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Winter Skincare Essentials: Rescue Your Skin!

During transition months, our skin can feel tight, dry, and generally uncomfortable. Even the oiliest of skin types can experience intense dehydration as the seasons shift from summer to fall to winter. I have combination skin, which is mostly normal to dry, except for my t-zone, which tends to be oily. However, when winter approaches, my skin immediately loses all moisture, and it feels like all of that oil has been stripped from my face! I also tend to get dry patches, and sometimes even rashes, on my cheeks and nose. It’s the worst! Because of this, I love to use products with calming, hydrating, and nourishing ingredients. If you experience any of this discomfort during colder months, here’s a basic skincare routine to rescue your skin. 

If you wear makeup, it’s important to thoroughly remove all of it before proceeding with your skincare routine – both during the colder months and all year round. Without a clean base, no matter what products you use, your skin won’t absorb them to the best of its ability. I usually double cleanse my face to make sure I’ve fully removed all of the makeup and build-up on my skin. This is a cleansing method where you first use an oil-based cleanser, and then you go in with a water-based cleanser afterwards. Using this method ensures you remove both oil and water-based impurities on your skin. 

I use this technique all year round, but in the winter I like to switch to more hydrating cleansers. The Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm is a great oil-based makeup remover that is both hydrating and effective. It comes in solid form, and all you have to do is scoop some out and warm it up in between your fingers before applying. A little goes a long way, and the best part is that it doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight or uncomfortable like some cleansers tend to do. This product also contains several antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E.

I then go in with the Fresh Soy Face Cleansing Milk as my second cleanser. I usually use the regular Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, but in the colder months I like to use the milk version, because I find it more hydrating. This cleanser is very gentle and doesn’t irritate my skin or eyes at all, which I love. Fresh Soy Face Cleansing products are a classic, and I always go back to them. 

Next, I like to use some form of toner. When my skin is feeling dry, I prefer essence toners. Essences and toners are basically the same, but the texture and viscosity are slightly different. In general, toners are liquidy, while essences tend to be tacky and viscous. I like to use essence toners because they’re a good combination of the two. I particularly love the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner, which comes in a mist bottle for easy application. However, I like this specific product because the essence portion of this formula is more deeply hydrating than a normal toner, and it’s very basic and gentle. It’s a no-fuss formula that only contains ingredients essential for the purpose of the product: hydration and soothing. 

I usually stop after this step and go straight to moisturizer, but sometimes, when I’m feeling extra dry, I like to use a serum or ampoule. If you’re not familiar, an ampoule is just a more concentrated serum that targets a specific problem. In the winter, all I want is hydration to soothe my skin, so I like to go in with a product like the Sioris A Calming Day Ampoule. This ampoule is super lightweight and leaves skin hydrated and glowing. This brand also formulates their products using specific fruits best suited for specific concerns, and this ampoule contains Omija fruit, which is packed with antioxidants; it also contains centella asiatica, a great ingredient for soothing redness and irritation. 

Finally, I lock all in of my hard work with a simple moisturizer. I like to use a thicker moisturizer during the winter, like the Make P:rem Safe Me. Relief Moisture Cream. This cream repairs and renews my skin as I sleep. If I used this moisturizer in the summertime, though, I would wake up with a film of oil on my face because my skin doesn’t need the excess moisture during warmer months. But in the winter, my skin becomes drier, and that extra hydration is desperately needed!. This moisturizer only contains twelve ingredients to deliver deep hydration and lock in all the previous products for the night. 

This is the nighttime skincare routine I go back to each winter. These products are all very gentle and simple, which I find to be the most effective. Like I’ve said, my main skin concerns in the winter are hydration and soothing, so I like to focus my routine on those goals. These are general concerns that most people face in the winter, so I hope these product recommendations will be helpful if you have similar seasonal skin sensitivities!

Minjee Cho

U Penn '23

Minjee is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying biology. She is from Malvern, Pennsylvania and loves running, cooking, and makeup. She is also very passionate about journalism and women's empowerment.
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