Winter Skincare Must Haves 2018

With the start of football (#WhoDat) also comes the beginning of fall.  Leaves are already starting to change in the north.  It’s snowing in parts of Colorado.  I guess the ski season might be looking really good this year.  With snow and lower temperatures comes the onset of dry air and a total overhaul of my skincare routine.  This year I’ve already started to try out my winter skincare routine.  Here’s what I’ve got planned.

Cleanser: Shiseido BENEFIANCE Creamy Cleansing Foam ($36)

This is one of my go-to for sensitive, dry skin.  It produces a rich lather that does not over strip my skin and feels like pure decadence.  I’ve been using this the past two years with complete success.  I was hoping Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench Cloud cleanser could become my winter go to this year, but that didn’t work out. Check out my review here: REVIEW – Peter Thomas Roth: Water Drench Cleanser.

Exfoliator:  I started to use the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Extra Strength Alpha/Beta Daily Peel – Packets this summer and will continue this winter.  Here’s why.

These little things are great. Step 1 exfoliates, Step 2 neutralizes.  Remove the Step 1 pad from the packet and rub until it’s nearly dry, wait to minutes, remove the step 2 pad and run until it’s nearly dry.  I love taking these to bed and exfoliating in the comfort of my bed.  It says these can be used every day.  I never do that.  I only exfoliate 2 to 3 times per week maximum. These packets are also expensive! Like $88 expensive for 60 treatments.  Ouch to the wallet; however, they work. After the first few exfoliations my skin is dewy, glowy, my pores are noticeably smaller, my skincare feels like its absorbing better. Now a significantly less expensive option. Is my home exfoliator aspirin mask.  I’m writing that post right now and will be up within the next couple of days. The price breakdown is $1.47 per treatment versus $0.05.

Toner:  Here’s where it starts changing up a bit for me this year.

I’ve recently found Lancome’s Tonique Confort Comfort Rehydrating Toner ($26).  This one you do not need to add to a cotton pad at all. In fact I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a thick milky consistency that’s closer to a serum than it is a traditional toner and it doesn’t absorb into a cotton pad easily. However, it absorbs beautifully into my skin. I just pat it onto my face like you would an essence.  No sticky feeling, absorption is very quick. By no means is this a new product launch.   It’s been around for years.  But this is such a good product it’s stood the test of time.

Essence: Secret Key – Starting Treatment Essence  – Rose Edition

Another new product for me this year. On Yesstyle it has a review of 4.5 stars with 1,084 reviews as of this post and it earns them. It’s also on sale right now for $19.16 (regular $48 for 150 ml) at This has been compared to SK-II facial treatment essence ($179 for 160 ml; $93 for 75ml) by more than one blogger.  I’m going to buy some this winter, but in the meantime, I’m going to trust the 1000+ reviews and the ingredients list and hope for the best.  Both SK-II ( and Secret Key have a very high concentration of yeast ferment, 90% and 94% respectively. But the price difference and higher yeast concentration just mean I’m using the Secret Key product first.

Moisturizer: Nighttime – Clarins: Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil $58.00.

A little goes a very long way with this product.  4-5 drops at night are all it takes. Remember pat it into the skin so you don’t smudge it into the pores.  If it breaks you out they do have an oil that’s less intense, Lotus Face Treatment Oil.  The same thing applies, 3-4 drops patted into the skin.  Don’t apply face oils the same way you see Instagrammers apply the Farsali Unicorn Tears. It concentrates the oils too much in one place. Drop your oil into the palm of your hand so you get a more uniform application and concentrate on the driest areas first, probably checks, then move to the forehead and neck.

Moisturizer:  Daytime – YTTP adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream $58

We all saw this during the summer and you better believe I got myself a pot.  I love this moisturizer.  No smell, adaptogens present to protect my skin during the day.  If this is too strong and your face gets too oily you can try the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture cream ($48)

Sheet masks: I use almost everything regularly, I use it all at least once.

Winter is WAY too long for me to only give you one recommendation for sheet masks.  I could seriously give you dozens.  They don’t even have to cost a fortune.  My go-to sheet mask is less than a dollar at my local Asian food market.  If the first two ingredients are Water and glycerin, you’ll probably get some hydrated skin.  Just be sure to remove between 10-20 mins after you put it on.  The rubber masks can generally go to the full 30 mins. But don’t let the mask dry on your face otherwise all that Essence goodness is getting peeled off your face.

Sunscreen: LaRoche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50

Don’t forget the sunscreen even in the winter time. Although the rays aren’t as strong they’re still there and the reflection from the snow can still cause sunburns (Estes Park, Colorado Spring Break freshman year, I learned my lesson). This product is light light light on the skin.  By this point in the skincare routine, I’ve got LOTS of products on my face already so adding another one is getting close to the instant pimple factory levels. Enter ultralight liquid sunscreens! The tint means I can theoretically go without using makeup and still have a consistent facial tone. In reality, it keeps the high concentration of sunscreen from looking white and ghostly on the face.

What did I miss? What are your winter must-haves? Let me know down below.

One thought on “Winter Skincare Must Haves 2018

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.