Many skincare concerns are weather-related, making the changing of the seasons the perfect time to change up your skincare routine. Fall and winter typically bring about dry, dull skin, so the natural inclination is to reach for richer products to combat the onslaught of dry indoor heating and offensively cold outdoor temperatures. However, there are other ways to upgrade your cold-weather skincare routine so that you can emerge from hibernation next spring with glowing, healthy skin.
1. Swap out your lotion for a cream or a balm.
Like grocery shopping, I'm a big proponent of ignoring skincare products' names and reading the labels instead. That said, the classifications of moisturizers are relatively universal. Lotions or gels are typically thinner and higher in water content, which makes them more lightweight. Creams or balms are higher in oil content and are richer in texture. You will likely derive more benefit from a light lotion during hotter months than a heavier cream and vice versa.
Winter skincare doesn't have to require a ten-step routine. Sometimes swapping out your moisturizer is all you need.
Dr. Barbara Sturm's Face Cream Rich ($300) is a luxuriously whipped texture that is the richer alternative to their classic face cream. This cream is a great option for people who need extra hydration for the winter without a heavy or greasy feeling.
Cosmetics 27's Baume 27 ($186) is a cult classic for a reason: it contains 27 active ingredients to heal and regenerate the skin while providing deep hydration. If you love La Mer, this is a clean alternative that is incredibly popular. You can use it on its own or mix it with Essence 27, a soothing hyaluronic serum, to customize your perfect texture.
VENN's Vitamin B Activated All-In-One Concentrate ($245) is a minimalist approach to high-performance skincare. This cream is the richer sibling of the Age Reversing Concentrate. It feels like silk on the skin, and it contains an efficacious cocktail of B vitamins to brighten, hydrate and smooth the skin.
Macrene Actives High-Performance Face Cream ($310) is my be all to end all product. It contains over 50 actives ingredients to target a wealth of skincare concerns. It is rich, but not greasy, and provides a full dose of balanced nutrition to meet your skin's needs.
2. Target Summer Sun Damage with High Powered Serums
I love to experiment with a wide array of active ingredients, but the fact of the matter is that some of them aren't well suited for summer weather because they can make your skin more photosensitive, which means that your skin becomes more prone to burning. Winter is the perfect time to incorporate high powered active ingredients into your routine because the UV index is naturally lower. Don't get it twisted: you should be wearing sunscreen every day of the year, even in the depths of winter, but an exfoliating serum is going to fare better in November than it would in July.
Sun damage, like hyperpigmentation, is often a leftover souvenir from a hot summer spent outdoors. Chemical exfoliants or retinol can encourage cell turnover to lift uneven pigmentation to reveal a brighter, more even skin tone.
I love retinol—it is a time-tested, clinically-proven skincare ingredient that everyone should try to embrace at some point on their skincare journey. It can be tricky to adapt to because it works by irritating the skin's surface, and if you dive into the deep end without wading through the shallow water first, you can end up with rashy, peeling skin. That said, if you incorporate it into your routine gradually, retinol will become your best friend. We don't sell retinol because my favourites come from the dermatologist's office. I started with SkinMedica 0.25% Retinol, and now I use SkinMedica 0.5% four nights a week.
Cosmetics 27 Booster 27 ($166) is a powerful, short-course treatment that uses chemical exfoliants to lift pigment and even out texture. Use it twice a day for six weeks straight and then move onto another serum when you finish this one. Cosmetics 27 believes in using a concentrated dose of a singular active for a short period and changing it up often to ensure maximum efficacy and prevent irritation from mixing and matching actives.
Josh Rosebrook Daily Acid Toner ($40) is an exfoliating toner that is gentle enough for daily use. This is a year-round product, but the fall/winter is a great time to start! Consistent use will help with brightening the skin, creating a smoother texture and minimizing acne.
3. Incorporate an Overnight Mask
Overnight masks are rich leave-on masks that you can wear to sleep. I love to use these masks the night before I have somewhere to be because you wake up to soft, plump, hydrated skin. Overnight masks take the place of a night cream, but you can use them a couple of nights a week and still benefit.
VENN's Concentrated Revitalizing Lifting Mask ($113) contains a potent dose of Compound K, their signature antioxidant that is more powerful than the classic L-Ascorbic Acid. This luxurious overnight treatment makes the skin look instantly hydrated and glowing. I love to use it as a makeup base before I go out at night. It also works great as a conductor for handheld microcurrent devices—you can double up on the "lifting" effect from both products to achieve Instagram filter cheekbones.
Cosmetics 27 Mask 27 ($106) is the ultimate SOS mask. It contains c27's go-to Centella Asiatica, an Asian plant known for healing and longevity, and niacinamide and zinc. If your skin is feeling rashy, irritated and pimply, apply this mask before bed and sleep easy knowing that tomorrow will be a better day.
4. Embrace Face Oil
Say it with me: oil is not a serum. Face oils contain no water, which means that they cannot be a serum. If there is "serum" in the title, ignore it. Face oils form an occlusive barrier on the skin to prevent transepidermal water loss. They don't hydrate because they don't penetrate the epidermis. Instead, they moisturize the surface of the epidermis to create a healthy moisture barrier. I love face oils for winter because they help to seal in all of the good stuff.
If you haven't experimented with oils before, or if you've been layering them incorrectly, try adding one as the final step of your skincare routine (before sunscreen) to create a moisturizing barrier between you and the cold, dry outside world. A couple of drops in the palms of your hands is all you need—rub your hands together and press the product gently onto your face. If your skin feels greasy, you've used too much.
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($240) is a classic face oil that has earned a cult following for a good reason. This product is rich in essential oils, so I would steer clear if you have sensitive skin. However, for everyone else, go for it. This luxe classic is nutrient-rich and will give you the glowing skin of Gwyneth Paltrow.
VENN's Red Oil ($153). I love this oil! It is rich in unique plant-derived phytochemicals and clinically proven to create brighter, stronger and softer skin. The clinical studies don't lie: this is a great product for all skin types to create healthy skin.
Remember, simplicity is key. If the thought of adding four new products into your skincare routine overwhelms you, start by picking just one that feels right and going from there. If you have any questions or would like a personal consultation on your skincare routine for fall, please feel free to call us at the store (604-266-9774), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram.