The weather has gotten a bit colder and drier recently where I live. While I love winter and truly look forward to some great snowball fights, snowshoeing, and the hot cocoa to be had afterwards, it does wreak some havoc on my newly middle-aged skin.
I have been trialing several creams and potions the last several weeks, including some old friends and some new discoveries. My experiments have led me to a somewhat simple, yet effective skin care routine (that also happens to be composed entirely of drugstore brands). Here are the players:
The Evening Routine
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water
I have found that washing my face with soap at night tends to cause it to be dry and a bit tight in our current cold weather. This micellar water removes the small amount of makeup that I usually wear (see my 5 Minute Face here) and prepares my skin to accept moisturizers more readily. The addition of glycerin, niacinamide, coupled with the absence of harsh chemicals means that this is one of the few micellar waters that don’t need to be rinsed off after application.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
I was in love with the cream for so long (see that review here), I was shocked to find a product from the Cetaphil line that I liked even better! This lotion may be used on the body or face and is packed with moisture giving ingredients such as glycerin, avocado oil, and vitamin E. Even after experimenting with several fancy creams and oils recently, I find this to be the most comfortable lotion to wear. It feels as though it actually penetrates the outermost layer of skin and it leaves my face feeling very moisturized, yet not greasy (even until morning)!
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
I don’t usually use this on my face, unless the sides of my nose feel excruciatingly dry during a bout of the flu. Instead, I use it as a lip balm on really cold, dry evenings. It’s a bit greasy to wear during the day, but lanolin and panthenol help keep my lips from cracking overnight.
The Morning Routine
Queen Helene Mint Julep Scrub
I have vacillated back and for between this scrub and other (much more expensive) competitors for years. Yet I always find myself back to this one. The packaging has changed a lot over the last decade, but the product is just as wonderful as it was back then. Made with very finely ground walnut shell and glycerin (sensing a theme?), this scrub leaves my skin soft and smooth and not dried out at all. Because my skin tends to be sensitive, I use this every other day, in the shower, and alternate with the Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash.
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
This is another product that I have adored for years. It is facial wash that does not dry out my skin, and best of all, it doesn’t sting my eyes! I am an absolute Neanderthal while washing my face, with water and soap everywhere; highly fragranced or stinging facial washes only make me cry. This is my holy grail facial wash.
Kiss My Face SPF 30 Face Factor
Speaking of holy grail products, here is my favorite sunscreen for the last several years. It is moisturizing but not greasy. It has a physical sunscreen, but doesn’t make my skin any paler (ghostly) than it already is. It contains ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and (you guessed it) glycerin, that help improve the texture and appearance of my skin.
What more could I ask for?
Oh, it also layers under makeup perfectly and, dare I say, acts a bit like a primer! (It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, just in case that’s important to you.)
Nivea Moisture Lip Care
Nivea has released numerous lip balms over the years. None though, have I like better than this one! It is one of my favorites (as you can see here), so much so that I generally order the 6-pack from Amazon. It works great in the summer, and I find that it layers nicely under a gloss in the winter.
Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss
Another perennial favorite (review here), this gloss is a must-have for me in the winter months. Nothing seals the moisture into my lips and prevents chapping like this gloss. I suspect that the linoleic acid and the squalene do a lot of the heavy lifting here, but I also believe the petroleum/wax base does something to keep it adhered (even after coffee) and prevent drying. Even if I am forgoing makeup for the day, I still layer on this gloss to keep my lips comfortable.
There you have it; my current evening and morning skin care routine. It’s not fancy or complicated, though it is complete chance that it ended up being entirely drugstore products. These products are what is currently keeping my skin pliable and non-flaky this winter, and I highly recommend them all.
My skin care needs usually change with the season, so stay tuned for upcoming routines. What does your skin crave in he winter?
Stay warm, and stay cozy!