My Top 5 Winter Skincare Essentials

As mentioned in my previous post about ceramides, winter is coming. Even now, the air is drier and the temperatures are plummeting.

I love it.

The only thing I don’t love is the hassle of tweaking my skincare routine to accommodate the shifting weather. Unlike some lucky folks, I basically have to play a trial-and-error guessing game when it comes to figuring out what my skin will want each winter. I don’t have a set “winter routine.”

Like all important things in life, I just wing it. YOLO, man.

That being said, there are five things that I know I’ll need when it starts getting cold.

skincare essentials infographic

  1. Low pH Cleanser

    I use a low pH cleanser every day of the year, but it’s even more important to me when the air is dry. My skin is prone to dehydration, so I do everything I can to shore up my moisture barrier and general skin health when the weather is intent on sucking my face bone-dry.

    The CosRx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser* is a crazy popular and affordable option for most people. My skin didn’t love it, but I’m in the super minority on this one!

    Alternatively, I absolutely adore the Pacifica Kale Detox Deep Cleaning Face Wash. It’s around the same price as the CosRx, and it leaves my skin super soft and clean without feeling dry.

    I think it’s also worth noting that the good ol’ orange Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash is actually low pH too! This is a mega cheap and no-fuss option for those of you who are into that. I like using it as a body wash.

  2. Hydrating Toner

    A hydrating toner is a game-changing addition to anyone’s skincare routine, especially in the winter.

    I like to pat them on in multiple layers, a la the 7 Skin Method (you can read a quick rundown of this gloriously extra skincare step here!), but they’re also great to mist on your face liberally and often.

    If you like your toners thick ‘n’ juicy (I do!), then I highly recommend splurging on the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner*. I was skeptical when I was sent a bottle to review, but I wound up loving the texture and results enough that I plan to purchase another bottle when I run out.

    If you want watery yet wildly effective, then you absolutely NEED the seaNtree Donkey Milk Waterising Toner*. I can’t say enough about how much I love this stuff. Not only is the bottle stupidly cute (like everything else from the brand), but the product itself is quickly becoming a ride-or-die staple for me. I get a glow and softness from this toner that I don’t get anywhere else.

    I’m a glutton for toners, so if you want more recommendations, drop a comment on this post and I’ll gladly talk your ear off about them!

  3. Moisturizing SPF


    I know you guys know by now that you always need sunscreen, but I’m specifically talking about adding a moisturizing one for winter. Even if you have oily skin, I’ve found that switching to a more lotion-y SPF can add a much-needed extra barrier between your hydrated face and the harsh outside.

    Obviously YMMV here, but I suggest at least grabbing some samples or travel sizes to test this winter!

    I personally love:

    • CosRx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
    • Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence
    • Etude House Sunprise Natural Corrector (this one is a pink-tinted “tone up” product!)
  4. Facial Oil

    Oils are intimidating for a lot of people. I totally get that, and I’m still not an expert on how to make them work for me. I do a lot of experimenting, and not all of it is successful.

    That said, they do work, you just need the right one for your skin type!

    One in particular I can recommend as a good starting point for pretty much any skin type is the Goodal Lasting Waterest oil. It’s very lightweight and pretty foolproof as long as you’re not sensitive to any of the ingredients!

  5. Lip Balm

    So, when I say “lip balm,” I really mean “lip treatment.” I should also probably mention that I am a HOARDER of all types of lip treatments. I will basically try anything once.

    It’s especially important to have at least one or two very nourishing lip products in your arsenal when the weather is dry. Chapped lips are no fun.

    During the day, I just use plain old Carmex or whichever of my dozen lip balms I happen to grab first. At night, I slather all of my watery skincare steps over my lips and top it off with at least two of these products:

    • Blistex Lip Serum
    • Neosporin Overnight Lip Treatment
    • Vaseline Lip Therapy
    • Lanolips

    I also think it’s important to gently exfoliate your lips at least once a week to keep them from looking flaky.

Let’s Chat!

Are your winter must-haves the same as mine? Should I add something else to my list? Leave a comment below and let me know!

2 thoughts on “My Top 5 Winter Skincare Essentials

  1. I feel pretty much the same. Have to recommend the Nivea Essential Care lip balm – bought it by accident thinking it was the Original care one, and have never looked back. Really long lasting moisture. I slather it on my lips after brushingvmy teeth before going to bed – sorted.
    (Also just want to say I really enjoy your blog and Instagram 😊)

    1. Ooo I haven’t tried that one, but I’ll be looking for it next time I go beauty shopping. I’m always up for adding another lip balm to my (already immense) pile! ^_^

      And thank you! You’re so sweet! I’m glad someone enjoys my odd humor, haha.

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