Finding the perfect skincare routine is tough. Learning what your skin needs and responds well to takes a lot of trial and error (and can cost quite a bit depending on the products you use). Once you lock everything in though, it's amazing to see the improvements.
Then, the seasons change and a lot of us are left back at square one. Depending on where you live, the winter months bring cooler temperatures, harsh winds, and even drier air. Living in Colorado means that I get hit with winter weather off and on starting in October. And my skin tends to become much more volatile as things change.
The hardest thing I have had to overcome during this time is the dryness and wind that roll in. My skin constantly feels zapped of moisture and hydration. In response, my skin tends to produce even more oil and sebum (meaning I end up looking pretty greasy by the end of the day). On top of that, I am usually more acne prone over the winter months.
Last year I did my best to counteract this by incorporating a slew of new moisturizers, serums, and heavier toners to try and pack my skin with as much hydration and emollient power as possible. This switch in routine was hard to manage with all the new products, making sure that nothing was causing an adverse reaction, and just the cost that came with swapping out the majority of my routine.
While this approach did keep severe dryness at bay, I wanted to try something different this time around. My goal was to keep as many of the products in my routine the same (or at least the same style of product that works for me during the rest of the year) and try to incorporate just one or two things that would get me through the winter months.
I ended up landing on a one-two combo of hydrating/nourishing wash-off masks and facial oils. Each of these items has allowed me to customize my routine to tackle cooler/drier weather while still maintaining my core routine (which is great when things warm up outside from time to time).
For wash-off masks, I’ve been experimenting with a wide array. Be it something super creamy and dense like the Korres Greek Yoghurt Mask or the I’m From Honey Mask to something more light, I’ve found that any hydrating/moisturizing mask does well to keep my skin happy throughout the week.
Annie's Way Honey Deep Moisturizing Jelly Mask
I’ve been loving the Annie’s Way Honey + Lecithin Deep Moisturizing Jelly Mask for its ability to deeply hydrate and plump up my skin while also being super lightweight and approachable. This light orange/clear gel contains sodium hyaluronate, honey extract, panthenol, and red spiderling extract. The formulation is perfect for those with oily skin as it rinses without any oily/greasy residue.
Leaving the Annie’s Way Mask on for about 30 minutes allows my skin to really drink up the dehydration, similar to a sheet mask. I’ve even taken to coating my lips in this mask as it has helped to keep them chap and crack free (which is nearly impossible during the winter for me)!
Once the mask has done its job of packing my skin with hydration and water-binding ingredients, I lock it all in with my moisturizer/facial oil combo. I’ve found that using a facial oil to amp up the emollient power of my moisturizer allows me to keep using the lightweight lotions/emulsions that I love in the summer right into the cooler weather.
The type of oil that you might gravitate towards will really depend on your skin’s needs and personal preferences. Some of us like a really lightweight oil while others want something more substantial and emollient. I have tried a few different versions and can really go either way. I love facial oils that combine classic oils like jojoba or sunflower with some antioxidant rich ingredients.
Holy Snails Perseids Oil
The Holy Snails Perseids Oil has been a real winner for me over the past month or so. This medium weight oil is packed with so much goodness! Avocado, meadowfoam seed, rice bran, jojoba, evening primrose, macadamia seed, castor, and borage seed oils can all be found here. In addition, some wonderful vitamin c/antioxidant packed oils are here as well including blackberry seed, blueberry seed, cranberry seed, pomegranate seed, and raspberry seed oils.
I could go on and on about how well-rounded the formulation is (vitamin e and sea buckthorn are also along for the ride) but needless to say, the team at Holy Snails got as much nourishing and skin beneficial ingredients into the bottle as they could.
I typically add about 3 drops to my moisturizer in the am and 4-6 in the pm depending on how my skin is feeling. There is a nice/nutty aroma to this oil that dissipates quickly leaving behind little residue. Honestly, this stuff absorbs really well considering the cornucopia of oils included in the product.
Over time, I have noticed that my skin just retains so much more moisture throughout the day and overnight as compared to just my regular moisturizer alone. Plus, the added glow the Perseids Oil provides keeps me looking dewy in the face of cold winter winds. It’s one of my favorites and I’ll be coming back to it again!
So there you have it, my one-two punch to keep dull, dry, greasy, and overworked skin at bay. Those with oily skin might benefit from incorporating just one or two add-ons to their routine vs. swapping out every step for something heavy. You may find this hack to be a bit more comfortable (and affordable) as we dive into the colder months.