care for your skin this winter

Although it’s not officially winter, the chilly temperatures are already taking a toll on our summer-bronzed skin. That means it’s goodbye dewy skin (read: sweaty) and hello dehydration!

It’s essential to pay attention to what our skin is telling us and what it needs. As it is important to drink about two liters of water a day, it’s also smart to switch to a more heavy duty moisturizing lotion or water-based gel. Even in the winter, we have to use SPF in our daily routines because UV rays still pierce through those sad, gray clouds. As the largest organ of our body, our skin is our barrier that’s in between us and the harsh, cold winds of the next coming months.

I invited one of my best friends, Sema, to let me know what’s up her sleeve when it comes to taking care of sensitive skin in colder conditions. Sema deals with eczema, so her skin needs products that are non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and naturally moisturizing. As someone with sensitive, acne-prone skin as well, I also have to keep a close eye on the ingredients list to ensure that I won’t have any flare-ups or bad reactions to products.

If you struggle with red patches, eczema, or sensitive skin in general, look to avoid: fragrances, exfoliating beads, sulfates, preservatives, and aggressive acids. Of course, you should listen to your dermatologist because they can better pinpoint your skin’s unique issues and features.   


Sema’s Sensitive Skincare Routine


Step 1: Simple Water Boost Miscellar Water

Other alternatives: Bioderma Sensibio H2O  “This is more drying for me than Simple’s Miscellar Water”, says Sema. “Bioderma Hydrabio H2O has a more hydrating formula than Sensibio, but it’s also fragranced.”

Step 2:  Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment “On-the-Go”

“This is the only lip balm I use. The small tubes make it easier to use for lips and more hygienic than the bigger tub.”

Step 3: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (for Face & Body)

Alternative: Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

“In the morning, I don’t re-cleanse my face because it strips my skin of moisture. At most, I’ll splash cold water on my face, then spray my toner.”

Step 4: Rose Water or Orange Blossom Water Toner *cheap!*

“I get mine at my local Middle Eastern grocery store and put it in a spray bottle. Make sure it is pure rose/orange water, and not one that lists “flavor” as an ingredient!” Otherwise, you’re buying a rose fragrance or flavored water.

Step 5: Simple Water Boost Hydrating Booster

“It’s expensive for what it is,” she admits.  

Step 6: Bioderma Eye Contour Gel

“This is very inexpensive for an eye cream. Bang for buck 10/10!”

Step 7: Face Moisturizer- Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion

Face Oils: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil $$$, Pixi Rose Oil Blend $

“I would not repurchase this oil, but I do have the travel size”

Sema won’t usually apply all of the face moisturizers. At night, she applies the hydrating booster, eye gel, and either the Clinique moisturizer or an oil. Before makeup application, she applies the eye gel and a hydrating primer, instead of a moisturizer.

Skincare brands for Sensitive Skin (1)


Step 1: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Step 2: Eucerin In-Shower Moisturizer

If you have normal skin, Sema says this is usually sufficient for body moisturizing, “However, for me in the winter, this is not enough.”  

Step 3: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm $$

Other alternatives: Bioderma Atoderm PP Baume or Atoderm Creme $$, CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion $, Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream $, Vanicream Lite Lotion $

Step 4: Trianex 0.05%, if needed

Makeup Brands for Sensitive Skin