Winter is, by far, my least preferred season. Apart from the Christmas sparkles, the cold, dark days are doing little favours to my mood and also to my skin. While combination-oily for the most part of the year, in winter it turns more dry and moody, with occasional breakouts and a general loss of glow. So I have to change up my skincare routine, because obviously my hot-weather arsenal of mattifying products is no longer appropriate. This is a challenge but is also kind of fun, because it gives me the opportunity to try out different things – probably one of the few benefits of the whole winter situation. Below are some of my favourite products for my skin during the cold months.

The exfoliant: COSRX 7 Whitehead Power Liquid

It may seem a bit contra intuitive to use exfoliants when your skin is dry and sensitive, but this is precisely when a good AHA can be the most useful. It helps boost skin turnover and shed the dry layers faster, improving the look and the quality of your skin. I use COSRX 7 Whitehead Power Liquid and I find it very helpful, especially in the winter months. The trick is to let your skin get used to it gradually, so it can help and not harm. Also, if you’re using any type of chemical exfoliant, you need to wear sunscreen – which I hope you do anyway 🙂

My skin is not especially sensitive, so I use it 3-4 times a week, at night. I apply a light layer, which soaks in quite quickly, with very little scent or tackiness. Although this is obviously not an eye product, I do extend the application a little under the eyes, making sure not to get too close. I find this helps with the dry skin and, combined with the proper hydrating products, it makes the undereye area look more even and youthful. After applying this, I wait for about an hour before following up with a hydrating product. You should be patient and wait at least 30 minutes to give the product the chance to work its lower pH magic.

Whenever I reintroduce an AHA product into my skin routine I am amazed at the initial results: skin seems to improve almost overnight and looks smoother and brighter. Continuous use, while less impressive, maintains the quality of the skin and also helps me keep breakouts to a minimum. You get 100 ml of product, which is very good value for money and will last quite a long time.

The good:

  • Quickly efficient
  • Light texture and smell
  • Good price

The bad:

  • You must wait 30-60 minutes before using another product
  • You need to apply sunscreen during the day

The hydrator: Dr. Jart’s Water Drop

Having combination to oily skin means that a lot of moisturizers tend to feel heavy or just “too much”. Not this little hero: Dr. Jart’s Water Drop has a special formula that seems to almost literally break into water droplets when it comes in contact with the skin. The effect is surprisingly addictive: once I’ve tried this once in the store, I just had to have it! It moisturizes without being heavy at all and also has a light lemony scent that is very pleasant.

The formula of the product is also very interesting. It contains Hyaluronic Acid, Arbutin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract and Centella Asiatica Extract, which means that it moisturizes and also provides the benefits of antioxidants, all without the slightest hint of greasiness. Yet, the amazing texture has one drawback: the product doesn’t have any SPF, so you will need a separate one during the day.

It layers well over serums, but it can also be applied on clean skin and it absorbs quickly, leaving skin plump and fairly matte. Still, it’s not so mattifying that you cannot use it around the eyes – I did this with good results. It comes in a big, silver shiny tube that looks luxurious and actually it’s not cheap, but you get 100 ml of product, so I believe the price is justified.

The good:

  • Unique water droplets texture
  • Quick absorption
  • Really hydrating

The bad:

  • No SPF
  • The price is relatively high

The anti-aging: Ecooking Firming Serum Capsules

Presented as a “natural alternative” to Botox, the active ingredient in this serum is hexapeptide, or Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 as it is named in the (not so many) studies about its effectiveness. It is supposed to help with expression lines and make your complexion appear smoother and younger. The little research available has mixed conclusions about this ingredient: while some praise its efficiency and natural looking results, others are concerned with its effect on already saggy skin and warn against its “overuse”.

I still have few wrinkles: my main concern are the laugh lines and the undereye area. I had already used hexapeptide in The Ordinary’s Argireline solution and unfortunately was not impressed with the effects. For me, the Ecooking product is more effective and I think this is because it is formulated with silicones, which not only help deliver the active ingredient, but also function almost as a makeup base.

The serum comes in small silvery capsules placed in a glass jar. I find the quantity of one capsule enough for one application. It spreads very easily, although it has an almost oily feel at first, even though it doesn’t contain any oils. Fortunately, after 10-20 seconds, the product absorbs and leaves a matte, smooth finish on the skin. I find that, when I use it, I can skip the foundation base, as this creates an even surface to apply your makeup and even seems to have a soft mattifying effect.

Now for the most important question: does it work? I would say that, while not miraculous, the Ecooking serum does make my face appear smoother and softens my expression lines. I am aware that part of this effect can be due to the silicones in the formula, but it still seems more powerful than my usual silicone primers. I also haven’t had any adverse reaction, so I will keep using it during the winter and, hopefully it will help me welcome spring with a more youthful expression 🙂

The good:

  • The capsules preserve the quality of the ingredients
  • Can double as a makeup base
  • Is effective against fine expression lines

The bad:

  • Initial feel of the product is slightly oily, but dries out matte

Beauty obsessed. Cosmetics addict. Cat person.

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