A Winter Skincare Routine Focused on Reducing Dryness & Dehydration

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winter skincare routine

Baby, it’s cold outside! And now that we’re in the thick of January, I’m back with an updated winter skincare routine.

You’ll see many products from my fall skincare routine, but I’ve added a few new things in my winter skincare routine that I don’t necessarily need until the weather gets frigid. I’m also testing some exciting new products, including cleansers, essences, treatments, and moisturizers!

Keep reading to learn more about winter skin care:

  • My 2022 Winter Skincare Goals
  • My Current Winter Skincare Routine (Step-by-Step)
  • The Extra Treatments in my Winter Skincare Routine

2022 Winter Skin Care Goals

Here’s a quick overview of what I’m targeting in my winter skincare routine this year:

  • Extra Hydration
  • Moisture
  • Skin Barrier Maintenance
  • Skin Texture
  • Anti-aging

Make sure to think about your skincare goals as you adjust your routine to make sure you’re adding products that help you reach them.

Some background on my skin: My skin is eczema-prone and prone to dehydration and dryness, especially in winter. I’m also in my late 30’s and live in New York, where it’s cold, windy, and dry this time of the year. These factors play a role since your skincare routine should reflect your environment, age, lifestyle, and skin goals.

And if you’re just starting out, just start with the basics: cleanser(s), a moisturizer, and an SPF. Check out my post on How To Build A Skincare Routine for more information on building a solid starter skincare routine.

Now, let’s get into my winter skincare routine step-by-step.

My Current Morning Winter Skincare Routine: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansing is the foundation of your skincare routine. If you don’t wash your face properly, then the rest of your skincare products can’t do their job effectively. 

The goal is to find a cleanser that thoroughly cleans without leaving the skin dry or tight. Because my skin is drier and more dehydrated in the winter, I use more cream-based cleansers in my winter skincare routine.

Current Water & Cream-Based Cleansers:
  1. Gladskin Face Wash For Sensitive Skin – Get 10% off using my promo code DANA10 ($16)
  2. Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée 3% ($18)
  3. Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser ($20)
  4. Olivarrier Wash All Barrier Relief Cleanser ($28)
  5. Skinmedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser ($38)

Step 2: Vitamin C

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love Vitamin C for my skin. Vitamin C helps with overall brightness, evening the skin tone, and getting rid of those pesky dark marks (otherwise known as hyperpigmentation).

Current Vitamin C Serums:
  1. Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster – reviewed here ($49) 
  2. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Vitamin C Serum ($166)

Most vitamin C serums, especially ones with L-ascorbic acid, have a shelf life between 3-6 months. So, I like to use an entire bottle before opening another one. I currently have my Skinceuticals CE Ferulic open. I will open up the Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster when I finish the Skinceuticals bottle.

Step 3: Face Mists & Essences

Here’s where I start to layer on the hydration in my skincare routine, and face mists and essences are an easy way to do that. Both provide immediate hydration and are easily layerable with other serums applied afterward.

Current Face Mists:
  1. LaRoche Posay Thermal Spring Water ($13)
  2. Caudalie Grape Water Moisturizing Face Mist ($18) 
  3. Avene Thermal Spring Water ($18.50)
  4. NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist  – reviewed here ($50)
  5. Youth To The People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist with Peptides ($42)
Current Essences:
  1. Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water ($18)
  2. Sioris My First Essener ($32)
  3. Bioeffect EGF Essence – reviewed here ($99)

Step 4: Hyaluronic Serum

Hyaluronic serums are essential in my routine. Hyaluronic acid is a natural humectant, meaning it can draw water into the skin and help it look more firm, plump, glowy, and youthful. More importantly, hydration keeps our skin barrier functioning correctly, making it more resilient to environmental stressors and irritants.

Current Hyaluronic Serums:
  1. Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster – reviewed here ($37)
  2. NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex – reviewed here ($60)
  3. Dr. Barbara Sturm Darker Skin Tones Hyaluronic Serum ($300)

Step 5: Moisturizer

I use more emollient moisturizers in the colder months. A good moisturizer helps lock in all the goodness you’ve put on your face beforehand. It also helps prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

Current Moisturizers:
  1. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer ($36)
  2. SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Peptide Face Cream ($52)
  3. MDO Skin Intense Hydrating Moisturizer ($89)
  4. Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream for Darker Skin Tones ($215)
  5. Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Face Cream ($360)

Step 6: Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an essential skincare step in your routine, even in winter. Protect your skin and wear sunscreen every day.

Current Sunscreens:
  1. Paula’s Choice Youth Extending Hydrating Daily Fluid SPF 50 ($33)
  2. AbsoluteJOI Tinted Moisturizer With SPF 40 Mineral Sunscreen ($42)
  3. Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50 ($145)

Step 7: Lip Balm

As the weather gets colder (and drier), my lips are guaranteed to become more chapped. I like really emollient lip balms that don’t leave your lips looking greasy but ensure your lips won’t dry out in 30 minutes.

Current Lip Balms:
  1. Aquaphor Lip Repair ($10)
  2. Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm – review here ($18)
  3. Karite Baume à Lèvres Lip Balm ($25)
  4. Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid & Peptide Lip Booster ($29)

My Current Nighttime Winter Skincare Routine: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Double Cleanse (Part 1)

You all know how I feel about double-cleansing. And the first step of my double cleanse includes an oil or balm cleanser to thoroughly remove all my makeup and sunscreen.

Current Oil Cleansers:
  1. The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm ($10)
  2. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser ($19.90)
  3. Naturium Purple Ginseng Cleansing Balm ($19)
  4. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Cleansing Balm – reviewed here ($28)
  5. AbsoluteJOI Sunflower & Moringa Cleansing Oil (reviewed in my list of Black-Owned Skincare Brands with Products For Sensitive Skin ($45)

Step 2: Double Cleanse (Part 2)

The second step of my double cleanse includes a water-based cleanser to remove dirt and debris.

Current Water & Cream-Based Cleansers:

Step 3: Serums & Treatments

After my face is clean, I generally apply an “active” to target specific skincare concerns. My active product could range from a peptide serum to an acid toner to retinol. I would refer to my blog post on how to layer your skincare for more details on applying your treatments.

Current Serums & Treatments:
  1. Chemical exfoliants help fade hyperpigmentation and refine pores and skin texture appearance. I enjoy using acid toners like Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($30) and gentle enzyme cleansers like Dr. Barbara Sturm Darker Skin Tones Enzyme Cleanser. I also enjoy using AHA serums like Paula’s Choice Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA ($56) and Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum ($90) as weekly exfoliation treatments.
  2. Peptides are another ingredient I’ve been incorporating into my skincare routine over the past year because they provide significant anti-aging benefits. They target firmness, dullness, wrinkles, and discoloration. I absolutely love the NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 ($68) and NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Lipid 1% ($70). For more details on these NIOD products, check out my review here.
  3. Retinol promotes skin cells turnover, slows down collagen breakdown, and thickens the skin where wrinkles start forming. I’m currently rotating Paula’s Choice 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment and AbsoluteJOI Skincare’s Skin Refining Night Oil with Retinol (reviewed here).
  4. Skin Barrier Serums help strengthen the skin barrier and soothe the skin. Keeping your skin barrier strong and healthy is extremely important. And when you have eczema-prone skin, you always have a few calming serums in your arsenal. I usually rotate my Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging SerumPaula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum (reviewed here), NIOD Modulating Glucosides (reviewed here), and Bioeffect’s EGF Serum (reviewed here).

DISCLAIMER: Because my skin is sensitive, I only apply ONE potent active per routine. Using too many actives can irritate your skin, especially when layered incorrectly.

Step 4: Layer The Hydration

Refer to my morning routine (Face Mists, Essences & Hyaluronic Serum) for more details.

Step 5: Moisturizer

Refer to my morning routine for more details. I have a great post on how to pick a moisturizer here.

Step 6: Face Oil

Face oils become an essential part of my evening skincare routine in the winter. I also love to use face oils when I give myself a facial massage. Check out my at-home facial for more on this.

Current Face Oils:
  1. Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil ($34)
  2. Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil ($38)
  3. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil ($40)

The Extra Treatments in my Winter Skincare Routine

Clean Skin Club Clean Towels

You know I can’t talk about cleansing without mentioning my Clean Towels. These have been a game-changer in my skincare routine. I’ve been using them religiously for four years now.

Your regular washcloth might look clean, but it can harbor a lot of dirt, makeup, oil, and dead skin cells you can’t even see. These disposable, biodegradable towels ensure that bacteria from washcloths don’t break me out. For more on my love for them, check out my blog review here.

For 20% off your Clean Skin Club purchase, use my code BEAUTYINCOLOR at checkout.

Clean Skin Club Travel Size 25ctClean Skin Club – Clean Towels BambooClean Skin Club – Clean Towels

Face Masks

I fully admit that I’m lazy when it comes to masks. I prefer to either use a “sleeping” mask that you don’t rinse off or a sheet mask. Both are great for soothing the skin and help to seal in treatments/serums that have been applied.

Current Face Masks:
  1. Bioeffect Hydrogel Imprinting Mask  ($17)
  2. Dr. Althea Oasis Soothing Mask ($18)
  3. Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Mask ($120)

Microcurrent Devices

Microcurrent devices are great for improving muscle tone, boosting collagen and elastin production, aiding in lymphatic drainage, and contouring the face. I’ve been using the ZIIP Beauty device and NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device.  

Get 20% OFF your ZIIP Beauty device using my discount code “DANA20” at checkout.

ZIIP GX deviceNuface Trinity Facial Toning Device

Holistic Winter Skin Care

Your winter skincare routine goes far beyond your skincare products. How you treat your skin and prepare it for winter weather has a lot to do with keeping your skin feeling great when the weather gets cold. For tips on how to care for your skin outside of your usual skincare routine, check out this blog post.

Have you tried any of the products I mentioned?
What new products have you incorporated into your winter skincare routine?

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1 Comment

  1. Susan Brittingham
    January 28, 2023 / 11:38 pm

    I’m really enjoying your blog. It’s informative and easy to read. You have lovely skin. If only I had known to take care of my skin in my 30s! I’m 56 now and have only been reading about and practicing skincare for 2 years. Back in the 80s and 90s my routine was washing my oily face with soap — usually Dial! The commercials said that Dial soap would clear my acne. Now my dry sensitive skin and I shudder at the memory.

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