My Anti-Aging Skincare Routine for Dry Winter Skin

Early March may be spring where you are, but it’s still winter here in New England, so I’ll be using this anti-aging skincare routine for dry winter skin for a few more months. The products I choose for winter are the same ones I use all year round, but with subtle changes in order to help with dry skin.

The anti-aging part of my skincare routine contains what I consider to be the the tri-fecta of ingredients:

  • Tretinoin/(Retin-A) to build collagen, exfoliate, reduce fine lines, improve clarity, and lighten surface pigmentation.
  • Vitamin C to exfoliate, improve clarity, lighten surface pigmentation.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (Glycolic) to exfoliate the surface of the skin for brightness, and build collagen.

When using anti-aging ingredients it’s extra important to always wear adequate sun protection. I can’t stress this enough for 2 reasons:

  1. Skin becomes more photo-sensitive when using these actives and can burn easier, and
  2. Continued sun exposure un-does the results of these actives faster than they can achieve them.

Here’s how I incorporate these ingredients into my skincare routine step-by-step:

Morning:

Wash: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ~ $10.50 for 12 oz.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ~ $10.50 for 12 oz.

This non-foaming cleanser thoroughly cleans skin without stripping the natural moisture barrier.

Dry: Pat skin with a soft cloth like the microfiber “Turbie Towel” leaving skin slightly damp so more water can be absorbed and trapped on the surface with moisturizers.

Anti-Aging Treatment ~ Vitamin C Serum: Paula’s Choice Resist C-15 Super Booster

PC C15 Bottle

Paula’s Choice Resist C-15 Super Booster ~ $45 for .65 oz.

or, Timeless 20% C+E Ferulic Serum

TimeLess Vit C

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum ~ $25 for 1 oz.

Vitamin C is one of the most effective antioxidants because of it’s ability to be absorbed by the skin. Apply 4-5 drops to face, neck, chest and backs of hands, avoiding the eyes.

Anti-Aging Treatment ~ Glycolic Acid: Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free Treatment 10% Glycolic Acid Gel

Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free Treatment 10% Glycolic Acid

Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free Treatment 10% Glycolic Acid ~ $12 for 1.78 oz.

Exfoliation is an important step in keeping skin glowing. I prefer chemical exfoliation over physical. This AHA gel contains green tea and aloe to sooth skin while the 10% glycolic dissolves the “glue” that holds dead skin cells on the surface.

Antioxidant Serum: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum

Olay Regenerist Micro-sculpting Serum ~ $37 for 2 1.7 oz. bottles at Costco

Olay Regenerist Micro-sculpting Serum ~ $37 for 2 1.7 oz. bottles at Costco

This lightweight serum adds another burst of antioxidants along with hyaluronic acid to moisturize and protect skin. It’s silky, non-greasy, non-irritating formula is great to use around the eyes. Two pumps covers the face, neck, chest, and backs of hands.

Moisturize & Protect: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizer

CeraVe AM Moisturizing Lotion with spf 30

CeraVe AM Moisturizing Lotion with spf 30 ~ $12 for 3 oz.

On most winter days I use this moisturizer with sunscreen. An spf 30 is adequate protection for low sun exposure days when it’s overcast or too cold to spend much time outside.

CeraVe PM Hydrating Lotion ~ $12 for 3 oz.

CeraVe PM Hydrating Lotion ~ $12 for 3 oz.

For higher sun exposure days like when I’m going for a hike or skiing I use a separate moisturizer and sunscreen to really double up the hydration and protection. For those days, I first apply CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizer all over my face and neck. It’s got ceramides, niacinamides, and hyaluronic acid to deeply moisturize and repair skin. Then I apply either:

Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid daily sunblock SPF 70

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen spf 70 ~ $12 for 1.7 oz.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen spf 70 ~ $12 for 1.7 oz.

Apply this silky chemical based sunscreen to face, neck, chest and hands. So smooth you can skip a face primer.

Or use Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen SPF 50

Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen spf 50 ~ $12 for 1.7 oz.

Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen spf 50 ~ $12 for 1.7 oz.

This mineral based sunscreen works well under mineral based foundations.

Protect Lips: I like Blistex Five Star Lip Protection spf 30

Blistex Five Star Lip Protectiion ~ $3.50

Blistex Five Star Lip Protectiion ~ $2.19

Lips need sun protection too! Keep lips soft and hydrated.

Evening:

Remove Eye Makeup: Boots Expert Sensitive Eye Makeup Removal Lotion: 

Boots Expert Sensitive Eye Makeup Removal Lotion ~ $5 for 6.7 oz.

Boots Expert Sensitive Eye Makeup Removal Lotion ~ $5 for 6.7 oz.

Gently sweeps away all traces of makeup including waterproof mascara. This lotion is mainly mineral oil, coconut oil and aloe.

Wash: Eucerin Sensitive Skin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser + Clarisonic Mia Sonic Brush with Cashmere brush head

Eucerin Sensitive Skin Redness Relief Facial Cleanser ~ $9 for 6.8 oz.

Eucerin Sensitive Skin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser ~ $9 for 6.8 oz.

The Eucerin is a non-foaming gel that’s non drying and cleans skin while soothing with aloe. Remove all traces of makeup and thoroughly clean pores with the Clarisonic Mia. The cashmere head is gentle enough to use daily.

Clarisonic Mia with Cashmere Brush Head

Clarisonic Mia with Cashmere Brush Head

Moisturize Eyes: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum (same as above) – One pump goes on my eyelids, below eyes, at the corners of my nose and around my mouth (basically all the places I’m not going to put the retin-a).

Anti-Aging Treatment ~ Tretinoin 0.05% Cream (prescription)

Generic Prescription Tretinoin Cream 0.05% ~ $50 for 45 grams

Generic Prescription Tretinoin Cream 0.05% ~ $50 for 45 grams

Now that I’ve been using Tretinoin for a year, my skin’s adapted to it and I have very little irritation. I also don’t have to wait 15-20 minutes after washing my face to apply it anymore. I dot a pea sized amount on cheeks, chin, and forehead, then rub into skin avoiding the eyes, under eyes, corners of nose and mouth.

Moisturize: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream ~ $30 for 1.7 oz.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream ~ $30 for 1.7 oz.

Right after the retin-a, I apply this thick moisturizing cream. It contains niacinamide, retinol and vitamin e.

Extra Hydration: CapriClear Coconut Oil

CapriClear Coconut Oil ~ $7 for 1.9 oz.

CapriClear Coconut Oil ~ $7 for 1.9 oz.

I let the tretinoin and Olay cream soak in while I brush my teeth, then apply a sheer film of coconut oil right before bed. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties so it keeps pimples from forming while adding an extra barrier against moisture loss.

I feel like my skin looks brighter, smoother, and (dare i say it??) younger than it did a year ago when I started using anti-aging products.

Here’s a no makeup close up from January 2013:

No Makeup Jan 2013 crop

Here’s a no makeup close up from February 2014:

No Makeup Face Feb 2014

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