I’ve lived in cold climates. And yet, my move to San Francisco — seemingly the warmest place on Earth in winter (mild exaggeration) — has spurred me to update my beauty routine. I’ve read so many blog posts, articles and stories suggesting switching up your beauty routine for the colder months is ideal. But, I don’t know, the minimalist in me thinks, “you have one product to do each job; why fill up your beauty cabinet unnecessarily?”
But, even harsh skincare critics like me can concede that winter skin does need some different TLC than summer skin. Even those of us living in milder climates need to be aware of different skincare for different seasons. Our weather is essentially in a perpetual state of ‘transition,’ and those in-between states can often cause havoc on skin.
The trick? It’s all about balance. Finding products that will add that little bit of extra hydration without adding too much ‘dewiness’ (let’s save that sweaty look for summer, thanks).
After a lot of research — and some trial and error — I’ve found a few key products that really deliver on the winter skincare front. And, as always, cruelty-free. Happy Christmas, little animals.
THE CRUELTY-FREE WINTER SKINCARE EDIT: WHAT TO USE
GENTLE, NATURAL CLEANSER — While you may love that squeaky-clean feeling you get with grainy or harsher cleansers, remember that skin is more delicate and sensitive in the colder months. A gentle, natural cleanser is a winner. My absolute favourite is Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser. Never have I used a face wash that’s safe to use on the eyes, removes all traces of makeup and is incredibly gentle on the skin.
OIL-BASED MAKEUP REMOVER — Be honest: are you a bit lazy about taking off your makeup before a second cleanse? (raises hand enthusiastically). I won’t lecture you in why you really need to remove your makeup — premature ageing, bacteria, clogged pores, stained pillowcase — but, yes, it’s a good idea. Many people opt for a makeup remover wipe, which not only is bad for the environment, but the rubbing is harsh on winter-dry skin. An oil-based formula is a gentle, nourishing way to effectively remove makeup and soften skin.
FACIAL SPRAY — You’ll find a good facial spray in my bag year-round. However, rather than the cooling water sprays so useful on summer holidays, it’s important to pick something nourishing and with added skincare goodies. Keep it at your desk during the day to make sure winter skin stays hydrated.
EXFOLIATING ACID — Yes, I realise it seems counterintuitive to use something harsh like an acid during the winter months. But, often, winter skin can suffer from looking dull, lacklustre or flaky. Exfoliating acids are the best way to slough away dead skin and resurface skin texture, helping your moisturizers to penetrate more deeply.
OVERNIGHT MOISTURIZING MASK — If you’re using the acids above, it’s so important to counteract these with a good overnight moisturizing mask. I’ve found that by following an acid + moisturizing mask routine, each one 2 nights a week, is the perfect combination for my skin. It goes without saying that if you have oily skin, a solid night cream could be enough for you; if you have dry skin, then maybe use one of these guys a few times a week.
DAILY MOISTURIZING CREAM / EYE CREAM — As a general rule of thumb, creams are more moisturizing than lotions, as the ingredient make-up helps create a barrier to trap moisture. Or as I just learned at this moment… whoops. Essentially, make sure to skip the thinner lotions for something thicker. The same goes for your eyes, which can go a bit haywire in chilly winds.
DON’T FORGET YOUR BODY — While it’s important to take care of your facial skin, the skin on your body needs a little TCL during the winter months, too. I don’t know about you, but skin turns into a flaky, dry mess during the winter months. Thanks, burning hot showers and genetics. A good body scrub does a world of wonders; make sure to choose one with moisturizing and gentle properties as to not aggravate the skin.