My Winter Skincare Routine for Dry Skin
My two main skincare concerns are dryness and anti-aging. I am quite particular about skincare products because my skin is very sensitive and dry. If my skin likes it, I’ll use that product to the very last drop before starting on something new. I believe it takes 3-4 weeks to start seeing the benefits of a product. We, especially women, go through hormonal changes, diet changes, different stress levels, and all these factors take a toll on our skin. So here are the products I have been using all winter long to keep my skin hydrated, glowing and youthful and why I love them.
Step 1: Facial Cleanser
I was my skin every morning and every night. On days when I wear makeup or my skin needs a little oil boost, I use DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil facial cleanser. I gently rub the oil all over my face and eyes to loosen up the makeup and then rinse. Then I’ll use a second facial cleanser, either Dermalogica’s Microfoliant Exfoliator or DHC’s Face Wash Powder to get rid of any excess makeup and dead skin cells. I have sensitive skin and both of these are gentle enough for me to use every day. However, the DHC version is about twice as gentle as Dermalgica’s exfoliant. It is also great for traveling since it comes i a small bottle it is a powder and therefore can go in your carry on luggage and will not leak all over your bag.
I pour the exfoliant on my Anisa brush and give my skin a good little scrub all over. I love this brush because it gets the job done at getting any access makeup/sunscreen off my face better than my hands could do, it’s more gentle than a washcloth to not pull at my skin.
Step 2: Serum + Facial Mist
The first step in my winter skincare routine (and has been every season since I got it in May) is the Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Mist Essense Mist. It is heaven on earth. I had the unique opportunity to have my own scents of ylang-ylang, lavender and rose water added while I was at the Montage Palmetto Bluff resort in South Carolina. I spray it on my face every morning and night after washing and take a big deep breath in. The scent and the deep breath both calm me and my skin loves the added hydration from the hyaluronic acid.
Dermalogica Phyto-nature firming serum
If you are not applying a serum before everything else what are you doing with your life?! Just remember this order, apply your skincare products in this order: thinnest to thickest. This allows the thinner products to penetrate deep into your skin and the thicker products to act as a barrier protecting your skin from the outer elements. The thicker moisturizers and creams that you apply last also hold the other products directly next to your skin while also penetrating.
I am serious about my serums and never skip. My favorite serum lately has been the Dermalogica Phyto-Nature Firming Serum. I started using this after I ran out of my beloved Clarins Double Serum. Both are great for my primary skin concerns: anti-aging and dry skin. The Phyto-Nature serum gives my skin immediate hydration and filler effect from the hyaluronic acid. It helps reduce the appearance of aging and has two phases: a firming and a lifting phase. It uses plant-derived bio extracts to tighten skin but it never gives me that pulling skin feeling that you sometimes get from other firming products.
Step 3: Eye, Neck and Facial Creams
My go-to eye cream at the moment is called Bye Bye Undereye by It Cosmetics. I realize a lot of people may skip eye cream but it is one of the first places to show signs of aging so might as well take care of this area as best we can.
Tip: The skin around the eye area is more thin and sensitive than the rest of the face. So instead of rubbing the skin in this area, I dab the product with my fingertip. Imagine what the daily roughness of rubbing in creams around this delicate area does for the fine lines and wrinkles that show up there? Nothing good.
For so long I neglected my neck and let me tell you, I regret it. My neck deserves just as much attention as my face. Of course, you can just whatever products you use on your face for your neck, it has similar thin, sensitive skin. I just happened to love the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Neck Cream and apply it every morning and evening. It’s ultra-hydrating and helps lift!
My final step at night and second to the final step during the day with sunscreen to follow is applying my L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich moisturizer. I have the Shea Light Comforting Cream featured in these photos, but trust me when I saw that for the winter my savior is the Shea Butter Ultra Rich version. I credit this luxurious facial cream with keeping my skin moisturized all night and all day. It is made with has 25% organic shea butter that melts into my skin.
On days when there is more moisture in the air, I can get away with using a slightly less heavy face cream. That is when I use the Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance face cream. This is an ultra-nourishing moisturizer that helps restores lipid balance to dry, depleted skin for optimal barrier performance. BioReplenish Complex™ delivers a proven combination of key barrier lipids to help enhance the skin’s natural resilience and support barrier recovery.
And last but not least, I apply my favorite sunscreen by EltaMD every day, no matter where I am going (if I’ll only be in the sun for 5 minutes or less) or how long I will be there. Its a habit I wish I should have started when I was a teenager because the sun damage on my skin shows and I see it every day. EltaMD’s products are the #1 Dermatologist recommended for sunscreens and they have different types depending on your skin type and preference.
Shop all my Favorite Products for your Winter Skincare for Dry Skin:
Other Skincare Tips to Help Dry Skin in the Winter:
- Turn your heater down at night. Hot dry air blowing from heaters is one of the WORST things for dry, sensitive skin. I turn down my heater at night to avoid it as much as I can. Plus, I sleep better when it is a bit cooler in my room since I have a heavy blanket on top of me.
- Run a humidifier. Trust me, this will change your life. The dry winter air + hot air from a heater literally suck all of the moisture from the air. I counterbalance this by running a humidifier day and night. Get one that helps kill bacteria in the air and clean the filter as often as necessary to avoid mold and mildew build-up.
- Apply all skincare products when your skin is moist. I apply all my skincare products directly after I shower when my purs are open and hydrated, or directly after washing my face. If I wait even 2 minutes after the water leaves my skin I can feel the tightness start to form and the products do not soak in as well.
- Drink a LOT of water. Hydrated skin starts from the inside out.
- Cutting sugar can also help decrease dry, sensitive, especially breakout-prone skin since sugar causes inflammation in the body.
- Take warm, not hot showers. Just like a heater blowing hot air can dry out your skin, so can hot water in the shower. I know it feels good, but each second it runs that hot water is pulling moisture from your skin. Turn down the temperature a few degrees and you’ll notice less of a dull feeling on your skin.
- Apply body oil to your skin directly after the shower. I literally apply as soon as I’ve patted the water off my skin and I am still standing in the shower. My favorite is Kahina Giving Beauty Body Serum. I’ll share all of my favorite body oils in a separate post.
- See more of my skincare recommendations here.
Photo by Taylor Lynn Photo