Winter Skincare Routine

If your skin is anything like mine, it’s a bit of a problem child this time of year. Sometimes it’s kinda dry, sometimes it’s fine, and sometimes, it’s so chapped I can hardly move. Don’t get me wrong – I love winter in Wisconsin, to a point. I love Christmastime and snow (just as long as I don’t have to drive in it) and I love the atmosphere it creates around my home. But, I don’t love what winters in Wisconsin do to my skin.

Back in March, I wrote about my skincare heroes here, but I wanted to update that a bit to focus specifically on winter skin and how I combat that dry, chapped feeling.

Here’s what I do:


  1. Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Cleanser. I’ve been using this one off and on for years, and so far, it’s one of the few cleansers I’ve found that actually works with my combination skin. It doesn’t dry me out, doesn’t make me feel tight after cleansing, but it still controls my oily spots and creates a nice foundation for everything else. Plus, the minty scent is a nice pick-me-up during my morning shower ūüėČ
  2. Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate. This is another one I’ve been using off and on for years, and I tend to use this in place of a more traditional toner during the winter months. What I really need is moisture and this concentrate delivers that without getting greasy and without producing more oil. In fact, I think it actually controls my oil more than before because it balances things out the way they’re supposed to be. Maybe I’ll have to keep this in the rotation for the summer too…
  3. Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate. Oh my God, I can’t express my love for this enough. Between the citrusy scent (perfect in the morning) and giving me just the right amount of moisture, this is a base for makeup. And, even better, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in those stupid fine lines I’ve been getting in my forehead since I started using this and the Midnight Recovery Oil.
  4. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye, $40. The name is a little misleading because I’ve found you most certainly¬†can¬†use this during the day just as much as you can use this at night. It doesn’t make my concealer crease and it makes any under-eye dark circle situations more of a non-situation, if you know what I mean.
  5. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream. This has been written about to death, but I’m going to add my own two cents here. Stop what you’re doing and buy this. You’ll never be sorry. It’s a full coverage CC cream that goes on like a moisturizer, has SPF 50,¬†and¬†an anti-aging serum in it all in one little bottle. You can’t go wrong.¬†And¬†it smells all citrusy and amazing, which is not something you can say very often about foundation. I picked up this set from QVC and love the brush that comes with it (such a great deal).


  1. Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm. You can read my full review here, but just know that this stuff seriously works and is the best winter skin cleansing balm I’ve ever used. All my makeup comes off, along with everything else, but it never leaves my skin feeling dry or tight.
  2. Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate. Again, I’m using this here in place of a more traditional toner for some extra moisture.
  3. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil. If I had to only use one product at night (minus cleanser), this would be it. Just the scent alone is worth it – breathing in that lavender is so relaxing and helps me get ready for bed. Like I mentioned before with its daytime counterpart, I’ve noticed some pretty significant improvements in any fine lines I had in my forehead. I’m not entirely sure if it’s just one of them in particular that’s doing it, but I don’t really want to find out. That being said, I have noticed that I don’t need to use much spot cream anymore since I started using this more frequently, which is enough to keep this in the hall of fame.
  4. Kate Somerville Anti-Bac Lotion. When I do get little acne flare-ups, this takes care of things pretty quickly for me. I’ve learned through trial and error that my skin responds better to benzoyl peroxide than salicylic acid. It’s got 10% benzoyl peroxide in it, which is definitely pretty strong, so I wouldn’t smear this all over my face or anything if I were you, but it does do the trick without overdrying.
  5. Nivea. Here’s where things get interesting: a few months ago, I did a horrible thing. I got a sample of La Mer from a Nordstrom order and I. Tried. It. And of course, it was amazing. Why wouldn’t $170 moisturizer be anything less? But the point is, I’m never going to buy $170 moisturizer as much as I want to. I’d heard the rumors that Nivea was supposed to be a poor-man’s La Mer and found some pretty convincing arguments here and here. You have to make sure you order the German version, though, not the Mexican one. There is a difference; the German version is less greasy and definitely controls my oil. I made the mistake of trying the Mexican version first, which is a mistake I won’t make again. Anyway, the German version smells exactly like La Mer and I swear to God it has the exact same results. It doesn’t spread quite as nicely as La Mer, but for a $162 savings? I’ll take it. Side note: the shipment for this was super-fast. It initially gave me about a month wait for delivery, but came in two weeks and was directly from Germany. Plus, free shipping!
  6. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye. I really appreciate that I don’t have to use multiple eye creams. This routine is already kinda pricey on its own, so it’s nice to be able to double-dip, especially since this functions great under makeup, is ultra-hydrating, and has really done wonders for those pesky little fine lines under my eyes.

So, there it is. I’m not a skincare expert by any stretch, but I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life, and because of that, have withstood 31 and counting winters here. These are the products that have served me well over the years and worked with the different changes in my skin, either from the weather or old age (!).



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