal Placenta, Jayjun Baby Pure Shining Mask. I usually use sheet masks 1-2 times a week and I ALWAYS follow an exfoliating treatment with a sheet mask.
Step 4: Moisturize
Facial creams & lotions: This step is pretty obvious but I’ve been using pretty cool product that I actually didn’t think I would like, Erborian Yuza Double Lotion. It’s a bi-phase lotion that you have to shake to mix together and then apply to your face. It’s super watery definitely not how I imagine a lotion but its super hydrating and soothing to the skin. I do not usually like watery moisturizers so color me shocked. I’ve also been using Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre, a cult classic that I’m really enjoying this winter and Murad Essential C Moisturizer for my SPF in the daytime.
Oil: I know I’ve talked about this on here before but in the winter I love to add 2-3 drops of Argan oil into my face creams to help seal in the moisture. You could also use Jojoba or Maracuja or whatever facial oil you like.
… and that’s everything! What do you guys think? too much? not enough? Let me know in the comments below!