What I’m Using on My Skin Right Now: The Winter Edition

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winter skincare oily skin products

OK so before you look at the pictures in this post (because I suspect too many people just look at pictures and don’t read the entire post—I can tell sometimes by the comments…lol) and think “WOW THAT’S A LOT OF PRODUCT!!!” lemme explain…lol. I DO NOT USE ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS AT THE SAME TIME. This winter has been very unpredictable when it comes to weather. There were weeks of 60 degree weather and even near 80 degree days in December. Then it seemed all the winter came all at once via the Jonas blizzard and then right after that it was in the 50s again. I base my skincare on several factors which include obviously my skin type but also the weather (temps affect how my skin behaves) and what my skin might need at the time. So I rotate the cleansers and moisturizers depending on the weather and what my skin needs and then I use treatment products (i.e. dark spot and acne treatments) when I need them.

Background on my skin

So I have oily skin. It’s not as oily now as it can be when it’s spring or summer which is to be expected in the winter. Also I’m getting older (35 in August–aow!) so little by little my skin isn’t as oily as it was when I was 25 but it’s still oily…lol. My main concerns at the moment are getting rid of dark spots—I’m currently having thee WORST bout of hyperpigmentation I’ve had in like ten years thanks to hormonal acne that keeps popping up in the SAME spots on my forehead and chin (GRRRRRR) and making sure my skin is balanced for whatever the heck the weather brings. Oh and to #staySNATCHED for as long as possible.

My lifestyle now is totally different than what it was ten years ago as well. I don’t commute to an office daily so when I’m out in the elements, I’m not out for very long often. I’d say out of the month of January I was out in the cold for longer than say an hour maybe 4-5 times…lol. Plus again, the temperatures keep flipping. So my regimen when it’s say 45 degrees or warmer looks more like my fall routine and I use a slightly lighter moisturizer. When it’s like 44 or below (and especially below freezing) I definitely go into winter mode with heavier moisturizers and more gentle cleansers.

So here’s my routine. AGAIN: I DO NOT USE ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS AT THE SAME TIME. If you don’t have a skincare routine and want some ideas on where to start, you might find these posts helpful:

No Skincare Regimen? Start Here.

The Order to Apply Your Skincare Products

The Thing You Better Be Doing Before Bed Or I’m Not Your Friend…

If You Have Oily or Very Oily Skin, Here’s Some Things to Make Sure You’re NOT Doing…

And then of course there’s my Skin category to check through for TONS more posts.

A basic skincare routine consists of 1. Cleanse 2. Tone (optional—I don’t user toners regularly because historically they’ve been SO drying on me, but now the new school of softeners and essences have arrived which claim to balance the skin and aren’t as drying—while I’ve tried a few, I still don’t *need* them in my routine right now but some people swear by them) 3. Treat and 4. Moisturize (during the day make sure you use sunscreen correctly and at night you may need something slightly more hydrating)


winter skincare oily skin cleansers

Because the winter can make the skin look a bit on the dull side (the regeneration process—the process in which the skin repairs itself—tends to slow down when it gets colder out which can lead to an accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface which can dim your skin’s radiance), I’m doing the Clarisonic Radiance cleansers which I previously loved and reviewed here. I use the Skin Illuminating Cleanser in the morning and then the Skin Renewing Peel Wash at night. 2-3 times a week I’ll use the Clarisonic Radiance brush at night with the Peel Wash which helps to very gently exfoliate–you don’t want to overuse a harsh exfoliant whether physical or chemical.

On days when I’m wearing makeup, I’ll remove it with boscia MakeUp BreakUp Cleansing Oil and then use the Peel Wash (btw, the peel wash isn’t a “peel” so it can be used daily but of course do a test on your skin first to make sure you don’t have any reactions).

Every now and then if I’ve been wearing makeup a lot or just feel like my skin can benefit from a deep cleanser, I’ll use either Mario Badescu Glycolic Cleanser or boscia Charcoal Deep Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment.

Please note that like black soap, deep cleansers aren’t meant to be used daily.


winter skincare oily skin acne dark spot treatments

My MAJOR concern right now is clearing up a colony of dark spots left behind after repeat hormonal acne. I’ve been using my long-time favorite Alpha Hydrox Spot Light Targeted Skin Lightener on them and the older ones have faded some, but there’s only but so much an over the counter treatment can do sometimes with dark spots. The second my new insurance kicks in on the 1st, I’m making an appointment to see a derm for something a little stronger. For the record, I still love the Alpha Hydrox Spot Light Targeted Skin Lightener but sometimes conditions call for something stronger.

Read more about Hyperpigmentation here

I don’t typically break out often—a pimple here or there only sometimes before my period, but the last few months have been crazy. So for the persistent hormonal acne I was getting (omg at one point you could have mapped out Orion’s Belt on my face with three HUGE monster pimples I had on my face), my usual go-tos weren’t working as well and I knew I needed sulfur so I made an emergency trip (it wasn’t an emergency…lol) to Sephora to get Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque which I reviewed here. I use it as both a mask and as a spot treatment when I have breakouts.


winter skincare oily skin moisturizers

So like I mentioned above, the moisturizer I use depends on what the weather’s doing and what my skin needs at the time. For the most part since it was so mild this winter, I’ve been able to use Murad Balancing Moisturizer SPF 15 (sent for review consideration) which is a new fave for the fall. But the last month winter sure showed up and showed OUT…lol. On the colder days I’m talking like 40 degrees or less, I need a heavier or more hydrating moisturizer. So I’ll use either RoC Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 (any other time of year and this would be too heavy for my oily skin but when it’s SUPER cold out, this is perfect and I love that it also has sunscreen it it) or my long-time fave Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer and because it doesn’t have SPF in it, after I apply it and give it time to dry, I’ll add Murad Invisiblur on top of it.

Because I like to be able to give options for winter moisturizers for oily skin, I just started using (and liking) Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (sent for review consideration) and during the day I’ll add Murad Invisiblur SPF 30 on top of it after I’ve allowed it to “settle” because the Hydro-Dynamic doesn’t contain SPF. SPF is a non-negotiable during the day. Learn more about it, find formulas that won’t make you ashy, AND learn how to properly use it here.

At night I’ll use Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Sleeping Mask which I reviewed here.

For my eyes I use RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Eye Cream which I reviewed here.

My lips are another part of my face that gets SUPER dry but I’ve been loving the new First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm (sent for review consideration) to combat the dryness and make my lips feel human again…lol. Not a moisturizer obviously, but I also periodically use Fresh Beauty Sugar Lip Polish which gently exfoliates my lips. Alternatively you can also a wet toothbrush and gently rub it against your lips to exfoliate.


winter skincare oily skin body care

If I don’t use a proper moisturizer which for me in the winter is usually something suuuuper thick, then my body skin will get really itchy and irritated. That’s SUPER uncomfortable but I found another moisturizer I love that keeps my body moisturized and soothed all day: Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Moisture Jelly Cream (see full review here). After I shower I pat my skin dry with the towel and while it’s still a little damp I apply the Vaseline jelly cream.

I’ve also started using the new First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Gentle Cleansing Bar (sent for review consideration)—I liked it and appreciated any extra gentleness in my routine for the winter, but I didn’t see much of a vast difference so while I’ll keep using this until it’s done, I wouldn’t buy another one.

And because I love the scent and will take any anti-aging on the body I can take, I also use Olay Age Defying Moisture Outlast Body Wash (sent for review consideration).

Then every once in a while depending on what my skin needs, I may try something every once in a while like a new mask or a treatment. Like for instance I recently used the Tata Harper Glow on Demand Kit to give myself a radiance boost.

So that’s that! Because I’ve always been a skincare junkie and because I like to try as many different skincare products as I possibly can so I can stay on top of trends for this blog (plus I also used to write skincare articles for Cosmo for Latinas which made me an even bigger nerd…lol) AND because I like to be able to have products I’ve actually tried to help you guys when you have questions. But by no way am I saying YOU need to have as many products in your skincare regimen. The takeaways here are 1. You need a skincare regimen 2. You may need to alter the products you use during the winter (provided you live somewhere that gets colder during parts of the year) 3. You need to moisturize both day (with SPF) and at night. 4. You need to adjust your routine depending on your skin needs–as we get older our skin changes and so do our needs. 5. Although this wasn’t specifically stated, it’s important to note: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS on your products.

Shop the products mentioned in this post in the widget below:

What are you using on your skin this winter for your skin type? Tell me in the comments!

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Allure.com, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style expert on CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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8 Responses to What I’m Using on My Skin Right Now: The Winter Edition

  1. Nickoy says:

    I have very oily skin so I have to be careful of what I use. I exfoliate every other day using a cleanser and a scrub brush and I moisturize my skin with a homemade Shea butter. Like you, I have to change my moisturizer based on the temp. If it’s warm outside I’ll use something less oily. Thanks for this post.

    • Danielle says:

      Hey Nickoy!

      If you’re exfoliating every other day and moisturizing with shea butter, you could actually be dehydrating your skin and causing it to produce even more oil—be careful.

  2. Fancie says:

    LOL this post makes me feel so much better about all of the skincare products I’ve accumulated this month! I also switch up my routine depending on the weather and how my skin feels. I’m more on the dry side but some of these products sound like something I want to try like the ROC moisturizer and the Clarisonic peel cleanser. I also received deluxe minis of the Murad Hydro Quench and Collagen Infusion and now you have me itching to try them. Great post!

    • Joan B. in S. C. says:

      Fancie, I felt the same way. I looked at all the pics and just said okay, nothing strange here. I don’t consider my lips to be dry, but if I’m home for more than a few days, once I get back to work, they start to crack. I end up spending the next week getting them back in shape. I’ve been using Annabelle’s Not Petroleum Jelly from http://www.etsy.com in heavy doses and that helps.

      • Danielle says:

        You guys might not think anything of it, but I get a lot of confused questions left in comments on posts here on the blog, on social, and emails and I can tell people aren’t reading the posts.

  3. Ashley says:

    Hi Danielle! I LOVE this post. So relatable. Thank you! Ok so I told you I would updated you on my what I started to use for my winter skin care. I have a list of items to try that I feel would best suit me after digging through the blog today. What would you recommend for serums though? I have oily skin, which is experienced a bit of dryness around my mouth during the colder months.

    • Danielle says:

      Hey Ashley!

      Yay—that’s awesome!!!! Happy I could help in some way :)

      So serums are typically super concentrated treatments that are able to penetrate the skin differently than other skincare products. It’s like an extra burst of whatever active ingredient. So you’d use one that addresses your most important skincare concerns at the time. So if you need hydration, you’d use a serum that talks specifically to that—if you wanted to brighten, then a brightening serum. Some are even “fulfilling” enough to also double as a moisturizer (make sure you wear SPF if you’re going out during the day). You don’t always *need* a serum all the time as well. That said, I can’t really recommend one(s) to look into without knowing what your major concerns are and what else you’re using in your routine. Since you’re getting some new stuff in your regimen, I would go easy on trying too many things. The dryness you’re experiencing around your mouth might be from not using a hydrating enough moisturizer or it could be that your skin isn’t getting proper exfoliation. See how the new products work to improve your skin first and then you’ll be better able to decide if you even need a serum. Not that a serum that’s right for your needs will hurt you—I’m just saying since you’re updating your regimen, it may not make sense to jump into trying everything.

      Of course if the curiosity is getting the best of you, you can always do a little nosing around some brands that interest you to see which type of serums they offer that address your skincare needs and get samples from Sephora to try out before committing. Serums also go on before your moisturizer.

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