Winter brings out all my nasty habits. I’ve quickly traded nights out with friends for evenings in with Netflix, wine and a cake of chocolate (which yes, I do finish alone). Instead of going for a walk after work I now dive into bed for a nap. Then, to top it all off, there’s no way I’m getting out of my warm bed to wash my face before I got to sleep. Cringing reading that? Same. Apparently, that’s also how my skin feels too since it’s been breaking out for the past few weeks consistently. Winter blues, you really know how to knock a girl down.
For most of the year, and until recently, I’ve always had pretty good skin. I get spots here and there, but nothing I can’t cover up or sort out with some proper skincare. My skin had also been less dry since moving back to Auckland, a major win. So when my skin started acting up recently I knew it was time to stop indulging myself in my bad habits and nip it in the bud. Especially since I have so much travel coming up – no one wants to have a pizza face on holiday.
After a lot of trial and error, I can say with confidence that these products work. My skin has been much clearer, I don’t have as many blocked pores and generally, it looks pretty good. The biggest difference in routine since changing it up has been adding in a toner to ensure my skin is completely clean before applying moisturiser. Who knew a simple added step into my routine would be such a savior? Before I give it all away though, here are my the 8 products that are saving my skin this winter and how I have worked them into my weekly routine.
This serum is one of the newer products I’ve introduced into my routine. Stocked at Mecca, Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum contains salicylic acid which is a known enemy of breakouts. I apply this all over my face when I feel like my skin is acting up, after toner and before moisturiser. The one downside of this is it does have an interesting smell but it’s nothing too crazy. So far the combination of this and my spot treatment tackles every blemish well, no matter how big.
Another one of my newer products, but by far the highlight of this routine. I have been using this morning and night since I got it and I think I’m in love. Sunday Riley is a known luxury brand and this toner doesn’t disappoint. It’s called the Martian toner because it pumps out green but once you apply it to your face it glides on and doesn’t dry out your skin. The bonus of this toner is that you can easily apply it with clean hands so you don’t need to worry about cotton pads (the one thing I never have). I attribute my skin clearing up so quickly to this because it clears absolutely every last bit of makeup off your face. I can’t believe I never used toner before – this is a face saver.
This is my OG spot treatment. I’ve been repurchasing this since I discovered it at university in 2012 and I haven’t found anything I’ve ever liked more. I’ll use this on any spots as soon as they appear before I go to bed and by the morning they’re usually gone. That, or they’ve dried up enough that I’m not tempted to touch. I’m a squeezer, guilty as charged. Despite its small bottle, this stuff lasts ages if you only use it when you need it. Just an all-around handy product to have in your collection.
You can probably tell from the packaging that I use this often. One of my best friends Sam recommended to me years ago and I finally got one for myself this past Christmas. Pretty self-explanatory but this lip balm is THE best and doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients. AKA the ones that get your lips addicted to balm. It also has SPF which is a must. I love this particular Christmas edition because it’s a nice pink shade tint with gold reflects. Super pretty and a staple in my handbag.
If you’ve read any of my beauty posts over the years you’ll know I’m a little obsessed with exfoliating. When it comes to face masks I always gravitate towards ones with some kind of exfoliant or clay because they just make your skin feel a million bucks. My new love is the Gallinée Face Mask and Scrub because you get the best of both. First, you apply this in circular motions to get the most out of the grit to make your skin smoothe. Then you leave it on for 10 minutes as you let the lactic acid and clay work its magic. My skin always feels great after using it and I don’t find it drying even there’s so much going on. For a great 3-in-1 benefit purchase I would, hands down, choose this.
Oils are my go-to when the cold weather settles in. I love to mix a few together, including rosehip oil, but this one is always my base. As you can tell from the nearly empty bottle I have drenched my face in this at every opportunity. It’s a silky, lightweight oil that smells a little like jasmine. Last winter I even mixed this together with my foundation to apply a subtle hydrating tint. I’m going to be so sad when I run out.
Another great Herbivore product – by the way, if you want my full review of the brand you can read it here. This is a thick purple night treatment that smells like lavender. I apply a thin layer of this right before I go to sleep and it feels like I’m at a day spa. Whenever I use this I also feel like my skin looks extra glowy in the morning too from the natural hyaluronic acid. Another standard product I like to have around me to ensure that my face stays hydrated after using a lot of different acids to clear my acne.
Last but not least, let me introduce you to my new daily moisturiser. After taking the Estee Lauder quiz to find out what my skin needs I landed on this beauty. Firstly, I love the jar packaging so you know you’re going to get all of the product out of the container. Secondly, this has SPF and is really thick making it intensely nourishing. Thirdly, my make up applies so smoothly over this so I’m a happy girl. Such a great staple for treating dry winter skin daily.