The most frequently asked question that I get in my Instagram DM’s is “what products can I use to battle very dry winter skin?”. Living in Canada means that I go through some of the most frigid winters. My skin desperately needs hydration during these months. So, I’ve created a list of my favourite go-to products for combating the winter skin blues.
The first step to any skincare routine is cleansing! When cold weather arrives I swap to a more hydrating cleanser that nourishes and soothes my skin, while also being tough on makeup and daily grime. Here are my top picks:
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – $47 CAD is an iconic cult cleanser that is full of hydrating ingredients such as soy, rosewater, cucumber and borage seed oil. It gets rid of any trace of makeup and leaves my skin feeling soft and supple. I love this cleanser so much. I’ve repurchased it so many times I’ve lost count! If you have sensitive skin this is a must. You can shop it here!
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – $25-$40 CAD another holy grail cleanser that I pull out in the winter time is this tube of goodness. It’s a fragrance-free super gentle whipped and creamy facial cleanser with aloe and glycerin as its main ingredients. Glycerin is a super ingredient in skincare because it acts as a natural humectant, which means it draws moisture to your skin! This formula is also pH-balancing and helps reduces flare ups whether you suffer from acne or eczema. You can shop it here!
Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cleansing Face Oil -$10.95 CAD I swear by double cleansing so when I stumbled upon this product it was a match made in heaven. It’s super inexpensive but filled with incredible ingredients. I use this to remove my makeup. I massage it into my dry face and watch the makeup completely break up. I then rinse with water and voila a clean canvas to begin my next cleansing step! The key ingredients are cocoa butter, vitamin e, sesame oil and rosehip oil. It’s super super nourishing and is great for reducing acne scars and hyper pigmentation. You can shop it at walmart or online here!
Hydrating serums are your best friend during the winter. Many people ask me “is a serum is necessary?” Absolutely! If you’re suffering from severely dry skin a serum will help heal and repair dry patches. Serums help retain moisture in the skin. They are NOT a substitute for moisturizer. To get the full benefits you must use a moisturizer over your serum to create a barrier that helps lock the moisture in. Here are some of my favourite hydrating serums:
Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum – $59 CAD this serum is incredible. I hoard it in the winter in fear that I will run out! It’s oil free so it is great for all skin types and enables the skin to retain more moisture over time, while also soothing irritation. The main ingredients are grape water, hyaluronic acid, grape seed polyphenols and olive squalane. Pro Tip: this an excellent serum if you accidentally sunburn your face! You can buy it here!
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum – $20 CAD another drugstore gem! This serum is incredible on super cold days. It feels light on the skin and is full of hyaluronic acid. It’s also oil-free so it will work for any skin type. I love wearing this under makeup. You can shop this at any Canadian drugstore or Walmart.
Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate – $86 CAD I know this is very pricey but it does come in smaller more budget friendly sizes. Remember, a little goes a long way. This is an intensely moisturizing and energizing serum. It helps your skin look bright and awake, while also plumping and hydrating. It has a blend of ginger root, sunflower and tamanu. The smell is incredible if you love ginger as much as I do. I love adding this oil to my moisturizer and creating a little concoction on my no makeup days. You can shop it here!
The final step! Lock in your serum with a layer of moisturizer. Perhaps the most important step of them all is this. I reach for heavy duty moisturizers during colder months because my skin drinks them up. I opt for this mantra; the thicker the better!!!!!! Here are some of my favourite winter moisturizers:
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – $15-$45 CAD this never ever leaves my side in the winter. Of all the products you may go out and purchase from this blog post let is be this. It comes in a literal tub and is so hydrating and soothing I actually can’t wait to put it on. One of the main ingredients in this moisturizer is oatmeal, which helps heal your broken and dry skin. I love this so much I recommend it to everyone who asks me about dry skin products. You can shop it here!
Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion – $15 CAD this brand has been around for year and years. Sometimes simple is the best option when your skin is dry and rough. I used this as a teenager and still purchase it today when my skin flares up in the cold. It has hyaluronic acid and glycerin so it will aid your skin in retaining moisture long term. I highly recommend this if you suffer from problem, dry skin. You can shop it at any drugstore or Walmart as well as online here!
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – $20-$63 CAD another Kiehl’s product because they are the best of the best when it comes to skincare. This is ultra hydrating (like it says) and has no scent. This product is neat because it reduces moisture loss, while also drawing and absorbing moisture from the air. Its main ingredients are glacial glycoprotein extract, desert plant extract and Kiehl’s signature ingredient squalane. It is great under makeup and one of my go-to’s in the extreme cold. You can shop it here!
I think that a hydrating cleanser, serum and moisturizer is sufficient for those of you who are just starting to build a routine. However, for those of you who are skincare junkies like myself I wanted to create this little section with some extra goodies that I love using when my skin is really struggling to stay hydrated.
Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mark – $35 CAD this is a great overnight “treatment” if you’re looking to really punch some hydration into your skin. I use this when the temperature starts to hit that -15 zone to really ensure my skin is staying nourished. Its main ingredients are avocado, apricot kernel oil and japanese seaweed. Personally, I think origins do some of the best masks ever and always turn to them when I’m looking for a mask to help with whatever skin issue I may be having. Their masks are affordable and last a long time. You can shop this here!
Ole Henriksen Pore-Balance Facial Sauna Scrub – $34 CAD a build up of dry skin can cause breakouts so I always make sure that during the winter I exfoliate at least twice a week, which will allow my serums and moisturizers to really sink in. This scrub actually heats up while you’re massaging it into your face. It deeply purifies and has a blend of glycolic and lactic acids, which are great for stubborn acne prone skin. The refreshing eucalyptus-peppermint scent is so warming and cozy and makes me love reaching for this little beauty. It also has volcanic sand, neem seed oil and a green fusion complex of green tea, eucalyptus, algae and Irish moss. If you’re in need of a scrub I highly recommend this. You can shop it here!
Clarins Instant Lip Comfort Oil “Honey” – $25 CAD don’t forget to keep your lip hydrated too! There’s nothing worse than cracked lips in the winter. I love this product because it’s easy to apply. I tend to stay away from “balms” that involve me having to use my finger to apply because it’s messy and sticky and yuck and nobody wants to take their hands out of their gloves to apply some lip hydration. This kind of acts like a lip mask/gloss all in one. I personally love the honey one the most. It has a blend of hazelnut and jojoba oils and seals any lip colour you’re wearing. I use this overnight as well and wake up with pouty plump lips. A winter must. You can shop this one and the other colours here!
So there you have it! My list of winter skincare products to keep your skin hydrated even in below zero temps.