I spent this past Christmas at an elevation of 8,000 feet in Aspen, Colorado with my skin dehydrating away in the cold mountain air. My face was the driest I have ever felt in my life. We were so high up that my toiletries started exploding!
I really had to take care of my combination skin and thought I would share my winter skin care routine and favourite products with you! Here's how my morning usually goes:
Step 1: Cetaphil Cleanser - I like to use an extra gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. I've sworn by it my whole life and it washes my face without stripping it completely. Do this step in the shower to save yourself a bunch of time.
Step 2: My Clarisonic Mia - I like to apply a small dab of cleanser onto my Clarisonic Mia and use the pulsating brush every other day to wash my face. On the off days, I use my hands. I love my Clarisonic, but I don't want to overdo it and have it cause unnecessary breakouts. Try the extra gentle sensitive skin brush if you decide to go this route.
Step 3: Bioderma Sensibio H20 Toner - To restore the Ph balance in your skin after cleansing, use a bit of toner on a flat cotton pad. This step also helps remove excess make-up. I use the Bioderma Cleanser from Shoppers Drug Mart that also doubles as an eye make-up remover, but gentle enough to use as a toner. When I can afford to splurge, I go for the Vichy Purete Thermal toner. It's a soothing and refreshing toner that is good for sensitive skin and reduces redness. Apply immediately after cleansing.
Step 4: Dermologica Overnight Repair Serum - I'm breaking rules here, but I like using this oily serum under my moisturizer during the day, especially in the winter. My skin drinks up all the liquid goodness and does not leave my face shiny. I find that daily skin serum has become a must as I get older and it helps correct dark spots and sun damage. Give the product about two minutes to soak in.
Step 5: Ole Henriksen Truth Creme Advanced Hydration - I discovered this line at Sephora and I love the fresh citrus smell every morning. It's a nice light moisturizer that's loaded with vitamin c to naturally brighten my skin.
Step 6: La Roche Posay Sunscreen - If you're not using a product with an SPF sunscreen of at least 15 on your face, you need to start ASAP. I'm not joking, sunscreen is the secret to keeping wrinkles at bay and to keep your skin looking fresh and young. I use La Roche Posay Anthelios with an SPF of 60 to block UVA and UVB rays.
Twice a Week: Exfoliate! I recently met someone in their late 20s who didn't know what exfoliating was. Do not miss out on this easy skin wonder of a trick. Use a gentle scrub twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells. Your face will literally be glowing after you do this. I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub Gentle for sensitive skin.
Once a Month: Clay or Mud Mask - I should probably be doing this every week or every two weeks, but I'm super lazy about this one. A good clay or mud mask should pull out all the crap you don't want in your face like clogged pores and blackheads. Give it about 10 minutes to dry and rinse off.
At the end of my 20's I started investing into quality skin care products. I started to find that drugstore cheapies weren't cutting it any more as I got older and my skin changed. Some of the cheaper moisturizers I was using even contained alcohol which further dried out my skin and caused me to breakout.
So if you have the money I recommend investing in some quality skin care products - specifically serum, sunscreen and moisturizer. I know the above may seem like a lot of steps and there are days when I might skip one, but take the time to really enjoy taking care of your skin and it will pay off.
What's your winter skin care routine like?