Skin Care & Beauty Tutorials

How to Update Your Skin Care Routine for Winter: Complete Regimen Video

When it comes to skin care routines, we at Dermstore like to pull out all the stops.

Beth Santos, Dermstore’s head of merchandising, walks through her complete morning and night regimens, moving from summer into the winter. Learn all about her recommendations in the video below!

Not ready for quite that many steps yet? Take a deep breath and head on over to our intro guide to product types to start building your regimen.

Keep reading to shop the items mentioned in the video below!

Hi, I’m Beth Santos and I’m the vice president of merchandising here at Dermstore where we are obsessed with all things skin care. One of the things I get asked a lot is: What do you use? What order do I use everything in? What should I do? So today I’m going to talk a little bit about what I use in the morning and at night, what order I do that in, and also a little bit about how you might want to think about switching products out from the warmer, more hydrating summer months into the drier, colder fall and winter months. So with that, let’s go through my regimen!

Morning Regimen

Step One: Cleanser

I’m going to start with my morning regimen. So starting with cleanser, cleansing is the most important step. Please do not use a makeup wipe to wash your face! This one (iS Clinical Cleansing Complex) is by iS Clinical, it’s their Cleansing Complex. It’s just an amazing, gentle, everyday all-around great cleanser.

Sometimes in the winter months, some people like to add a moisturizing cleansing step, an oil or a balm. This is the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. This is a long, long, long time favorite of Dermstore customers. What you would do is, you would start with this and just get a little bit in your hands and warm it, and remove your makeup with it, and you would follow it with a cleanser. And you would be left with just a really nice soft, moisturized feeling on your skin, instead of that dry feeling you can get sometimes after cleansing.

Step Two: Toner

After that, I like to do a toner or an essence. The one that I’ve been using lately is this one by REN called Ready, Steady, Glow. It’s got AHA, so its got a really great exfoliating property. So something like this is going to help exfoliate, brighten, shrink pores, so every day, put a little bit on a cotton pad and swipe onto your skin. In the winter, if something like that feels a little too stripping, you can look at another option that may be a little more moisturizing.

This one by Paula’s Choice (Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid) is a favorite of the Dermstore community. This is their Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid with salicylic acid—that’s a mouthful! But this one tends to be a little bit more moisturizing. You’ll feel it on the cotton ball, it leaves a little bit more of a dewy finish. So that one might be a little bit more nice in the winter.

Step Three: Antioxidant Serum

After that, a very, very important step is your daily antioxidant, your daily antioxidant, vitamin C, whatever that is, you’ve gotta have that in your regimen. People ask me, What’s the one thing I could do right now to change my skin? And my answer is, Add an antioxidant. My holy grail is SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF.  I tend to use this one all year round because my skin’s a little on the oily side, but this one is really, really great for brightening, discoloration, texture, tone, firmness, everything. So consistent use with this and you will see a difference in your skin.

For those that would want to maybe switch it out, the other amazing holy grail SkinCeuticals antioxidant is the C E Ferulic. This one I find to be a little bit more moisturizing and hydrating so you could switch it out if you wanted to from the summer months into the winter months. I tend to stick with Phloretin all year round, but that is an option.

Step Four: Moisturizer

After your antioxidant comes your moisturizer. In the summer, again, since I’m a little on the oilier side, I tend to go with something really sheer and lightweight. This is SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer. It’s just a very, very light veil of moisture that will sink right into the skin and give you that velvety finish.

In the fall or winter months, it’s not a bad idea to switch to something a little heavier and a little bit more moisturizing. This one by SkinCeuticals, Triple Lipid, is a bigtime favorite and is chockful of incredible anti-aging properties. Day or night, this is a really, really great moisture option for the colder, winter dry months.

Step Five: Hydrating Booster

Another step you can take in hydrating is a hyaluronic acid gel or even just a hydrating gel. This one by SkinCeuticals is their Hydrating B5 Gel. Whether you want that little extra layer of hydration, or you just want to be a little bit lighter with your hydration, this is another really great option for that step after you do your antioxidant.

Step Six: Sunscreen

Last but not least, very, very important, is a sunscreen. Always, always, always use a sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher. The one I’m highlighting today is our fan favorite. This is EltaMD’s UV Clear. This has long, long been our bestselling sunscreen on Dermstore and I think part of it is its formulation—it works so well on almost any skin type. But really, my recommendation is to find one that really works for you and find one that your skin really agrees with and one you really enjoy putting on. Some of them come in setting mists, like this Supergoop!® (Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50), where you can just spray this on right after your makeup. Some of them come in tinted moisturizers, some of them come in primers. Definitely use one, this is a very important step. And then, in the daytime, you follow with whatever your normal makeup routine is.


Night Time Regimen

I do want to talk a little bit about night time because the routine does change a little bit at night. There’s usually a few more steps for me. I go through generally the same process but I switch a few things out and maybe add a few steps.

Step Three: Chemical Exfoliant

In place of an antioxidant treatment, I tend to use a night serum or a night treatment. This one is Good Genes by Sunday Riley. I absolutely love it. It’s a deeply exfoliating, kind of brightening, hydrating, all-in-one treatment, so I love the way my skin looks after I put this on at night. Some people do use an antioxidant serum at night. I tend to just switch it out for this (Good Genes).

Then for the kind of the toning step, I like to do a little bit more deep exfoliation. So my personal favorite are these Alpha Beta Peel Pads (Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Strength Peel Pads). This is the extra strength formula that I will typically use during the warmer summer months. It is a chemical exfoliant and it’s just a two-step process with little disposable wipes.

In the colder, drier months, there is this extra gentle formulation of the peel pad (Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Peel Pads) that’s going to be just a little bit easier on your skin. Still a chemical exfoliant but slightly less drying. I like to switch it up between the two but this is a really, really great step in your nighttime routine to kind of get that exfoliation really going.

Step Four: Anti-Aging Serum

Another really important step at night is a retinol. This one by SkinMedica, it’s their (Age Defense Retinol Complex) 0.5 Retinol Complex, is wonderful. Again with retinols, I tell people: Find one that you like, find one your skin tolerates. Again, I love PCA Retinols, I love SkinCeuticals retinols. Any professional brand, they’re really done a great job formulating and making retinols that skin can really tolerate. So some people like them a few nights a week, some people, like me, do them every single night, but this is another one that will change your skin.

Step Five: Eye Cream

And then, eye cream. Some people use it at morning and night—I tend to use it only at night. This NeoCutis (Bio-Restorative Eye Balm) is a fan favorite, holy grail for me. This is their Bio-Restorative Eye Balm, this is a little bit more moisturizing. They also make the Eye Cream, which is a little less balmy, I would say. So you could do one in the day, one at night. I prefer to use it just at night, but it’s again a really important step.


Bonus: Face Mist

Something that is trending and is becoming super popular is facial mists. Something you can kind of take with you on the go. Just because you layer on great moisture in the morning, doesn’t mean your skin won’t dry throughout the day.

One that I’ve been using during the summer is this (Eminence Organics) Neroli Age Correcting Hydrating Mist but I’ve recently switched out, for the fall, to the (Eminence Organics) Stone Crop (Hydrating Mist). I love everything Stone Crop from Eminence but this is just an amazing hydrating mist. You can just put it in your bag and throughout the day, spritz a little bit on and pat it into your face and it doesn’t really mess up your makeup. It just gives you that little boost of hydration for midday that your skin might be craving in these colder months.

That’s a little bit about my routine—hope it was helpful! Thanks so much!

Dermstore Editors

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