Christina’s Cold-Weather Holy Grails + Daily Skincare Routine

By Christina, Skincare Contributor

Christina is a professed skincare and makeup junkie living in La Belle Province (aka Quebec, Canada). When not reading beauty blogs and magazines, stalking the beauty aisle of her local pharmacy fawning over new products or making her girlfriends spend way too much money at the beauty counter, Christina is studying full-time to obtain a masters degree in marketing, with a research focus on multicultural marketing and advertising strategies in the beauty industry. You can follow her on Twitter @cbellevue25.


Christina’s Cold-Weather Holy Grails + Daily Skincare Routine

This year, du jour au lendemain, the weather in Montreal became very cold all of a sudden. As a result, I’m quickly stashing away my summer products and winterizing my beauty routine for the coming months. I have combination skin on the sensitive side, therefore it is important that all year round, my skin stays matte, acne-free and properly hydrated especially the skin on my cheeks and around my mouth, which tends to become very dry or dehydrated. For the longest time, I felt those objectives were contradictory, although with time and experience, I have finally been able to develop a solid skincare routine that has allowed me to reach all three of these goals simultaneously, much to my (skin’s) relief.

Here is my updated Fall/almost-Winter daily skincare routine with some of my colder-weather holy grail products that you might also want to look into if you share some of the same skin concerns as I do:

In the AM: Keeping my skin moisturized is key (face & body)

In the morning, I wash my face in the shower with a pea-size amount of AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Foam ($50.00) to remove any leftover night cream or sebum. This foam cleanser smells delightful, is gentler than any of the other foam cleansers I’ve tried in the past and the tube lasts forever it is a definite must-have for me.

To hydrate my face, I like using La Roche-Posay Tolériane Fluide ($26.95) mixed in with a small scoop of Philosophy Turbo Boost Vitamin C Powder ($35.00) for antioxidant action. I swear by this La Roche-Posay moisturizer, simply because I find it is the perfect moisturizer for combination to oily skin with sensitivities: it’s light, oil-free, fragrance-free, and it sinks right into your skin. For sensitive skin on the drier side, another good option in the Tolériane range is La Roche-Posay Tolériane Ultra Intense Soothing Care ($34.95). I also use this cream whenever I feel my skin is very dehydrated. What I like about this product is that it has a thicker consistency and offers excellent long-lasting hydration, yet it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy after applying.

Before applying my powder foundation, I prep my skin with a dab of Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive Mattifying Cream + HD Primer ($24.00) applied with a foundation brush for an even application. I discovered the Nurturing Force brand when I attended The Makeup Show in NYC this summer, and it turned out to be one my favourite skincare products ever. This cream is made with aloe vera and is silicone-, paraben- and alcohol-free which is great news for any skin that is sensitive or that cannot tolerate silicone-based primers very well. It is a wonderful product for any skin type, and it does an excellent job of keeping your face fresh all day, not causing any breakouts and increasing your makeup’s staying power like nobody’s business.

To keep my body moisturized, I will usually wash with a body cleansing oil in the shower. I love La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lipid-Replenishing Anti-Irritation Cleansing Oil ($14.00) because you get to wash and oil it up at the same time, how amazing is that?! I also keep my favourite body butter, Belle Butters Orange Dream Cream Butter ($12.50), in the bathroom and apply it on my knees and elbows right after the shower. Little tip for all the natural hair ladies and gentlemen out there, this shea and orange butter cream is a fantastic multi-tasker, because you can also use it on your hair for twist-outs/braid-outs with great definition (especially on type 4a and 4b hair), or to seal in the moisture.

Anywhere I go, I always carry a tube of my favourite hand cream, L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream ($10.00), because ashy is to-tal-ly unsexy!

Check out Christina’s evening and night time routine! 

In the PM: Removing my makeup gently and properly is my main focus

I will usually start by gently removing my makeup (face and eyes) with my favourite makeup remover ever, Bioderma Créaline H20 Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin ($33.49). Models love this stuff, and for good reason: this cleanser is gentle and it works wonders to remove (lots of) makeup without having you rub your eyes or your skin considerably to get it off. To clean my face, I follow up with my trusted Clarisonic ($149.00) with a pea-size amount of AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Foam ($50.00) on the brush. To finish off, I’ll swipe a bit of Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($21.00) on my face with a cotton pad to ensure there is no makeup residue left.

Nighttime: Treating and helping my skin renew itself is my primary goal

Depending on how my skin feels (or if I’m not too lazy), I like using some of my favourite facial masks once or twice a week to treat my skin before going to bed. I use either Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask ($32.00) to soothe and hydrate my skin, the fantastic Belle Butters Oil Neutralizing Butter ($12.50) to help control sebum production on my T-Zone (here’s a great review from Krissy of Addicted to All Things Pretty if you’d like to know more about this product), or Darphin Mild Aroma Peeling ($50.00) to exfoliate if my skin feels a bit rugged.

Right before bed, I apply Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum ($85.00) all over my face and my neck. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in terms of evening out my skintone while giving me a smoother skin texture since I’ve started using this product a couple of months ago I seriously love this stuff and will repurchase once my bottle is finished.

Next up is a thin layer of Karin Herzog Vita-A-Kombi 1,($54.00) a cream that contains a 1% pure oxygen and Vitamin A patented complex. This is a staple in my night-time skincare routine because it helps with so many things, including minimizing fine lines, hydrating skin, reducing skin sensitivity and promoting quicker skin healing; I’ve been using it for many years and I currently have no intention of using anything else it is definitely one of my lifetime skincare holy grails, because it does everything it says and more. I highly recommend this product, and if you’d like to get a trusted second opinion, you can also read Temptalia’s review on this cream (PS: I agree with Christine, it is best left for usage at night because it does have an old-lady smell). Additionally, the Karin Herzog brand is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, so you know this is “royally” good stuff.

Lastly, I gently pat a bit of Vagheggi Rehydra Eye Contour Cream (AUS $33.30) around my eyes and on my brow bone to reduce puffiness the next day. Then it’s off to bed on my satin pillowcase to prevent sleep wrinkles the next morning.

Voilà! That’s my daily skincare routine with some of my must-haves for the colder months to come. How about you, how do you winterize your skincare routine? What are your skincare must-haves?