The Big Cleanse: Your First Step To Perfect Skin All Winter Long

Woman Washing her Face

As winter quickly approaches, our skin care priorities shift dramatically. Maintaining hydration and avoiding the dreaded winter dry out is a huge focus, and while you may think the answer to perfectly balanced skin is a creamier serum or super rich moisturizer, you’ll be surprised to learn that cleansing is your first step to perfect skin all winter long. Choosing the right cleansing routine for your skin type can help set skin up for a pristine complexion, even as the months get colder and the air gets drier.

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Unfortunately, the cards are naturally stacked against you and winter is not your friend. But all hope is not lost. Your best defense is limiting the amount of water you use in your cleansing process as water has a way of drying you out. Instead of splashing with water and using a foaming face wash, try a creamy cleanser that can be tissued off. (1) Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser ($7) is formulated to be used with or without water. For winter, skip the water. Smooth the non-greasy, soap-free cleansing fluid all over skin, and remove with a cotton pad or facial tissue. While Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser is highly effective for both day and night, if you are a makeup wearer, we recommend first swiping away all traces of makeup with a nourishing face oil like (2) Murad Renewing Cleansing Oil ($32). The makeup-busting cleansing oil is ideal for dry skin because it gently removes sunscreen, foundation, mascara, and more while leaving skin smooth and hydrated. If you’re still a little shy about face oils (but c’mon, get with it!), try (3) Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes ($4) instead. Packed with vitamins B and E, these unscented wipes will not leave skin feeling tight or dried out.

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You’ve got to be so careful; one wrong turn (one wrong ingredient) and your skin can go into a tailspin, so go easy. Try a natural cleanser like (4) Nude Skincare Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly ($38). The jelly texture quickly transforms into a creamy milk that melts away makeup and leaves skin feeling nourished. Sticking with the “natural” theme, (5) Alba Botanica Hawiian Facial Cleanser, Pore Purifying Pineapple Enzyme ($14) is another great option for sensitive skin. The papaya enzyme-rich cleanser restores radiance and balances skin’s moisture level as it cleanses.

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No skin type is exempt from winter dryness… even oily skin can struggle. To combat dry, parched skin, start with a cleanser that ups the moisture ante but doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts. Double cleanse with (6) Eve Lom Cleanser ($50) and (7) Ole Henriksen Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser ($26). Oily skin benefits from this one-two-punch double cleanse because Eve Lom Cleanser decongests without stripping and Ole Henriksen Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser transforms into an antioxidant-rich lather that further removes makeup and impurities while maintaining skin’s moisture balance.

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Combination skin has a hard time choosing sides… dry here, oily there. The struggle is real! To help maintain hydration, try a double cleanse with a mildly foaming wash and a ph balancing micellar water. We like (8) Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Soap Facial Cleanser ($20) for combination skin because it contains milk proteins, amino acids, and egg yolk extract to moisturize. To further balance combination skin, we recommend pressing in a few drops of (9) La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution ($21) into skin. Don’t let the watery texture fool you… this ph-balancing micellar water whips combination skin into shape and leaves the surface feeling hydrated and looking bright.

Combination Skin Products - Model Featured

Don’t forget about your skin from the neck down. Much like our advice for caring for your face, your first step for beating body dryness is in the cleansing stage. Ditch your shower gel du jour and take the time to indulge in a shower oil like (10) Jason Foaming Shower Oil ($11). Ninety-five percent natural, this collection of foaming shower oils is rich in coconut oil, olive oil, and shea butter. Our best tip: Post shower, blot (don’t rub) skin dry. This allows the oils to truly penetrate and enhance the skin.

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