The Winter-Friendly Skin-Care Products Our Editors Swear By
We hate to play favorites with the seasons, but winter isn’t at the top of our preferred list — as far as our skin goes, at least. Sure, the cooler months are great for our constantly-cozy aesthetic, but they usually mark the time when our skin tends to be out of whack. Too much artificial heat (or lack thereof), not enough sunlight, and dryness caused by frigid air — and now face masks — is no recipe for the dewy, glowy, hydrated skin we typically aim for. Fortunately, a solid skin-care routine can help make up for that. Small swaps, like trading an exfoliating cleanser for a cream one, can work to combat dull winter skin and breathe new life into your face. To help your skin live its best life this season, the Refinery29 beauty team broke down their go-to skin-care products for winter. Find our favorites, ahead. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Augustinus Bader The Cream Cleansing Gel”You really can’t go wrong with anything from German stem-cell scientist-turned-skin-care innovator Augustinus Bader, and this gentle gel cleanser is no exception. The light, barely-there lather is perfect for rinsing away light makeup before bed, as well as starting off the day with clean — but not stripped — skin. With a soothing base of sweet almond oil and rose water, in addition to the brand’s signature TFC8 blend, it’s an ideal pick for just about any skin type that could use a little TLC.” — Rachel Krause, deputy beauty directorAugustinus Bader Augustinus Bader The Cream Cleansing Gel, $, available at NordstromHoliFrog Galilee Antioxidant Dewy Drop”This silky serum-lotion hybrid has been an essential for me throughout the cold, dry season — I honestly can’t imagine my skin-care routine without it. I smooth a few drops on damp skin after cleansing and patting in my forever go-to COSRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, and my face is left perfectly comfortable with a soft semi-matte finish. I layer it under SPF during the day and a richer moisturizer or oil at night.” — KrauseHolifrog HoliFrog Galilee Antioxidant Dewy Drop, $, available at DermStoreMyth Magic Earth Oil 1000MG CBD”My default setting is skepticism, so please trust me when I say that this CBD oil is not another example of marketing B.S.: Here, the much-discussed star ingredient is full-spectrum, U.S.-grown, and lab-tested for purity and potency. Paired with fast-absorbing, fatty acid-rich MCT oil, it’s a two-ingredient powerhouse of a formula that plays well with other skin-care products and leaves my reactive complexion visibly clearer and more balanced.” — KrauseMyth Magick Myth Magic EARTH OIL 1000MG CBD, $, available at Myth MagickINNBEAUTY Project Pimple Paste “I use this to get rid of pimples that pop up out of nowhere and watch them shrink overnight — no exaggeration. I love the ingredients too; it has azelaic acid, oregano, thyme, and tea tree oil for that tingling feeling, along with willow bark extract and healing clays to prevent more pimples and reduce inflammation.” — Sydney Clarke, 2030 FellowINNBEAUTY PROJECT INNBEAUTY Project Pimple Paste, $, available at Innbeauty ProjectYouth To The People Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner”I will never get used to the tacky feeling of most toners, but every time I want to give up on them completely, I go back to this one and am reminded why I need it in my routine. Using this kombucha and AHA-infused toner after my cleanser and before my serums at night gives me soft and smooth skin in the morning. The winter usually strips my skin of moisture, but I think adding this toner at night activates my products to work at peak performance and seal in moisture.” — ClarkeYouth To The People Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner, $, available at SephoraVictoria Beckham Beauty Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum”This is my second bottle of this very expensive, apple cider vinegar-smelling face serum, and I love it even more this time around. Right now, I’m using it sparingly morning and night by patting exactly three drops into clean, dry skin. I’ve noticed that it speeds up the time it takes for post-acne scars to fade and leaves my skin clearer and glowier the longer I use it, which is why I don’t plan to stop.” — Megan Decker, beauty editor Victoria Beckham Beauty Victoria Beckham Beauty Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum, $, available at Victoria Beckham BeautyTan Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops“I always like having an at-home self-tanner in my winter skin rotation because it gives my naturally fair complexion a little glow, which I find actually helps ward off seasonal woes. I’ve been mixing a single drop of these Tan Luxe drops in with my nightly face oil, and the result is a super subtle, believable tan that makes me feel more confident in my Zoom reflection.” — DeckerTan-Luxe Tan Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, $, available at SephoraDrunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil“For face oil, Drunk Elephant is a longtime favorite that I’ve circled back to this winter. I like that it’s luxe and leaves my dry skin nice and dewy before I hop in bed. Plus, it plays well when mixed with my self-tan drops or a pump of the Drunk Elephant glycolic acid, which I keep in my nighttime rotation for when my skin’s looking a little congested.” — DeckerDrunk Elephant Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil, $, available at Drunk ElephantOlay Regenerist Collagen Peptide 24 Facial Cleanser “I’m a sucker for a gentle, creamy cleanser that actually makes my skin feel clean, and this one fits the bill. Before bed, I massage a healthy squeeze of this on my face and neck for about 60 seconds. My skin immediately feels more supple and refreshed but doesn’t turn to sandpaper the minute I get out of the shower. It’s also fragrance-free, a huge bonus if fancy scents irritate your face.” — Aimee Simeon, senior beauty writerOlay Olay Regenerist Collagen Peptide 24 Facial Cleanser, $, available at TargetAlpha H Clear Skin Tonic”Maskne seems to love it here at home on my skin, but I don’t. I’ve been using this toner every other day in between treatment products, and it’s the closest thing my pimples have gotten to an eviction notice, which is enough to keep it around until my breakouts are gone for good.” — SimeonAlpha-H Alpha H Clear Skin Tonic, $, available at Alpha-HBiossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil”This oil has been critical in turning my typically dry winter skin supple (for the most part). After applying my acne-fighting exfoliating treatments at night, I slather on a few drops of this all over my skin. It sinks in comfortably without feeling greasy or oily, and I wake up ten times more hydrated and glowy than when I don’t put it on.” — SimeonBiossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, $, available at SephoraLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?