This Skincare Routine Is Saving My Face
It's time to talk about how you're taking care of your skin in cold weather. Because let's face it, in addition to it being the most physically abrasive season of the year, the colder temperatures and drier air wreak utter havoc on your face.
Now it's a given that everyone's skin is different: I'm sure you've heard of the terms “oily” or “combination” on some random-ass algorithmic Instagram ad at some point. Personally, I have combination skin (it gets dry when it's cold, and oily when it's hot), so I've tried and trashed a bunch of different products and routines to find out which ones a) thoroughly cleanse my face without turning it into sandpaper, and b) offer enough moisture without leaving behind some nasty residue or make my skin shine like Adam Sandler's mystical rock in Uncut Gems.
Everyone reacts to products differently, and I'm by no means an expert, but there are a few essential things that apply to every skincare routine: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Here's how I'm getting through this dermis-damaging season.
Use a gentle cleanser so that your skin doesn't fry.
Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser by Dior, dior.com
Cleaning your skin before tossing any lotions and potions on it is rule numero uno (you'd be surprised how many dudes skip this part). I'm not a fan of oil-based cleansers because they tend to clog pores, which can cause inflammation and zits, and I find soapy gels too drying. But a foam cleanser, like Dior's Hydra Life? [Chef's kiss] “Liquid foaming cleansers are gentler than most other options,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “The ingredients in this Dior product are very mild, so it does the job without stripping.” The cleanser is also highly concentrated in white tea leaf extract, which is a fancy way of saying that it also acts as a toner. Just one to two pumps, morning and night.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Hydra Life Sorbet Water Essence by Dior, dior.com
Unless you want to look like an old geezer by the time you're 40, you better start hydrating your skin properly. “Skin needs to be moisturized because we naturally lose water, especially at night,” says King. “During the day, our skin can also be affected by dry air. If you don't moisturize, that is the start of fine lines in addition to triggers of sun damages.”
Daily Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid by Cetaphil, amazon.com
I dab two drops of this Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence (or serum) all over my face after the cleanser because it calms and nourishes the skin (and, you know, feels nice). After that, it's time for a thicker solution, like this dermatologist-favorite (and super-affordable) Cetaphil lotion. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way, so just use a pea-sized amount.
The sun is not your friend. So don't leave the house without using sunscreen.
City Defense Pollution & UV Advanced Protection Cream by Dior
Paul Rudd. Pharrell. Will Smith. How the hell have these guys defied the biological process of aging? Some theorists claim it's botox. Others say it's a diet of small children. But something tells me it could be a routine use of sunscreen. “Sun damage is the leading cause of aging,” says King.
Anyways, you should definitely be putting on some sort of UV protection on your face before heading outside, because while vitamin D is great and all, premature aging, sun spots, dryness, and skin cancer aren't. This product is awesome—especially if you live in a city—because at SPF 50, it not only shields your face from harmful sun rays, it protects it from harmful toxins caused by pollution. It's also really lightweight and doesn't leave behind the flaky residue that most sunscreens do. Use a tiny squirt of this stuff as a finisher to your morning skincare routine.
Bonus points for exfoliating.
Treatment Enzyme Peel by AmorePacific, amazon.com
Sometimes your cleanser needs a little help in removing all of the gunk that accumulates on your face throughout the day. A good exfoliator removes dry, dulling surface cells and toxins from your skin, leaving it smoother, brighter, and handsomer. However, use discretion on how often you exfoliate because it can cause irritation and dryness if you overdo it. I use this powder exfoliator one to two times a week, which King says is “gentler than chemical and mechanical (scrub) exfoliators.”
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.