My Winter Skincare Routine

Today is officially the first day of winter! Can you believe it?!

I love my winter skincare routines because I get to layer more skincare. And you all know I love to layer skincare! In the winter, I don’t have to worry about potential breakouts from the hot, sticky days of summer.

Colder weather calls for more hydration and moisture layers. So, I layer more essences, serums, nourishing creams, and oils.

Today, I’m sharing my winter skincare routine, including:

  • My 2020 Winter Skincare Goals
  • My Winter Skincare Routine
  • The Skincare Products I’m Currently Using

MY CURRENT SKINCARE GOALS

Here’s some background on my skin: 

My current skin type is dry and sensitive, and my primary skin condition is that I’m eczema-prone. I am also prone to dehydration, especially in the winter. I am 38 years old, and I live in New York, where it’s cold and dry this time of the year. I like to put that out there since your skincare routine should reflect your environment, age, lifestyle, and skin goals.

My winter routine is set up to accommodate how my skin reacts to the winter weather conditions. My skin gets really dry, and my eczema flare-ups the most during this season. Given that, here’s what I’m focusing on during my winter skincare routine:

  • Extra Hydration
  • Moisture
  • Skin Barrier Maintenance
  • Anti-aging

Make sure to think about your skincare goals as you adjust your routine to make sure you’re adding products that help you reach them.

I also don’t recommend buying an entirely new routine, especially if you’re just starting out. Switching products too frequently is a culprit for irritation. Just start with the basics: cleanser(s), a moisturizer, and an SPF. Check out my post on How To Build A Skincare Routine for more information on building a solid starter skincare routine.

MY MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE

STEP 1: CLEANSE

The topic of washing your face twice a day is somewhat controversial. I tend to wash my face twice a day. I understand that cleansing too much can potentially dry out your skin, so I’d recommend doing what works for you. But, if you find yourself waking up oily or tend to layer many products at night, cleansing in the morning can be beneficial.

You know I can’t talk about cleansing without mentioning my Clean Towels. These have been a game-changer in my skincare routine. And I’ve been using them for over two years now. For more details on the Clean Towels, check out my dedicated blog post hereThis week (December 21st-28th), my promo code is boosted, so you’ll get 30% off your purchases at Clean Skin Club using my code BEAUTYINCOLOR at checkout.

Here’s my morning cleanser stash:
  1. Holifrog Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash ($36)
  2. Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser ($28)
  3. Klur Gentle Matter Daily Moisture Cleanser ($22)
  4. Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser ($26)
  5. Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée 3% ($18) 
Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee 3%
Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser
Klur Gentle Matter
HOLIFROG SUPERIOR OMEGA NUTRITIVE GEL WASH
Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser
Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee 3%
Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser
Klur Gentle Matter
HOLIFROG SUPERIOR OMEGA NUTRITIVE GEL WASH
Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser
Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee 3%
Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser
Klur Gentle Matter
HOLIFROG SUPERIOR OMEGA NUTRITIVE GEL WASH
Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser

STEP 2: VITAMIN C SERUM

Everyone knows how much I love Vitamin C for my skin. Vitamin C helps with overall brightness, evening the skin tone, and getting rid of those pesky dark marks (otherwise known as hyperpigmentation).

Here’s my Vitamin C stash:
  1. Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster ($49)
  2. Hyper Skin Brightening Vitamin C Serum ($36)
  3. Pestle & Mortar Vitamin C 2 Phase Serum ($104)
  4. Naturium Vitamin C Complex Serum ($20)
Naturium Vitamin C Complex Serum
Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum
Pestle & Mortar Vitamin C 2-Phase Serum
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
Naturium Vitamin C Complex Serum
Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum
Pestle & Mortar Vitamin C 2-Phase Serum
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
Naturium Vitamin C Complex Serum
Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum
Pestle & Mortar Vitamin C 2-Phase Serum
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

STEP 3: MISTS & ESSENCES

Now, here’s where I start to add hydration in my skincare routine. Most times, I just spray a face mist and go straight into the next step. But, in the winter, I tend to add more hydrating layers to my routine, and essences are a perfect addition. They provide immediate hydration and are easily layerable with the other serums you apply afterward.

Here’s my face mist stash:
  1. Caudalie Grape Water ($18)
  2. Youth To The People Adaptogen Mist ($42)
  3. Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate The Mist ($29)
Here’s my essence stash:
  1. Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Hydrating Toner ($24)
  2. Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence ($25)
  3. Bioeffect EGF Essence ($99)

I’m also adding the Naturium Niacinamide Skin Mist 2% Naked and the Naturium Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2% into my routine as soon as it arrives.

Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence
Youth To The People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist
Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Mist
Bioeffect EGF Essence
Caudalie Grape Water
Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence
Youth To The People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist
Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Mist
Bioeffect EGF Essence
Caudalie Grape Water
Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence
Youth To The People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist
Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Mist
Bioeffect EGF Essence
Caudalie Grape Water

STEP 4: HYALURONIC ACID SERUM

Hyaluronic acid serums are essential in my routine. Hyaluronic acid is a natural humectant, meaning it can draw water into the skin and help it look more firm, plump, glowy, and youthful. More importantly, hydration keeps our skin barrier functioning properly, making it more resilient to environmental stressors and irritants.

Here’s my hyaluronic serum stash:
  1. Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum ($59)
  2. NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex ($60)
  3. Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($36)
  4. Naturium Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum 5% ($16)
Naturium Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2%
NIOD MULTI-MOLECULAR HYALURONIC COMPLEX
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum
Naturium Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2%
NIOD MULTI-MOLECULAR HYALURONIC COMPLEX
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum
Naturium Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2%
NIOD MULTI-MOLECULAR HYALURONIC COMPLEX
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum

STEP 5: MOISTURIZER

I use more emollient moisturizers in the colder months. I’ll also add face oils to my lighter weight moisturizers that I haven’t finished from the summer. A good moisturizer helps lock in all the goodness you’ve put on your face beforehand. It also helps prevent water loss.

Here’s my moisturizer stash:
  1. Good Science Beauty Hydrating Cream ($68)
  2. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer ($35)
  3. Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream ($25)
  4. SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Peptide Face Cream ($50)
Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream
SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Peptide Face Cream
Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer
Good Science Beauty Hydrating Cream
Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream
SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Peptide Face Cream
Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer
Good Science Beauty Hydrating Cream
Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream
SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Peptide Face Cream
Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer
Good Science Beauty Hydrating Cream

STEP 6: SUNSCREEN

Sunscreen is an essential skincare step in your routine, even in the winter. Protect your skin and wear sunscreen every day. 

NOTE: I haven’t liked any mineral sunscreen yet. So, all of my sunscreens listed are chemical sunscreens. I’m working on finding a good recommendation for you. 

Here’s my sunscreen stash:
  1. Paula’s Choice Youth Extending Hydrating Daily Fluid SPF 50 ($33)
  2. Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50 ($145)

I’m also testing out a new sunscreen that’s coming out soon. I can’t wait to share the news with you next year.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50

MY EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE

STEP 1: FIRST CLEANSE

You all know that I enjoy both cleansing oils and cleansing balms. So, you’ll never hear me steer you towards one over the other. But, I do recommend that you find an oil cleanser that you love. They’re great for removing makeup and oil (versus a cream cleanser). Check out my thoughts on oil balm cleansing for more on why.

Here’s my cleansing oil & balm cleanser stash:
  1. Absolute JOI Cleansing Oil (reviewed in my list of 15+ Black-Owned Skincare Brands with Products For Sensitive Skin and my 2019 Best In Beauty List($15)
  2. Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate (my favorite cleansing balm of the year) ($42)
  3. Deviant Skincare Enzymatic Cleansing Oil ($42)
  4. Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser for Sensitive Skin (this is a new addition to my routine)($22)
  5. HoliFrog Kissimmee Vitamin F Therapy Balmy Wash (reviewed here($42)
Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
Deviant Skincare Enzymatic Cleansing Oil
AbsoluteJOI Sunflower & Moringa Fresh Cleanse Oil
Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate
HoliFrog Kissimmee Vitamin F Therapy Balmy Wash
Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
Deviant Skincare Enzymatic Cleansing Oil
AbsoluteJOI Sunflower & Moringa Fresh Cleanse Oil
Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate
HoliFrog Kissimmee Vitamin F Therapy Balmy Wash
Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
Deviant Skincare Enzymatic Cleansing Oil
AbsoluteJOI Sunflower & Moringa Fresh Cleanse Oil
Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate
HoliFrog Kissimmee Vitamin F Therapy Balmy Wash

STEP 2: SECOND CLEANSE

During the winter months, I typically reach for creamier cleansers. But, there are still a few non-sudsy gel cleansers I keep in rotation.

Here’s my water and cream-based cleanser stash:

(These are the same cleansers I generally use in the morning.)

  1. Holifrog Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash ($36)
  2. Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser ($28)
  3. Klur Gentle Matter Daily Moisture Cleanser ($22)
  4. Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser ($26)
  5. Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée 3% ($18)
Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee 3%
Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser
Klur Gentle Matter
HOLIFROG SUPERIOR OMEGA NUTRITIVE GEL WASH
Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser
Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee 3%
Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser
Klur Gentle Matter
HOLIFROG SUPERIOR OMEGA NUTRITIVE GEL WASH
Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser
Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee 3%
Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser
Klur Gentle Matter
HOLIFROG SUPERIOR OMEGA NUTRITIVE GEL WASH
Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser

STEP 3: ACTIVE TREATMENTS

Before I start talking about actives, I want to share my philosophy on how I layer my skincare, specifically since I have sensitive skin. 

I don’t like to mix actives in the same skincare routine. For example, I don’t like to include acids and retinols in the same routine. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t, but my skin can’t handle it. I like to use acids, peptide serums, and retinols on different nights. And I only use my vitamin C serum in my morning routine.

We’ve already talked about Vitamin C serums (refer to my morning routine). So, let’s talk more about acid toners, peptide serums, and retinols. And then, I’ll share how I continue with my routine after using each of these.

ACID TONERS

When I refer to acid toners, I’m really talking about chemical exfoliation. And they can come in various forms: cleanser, toner, serum, and mask. My personal preference is an acid toner. And I use acid toners about 2-3 times a week.

Here’s my acid toner stash:
  1. Biologique Recherche P50V 1970 ( This is a strong chemical exfoliant. Check out my first impressions here.) ($68)
  2. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($30)
  3. Pestle & Mortar NMF Lactic Acid Toner ($44)
  4. Deviant Skincare Gentle Resurfacing Liquid ($48)
  5. Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum ($90)

PEPTIDE SERUMS

I’ve experienced great results with the texture and tone of my skin using peptide serums. And the results happen pretty quick too. 

Peptides provide significant anti-aging benefits, targeting firmness, dullness, wrinkles, and discoloration. Paula’s Choice has a great post on peptides in skincare if you want to learn more.

Here’s my peptide serum stash:
  1. NIOD (CAIS) Copper Amino Isolate Serum ($90)
  2. Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster ($52)

RETINOL

I’ve experimented the most with retinol this year. I mean, it’s such a great ingredient. Retinol promotes skin cell turnover, slows down collagen breakdown, and thickens the skin where wrinkles start forming.

In my experimenting, I’ve learned that my skin can get easily irritated by it. What works best in my skincare routine is when I use retinol in an oil form. I think retinol oils are a great way to begin your retinol journey.

I am trying out a few creams (2 to be exact). Yet, I’m still buffering them with a moisturizer or skin barrier serum beforehand.

Here’s my retinol stash:
  1. Paula’s Choice CBD Oil + Retinol ($54)
  2. Paula’s Choice CLINICAL .3% Retinol +2% Bakuchiol Treatment ($52)
  3. Jordan Samuel Skin Retinol Treatment Oil ($43)
  4. Shani Darden Retinol Reform ($88)
  5. Naturium Retinoid Face Oil ($25)
Jordan Samuel Retinol Treatment Oil
Paula’s Choice CLINICAL Retinol + Bakuchiol Treatment
Deviant Skincare Gentle Resurfacing Liquid
Pestle & Mortar NMF Lactic Acid Toner
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1
Paula’s Choice CBD Oil + Retinol
Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos
Biologique Recherche P50V 1970
Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster
Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Jordan Samuel Retinol Treatment Oil
Paula’s Choice CLINICAL Retinol + Bakuchiol Treatment
Deviant Skincare Gentle Resurfacing Liquid
Pestle & Mortar NMF Lactic Acid Toner
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1
Paula’s Choice CBD Oil + Retinol
Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos
Biologique Recherche P50V 1970
Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster
Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

When I use a retinol oil or serum, I generally apply a moisturizer and end my routine there. I keep my routine simple when I use retinol.

When I use a chemical exfoliant or peptide serum, I tend to stick to these next steps.

STEP 4: Hydrating Mists and Essences

Refer to my morning routine for more details.

STEP 5: SKIN BARRIER SERUMS

Keeping your skin barrier strong is extremely important to the health of your skin. And when you have eczema-prone skin, you already have a compromised skin barrier. So, I always have a few calming serums in my arsenal. Skin barrier serums soothe my skin and strengthen my skin barrier to fight off environmental stressors and irritants.

Here’s my skin barrier serum stash:
  1. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum ($37)
  2. NIOD Modulating Glucosides ($28)
  3. Krave Great Barrier Relief Serum ($28)
  4. Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum  ($250)
Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief
Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum
NIOD Modulating Glucosides
Omega+ Complex Serum
Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief
Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum
NIOD Modulating Glucosides
Omega+ Complex Serum
Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief
Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum
NIOD Modulating Glucosides
Omega+ Complex Serum

STEP 6: Moisturizer

Refer to my morning routine for more details. I have a great post on how to pick a moisturizer here.

STEP 7: FACE OIL

In the winter, face oils become an essential part of my evening skincare routine. I also love to use face oils when I give myself a facial massage. Check out my at-home facial for more on this. 

Here’s my face oil stash:
  1. Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil ($38)
  2. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil ($40)
  3. Deviant Skincare Face Oil ($49)
  4. Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil ($34)
  5. Ode To Self De Palma Hydrating and Clarifying Facial Oil ($35)
Ode To Self – DePalma Oil
Deviant Skincare Facial Oil
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
Trilogy Rosehip Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Ode To Self – DePalma Oil
Deviant Skincare Facial Oil
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
Trilogy Rosehip Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Ode To Self – DePalma Oil
Deviant Skincare Facial Oil
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
Trilogy Rosehip Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

THAT’S IT! That’s everything going onto my face right now!

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I test a lot of stuff! That’s part of the responsibility of me being a blogger. But, you don’t need to have this many products. If you want to incorporate something new into your routine, just introduce ONE new product at a time. That way, you’ll know what products are working and which ones don’t work for you.

And if you’re new to your skincare journey, check out my blog post on How To Build A Skincare Routine before you buy anything else.

Have you tried any of the products I mentioned?
What new products have you incorporated into your winter skincare routine?

Shop My 2020 Winter Skincare Routine:

Ode To Self – DePalma Oil
Deviant Skincare Facial Oil
Jordan Samuel Retinol Treatment Oil
Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
Deviant Skincare Enzymatic Cleansing Oil
Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream
SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Peptide Face Cream
Naturium Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2%
Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence
Naturium Vitamin C Complex Serum
Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum
Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee 3%
Paula’s Choice CLINICAL Retinol + Bakuchiol Treatment
Deviant Skincare Gentle Resurfacing Liquid
Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50
Youth To The People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist
Paula’s Choice SKIN RECOVERY Softening Cream Cleanser
Klur Gentle Matter
Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief
Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer
AbsoluteJOI Sunflower & Moringa Fresh Cleanse Oil
Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum
NIOD Modulating Glucosides
Pestle & Mortar NMF Lactic Acid Toner
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1
Paula’s Choice CBD Oil + Retinol
Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate
NIOD MULTI-MOLECULAR HYALURONIC COMPLEX
Pestle & Mortar Vitamin C 2-Phase Serum
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
HOLIFROG SUPERIOR OMEGA NUTRITIVE GEL WASH
HoliFrog Kissimmee Vitamin F Therapy Balmy Wash
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum
Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos
Trilogy Rosehip Oil
Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Mist
Omega+ Complex Serum
Good Science Beauty Hydrating Cream
Jordan Samuel Skin The Matinee Gel Cleanser
Bioeffect EGF Essence
Biologique Recherche P50V 1970
Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Caudalie Grape Water
Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50
Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

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