Nothing makes me pay more attention to my skin than winter weather. When the humidity starts to drop, my skin feels it immediately. Once it starts getting legitimately chilly, it’s time to reach for my more moisturizing products and fine-tune the rest.
I owe half of my skincare routine to friends who give great gifts. If you’re the one giving, know that it’s such a great gift option! I love when I can surprise a friend with a product I’m certain they’ll love that they perhaps haven’t discovered yet, or that might be a bit of a splurge for them. (A note for gift givers: keep your friend’s skin particularities in mind, e.g., if they have sensitive skin, or need to avoid certain ingredients, before giving them something new to try.) If they end up loving it, it becomes a gift that keeps on giving—my favorite kind.
At this point in my life I have a pretty firm idea of what I like and don’t like in skincare products, and what does and doesn’t work for my skin. If you’re still experimenting—or if you just like to sample a variety of products for a good value—I recommend giving a skincare or skincare/beauty subscription a try. I’ve especially enjoyed the BeautyFIX subscription from Dermstore and the Allure Beauty Box. Both also make excellent gifts for adults or for teens.
I’m sharing my go-to winter skincare products below, chosen specifically for my sensitive and prone-to-dryness skin this time of year.
Makeup remover. I’ve used Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm for years.
Face wash. My face does best with something gentle, like Grown Alchemist or Amore Pacific (which also have wonderful scents—something else I highly value in a daily-use product). They’re pricey but I just use a tiny dab and a full-size bottle lasts well over a year. That’s worth it to me.
Face moisturizer. I have a variety of moisturizers I keep in rotation, but my favorite is Wedela Skin Food. (For lighter moisturizing, like in the summer, I use something like Glossier Priming Moisturizer.) I moisturize morning and night (even in the summer).
Sunscreen. It’s important to use sunscreen all year round. (How I wish twenty-year-old Anne had known this!) The two I use on a regular basis: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen (over makeup) and Elta MD Clear Sunscreen (under makeup).
Lip scrub. A friend gifted me this wonderful French Girl Rose Lip Scrub. (Pro tip: I kept forgetting to use it—until I stuck it in the shower next to my face wash.) I use this every other day or so.
Body wash. A friend gave me Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash earlier this year and I’ve happily used it every day since. The smell reminds me of the rose-shaped soaps my grandmother kept in her bathroom for years. I love the feel of it and my dry, sensitive skin actually likes it, too.
OUAI Scalp and Body Scrub. This is an essential item in my winter survival kit. If the dry winter is hard on your scalp and skin, take note.
Hand cream. A tried and true classic: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula. I keep this in my purse and use it multiple times a day.
Heavy duty moisturizer. For serious winter moisturizing, I love Wedela Skin Food Body Butter, which I use all over, and also lightly on my face.
Aquaphor. I’m not sure what we would do without this healing ointment. Several family members keep tubs on the nightstand during the winter months for a thick application on their hands and any other irritatingly dry places before bed.
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream. I got a bottle of this in a holiday gift box. It is AMAZING, and also amazingly pricey. Not sure if I’ll be buying a refill but if anyone has a similar product they love I would love to hear!
Masks. I adore the smell of the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peeling Masque; I find it soooo calming.
I’d love to hear about your skincare favorites. Tell us in comments?