Winter Skin Care Products to Nourish Your Face and Body

Your skin is your largest organ so pamper it this winter

Credit: iStock

Your skin is your largest organ so pamper it this winter

Switching up your beauty regimen in the winter is a must if you want your skin to remain healthy and happy. Between the cold windy climate outside, and the warm, dry environment inside, your skin is probably feeling and looking stressed. Treat it well with hydrating, soothing and healing products this winter and you’ll emerge in the spring looking refreshed. Click through the following slides to get the lowdown on some moisturizers, lotions, serums, masques and more that will nourish your skin all season long.

Credit: Catherine Tse

Gentle and Effective Cleansers

During the winter months, you’ll want to switch from detergent-based, harsher cleansers (which can be great in summer months) to something gentler and creamier. Milks are often a great starting point but there are also many other options out there with nourishing properties to pamper your skin.

1. A-Derma, Exomega Emollient Cleansing Oil, $18.50 (200 ml)

Not to be confused with the Japanese-style cleansing oils, this is more of an oil-based cleanser that lathers up lightly to produce a mild and hydrating foam. Great for the body as well, especially if you have sensitive or irritated skin.

2. Avène, Gentle Milk Cleanser, $27 (200 ml)

If you’re the type of person who cringes over the mere thought of washing your face because it leaves your skin uncomfortably tight, parched and even irritated, then this is the cleanser for you. The thick and creamy texture is extremely comforting to skin and because it’s so rich, it also makes for an excellent gentle makeup remover.

3. LUSH, Let the Good Times Roll, $12.95 (100 g/3.5 oz)

This cleanser is especially great for combo and dry/dehydrated skin, as it infuses the face with a lot of great nourishing ingredients: glycerin is a natural humectant, cinnamon helps warm the skin and increase blood flow and circulation, and the polenta (corn meal) provides some exfoliation leaving skin unbelievably soft. And, yes, it really does smell like cookie dough.

4. Vichy, Soothing Cleansing Milk, $20 (200 ml)

This rich and creamy cleanser is soothing on sensitive skin. Massage thoroughly, working the product into the skin and either rinse off or gently wipe off. It’s mild enough for trouble skin, but also effective at removing makeup.

5. Weleda, Gentle Cleansing Milk, $24.50 (100 ml)

This cleansing milk has the consistency of slightly thickened cream and smells herbal-y in a deeply relaxing way. It maintains a healthy balance in your skin without compromising its natural protective functions – especially important in the winter. And the gorgeous cobalt-blue glass bottle looks lovely on your counter.

Credit: Catherine Tse

Exfoliate Daily to Reveal Smoother Skin

It’s always important to help with skin turnover by gently exfoliating, but this is especially crucial in the winter when skin can develop noticeable flakiness. By removing the dead skin cells, you’re not only revealing fresh skin, but you’re prepping your face and body to better absorb serums and moisturizers.

1. The Body Shop, Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask, $17.00 (200 ml)

This multi-tasking scrub will gently buff skin while infusing it with the nutritious and soothing properties of oatmeal. It starts off with a warming sensation that helps to increase circulation and melt away tension.

2. Get Creamed Body, Sweet Georgia Caramel Brown Sugar Body Scrub, $26 (240 ml)

The all-Vancouver crew at Get Creamed Body has created a sugar scrub that smells amazingly like deep buttery, caramel. If you can resist licking it off, slather it over your winter-dry body to scrub away flakes with soft brown sugar and moisturize thirsty skin with cocoa butter and coconut oil. 100% natural and vegan.

3. SkinCeuticals, Micro Exfoliating Scrub, $30 (150 ml)

This gorgeous gel gently yet thoroughly polishes the skin with natural microbeads. It softens the skin and promotes healthy cell renewal. An excellent polish before using a masque.

4. Vasanti, Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, $34 (120 g)

This powerful and effective exfoliator is from Quebec, where they certainly know all about winter-ravaged skin. It contains dermatologist-grade microderm crystals made from aluminum oxide as well as a natural papaya enzyme to help dissolve dead skin cell debris and even out skintone. An excellent exfoliator that delivers near-professional results.

Credit: Catherine Tse

Deep Treatment Masques for At-home Facials

Masques offer deep treatments that target specific skin issues, so they’re especially helpful at tending to winter skincare woes. Whether you have thirsty, dehydrated skin, or inflamed, angry skin, there’s a masque out there that can help. And, unless it’s an overnight masque, 10 minutes is all you’ll need.

1. Aveda, Intensive Hydrating Masque, $26 (150 ml)

This is a popular winter staple for many, simply because it’s extremely calming and hydrating. It’s like a long drink of water for thirsty skin and, when applied thinly, can be used effectively as a moisturizer on dry patches, even under makeup.

2. Avène, Antirougeurs Calm Redness Relief Soothing Mask, $35.00 (50 ml)

This mask is so soothing for angry skin it’s even recommended for post-procedure use. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps repair, restore and protect your skin, leaving your face beautifully moisturized, soft and supple. An excellent choice for those with sensitive skin who experience flare-ups, rosacea and other skin irritations.

3. Clinique, Moisture Surge Overnight Masque, $38 (100 ml)

This is an absolute gem in the Moisture Surge lineup of products. While it’s near-miraculous for dry/dehydrated skin, it also works well for combo/oily skin (which can still suffer from dehydration).

4. Éminence, Red Current Rapid Infusion, ($54, 60 ml), Hibiscus Calendula Recovery, $49, 60 ml) and Pumpkin Latte Hydrating, ($48, 60 ml) masques

The Red Currant Rapid Infusion Masque is part of the Youth Shield range that delivers a natural AHA cocktail with extracts from pineapples and lemons, and antioxidants from red currant, elderflower and magnolia bark.

The Pumpkin Latte Hydrating Masque is a seasonal favourite with pumpkin purée that delivers hydration, enzymes and beta-carotene.

The Hibiscus Calendula Recovery Masque offers a healing and soothing blend of calming Calendula flowers, softening Hibiscus tea oil, and moisturizing shea butter.

To use all three masques, apply the Red Currant Rapid Infusion Masque first and allow the AHA to penetrate the skin. After one minute, add the creamy Pumpkin Latte Hydration Masque and let the combined masques rest on the face for 5-7 minutes before removing. This combination is particularly good for rejuvenating, hydrating and rebalancing the skin. Then follow up with the Hibiscus Calendula Recovery Masque for another 5-7 minutes before removing; finishing with this will help calm the skin and improve its elasticity.

5. SkinCeuticals, Hydrating B5 Masque, $54 (75 ml)

This concentrated masque treats dehydrated and stressed skin with massive doses of Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5. This clear gel not only feels cool and soothing on the skin but actually leaves skin with improved tissue repair function.

6. Vichy, Aqualia Thermal Night Spa, $44 (75 ml)

This is an overnight masque treatment that plumps skin while you sleep. Apply a thick layer on after cleansing, let it sink in, and after 15 minutes massage the rest into the face and let it work its magic overnight.

Facial Serums for Concentrated Treatments

Serums are extremely finely formulated treatments that deliver concentrated doses of nutrients and hydration. They offer an extra boost to your skincare regime and should be used after cleansing and before using your moisturizer.

1. Avène, Soothing Hydrating Serum, $44 (30 ml)

This serum provides instant comfort to dry and dehydrated faces. The silky rich formula contains glycerin to quench thirsty skin while Avène’s Thermal Spring Water in encapsulated liposomes diffuses hydration slowly over time so your face feels hydrated throughout the day.

2. Clinique, Repairwear Laser Focus, $59 (30 ml)

This milky serum encourages gentle yet effective exfoliation. Without proper cell turnover, dead cells can accumulate on the surface accentuating fine lines and wrinkles and giving skin a grey cast.

3. Éminence, Couperose-C Serum, $48 (30 ml)

This is particularly good for sensitive and intolerant skin, especially those with rosacea or other conditions that cause skin to flush. Rosehip oil contributes antioxidants and Vitamin C; lavender heals dry skin; and alpha-lipoic acid helps with skin’s texture and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

4. Estée Lauder, Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recover Complex II, $72 (30 ml)

This is Estée Lauder’s signature serum, appreciated by millions worldwide for its advanced, high-tech research that targets the prevention and repair of cell DNA damage. All that research means you wake up to well-hydrated, even-toned, glowy skin with fewer signs of wrinkling and aging.

5. LUSH, Full of Grace, $14.95 (20 g)

This solid serum is sublimely rich and moisturizing with soothing ingredients like tropical butters (hydrating), Portobello mushrooms (nourishing) and chamomile (soothing). It’s perfect for day and night for those with dry/dehydrated skin; combo/oily skins may want to stick to using this at night.

6. Vichy, Idealia Life Serum, $59 (30 ml)

This is more substantial than most serums, providing a thick, creamy emulsion that hydrates and soothes the skin. Combo/oily skins may not need a moisturizer after using this. Leaves the face looking dewy and glowing.

Credit: Catherine Tse

Moisturizers to Keep Your Winter Face Nourished and Hydrated

A good moisturizer is your skin’s first defence against difficult winter elements, whether you’re inside our out. If you’ve prepped your skin well (cleansing, exfoliating, etc.), your face will absorb the moisturizer quickly and keep you feeling protected and hydrated all day.

1. Aveda, Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Crème, $53 (50 ml)

This lusciously rich and thick cream will nourish and protect your skin from harsh winter elements. It’s best applied after warming it up in your hands and emulsifying it until it becomes clear, then patting it onto slightly damp skin.

2. Avène, Rich Compensating Cream, 45 (50 ml)

This is a thick, rich cream that dry, lipid-starved skin will love. Note that it’s not for dehydrated skin – it delivers nourishment, oils and fats to protect the skin, but not moisture. It revives dull, ashy skin and is perfect for patting onto dry patches.

3. Clinique, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+, $32 (125 ml)

Clinique’s famous yellow “drink” for skin has been around for decades. This new formula has been tweaked so it now works for an even wider range of skin types, including those with dehydrated skin.

4. Estée Lauder, Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-aging Crème, $82 (50 ml)

This cream is designed to combat signs of aging, many of which overlap with seasonal winter skin issues such as dry, dehydrated, flaky and dull skin. Moisturizes well without being greasy and gives a fabulous (albeit temporary) tightening and lifting effect. Long term, you’ll have firmer, softer and smoother skin.

5. Get Creamed Body, About Face, $42 (30 ml)

This bottle is chock-a-block full of high performers such as DMAE to combat inflammation and help repair skin, Panthenol (Vitamin B5) to penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver long-lasting moisture, Allantoin to help heal skin irritation and promote healthy skin tissue, and Hyaluronic Acid to help bind moisture to skin for a plump and firmer texture.

6. La Roche Posay, Cicaplast Baume B5, $19.99 (40 ml)

This multi-purpose balm is so gentle (yet effective) it’s safe to use even on babies. It’s already extremely popular in Europe, and launched in Canada just in time for winter. This healing lotion rescues highly irritated and sensitive skin and can even help with minor scrapes, wounds and burns.

7. LUSH, Skin’s Shangri La, $$49.95 (45 g)

This is a deeply nourishing and moisturizing cream that will bring much joy to dry/dehydrated skin. A little goes a long way, even for thirsty skin, and will leave your face looking dewy, glowy and radiant.

8. Weleda, Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Capsules, $48.00 (30 x 0.3 ml)

This is so much more than just a gorgeous moisturizer; it’s an intensive treatment that will leave your skin glowing, even-toned, brighter and plumper. Break open one capsule for each application and use it every night for a month as a way to reboot your winter skin, or use 1-2x/week as a facial treat.

Credit: Catherine Tse

Body Lotions to Keep Your Skin Comfortable and Healthy

A great body lotion will keep you feeling comfortable while nourishing your skin. If you’ve ever felt a bit itchy or tight, or have seen flaking skin on your body, you need to up your game. This is especially crucial if you have eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions that make your skin particularly sensitive and reactive to winter conditions.

1. A-Derma, Exomega Emollient Lotion, $33 (400 ml)

An unscented and comforting moisturizer that simply delivers intense, healing hydration. Free of known skin irritants and great for those with eczema and atopic dermatitis. An excellent, unfussy, well-rounded product that even men won’t object to using.

2. Avène, Body Lotion with Cold Cream, $33.00 (400 ml)

This is a richly thick and comforting body cream that will keep your skin hydrated for a full day. Perfect for sensitive skin. Smells like classic Avène: softly and subtly like a newborn baby.

3. The Body Shop, Honeymania Body Butter, $20 (200 ml)

Like all their body butters, this one is buttery rich, melting on body contact to soothe dry, flaky skin. Honeymania is a new addition to the lineup, with a delicate floral-honey scent and contains community fair-trade honey that imparts natural antibacterial and hydrating benefits.

4. Get Creamed Body, This is The Balm, $22 (70 g)

This is a brilliantly portable solid moisturizing balm made with nutritious butters that soothe dry, chapped skin and even frizzy hair. Also helps treat eczema and other problem skin issues.

5. La Roche Posay, Lipikar Baume AP, $33 (400 ml)

This heavy-duty lotion is ideal for those with seriously dry and itchy skin. And if that’s what you suffer from, you know it’s a vicious cycle: itchy skin causes you to scratch, which irritates it further, forcing you to continue scratching. Put on a thin layer of this non-sticky balm and you’ll feel instant relief.

6. LUSH, Dream Cream, $26.95 (240 g)

This is an incredibly soothing and moisturizing cream that will make skin so happy. It’s wonderfully rich on dry skin, but the truly dreamy part is that it will also calm and treat irritated skin that suffers from eczema, keratosis pilaris, dermatisis, wind-burn, rashes and anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

7. Weleda, Citrus Hydrating Lotion, $20 (200 ml)

The consistency is deceptively thin, as it delivers an impressive amount of hydration. It also absorbs very quickly, making this an excellent morning rushing-off-to-work body lotion. The scent is wonderfully effervescent and gently invigorating – citrus-y without being cloying.