My skincare routine undergoes a major change twice a year. There may be a bit of a transition period in fall and spring, but the real overhaul occurs between summer and winter. If you haven’t already, read my post on my current morning skincare routine, where I delve into greater detail of the treacherous relationship my skin and I have endured.
To summarize: I have oily, textured skin that is prone to dehydration.
I wear makeup on most days and sunscreen every day. Because of that, I subscribe to the double cleanse method. (Again, I would encourage you to read my current morning skincare routine for a more comprehensive breakdown.) Essentially, step one is intended to remove makeup, sunscreen and whatever other icky enviornmental debris that has accumulated on my face throughout the day. Step two is to properly cleanse the skin. If you jump in the shower with a face full of makeup and begin working cleanser into the skin, you are essentially rubbing the makeup deeper into the pores. This method also fails to properly remove sunscreen. Many people who claim that “sunscreen makes them break out” are really just failing to remove it properly and thus congesting their skin.
Let’s get down to the products. Throughout the fall and early winter, I had been using Simple Micellar Cleansing Water. This product checks all of the boxes for me. It is a liquid that is easily dispensed from the bottle with a controlled dropper so I can put it on a cotton pad without inadvertently bathing in it. It is budget friendly, has no fragrance, is gentle on skin, removes absolutely everything and doesn’t burn my eyes. (I don’t intentionally put it in my eyes, but you know, things can get a little crazy during skincare time.)
In about mid-December, I realized that my skin was starting to feel a little dry and thought that it might be time to switch to something a bit more emollient. Enter: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. I am in love. They say the best product is the one you will actually use. That is the case here. It’s a little higher in price but requires very little product and there are always sales to be had on Clinique. You pat your fingers into the balm and rub into your dry makeup ridden face so that it can work its magic. I have to stand in front of the mirror when I do this because A.) I am incredibly uncoordinated and actually must see my face in order to clean it and B.) am utterly fascinated every evening by how the makeup just dissipates from my skin when met with this balm.
Once I have thoroughly rubbed it in, I wet a cloth (I use these microfiber face cloths – they are life changing) and remove both product and debris from my face – gently. (Not only are these microfiber cloths super soft, but they are white so that I can confirm everything has indeed been removed from my face.)
Okay so now, the second cleanse. I have faithfully used CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser for a few years now and I could not be happier. I have received other cleansers in subscription boxes and sample bags but always come back to my CeraVe. To hear me wax poetic about the merits of this cleanser, (you guessed it) visit my morning skincare routine post.
Most evenings, maybe 5 nights a week, I apply some sort of mask after washing my face. Twice a week I use Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. This is a powerful at home peel, but not at all intended for the faint of heart. (Or those with sensitive skin.) I love this mask and only regret having waited so long to purchase it. On the days in between, I rotate between GlamGlow SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment and something more soothing like Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask or Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (A more gentle & cost-effective alternative.)
Because my skin is prone to congestion, I like to kick things off with an acid toner. This serves to wake up my skin and prepare it to receive the active ingredients that will follow. I am currently using Pixi Glow Tonic and couldn’t be happier with it! (Previously I was using Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads and still highly recommend them as well. They are a little more cost effective and can be used daily.)
I keep a variety of serums and treatments in my arsenal at any given time. The order of application or type of active ingredients varies based on what masking or exfoliation I have done that night. As often as possible, I keep some sort of retinol/retinoid at the forefront. I mix in some AHA products and those focused on hydration (plumping) as well. I don’t put too much stock in general “anti-aging” cocktails without proven actives in their ingredient lists. I currently have Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II and find that it is a good chaser on the nights I use Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial and really want something gentle.
I don’t advocate investing a great deal in your moisturizer. Really, you want something that seals everything else in and supports the protection of your skin barrier. I swear by CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM Ultra Lightweight. I use two pumps every night religiously to my face and neck.
I think you all know where this is going, but I can’t complete this post without mention of my beloved Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. I promise you, apply this before bed every evening and you will be astonished by how much less lip balm you will require during the day!
This is a lot – I know. If you have any questions please post them below and I will be happy to answer. Also, I’d love it if you would share you current winter skincare routine with us!