Late winter in New York City can wreck havoc on your skin. One day the balmy temperatures make it feel like spring has sprung, and the next, you’re bracing for another nor’easter. Factor in dry heat pumping from the furnace and harsh winds slapping your face, and it’s no wonder your skin is suffering an identity crisis. But help is out there, with a careful balance of skincare products to soothe winter skin.
Marianne Pistilli, who specializes in cosmetic dermatology at New York’s Schweiger Dermatology Group as Physician’s Assistant (and the only person in New York this beauty editor will let touch her face) says that late winter can exasperate conditions like adult acne or occasional breakouts. Her advice: “Find a balance of cell turnover to unclog pores and noncomedogenic moisture, to rehydrate the skin.” The following skincare routine has been tried and tested to get you through the last bit of New York winter. And, as part of Culture Trip’s Global Beauty Campaign, these products are sourced from all corners of the globe, and available through Amazon. Shop the list below, and achieve glowing skin by spring.
1. Mandelic Acid, $58
This is product is by far the best anti-acne product I’ve tried, and I’ve tried them all. Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid with anti-inflammatory properties and ideal for cell turnover. I’ve used it to literally melt whiteheads away with one application. People with sensitive skin might want to use on unwashed skin so your natural sebum acts as a barrier to protect from irritation. Once you’ve built up a tolerance, you can use on clean skin as a toner.
Cleansing oils are ideal for late winter skin, as they are gentle on cracked skin. You want to avoid any type of cleanser that lathers, as soapy bubbles dry out skin—which is the last thing you want. This Korean favorite is fortified with green tea, a powerful antioxidant that adds vitality. The ingredients in this cleanser remove all makeup, including waterproof mascara, so you can stay clear of makeup removers with drying alcohol.
3. Elume Cloths, $12 to $20
Not all wash cloths are created equal when it comes to skincare. The Elume brand is made from anti-bacterial microfibers so you can gently sloth away dead skin cells as well as makeup. Use with an oil-based makeup remover to clean your face, or to dry your skin after washing. Always pat dry your face, to protect its elasticity.
4. Tony Moly Sheet Mask, $3
Another favorite from the Korean pharmacy is the Tony Moly sheet mask, made with real cactus pulp. Try refrigerating your masks to make application extra relaxing, after you’ve cleansed and toned skin.
5. The Ordinary Hylaluronic Acid, $13
People can’t get enough of the Canadian brand The Ordinary, for its no-frill packaging, pure ingredients, and affordable price points. At 2 percent, this hyaluronic acid formula contains molecules small enough to be easily absorbed by the skin. Apply a generous amount, massaging into your skin with clean fingers.
To seal in therapeutic serums, follow with a rich cream, like this cult favorite from the French pharmacy. Formulated to be used after procedures like chemical peels or laser treatments, Cicalfate is a thick night cream that instantly takes redness out of skin. It’s a must for dry, flakey skin.
7. Caudalie Paris Beauty Elixir, $17
Following application of a thick moisturizer like Cicalfate, re-balance skin with a misting spray. Gently massage skin after application to allow the layers of moisture penetrate your skin. This is also a handy remedy to keep skin fresh all day, and the all-natural floral essence derived aroma is divine.
This skincare routine is designed for day or night, but you only want to apply sunscreen during the day. Regular application of sunscreen (yes, during the winter months; yes, in a cosmopolitan mecca like New York City) is a must keeping the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays from affecting your skin.This formula is oil-free, so you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores.
9. Bioderma Sensibio Eye Cream, $19
No skincare regime is complete without an eye cream, which is formulated especially for the thin, sensitive skin around the eyes. Bioderma’s Sensibio is a favorite from the French pharmacy and is light enough to use both day (under makeup) and night.
There you have it. Your winter skincare routine is complete and your complexion will be glowing by the time the first daffodil blooms.