Sorry about the rhyme.

Just when you thought nothing could be more exhausting than caring for your skin in the summer (The sunscreen! The breakouts from sunscreen!), here comes Old Man Winter, ready to leave your complexion dry, chapped, and what… still breaking out? Ughhhh!

My Winter Skin Nemesis is of the indoor variety: Forced Hot Air, the most moisture-sucking method of household heating there ever was. So as the temperature drops outside and the heat cranks up inside, I start rotating my skin care products along with the clothes, shoes, and outerwear.

Cleansing oil

A CLEAN BREAK

Oil-free cleansers and drying makeup removal wipes go the way of the Summer sandal. Even if your complexion is oily or combination like mine, we need to hold on to our skin’s precious natural oils instead of stripping them away. Just the thought of using recommended “cleansing oils” before bed makes me feel like a gigantic cyst is developing on my chin, but I’m open to experimenting.

TRY: Tatcha’s Cleansing Oil doubles as a makeup remover (saving you a step every evening), and this one from DHC is so beloved one is sold every ten seconds worldwide. In my shopping cart: Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil, made for oily skin.

DRINK UP

It’s time to switch to a thicker moisturizer—just how thick depends on your skin type. Ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid to plump fine lines, hydrating natural oils with fatty acids like olive and jojoba, and “occlusives” like shea butter, rose hip, and nut oil to lock in moisture.

TRY: For combination skin, Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer has just the right mix of antioxidants and oil absorbers. Dry skin will crave the 24 hours of supercharged moisture in Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. And Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrate, suitable for all skin types, works as a primer, moisturizer, and makeup remover in one—perfect for morning and night!

Skin scrub

ABOVE AND BEYOND (PRODUCT JUNKIES, PROCEED WITH CAUTION…)

In an alternate universe, I could easily be one of those old school cosmetic salesladies ready to pop open my trunk case and show you what every single bottle and jar can do for you. Besides cleanser and moisturizer, my “More Winter Essentials Pitch” would sound something like this:

For your most radiant complexion, proper exfoliation is just as important in December as it is in August! It also ensures any product you use will penetrate as it should. And an intensive weekly hydrating mask is not only effective—it’s an excuse for 10 minutes of relaxation, too! Here…have some hummus.”

TRY: Fruity scrubs and peels, especially those with Vitamin C, are always a solid exfoliation choice. For the face, always look for gentler formulations made with rounded or uniform particles that won’t scratch or irritate the skin. On the advice of a friend, I’m trying this one from Peter Thomas Roth. My complexion never needs a hydrating mask, but if it did, I’d consider this one from the always affordable, never disappointing Yes To brand.

Skin still feeling parched? A humidifier is the hydrating beauty tool that also cures your nasal congestion. And pretty please, can I also have this vitamin-enriched mist from First Aid Beauty to hydrate, revive, and refresh on the go? It even works to help set your face post-makeup application!

What are your favorite winter skincare tips?

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