my daily (winter) skincare routine

my daily (winter) skincare routine

as somebody who lives in canada, my skin type actually changes in the colder months: from oily-combination to dry-combination. the cold dries out my skin and leaves me with tons of flaky patches. this means that, come winter, i actually need to switch up which products i use. after much trial-and-error, here is my current routine:

makeup remover/cleanser/sometimes toner: La Roche-Posay Micellar Water (Sensitive Skin). this baby is an all-in-one product: it removes my makeup, cleanses my skin, and, when i’m too lazy to use a separate toner, tones my skin, as it balances pH levels. it’s an all-around great product, suitable for sensitive skin (i’m not sensitive, but i do like their products). i would recommend it with one caveat: it’s not the best as an eye-makeup remover. i would recommend using a separate eye-makeup remover, especially one with oil in it. mid-level price range.

toner: Avene Thermal Spring Water. this is a lovely, refreshing product. great in the winter as a toner, or great anytime as a refresher. also works well in the summer to cool down. suitable for sensitive skin. would recommend. mid-level price range.

moisturizing steps: 

  1. serum/oil: Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate. this product is my new holy grail winter skincare product. i couldn’t find anything to soothe my flaky patches until i found this face oil. i use a few drops after my toner and before my moisturizer. highly recommended. it is a bit on the pricey side.
  2. moisturizer: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Legere 24hr Rehydrating Fill-In Care. this moisturizer is great for dry-combination skin: not greasy and not too thin. would recommend. mid-level price range.

sun protection: Neutrogena UltraSheer Face Sunscreen (SPF 60). this is a fantastic sunscreen for combination skin, as it is not greasy or sticky. mild sunscreen scent. would recommend. quite cheap, as far as sunscreens go.

primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. this product is well-loved in the online beauty community, so i won’t say too much. it’s a fantastic primer, especially for combination skin, as it adds a bit of moisture while reducing shine and minimizing pores. highly recommended. a bit on the pricey side.

extra step (exfoliator): Vichy Normaderm 3-in-1 Scrub + Cleanser + Mask. this is another great all-in-one product. in the warmer months, it is my everyday cleanser, but in the colder months, i use it weekly as an exfoliator. also doubles as a mask! would recommend. mid-level price range.









how to: construct a basic skincare routine

how to: construct a basic skincare routine


in terms of daily skincare, there are three main components, which (ideally) should be done once in the morning and once at night:

  1. cleansing
  2. toning
  3. moisturizing

step 1: cleanse

you want to find a cleanser that suits your skin-type, whether that be dry, dry-combination, combination (normal), oily-combination, or oily (you can break those down into even further categories, but i’ll use those as a basis). you also need to factor in whether or not your skin is sensitive: if so, you need to pick products that are made specifically for sensitive skin to avoid irritation and reactions.

the easiest way to figure out which cleanser is right for you is to do some research, either online, in magazines, or in-person by asking a cosmetician/beauty advisor (although, keep in mind, many salespersons have implicit biases towards certain brands & products due to factors such as store inventory and commission). there are so many products out there at so many different price points: your perfect cleanser is out there, somewhere.

step 2: tone

using a toner is an often-missed step, but it is important: a toner balances your skin’s pH levels so that it is ready for the next step (moisturizer). again, you want to choose a toner that is specific to your skin type, and to do some research.

step 3: moisturizer

lastly, you want to make sure that you’re using a moisturizer. this helps replenish your skin’s lipids and oils. again, choose one that is specific to your skin type, and do your homework.

extra steps

  • sun protection: many moisturizers include sun protection, so this may not need to be an extra step. otherwise, find a sunscreen that is specific to your skin type and do your homework. many people think this is only a step for the summers; however, it is crucial to wear sun protection every single day–cold or warm, cloudy or sunny. UV damage happens through clouds, as well. use an SPF of at least 30. (you can skin this step at night-time.)
  • exfoliating: using an exfoliating product 1-2 times per week is advisable, as it helps to remove dead skin cells. this is typically in the form of some type of scrub. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.
  • serums/oils: serums and oils are basically extra moisturizing steps–not necessary, but certainly useful. you’ll want to apply them after your toner and before your moisturizer, as they’re more concentrated than regular moisturizers and therefore should be absorbed first. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.
  • masks: similar to exfoliators, masks are typically used 1-2 times per week. pick one that addresses a specific skincare need of yours (i.e. moisture, oil-control, pore-minimizing).
  • night cream: i don’t personally use night creams, but if you have anti-ageing concerns, night creams are fantastic. they are basically just moisturizers that are specifically designed for night-time, when our skin is regenerating the most. use them in place of your moisturizer before bed. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.
  • primer: part-makeup, part-skincare, makeup primers are used to prime the skin for makeup. many people choose to wear primers alone, though: they can help smooth over the skin very well. certain primers do certain things, such as minimizing pores, reducing shine, or adding luminosity. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.

stay tuned for a post with my winter skincare routine!