Winter wind and cold air can be harsh for any skin type. The key to surviving the winter’s environment is to make sure that your skin is continually moisturized. There are many different products on the market so it can be hard to pick and choose the right one for each person’s skin attributes. For example I have very sensitive skin that is prone to irritation from changing weather and also from chemicals in products. I adhere to the Asian skincare regiment which is longer than the general western version. There are a series of steps to address hydration and other skin problems in the Asian routine. The goal is to not strip the skin of its natural hydration but to sooth and add hydration to the epidermis and dermis. Over the years, I have a few stalwarts that I depend on to get me through the winter and are listed in this article.
Morning: Powder wash, Toner, Serum, Lotion (face and eyes) and Sunscreen
Night: Oil Wash, Powder wash, Toner, Serum, Facial Masks if necessary and Lotion (face and eyes)
A double cleanse technique uses an oil cleanser to get rid of makeup and dirt while the second step uses a gentler cleanser to wash off any remainder impurity. This leaves the skin very clean and also allows for the introduction of cleansers that are not harsh to the skin.
I use Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil which contains various natural oils to clean my face of any makeup. This retails for $23 at Wistrend.com. You can also use oil cleanser available at the local drugstore or Sephora. Next I use an enzyme powder wash which gives a gentle exfoliation and gets rid of any remaining dirt and oil. My favorite is Ciracle’s Enzyme Powder Wash retail for $24 at Amazon. These two products are so gentle that my skin is left feeling very soft and clean without the dryness and tightness.
There are many type of toners out there. Asian toner differs from the western version in that the western version focuses on the squeaky clean effect and thus stripping the skin of its natural oil. Asian toner focuses on hydration, PH balance or numerous other skin ailments.
Ciracle Base Toner (day time) – I have been using this mild toner for day time for two years. The formulation has the same PH balance as the skin (5.6) which helps add moisture back to the skin. This retails for $10 on Amazon.
SKII Facial Treatment Clear Lotion (night time) – This is the holy grail of toners and is widely popular, effective and very expensive. This is a purifying toner that exfoliates dead skin cells and impurities while prepping the face for its skin care regimen. I started using this toner a few years ago and noticed the difference in my skin when I don’t use it. The Pitera and the other acids brighten and soften the skin making the following products more penetrable. This bottle retails for $179.00 at Sephora. I stock up whenever I am in Japan’s duty free as it is significantly cheaper there.
A duplicate of this toner is Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner that is also a yeast based toner. The price is much more wallet friendly at $28.00.
I discovered serums once I started researching on Asian skincare routine. There are numerous products out there and it really depends on your skin attributes. I have a few serums that I use depending on my skin condition that day. My go to for the winter is Pure Heals Green Propolis 90 Ampoule from Korea and available online. This serum contains 90% propolis extract which is a resinous material that bees use to seal small cracks and gaps in the hive. Propolis is good for wrinkle improvement, whitening, calming, balance care, and provide intensive moisture. I will generally only use this at night but when I feel that my skin is on the dryer side, I will use it in the morning as well.
La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra –This is the ultimate moisturizer that is formulated for sensitive skin and has a rich long lasting formulation. This is the only moisturizer that has not cause any skin irritation and is formulated with few ingredients. This lotion is also free of preservative, paraben, fragrance, alcohol, colorant, lanolin, and is non-comedogenic. This is available at Walgreens, Amazon and Jet.com. (Retail for $25 at Jet.com)
Shisedo Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42 for Face – It is important to wear sunscreen in the winter as it is in the summer. The sun’s UV rays are damaging to the skin even in the middle of cloudy winter day. This particular sunscreen is lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. I wear this as the last step of my skin care every day. (Retail $32.00)
Facial masks comes in unending variety and the popular type has been cotton sheet masks originating from Asia. These are cotton cloths that have been drenched in serum and cut out of in a face shape. You will put this on your face for approximately 20-30 minutes. This is an intense booster for your skin. In the winter, I will use sheet masks more often at night since my skin feels drier and is more dull. Sephora, Target and even neighborhood pharmacies now carry sheet masks. I will try to use sheet mask 1-2 times a week during the winter. The key is to pick a mask with natural ingredients and targeted to your specific skin issue. Look for mask with hyaluronic acid which seals in moisture and creates a plumb look for your skin.
Klairs Rich Moisture Soothing Mask – This sheet mask is good for people with sensitive skin and provides for intense hydration. This retails for $12.00 for a 10 pack at Wistrend.com.
SKII Facial Treatment Mask – This is the holy grail of face masks and I use this once a month since it is so expensive. The mask retails for $95 for 6 at Sephora.
Missha US carries 40+ type of sheet mask on their website.
Tony Moly US carries 50+ type of sheet mask on their website.
As always, skincare is personal to the individual. The key thing for winter is to add products that provide hydration. Share with us your favorite product to get through the winter.
*La Vie Partagee does not receive compensation for any recommendation. These items are our own favorites through trial and errors.
Author: Chau Hoang
Featured Photo: http://www.idealmagazine.co.uk/