I don't know if I am alone in this, but between the cold NYC air, and being stuck indoors in the dry air more than usual, my skin has suffered this winter. In researching products to purchase to help with my dry skin, I thought it would be helpful to put together a guide of products that I feel effectively confront dryness and winter related irritation, for every step of your skin care routine.
These products focus on Hydration, Moisture, Barrier Repair, Antioxidants, and Gentle Exfoliation, the five main concerns that are so important when crafting a winter skincare routine.
(1) Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser: A gentle daily face wash formulated with cold-pressed antioxidants - kale, spinach, and green tea. This Cleanser has a cult following and is so nurturing, while not leaving your skin feeling stripped at all.
(2) Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil: This lightweight cleansing oil gently lifts away makeup and impurities while rinsing completely clean with water. Formulated with nourishing antioxidants it brightens the skin, while also containing sugarcane-derived squalane oil to help skin feel refreshed, moisturized, and cushiony soft.
(3) Klur Gentle Matter: A refreshing, non-foaming gel, gently cleanses and conforms to even the most sensitive skin. A soothing blend of antioxidants, organic botanicals, and mild resurfacing ingredients, this cleanser delicately lifts impurities while not stripping the skin of its moisture.
(4) Krave Beauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser: An antioxidant-rich jelly cleanser that’s as satisfying to use as it is effective. The gel formula creates a silky lather on the skin that lifts away impurities and irritants without thedry, tight after-feeling. I would say this is one of the most gentle cleansers you can find!
(5) Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [AHA]: I felt it was important to include an oil cleanser and this one goes beyond removing makeup and grime as it’s packed with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to help gently exfoliate, remove dead skin cells and brighten the complexion. The formula is free of artificial fragrances, parabens, sulphates, artificial colors, alcohol, essential oils and silicones, and is gentle enough for daily use!
(6) Shani Darden Cleansing Serum: This luxurious cleanser creates a soft lather to remove makeup and pore-clogging impurities without stripping skin of natural oils or over-drying. It's packed with ingredients including hyaluronic acid and oat bran extract to help to restore skin's moisture, and olive extract to calm skin. A little of this cleanser goes a long way, and for those of you who love a foaming cleanser, but get worried about it be drying-- this is the one!
(7) Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm: At night I love to do a double cleanse, and for my first step use a cleansing balm. You massage this fruity sorbet-soft oil cleanser into the skin to melt away oil-based impurities such as sunscreen, makeup and excess sebum while nourishing the skin with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamin E. I sometimes leave this on for a few minutes to double as a mask because it is just so nourishing and hydrating.
(8) Banila Co Clean it Zero 3 in 1 Balm: Another affordable and affective cleansing balm that successfully removes makeup and other impurities while still leaving your face feeling nourished, and not stripped.
(9) Ayond Metamorph Cleansing Balm: A little more on the pricey side, however this cleansing balm is so unique, and truly luxurious experience. With Babassu & Copaiba Oils to effectively draw out impurities while hydrating and rebalancing the skin, and Mimosa & Candelilia Flower Waxes to provide hydration and help protect against moisture loss, for plumper, more well-rested skin.
(10) Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm: A classic for a reason! This holy grail cleansing balm instantly melts makeup, removes impurities, and gently exfoliates. And doesn't include any polyethylene, which many lower price cleansing balms do!
TONERS, ESSENCES AND MISTS
(1) Laneige Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer: This toner is one of a kind, and I personally love to apply a layer, let it dry and apply another. Cream Skin contains the same moisturization as a jar of cream, made into the lightweight texture of a toner. The specialized white tea leaves provide amino acids to strengthen, moisturize, and soothe skin. If you have a dry skin, this toner is a lifesaver!
(2) Versed Baby Cheeks All In One Hydrating Milk: This toner is a more affordable answer to the Laneige Toner, with a gentle formula filled humectants that draw in moisture and nourishing amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. The milky texture leaves you feeling velvety-soft.
(3) Naturium Hyaluronic Essence: Another brand available through Target, this Essence is formulated with 2% hyaluronic acid at three molecular weights, which hydrate, plumps, soothes to improve the skin's barrier. This essence preps skin for better absorption of serums and moisturizers to maximize performance of your products!
(4) Good Skin Days Primetime Cleansing Toner: This toner is loaded with goodies. It is enriched with maple extract — known for its antioxidant and skin softening properties — as well as Damascus rose water, an anti-inflammatory that soothes and nourishes. Lastly natural pumpkin and papaya enzymes help gently exfoliate skin and remove impurities.
(5,6) Then I Met You Skin Balancing Duo: This toner and essence are sold separately also but work so well together as a duo. The Birch Milk Refining Toner preps your skin skin with a blend of hydrating ingredients and gentle exfoliants. The formula is packed with 76% birch juice, squalane, marshmallow root extract, and a 1% concentration of AHAs and PHAs. Follow the toner with the Giving Essence for a formulation that packs a hydrating dream. The essence features over 80% naturally fermented ingredients including ultra-hydrating polyglutamic acid, brightening ellagic acid and antioxidant-rich red algae and licorice extracts.
(7) Youth To The People Adaptogen Soothe and Hydrate Activated Mist: This ultra-fine mist that hydrates, calms visible redness, and evens skin tone with antioxidant-rich adaptogens, hyaluronic acid, and soothing peptides—like a serum in a mist. The perfect refresh to use after cleaning, in between skincare steps, or throughout the day for a refresh!
(8) GlowRx Hydrating Toner Mist: This product doubles as a toner and essence, leaving your skin with a radiant glow, thanks to the blend of hyaluronic acid, Apple, Raspberry, Sage, Rosemary, Passion Fruit, Lemon, Pineapple, Lavender, Melon and grapefruit extracts.
(1) The Plant Base Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid: This ampoule contains 100% pure sodium hyaluronate, a stable, water-soluble form of hyaluronic acid that has smaller molecules than hyaluronic acid, to better penetrate the skin and pump it with hydration. Just a few drops help plump and hydrate skin.
(2) First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum: This serums ingredients not only include Hyaluronic Acid, but alsoCollagen and Peptides, that help hydrate and improve the overall appearance of skin. Its lightweight gel texture locks in moisture for a healthy, youthful looking complexion, and locks in perfectly under your moisturizer.
(3) The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid: This serum will cost you less than 10 dollars, yet isn't tacky and sticky like a lot of it's lower price competitors. The Inkey List is an amazing skincare brand with affordable products, and top of the line ingredients. This two percent hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin, leaving it smoother and plumper, and is the perfect serum to incorporate in your morning or night routine.
(4) Skinfix Barrier + Trip Lipid Hyaluronate Serum: A healthy barrier is essential. It’s the armor that will protect you from being susceptible to damaged skin. Lipids (ceramides, fatty acids and good cholesterol) help your ski n to defend against all sorts of issues ranging from premature aging to serious dryness to redness/inflammation.This serum is made with an active cocktail of vital lipids, replenishing the skin barrier.
(5) Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief: A blend of conditioning oils that fight irritation, discoloration and breakouts caused by a damaged skin barrier. Great Barrier Relief works by repairing damage in the skin barrier and letting your skin breathe a sigh of relief. This serum also can be used as a moisturizer for more oily skin types.
(6) Stratia Liquid Gold: Liquid Gold is formulated with ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids to mimic and strengthen your natural moisture barrier. Much like Great Barrier Relief this could also double as a moisturizer for some skin types. This is the perfect serum to incorporate for those of us that can be rough on our skin, as it provides the insurance of extra protection.
(7) Skinceuticals CE Ferulic: This Vitamin C serum is the Holy Grail for a reason. This serum brightens the skin so much, and delivers advanced environmental protection from pollution. While the price is definitely on the higher side, this is a serum I would definitely recommend splurging on if you're looking to do so. Just make sure to keep it in a cool, and dark place to avoid oxidation.
(8) Klur Immersion Serum: This serums formulated to help prevent skin dehydration, with essential vitamins C, B5, and E. These nutrients work in synergy to help support barrier strength, balance and plump skin, while improving moisture retention–without the risk of congestion. I love Klur products, and daily use of this serum will guarantee more hydrated and healthy feeling skin.
(9) Hyper Skin Vitamin C: This serum is a much more affordable and incredibly impressive Vitamin C serum. Packed with 15 percent vitamin c and vitamin e that work together to brighten skin, smooth fine lines and rough texture, and dramatically clear dark spots from hyperpigmentation. Along with this the serum includes a combination of fruit enzymes, bearberry, turmeric, and kojic acid work together to attack hyperpigmentation and drastically lighten dark spots while natural botanicals work to minimize the occurrence of future outbreaks.
EYE CREAMS AND LIP CARE
(1) Youth To The People Dream Eye Cream: An overnight eye cream that effectively works to visibly smooth the appearance of fine lines and actively hydrate while you sleep. This formula harnesses the ingredient of high-tech goji stem cell, plant-based ceramides, vegan hyaluronic acid, and vitamins to provide a complete overnight eye recovery in one step.
(2) First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Niacinamide Brightening Cream: This eye cream is the perfect daily eye cream. It is a gorgeous gold color that is pigment correcting, and instantly makes you feel more awake and gorgeous. This eye cream instantly brightens, hydrates and smooths the eye area while helping to reduce the appearance of dark circles over time. Niacinamide is one of my favorite ingredients, and helps fade the appearance of dark circles by helping to reduce melanin production.
(3) Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream: This eye cream was inspired by makeup artist secret, banana powder, it is a brightening, vitamin C-rich eye crème that targets signs of aging, reducing the look of dark circles while improving concealer application and wear. It truly is the best primer for your concealer.
(4) BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector: Formulated with potent 5% pure stabilized vitamin C and anti-inflammatory CBD to protect and revitalize the skin. This eye cream is fast-acting and truly impressive in its ingredient formulation.
(5) Glossier Bubblewrap Eye and Lip Plumping Cream: Made with a combination of natural hydrators including Hyaluronic Acid, Squalane, Avocado Oil, and antioxidant-rich Blueberry Extract, this cream is a lightweight texture that doesn’t feel sticky or pill under makeup. Hydrating and plumping the skin effectively in two incredibly sensitive areas, the under eye and around the lips.
(6) Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: This leave-on lip mask is popular for a reason as it soothes and moisturizes for smoother, more supple lips overnight.Enriched with incredible antioxidants, the exclusive Moisture Wrap™ technology boasts hyaluronic acid and minerals to form a protective film over the lips to lock in moisture and active ingredients. Allowing you to wake up with
(7) Glossier Balm Dotcom: A cult-favorite, these lips balms are packed with antioxidants and natural emollients to nourish dry, chafed skin—in fun flavors and tints.
(8) Milk Makeup Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask: A truly original and unique product. This mask contains topical melatonin and a berry blend of goji, acai, blueberry, and blackberry to help provide antioxidant benefits for rejuvenated-looking lips overnight.
(9) KNC Beauty Lip Mask: These lip masks are so fun, but also incredibly hydrating leaving your lips feeling so kissable and plump. Using moisturizing plant extracts to protect your lips from the world’s harsh elements, infused with plumping collagen and moisturizing rose flower oil, vitamin e, and bitter cherry extract, it’s all natural, and you feel the results instantly. It’s also a great primer for lipsticks, especially mattes!
(10) hanahana beauty shea lip balm: This lip balm is formulated with Ghanaian harvested Shea Butter + Cocoa Butter, literally providing the most instant and comforting feeling to your lips upon application. Sealing in moisture perfectly, with a flare of honey. and an elegant brown tint.
(1) Skinfix Barrier + Trip Lipid Peptite Cream: Much like the serum this rich, nourishing cream moisturizer powered by potent actives, including vital lipids and nutripeptides that richly hydrate. Perfect for dry skin types for a day to day moisturizer, and a night cream for more oily and combination.
(2) First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: This moisturizer is a holy grail product for people with super dry and even eczema prone skin. Formulated with Colloidal Oatmeal, Shea Butter, Ceramide 3 and the FAB Antioxidant Booster, it provides immediate relief and visible improvement for parched skin and it is clinically proven to increase hydration by 169% immediately upon application.
(3) Hanskin Hyaluron Moisture Cream: This rich, soothing cream packs a serious dose of hydration to prevent both dryness and redness. A special formulation of three types of hyaluronic acid help to draw moisture into the skin and keep it hydrated all day long. It is also on the lighter side in consistency for those who fall more on the oily to combination side.
(4) Youth To The People Superfood Air Whip Moisture Cream: This is an amazing lightweight moisturizer for combination and oily skin with antioxidant-rich superfoods, cross-formulated with hyaluronic acid, and other incredibly nurturing ingredients. I love this it's texture and it feels so light, yet nourishing on the skin. I would say this Is a little light in consistency for more dry skin types however.
(5) Buttah Skin Cocoshea Revitalizing Cream: I love Buttah Skin, and this moisturizer is formulated with African rich-butters, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin E that promote radiant skin while soothing and improving tone and texture. I would most definitely recommend this cream to melanin rich skin types.
(6) Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer: This moisturizer is an amazing more affordable dupe for the Skinfix moisturizer, formulated with peptides that help support natural collagen, leaving skin looking youthful and feeling comfortable.
(7) Humanrace Humidifying Cream: This cream mimics the replenishing effect that humidity in tropical environments has on skin by packing in snow mushroom extract, hyaluronic acid and plant-based squalane. The snow mushroom extract has a smaller molecule size, allowing it to easily penetrate the different layers of skin, while tiger leaf extract soothes skin and reduces inflammation and irritation. I am absolutely obsessed with this cream, and it has become my daily moisturizer.
(8) Allies of Skin Peptide & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment: This moisturizer is called a treatment for a reason. While definitely a more pricey option, this moisturizer packs a punch with an incredible ingredient list.Supercharged with multiple peptides, 7 Brighteners, 9 Antioxidants and a 16.5% Repair Complex to firm and repair all different skin types.
(9) Shani Darden Weightless Oil Free Moisturizer: For those with oily skin, this is the ONE. This super super lightweight, oil-free, fast-absorbing moisturizer that provides weightless hydration without clogging pores and keeps skin looking fresh, hydrated, and balanced.
(1) Sunday Riley Luna Oil: An amazing night oil formulated with retinol, that boosts the look and feel of skin plumpness, while improving the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly younger-looking skin. Retinol is an effective ingredient, but can be harsh- so this formulation within a nourishing oil allows for it to be introduced in a more delicate way.
(2) Inkey List Squalane Oil: An amazing way to lock in moisture at the end of your skincare routine, and look like you're wearing highlighter without even trying, is to use a Squalane oil. I love this one from the Inkey list because it is so affordable and super-lightweight.
(3) Paulas Choice Moisture Renewal Oil Booster: A concentrated, antioxidant-enriched booster relieves dry skin with a blend of pure, nourishing plant oils and skin-renewing ceramides. This oil has an impressively light texture absorbs quickly for all-day comfort and is exceptionally gentle for sensitive skin, even for skin prone to rosacea.
(4) Trilogy Rosehip Oil: This is a gorgeous lightweight oil, that is perfect for adding that extra hydration and nourishment to your routine, without any irritation.
(5) Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil: A fast-absorbing facial oil packed with rare superberry antioxidants for rapid hydration and velvety-soft skin with a healthy-looking glow. It's a quickly absorbing, hydrating oil that truly does give you that GLOW.
(6) Farmacy Honey Grail Oil: This oil is noncomedogenic and delivers intense hydration that helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This oil contains a favorite ingredient of mine, Sea Buckthorn Oil because it has all the omegas in it, plus loads of vitamins C and A.
(7) GoopGenes All-In-One Super Nutrient Oil: A 100 percent botanical oil that leaves skin appearing firmer, softer, and more radiant. While definitely on the pricier side, this oil is jam packed with nutrient-dense oils, extracts and squalane that work together to improve visible firmness, smooth texture, soften, hydrate, and increase your glow. This oil includes Bakuchiol which is considered to be a less irritating retinol alternative also.
(8) Biossance Squalane and Vitamin C Rose Oil: A super hydrating vitamin C oil for all skin types that visibly brightens and firms, revealing your most radiant-looking skin. If you are looking for an oil to cover so many of your bases, this is the one- and a little goes a long way!
(9) 54 Thrones AJA: Nourishing Face Oil: This oil is like a daily vitamin for your skin. Packed with 14 African plant botanicals, delivering optimal nutrition for your most radiant skin. Aja is named after the Yoruba Goddess, known as the Lady of Forest Herbs. Founded on African ancient goddess wisdom, this oil is truly special and one of a kind.
(10,11) nyakio Marcuja & Yangu Rescue Oil: This gives a gorgeous glow, and makes for a perfect primer before applying makeup. This lightweight oil to soothe and nourishes skin, helps to soothe dry stressed skin and is formulated with cold-pressed Maracuja Oil is sourced from Brazil andYangu is sourced from South Africa.
(1,2) Eleven, On The Defense Sunscreen and Unrivaled Sun Serum: On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 is a sheer mineral sunscreen that melts into skin, leaving a semi-matte, non-chalky finish. Formulated with 25% zinc oxide, On-The-Defense is the perfect daily sunscreen for all skin types and tones. It provides lightweight hydration and blends easily for effortless on-the-go application. This sunscreen is so special because creating such an effective sheer MINERAlL sunscreen is incredibly difficult. The Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 is a lightweight serum that combines skincare and mineral sun protection. This serum applies transparently and absorbs quickly on all skin tones, creating a smooth velvety finish. The serum is the ultimate multi-tasker as the final step before applying makeup, leaving skin with a beautiful demi-matte glow.
(3) Thank You Farmer, Sun Project Water Cream: This sun cream, formulated with SPF 50 keeps skin hydrated all day long with African walnut oil, inca omega oil and bamboo extracts. Aloe leaf extract, hollyhock root and patented anti-inflammatory ingredient phyto-oligo calm soothe and protect skin’s moisture barrier without leaving behind a white cast or stickiness. If you're one for skipping a moisturizer and sticking to an SPF, this is an excellent one.
(4) Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen: This is a 100% mineral sunscreen primer and color corrector in one! This sunscreen was formulated to cover a range of skin tones, minimizes your pores and moisturize your skin. Feel free to wear alone or as a primer under your makeup!
(5) Supergoop! PLAY!: This waterproof and sweat proof sunscreen is a go to for outdoor exercise or a beach day! This broad spectrum SPF 50 lotion for face and body is a hydrating, fast-absorbing formula.
(6) Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30: This sunscreen is made by women of color for people of color, because we get sunburned too. Black Girl Sunscreen dries completely clear so it’s perfect to use before any outdoor activity or even under your favorite makeup products.
(7) Renée Rouleau Weightless Protection SPF 30: This Weightless Protection SPF 30 is the best lightweight sunscreen with zinc oxide for oily and sensitive skin that won't feel greasy, cause blemishes or clog the pores. A 2-in-1 sunscreen moisturizer can be used as a daily moisturizer under makeup.
(8) Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer: Another excellent formulation for darker skin tones, Nourishing moisturizers and robust antioxidants help restore hydration and radiance while SPF 30 sunscreen guards against UV damage and this Bolden product does both. Vitamin C lies at the heart of the formulation, providing brightening corrective properties and counteracting daily oxidative damage.
(9) Krave Beauty The Beet Shield: Korean sunscreen technology is incredibly innovative, and pushes beyond the current chemical sunscreen landscape here in the United States. This daytime fluid is packed with antioxidants and also provides environmental protection against free radicals, pollution, irritants, etc. It has a condensed milk like texture that just melts into the skin. Super hydrating and leaving the skin super glowy, it doubles as a primer [and] works beautifully under makeup. You'll immediately recognize the glow!
(1) Laneige Water Sleeping Mask: An overnight, moisture-recharging gel mask that quickly absorbs while you sleep to deeply hydrate skin. Formulated with highly concentrated Hydro Ionized Mineral Water to deliver high doses of moisture to stressed, parched skin, this mask will have you waking up with soft glowing skin.
(2) KNC Beauty Sheet Masks: These masks are quite literally an at home spa treatment. They satisfy dry, thirsty skin using three bio-cellulose sheet masks that conform to facial contours for a comfortable, no-slip fit. They are filled with hydrating ingredients, that leave your skin feeling so soft and looking bright as ever.
(3) Benton Aloe Soothing Mask Pack: Aloe is an oldie but a goodie of an ingredient, and it never goes out of style. These masks are so cooling, and the best to store in the fridge. Packed with more than 48% aloe vera, as well as camellia sinensis leaf water.
(4) Hanskin Hyaluron Moisture Mask: This four-in-one sheet mask moisturizes, brightens, soothes and leaves skin glowing with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, French rose water, and strawberry and raspberry extracts. Incorporate this into your morning routine your skin will be glowy and dewy all day long.
(5) Epara Intense Hydrating Masks: An expense for certain, but if you're looking for a luxurious night cream to treat yourself with at night, this one is incredible. This creamy mask reduces hyper-pigmentation, removes toxins and aids in sebum production, to nourish your skin while you sleep.
(6) Dr. Althea Squalane Silk Mask: This sheet mask is affordable, and one of the most luxurious feeling experiences I've ever experienced with an at home mask. This mask offers 360-degree hydration with Hydrolyzed collagen, a protein that replenishes dry skin, hyaluronic acid, a humectant that helps skin retain moisture, and squalane, a lipid that serves as a protective barrier to seal all of that moisture in. The mask itself is made of silk (!!!), which does more than just make you feel fancy, but also provides effective maximum absorption.
(7) Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches: A hydrating eye-contour gel patch that drenches skin with moisturizing hyaluronic acid and improves the look of fine lines, crow’s feet, and dark circles. Lack of hydration can cause some of the under eye wrinkles you may be experiencing!
(8) Youth To The People Superberry Hyrdate + Glow Dream Mask: This overnight mask confronts dryness and uneven skin tones. It deeply hydrates, plumps and brightens with powerful, antioxidant-rich superberries and Vitamin C. Your skin will love this mask, and you will definitely notice brighter, more even skin.
(9) Topicals Like Butter Hydrating Mask: A dry skin SAVIOR. If you have dry skin this hydrating mask is the one, packed with powerful botanicals for skin so smooth it’s like butter. The mask restores dry, flaky skin, helps soothe sensitive and irritated skin, and protects the skin’s damaged moisture barrier. I recently started incorporating retinol into my skincare, and it can be very drying, and this is the answer.
(10) Klur Supreme Seed Mask: A clay mask is always a good mask to incorporate into your skincare routine, and I can't wait to try out this one from Klur. This mask helps boost the skin's natural repair processes with a soothing, balancing blend of panthenol, calendula, and cacao helps calm and improve the appearance of redness and irritation. The blend of nature's most abundant antioxidants and nourishing bio-dynamic plant extracts, which act in synergy to reset and restore balance to fragile and easily stressed skin conditions. The ingredients in this mask aim to gently purify, decongest, reduce, and release the accumulation of daily environmental debris.