Even in southern California, the winter months require a change-up in my skincare routine, so I thought I’d share what’s working for me lately! I use nearly entirely botanical or additive-free (clean) skincare products. I’ve broken it down by my daily, nightly and weekly routines.
Cleanse: Since I have combination skin, I always use an exfoliating cleanser that doesn’t dehydrate my skin too much. Right now I’m using Cosmedix Purity Clean, which contains salicylic acid to exfoliate as it cleans. I’ve been using this cleanser for almost a year now, and I really love it. I’ve never felt dried out after, but my skin definitely feels thoroughly cleansed!
Tone: I also use an exfoliating toner by Cosmedix. I’ve had trouble with other toners irritating my skin in the past, but this one doesn’t, so I’ve stuck with it. Toner is almost like doubling up on your cleanser as it helps to clear out pores. It also shrinks them so they aren’t as visible, which makes your skin appear more firm and smooth.
Moisturize: For me, this is a three-step process from a line called Jeffrey James Botanicals. I use an oil, serum AND moisturizer in the winter, but not all over my face. Their oil (called “The Glow“) is antioxidant, antimicrobial and super hydrating. The serum has hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C in it, which promote collagen development, diminishing fine lines and regenerating skin cells. Finally, their moisturizer (“The Creme“) contains glycolic acid to promote cell turnover, coconut oil and royal jelly to retain hydration, and vitamin A, which delays signs of skin aging. This cocktail leaves my skin glowing and never flaky.
Vitamin A supplement: Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many great things you treat the surface of your skin with, you still get hormonal breakouts. That’s because hormones aren’t excreted from the surface of your skin, obviously! After going off birth control (which had always kept my skin blemish-free) a few years ago, I was getting a couple of those awful cystic zits a month. My dermatologist suggested I start taking 10,000 IU of Vitamin A a day. That amount actually dried my skin out a little too much, so now I take an 8,000 IU supplement every other day, and it’s totally cleared my skin up. It’s kind of amazing!! I know this won’t be a remedy for everyone, but I’ve had a lot of luck with it so I thought I should share.
Before bed, I follow a similar routine to the morning, but in place of my toner, I use a 20% glycolic acid wipe which works overnight to exfoliate dead/dry skin cells. I LOVE Cane + Austin’s Miracle Pads.
I do sometimes use makeup remover towelettes rather than cleanser at night. I don’t notice a huge difference, as long as you’re getting your makeup off – that’s the important thing! I use Sephora brand wipes. They don’t irritate my skin like a lot of other wipes do, so I’ve stuck with those for years now. UPDATE: A reader, Kelly, let me know that Sephora’s wipes include a chemical called PHMB (Polyaminopropyl Biguanide), which is carcinogenic and has been banned from use in Europe. It’s commonly used in makeup remover products in the US. Now that I’ve learned this, I am definitely making a switch to Ole Henriksen’s wipes. Also, I recently discovered the app CosmEthics, which allows you to scan the barcode on any of your beauty products and tells you which contain any bad chemicals or if they’re vegan, allergenic, etc.
Microdermabrasion: I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: the key to glowing skin year-round is exfoliation!! So, in addition to all the daily exfoliating I do, once a week (or every other week) I do a pro-strength microdermabrasian/peel treatment. It’s SO refreshing and my skin always comes out feeling totally new and deeply cleansed! My favorite system is this one by Ole Henriksen. It’s a three-step system (I guess I’m into those!) which consists of an almond scrub, lemon alpha-hydroxy acid peel, and soothing chamomile mask.
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So there you have my winter skincare routine! I will be posting my entire daily makeup routine next week, so stay tuned…. and let me know if there are any skincare products you’re really loving right now that you think I should check out!