A love letter to winter skincare


If we’re anything alike, you most likely have your winter skincare routine down to a system by now. The cold, harsh winter always dries out my skin and leaves me thirsty (ha) for hydration. While the products I use each year tend to change up, my system remains pretty much the same.

And like always, I dust off my skincare old faithfuls during the winter months: Origins Drink Up mask and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial cream.

IMG_1136.pngI have always been a fan of the Origins skincare line, calling on the Out of Trouble mask to tackle any problem areas for several years now. The Drink Up mask is a nighttime staple in my winter regime, offering the moisture I crave during the dry months. I use this mask almost nightly and leave it overnight to soak in, working its moisturizing magic.

My other old faithful is the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial cream. I first purchased this as I raced through the airport in Madrid to my connecting flight, my skin was dry after weeks of travel, I couldn’t wait to treat myself to some moisture. As we all know, travel and life can be quite taxing on our skin, but I find this facial cream to be the ultimate solution, making your skin soft and glowy.

Now that I’ve got the old faithfuls out of the way, I’ll talk about some of my other skin saviours this winter. Transitioning from the wet East Coast of Canada to America’s dry (yet FREEZING) Midwest, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how the air affects my skin. I have more problem areas, and my skin is either extremely dry or extremely oily. The following products have been the unsung heroes of keeping my skin in its best shape (most of the time):

Bodyshop Vitamin E eye cream is a cult favourite for good reason. I’ve noticed, as I age, my under-eye area is drier than usual and since incorporating this cream, the skin has transformed dramatically. It’s not nearly as puffy and feels more soft than ever. I’ve also noticed my smile lines have decreased slightly (and I promise I’m still smiling!).

img_1131Just a few weeks after moving to Chicago for good, I noticed my chin area was breaking out more than usual. While it still isn’t perfect, I’ve found this alcohol-free toner has played a role in clearing up the trouble areas faster than usual while also reducing the inflamed remnants of pimples’ past. Thayers Witch Hazel Rose Petal toner has rave reviews online, so you can just add this review to the pile.

I have been obsessed with charcoal masks for as long as I can remember. This summer I decided to treat myself to one of L’Oreal’s new releases and I was not disappointed. After spending my weeks exploring Chicago’s humid summer offerings, I needed a good skin detox. The L’Oreal Detox and Brighten mask worked wonders as it dried across my face, reaching a level of clean my skin had never felt before. Intrigued by my rave reviews (and after literally watching me walk around the apartment screaming about how I could literally feel the dirt being pulled from my pores), my husband gave this mask a try – and he was just as impressed (as a face mask rookie).

I bought the Bodyshop Drops of Light serum this summer to give me that glowy, Chrissy Teigen skin we all dream of for my wedding. At first, I found this product lacklustre. I combined img_1133the Drops of Light lotion (more of a toner) with the serum, but felt like my already sun-kissed skin hadn’t improved much beyond reducing a few small acne scars. I decided to invite the serum back into the mix when the Midwest days became shorter and I’ve since noticed a change in my skin. While nothing will replace the natural advantage of the sun to give you a summery glow (through SPF 30, people!), this serum has injected a bit of a glow to my otherwise white, pasty winter skin.

My last skincare staple was something I found after watching a friend’s 5-minute long review of this product on her Instagram story. I love exfoliating (in fact, I have been known to over-exfoliate in the past) so when I was in the market for a new product, I picked up the Peter Thomas Roth FirmX peeling mask. An enzymatic exfoliator, I was thrilled when, after applying the mask, I could literally see and feel the dead skin peeling off my face. Perhaps not for the faint of heart, this mask literally makes your skin feel fresh and glowing after shedding its layer of old skin cells. TRY IT NOW.

If you’re looking to switch up your skincare routine for the season, I highly encourage incorporating all/any of these products to your rotation – your skin will thank you for it!



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Krista Thurrott is the mind behind My life without dessert. A self-professed morning person, daydreamer and beauty junkie with an affinity for food, travel and fitness.

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