It’s that time of year where we switch out our summer dresses for cozy wool knits, we change our footwear from sandals to boots, and we update our skin care from light oils to heavier moisturizers. As someone with naturally dry skin, this is the time of year where my skin needs a little extra TLC. In Hong Kong, the humidity officially broke this week (thanks to two typhoons in 3 days), which means the air will begin to dry up. My skin mixed with dry air is not a great combo, so I have my winter skin care routine lined up and ready to go.
Over the last month, I’ve gone back to using products I used to rely on a lot a few years ago. I like to try new products quite often, so all the products in my skin care rotation have changed frequently over the years. But when looking back at old photos from 2016 and 2017, my skin looked brighter, clearer, and more hydrated. So I decided to start using products that were once crucial to my routine and adapt them into a new routine.
After a bad bout of hormonal and stress-induced acne, none of my usual facial wash treatments seemed to be working. After some lengthy research, I discovered that raw, unfiltered honey was the most natural cleanser that helps clean out pores and balance the skin’s pH. I’m not talking about the honey you put in your tea or to make desserts sweet. I’m talking about purely raw, unfiltered honey that you can find at health food stores. I wet my face and use a small amount of honey, massaging in circles for at least a minute, and then rinse.
Exfoliator + Pore Extraction
Once a week, I like to pamper my skin by exfoliating and using a pore extractor to get that post-facial glow at home. After washing my face but keeping my face wet, I use a pore extracting device to really get the gunk out. I tend to focus on my forehead, the sides of my nose, and my chin where I tend to get the most break-outs and clogged pores. Do not use a pore extractor on dry skin. After cleaning out my pores, I use a powder exfoliator to buff away any dead skin. This one is gentle on the skin and is safe for the environment.
After drying my skin post-cleanse and exfoliation, I use a toner to make my skin matte and leave on a final exfoliation and cleanse. I used this toner for years and then suddenly stopped for other products, but after two years of using other products, I realized none of them were as good as this original. I’ve noticed even my breakouts have been reduced since re-introducing this toner into my routine.
To keep my skin bright, I rely on a favorite of my serums from a few years ago. Morning and night, I like to use this anti-aging serum as it staves off lines and wrinkles as well as improves skin roughness and uneven skin tone. I also use this on my neck to help improve any lines there as well. I first used this serum back in 2018 and once I started using it again recently, I remembered just why I loved this serum in the first place.
To keep my face hydrated, I’ve had to rely on some facial oils before I apply my moisturizer. I have several favorites from a brand that I relied on a lot several years ago. Honestly, I do not know why I stopped using these oils because I’ve noticed a huge, positive difference in my skin once again since I brought them back into my skin care routine. I last talked about this blue tansy face oil in this post, and I’m still obsessed with it years later. It reduces redness and smooths my skin, so my skin looks bright and even. I recently started using this sea buckthorn and rosehip face oil from the same brand as well, especially since I love sea buckthorn ever since my first visit to Finland in 2018. I first discovered rosehip in early 2020, when I added it to my routine to hydrate my skin. It works, and sometimes I stop with this oil and do not need to apply moisturizer. The next oil in the brand that I love is actually a CBD oil, and I’m obsessed. It not only keeps redness at bay, but it also deeply moisturizes and boosts my stressed skin. I credit this oil as well as this oil for giving my skin an extra glow. On days where in the middle of the day my skin needs a hydration boost, I’ll use this natural oil that I first started using in 2019. I do not use it all the time, but if my skin looks a little parched during the day, I’ll massage some of this into my skin.
Dark circles under my eyes have become a bit of a permanent accessory thanks to lack of sleep due to anxiety, also it’s just something natural that happens with my eye area. To combat this or to help me look a bit more awake, I like to use this serum at night around my eyes by tapping underneath my eyes and then using a circular motion starting from under my eye to just below my brow line. I then use this eye cream that I’ve loved for years underneath my eyes as a final step.
I like to use different moisturizers during the day and at night. During the day, I need something lighter but at night I need something a lot heavier to keep the moisture locked in. In the morning, I use this brand new moisturizer that has quickly become my favorite. It’s a vegan version of the original cult favorite, and I prefer this version. It’s a regenerative moisturizer and heals skin with acne scars (which I’ve had a few of recently thanks to stress-induced acne). At night, I’ve started using this moisturizer again after a few years off and I can tell my skin missed it. It’s incredibly hydrating, and in the morning my skin is glowing, dewy, and even, which will be perfect for winter weather.