Thanksgiving usually marks the general time of year when I have to start thinking about transitioning my wardrobe from the warmer months into the cooler ones. Cardigans no longer suffice for warmth, and I must take into consideration the ways a coat might wrinkle the blouse I’ve chosen, or the way that fabulous angled necklace might catch on the scarf I require. Beyond clothes, though, winter means a change in my skincare routine. I never needed to worry about changing my routine prior to living in DC, because in Texas and Louisiana, winter means the weather goes from “sweltering hot” to “quite pleasant” in December and January. My first winter in DC, however, I learned the true meaning of Christmas, which is: actual cold weather is brutal on your skin.
As someone with combination-to-oily skin, I’ve never considered that my face could ever feel parched, but that first winter up here taught me exactly how dry it could be. The key to managing oily skin is exfoliation; the key to managing dry skin is hydration. Thankfully, there are myriad products out there these days that are geared toward managing oil AND dryness. Obligatory Hannah Montana moment:
Here are some of my favorite products this season:
I had been seeing hoopla around this product for months, but my aforementioned oily skin doesn’t really need “nourishing” during the warmer months – it manages that all on its own. With the first chill, however, I was grateful to have a sample of this stuff to try out, and boy, was I pleased! It’s very lightweight and absorbs into your skin almost immediately, and when you wake up, your skin feels baby-soft and fresh. Every enthusiastic thumb is up for this one.
Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II | Estee Lauder
I know I’m not even close to being the first person to sing this product’s praises, but the fact that I’ve literally been using it for ONE WEEK (I haven’t even bought a full-size version yet – I’ve still got plenty of my sample size left) should give you some insight into exactly how amazing this stuff is. It’s packed with hyaluronic acid, which traps moisture in your skin without oils – clutch for those of us who produce plenty of oil without any help. I also came back from my Thanksgiving vacation with a few extra blemishes, as my skin is wont to do when I travel, and while I can’t give total credit to this stuff, I do have to believe the purifying claims are true given that I didn’t need to use any concealer this morning.
Fresh Lips | Ole Henriksen
Wintertime doesn’t just mean dry cheeks; it also means very chapped lips. This stuff, however, is a life saver – on top of the standard emollients, its ingredients include salicylic acid, which exfoliates the crap out of my dry lips. In fact, it’s so effective that I can’t use it too often – only when my lips are begging for it. (When I’m not using this, I’m a devotee of Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1.)
Aria | Clarisonic
This is actually a staple in my routine regardless of the weather, but it’s particularly useful in the winter. I reluctantly joined the Clarisonic cult after holding back for years, thinking that my scrubs and washcloths were exfoliating just fine. Once I gave in, though, I couldn’t believe I’d gone so long without it! My skin feels amazingly clean after each wash, my serums and moisturizers sink in immediately, and my masks are exponentially more effective. In the summer, the Clarisonic helps control oil, by purging your pores more efficiently than any scrub could. In the winter, the Clarisonic sloughs off the dead skin and keeps your face smooth and radiant. I’m partial to the Aria model, which can be used for varying speeds and lengths of time, and comes with a handy charging stand.
What are your winter skincare essentials?