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Transitional weather can be tough on the skin. But if you have dry skin, the change from summer to fall and eventually to winter seriously affects your skin’s chemistry and texture.
I, for one, have extremely dry skin all year round, but no one would ever know since I use hydrating and moisturizing products (yes, there’s a difference) to ensure that my skin always looks dewy and plump while remaining healthy and nourished.
There are eight specific products I alternate throughout the year to ensure that my dry skin never looks or feels tight and dry. Ranging from $14 to $54, these skin care staples cover all the bases: cleanser, toner, essence (optional), serum, moisturizer and sunscreen.
From dermatologist-favorite brands like Skinfix to more affordable and soothing best sellers from Klairs and I’m From, check out my eight core skin care staples that keep my dry skin plump and hydrated year-round.
Skinfix is the No. 1 skin care brand I recommend for those who have both dry and sensitive skin. The fragrance-free Skinfix Barrier+ Foaming Oil Hydrating Cleanser has been my face wash of choice for the past two years. It’s extremely gentle while perfectly removing any impurities (and even makeup) from the skin with just one gentle wash.
What I love most about this cleanser is that it leaves my skin plump and hydrated after use, which is a stark contrast to several others I’ve used that left my face dry and tight. One pump is all you need, as a little goes a long way with this one.
2. I’m From Rice Toner, $22.40 (Orig. $28)
After cleansing, I immediately go in with a hydrating, calming and gentle toner. I’ve toners that claim to soothe the skin, but this fragrance-free Korean beauty staple from the No. 1 best-selling brand I’m From is the only one that exceeded my expectations.
Rice water is naturally calming and soothes inflammation in the skin, and this product has 77.78% rice extract, which also has high water retention. This means it keeps good moisture in your skin for longer and prevents it from drying out.
I buy this stuff two bottles at a time — it’s that good.
3. The Klog Snail Mucin Energy Essence, $13.60 (Orig. $17)
In the fall and winter months, incorporating an essence into your skin care routine will boost your moisture levels intensely, especially if you have dry skin.
Snail mucin is a powerhouse ingredient that deeply hydrates, nourishes and plumps the skin, and it’s 90% of The Klog Snail Mucin Energy Essence. This product is a fast-absorbing gel-to-liquid formula specifically made to tackle dryness and dehydration. After using it for three months, it’s quickly become my favorite skin care product in a while.
It’s fragrance-free, incredibly hydrating and skin-soothing and, best of all, affordable! Apply this right after your toner and before your serum.
You likely already know that hyaluronic acid is one of the No. 1 most sought-after and easily accessible ingredients in skin care. In fact, there are so many hyaluronic acid serums on the market that it’s almost impossible to choose just one.
I’ve tried many and often found they only provided temporary hydration to my skin and eventually wore off. The Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Hyaluronate Serum is on another level, especially when applied after The Klog Snail Mucin Energy Essence and the I’m From Rice Toner.
This super-concentrated cream-jelly serum delivers a surge of moisture to hydrate, replenish and nourish the skin. Think of it as a standard hyaluronic acid serum times 100. It’s also fragrance-free, vegan and non-comedogenic, making it perfect for sensitive skin.
5. I’m From Honey Serum, $21 (Orig. $28)
Here’s a serum I only use in the winter months. Honey is naturally soothing, nourishing and thick, making it the perfect ingredient for sealing in moisture and providing hydration. When my skin’s a bit irritated after shaving or trimming my facial hair, I apply this serum after following the four steps above to prevent any ingrown hairs, pimples or dark spots from forming.
The I’m From Honey Serum, in particular, delivers calming moisture to distressed skin, removes dead skin cells, and brightens the skin over time. It’s the one that lasts me the longest and provides the most and deepest hydration benefits in a short period. I consider it the superhero product of this list.
I alternate between two deeply nourishing face moisturizers year-round. In the fall, before the dry winter air comes, I use the Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream.
There’s a reason why this No. 1 best-selling moisturizer is an award-winning product. This deeply nourishing cream hydrates so well that your skin will look like you’ve had a facial for hours after applying. It’s also packed with active lipids, peptides, small particle hyaluronic acid and rich shea butter.
7. Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream, $20.80 (Orig. $26)
When the weather gets even harsher and drier, I pull out the big guns: the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream. This super rich, fragrance-free cream lasts me months, and though it has a thick, luxurious texture, it absorbs quickly into the skin.
In addition to providing so much moisture to my dry skin, this product layers perfectly on top of every product I’ve applied before it. Its tubular vessel also makes it super hygienic and perfect for traveling. Best of all, it never leaves me looking greasy.
Lastly, always wear sunscreen, no matter the time of year or your skin tone. As a person of color with a deeper complexion, it’s hard to find an SPF that doesn’t leave a white or gray cast on my skin. Just a handful leave my skin protected, dewy and plump without irritating my eyes — and the Supergoop Every. Single. Face. Watery Lotion SPF 50 is one of them.
This moisturizing SPF actually makes me want to apply sunscreen every day — a task I used to dread. It’s both water- and sweat-resistant, offers the brand’s most powerful protection in its simplest formula and leaves your skin looking plump and feeling cool after applying.
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