Winter 2018 Skincare Routine

Winter has arrived with a vengeance in Virginia. Last week temperatures did not get above the teens and wind chill factors were up to 25 below 0. Brr!! My skin is not liking the dry air and frigid temperatures at all. When you factor in how drying Tretinoin is you can imagine that changes are needed in my routine.

I make small tweaks to my routine each season since my skin is very reactive to climate. It tends to be shiny in the summer and have dry patches in the winter. When I compare my new routine to Fall Skincare Routine almost everything has changed! My skin is just so dry and scaly that I have made hydrating additions both morning and night.

For my morning routine, I want hydration that leaves my skin smooth and soft so my makeup goes on well. It looks terrible when I have the flaky, patchy skin around my mouth, nose, and chin.


Only 2 products are the same as my fall morning routine. The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a morning staple for me. It gets my face clean of any leftover product from the night and leaves it soft, smooth, and hydrated. That won’t be changing anytime soon. I use my trusty Konjac sponge with the Cerave to gently remove flakes and clean my skin.

Every third morning I use a physical exfoliator. I am not brand loyal and use whatever sample I happen to have in my stash when I run out. At the moment I am using the Vasnati Brighten Up Enzymatic Scrub. I have a few samples of this that I got in Birchbox June 2017 and some other boxes in the past. It is a gentle exfoliator that does what I need it to do. I would probably not purchase it because I have so many and won’t need anything for a while.

Once my face is clean I use my toner. I am using Rumase Skin Repair Bifida Snail Toner. This is my first regular use of a snail product. I have used snail masks a few times but nothing else. This toner has some great ingredients including Bifida Ferment Lysate, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Galactomyes Ferment Filtrate, and Snail Secretion Filtrate. I have been enjoying this toner and it doesn’t feel slimy at all.

I give my toner a minute or 2 to sink in and move on to my next step which is serum. Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum is my serum at the moment. It is a sample size but you only need a pea sized amount so it will last a while. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft.

In the fall I was using The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA in the morning and at night. I recently started using Glamskin Instant Brightening Cream in the morning instead. I have significant dark patches on my forehead and left side of my face. I’m not certain that it does anything much but it isn’t doing any harm either.

I give all that time to absorb while I put my contacts in and then put on Marcelle Hydra-C Eye Contour Gel Cream from Birchbox November 2017. It’s ok. I’m just not convinced that I need a separate eye cream. I don’t buy them, I just use the samples I get.

Before I apply my moisturizer I spritz my face with a mist. The one I am using right now is Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water. This is just water but the mist is perfect. It is a fine mist that covers the whole face evenly. This helps my moisturizer absorb better. I was using Korres Wild Rose Brightening 24-Hour Moisturizer but I was getting dry patches. I have been using Clinique Moisture Surge during this cold, dry January. They both work well under my makeup so I will go back and forth between them until I finish them.

For my neck and chest I use St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen – Elastin & Moisturizer.  I use this morning and night and have been using it for a while now. It is a light, fast absorbing cream that keeps that area hydrated. I love it and the best part is that I got it for around $5 at Walmart.  The tub is huge so it lasts forever.

Finally, comes the most important step of my morning routine – sunscreen! My current sunscreen is Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum 40 SPF. This was the first sunscreen I used a couple years ago after starting tretinoin and having to use it daily. Now that I have tried Asian sunscreens I don’t like this as much. It feels very heavy going on and I have to work to blend it in. It is tinted so there is no white cast. It looks good with my makeup. The Asian sunscreens are just so much lighter.

On my neck and chest, I am using L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This came in one of the beauty boxes Amazon Prime members can get on Amazon. It leaves my face oily looking but works fine on my neck and chest. I hate to waste anything.

My nighttime routine is not as drastically different from my fall routine as the morning was. There are some old standbys here that are longtime loves.


I start my nighttime skincare by removing my makeup. I have used all the methods of makeup removers – wipes, oils, balms, creams. Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Melting Cleanser is what I am using right now. As you can see in the picture Target had it marked down to $5 and since I used it last winter and liked it I grabbed it. I wipe it off with my trusty Wonder Cloth which I forgot to include in the picture and rinse with water.

Then I use my Holy Grail Purity Made Simple by Philosophy cleanser. This leaves my face feeling clean and so soft. A few nights a week I use it with my Clarisonic Mia 2.  I follow this with a toner. I am using Son and Park Beauty Water. I won this in an Instagram contest along with some really nice masks and a plush headband. It smells like oranges and feels hydrating.

The next step is to apply actives. I use tretinoin 0.1% on my face 6 nights a week and .05% on my neck and chest 4 nights a week. On the 7th night, I use some type of AHA or BHA product. I get a lot of those samples in my boxes so it is whatever sample I have at the time.

I like to give my tret an hour or 2 to fully absorb into my skin. I apply my Alpha Arbutin and Derma MD Pink Silk Face Firming Rejuvenator. I received the Derma MD serum form the company for free to review. I reviewed all the products here. I don’t hate this serum and I don’t love it. It has a silicone-based ingredient and I don’t like that in my skincare.

I follow these with Lapothicell Ceramide Hydra Fluid and Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus eye cream. I like to have ceramides in my skincare because it is so good for my skin. The light Ceramide Hydra Fluid absorbs quickly makes skin feel hydrated. I got the Lapothicell Ceramide Hydar Fluid at a reduced price from 08.L to provide a review. This adds a needed extra layer of hydration.

At night I spritz my face with Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Facial Mist before I put on Clinique Moisture Surge Intense.  The facial mist feels very hydrating buy it has a strong scent. A really strong scent. I am rarely bothered by scent but this is overpowering. I will finish this small size but would never buy the full size because of that scent.

I mix a few drops of  Marula Pure Marula Oil in with both the Clinique on my face and the St. Ives on my neck and chest. This adds an extra boost of hydration to my skin for overnight. I never imagined I would be putting oil on my face. Until I started using tretinoin I had spent my life getting the oil off my face.


Even with using these products my face still gets dry and patchy around my mouth, nose, and chin. I have been adding a night sleeping mask to try and hydrate my skin. The 2 that I have been using are Laneige Water Sleeping Mask and Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. They are both good and absorb so quickly. They help make my skin feel soft and smooth in the morning. The Laniege is the lighter of the 2 masks and is a gel mask. The Origins is a rich lotion that sinks right in. I’m loving them both.

I also mask several times per week. Since winter started I have masked almost every day. It has been almost entirely sheet masks. I have been participating in masking challenges on Instagram that motivate me to use the masks I have acquired.


Do you make seasonal changes to your skincare? What changes do you make? What are your favorite winter skincare products?

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