Winter Skincare Favorites

Fight dull, dry skin with these winter time faves.

With the weather outside growing cooler and already living in a dry climate, winter becomes the time for careful consideration in the skincare department. I normally have a bit of combination skin, but it does get drier in winter. I've found the best routine that works for me is cleanse-acid tone-spritz tone-serums-treatment-moisturizer. With that in mind, I've broken down my winter skincare favorites by where they sit in my routine. I prioritize gentle exfoliating to combat any flakiness, brightness, and moisturizing overall during winter as my desired results. Most of what I recommend should work for all skin types, but your skin mileage may vary and ultimately what works for you will work for you. :)

                                                             Had to be done.

                                                           Had to be done.


I don't actually change much here, as these are cleansing products I use all year-round, but they do work very well in winter because they don't have foaming agents and are cream or oil or balm.

Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil- This is my go-to makeup remover. It dissolves everything from long wear lipstick to waterproof makeup, doesn't irritate my skin, and I get a bit of a facial massage in as well. I like to gently massage it in on dry skin then press a towel dampened with warm water on my face and repeat as needed to get the makeup off. And if I'm out of coconut oil...

MUJI Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin- I have the travel size version of this that I pick up at my local MUJI store, and it works well in a pinch to take off makeup, and doubles as an effective oil cleanser when traveling. It's gentle and made primarily of olive and jojoba oil and as a cleanser it turns milky when water is added. I use this mostly to remove make up, so I massage it onto dry skin and remove with a warm washcloth. 

Trilogy Cream Cleanser- Trilogy is a New Zealand brand that I found at my local Whole Foods Beauty that I thought I'd try in lieu of the less easier to find/slightly more expensive MV Organics line that many Aussie beauty bloggers love. With rosehip, carrot, and other nice ingredients, this is a pretty straightforward and gentle cream cleanser that does the job without drying out the skin. 

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleasning Balm- My Holy Grail skincare item, which I reviewed more in-depth here, is a gorgeously lush cleansing balm full of essential oils than can double as a softening, moisturizing mask and also will remove makeup brilliantly. If you were to pick one thing out of all the cleansers I recommend here, this is what I highly suggest, if not the product overall to choose were you to pick one thing from this post.

Acid Toner

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads- This is a great cost-effective acid exfoliating toner to get your feet wet into acid toning with lactic and glycolic acids and the pads are gentle enough to use morning and night.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold- With 5% glycolic acid, licorice extracts, and silk proteins, this is a great acid exfoliating overnight treatment best used 2-3 nights a week and never on nights in a row. I find it best used straight after cleansing and nothing else put on for it to work best, but if you need to you can put some moisturizer on top.

Pixi Glow Tonic- Another great, budget acid exfoliating toner with glycolic acids. aloe vera, and ginseng. It can be used morning and night and is easy, low fuss, and does it's job brilliantly. 

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner- Another brilliant one for nighttime on alternating nights, does a great job and has that lovely Clarins scent.

Spritz Toners

La Roche Posay Serozinc- A great option for oiler skin types as a toner, it also works well to treat inflammation like acne or scarring or other blemishes. 

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner- With similar ingredients to their cream cleanser, this is a lovely, efficient toner that spells nice and not too strongly of roses.

Caudalie Beauty Elixer- Packed with essential oils and one of my favorite things to carry on long haul flights, I like this more for special days where my skin needs to be perkier and to combat winter dullness. 

Serums & Moisturizers

Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Serum- Vitamin C is great for brightening and fading spots, so this is especially nice in winter time. 

Trilogy Vital Moisturizing Cream- With more rosy goodness, this creamy moisturizer is wonderful for dry skin and absorbs quickly without feeling greasy, which isn't what we all usually want most days?

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré- For those really dry days, this is one of best. A rich moisturizing cream that also works well under makeup as a primer for dry skin types, I love this stuff on those really bad dehydrated skin days or as a primer for my more mattifying or longwear foundations.

Trilogy Certified Organce Rosehip Oil- I think at this point it's obvious I like the Trilogy range. Their rosehip oil is great for combatting flakiness and winter dryness, while also helping to repair skin. A win win for winter.

Laneige Bright Renew Emulsion- On days when I want a little bit of moisturizing under my makeup that's lighter, I reach for this stuff, which is also supposed to help brighten the complexion. I also will layer it over oil and under a mask or more heavy duty moisturizer at night if my skin is parched.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask- a revitalizing overnight mask with Laneige's Sleepscent to act as a little aromatherapy, this is a great option for combatting dry skin overnight when you don't want something too thick on and if you sleep with the heat on. 

Bonus Round!

Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm- While I'm normally not big on manual, grainy exfoliants, I received this exfoliating balm in the first Caroline Hirons Cult Beauty Box and found the exfoliating grains were so fine and the balm base itself to be so lovely that this is an exception. If you suffer from flakiness, dull skin, and do need to exfoliate 1-2 times a week, this the manual exfoliant for you.

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Balm Stick- This is my favorite lip balm stick of all time, and the one I've found consistently the best. With peppermint oil and coconut oil, it's so comfortable on the lips, tastes good, and it's non-shiny, meaning it can make the perfect balm to prep lips for matte lipsticks. I have been known to have a minor conniption if I lose my tube of this.