Nine months out of the year, my skin is impressively laid-back. Its devil-may-care attitude to my sometimes aloof routine is admirable. It doesn’t mind when I haphazardly wipe it clean before bed. It behaves even when I layer acids I really shouldn’t. From spring to fall, my skin does not ask much of me, but come winter, it transforms, suddenly prone to sensitivity, dehydration, and dryness. Like clockwork, it begins to demand more.
While I can’t completely change the lack of humidity in the air or the suffocating climate my pre-war radiator concocts from October through March, I can give my skin some relief to ward off the seasonal skin scaries. When it comes to common concerns of winter skin — loss of firmness, dryness, overall lack of radiance — there’s one reliable tactic I know to be effective: Find a really good moisturizer.
It sounds simple, but finding the right moisturizer for your skin type can be a long trial-and-error process most people don’t have time (or money) for. Luckily, I’ve been there and done that and have found the best winter-friendly formulas to address the ramifications of it being very cold outside. Whether you’re looking for a thick moisturizer that quickly sinks into dehydrated skin or a lightweight option compatible with an oil-prone complexion, there’s something here for you. Bonus: They’re all refillable. I’ve found mine — it’s time to find yours.
For Normal to Dry Skin
Hyaluronic acid? For dry skin? Not so groundbreaking, for those in the know. Still, we love it — it’s just that good at what it does. But the Laneige Water Bank Cream Moisturizer doesn’t use your standard HA. Instead, it uses blue hyaluronic acid, a proprietary ingredient created through a double fermentation process using deep sea algae. The magic can be found in the ingredient’s micro-sized molecular weight, which helps deliver hydration and reinforce the moisture barrier at a faster rate.
The formula itself is deliciously creamy without leaving behind that slimy residue that tends to come with moisturizers built for barrier support. But it’s not just blue HA that does the heavy lifting — it gets support from peptides, panthenol, and squalane to help soothe and strengthen skin. This moisturizer may not cure your seasonal depression, but it’s excellent therapy for winter skin.
For Oily and Combination Skin
Anyone with oily skin will know that there’s a certain level of hesitation that comes along with using a winter-friendly moisturizer. It may be too thick and clog pores, only exacerbating your biggest skin concern: an overproduction of sebum. And those moisturizers do exist, however, the Laneige Water Bank Gel Moisturizer isn’t one of them.
Water-based gel products are the quickest way to success for oily skin — they’re lightweight and absorb quickly. This moisturizer in particular feels as delicate on skin as it looks in the jar while still managing to deliver long-lasting hydration. Alongside blue HA to support the moisture barrier, this gel formula also uses mint extract to give the skin a cool, refreshing feel, and forest yeast extract for its soothing benefits. Oh, and those white specks you see in the gel? Not microbeads. These tiny beads of cream containing lipids and emollient ingredients melt on contact, converting the gel formula into a fast-absorbing, water-like consistency that leaves behind a healthy glow — not a greasy film.
For Very Dry or Sensitive Skin
There’s dry skin, and then there’s dry, itchy, red skin. For whatever reason — whether it be a natural tendency toward irritation or eczema — your skin needs a little extra TLC to get through the winter season. The new Laneige Water Bank Intensive Moisturizer wants to give that to you.
Yes, this relies on blue HA to deliver effective hydration, but it also uses squalane and an omega peptide complex to help improve elasticity and support the moisture barrier. But what really helps this cocktail of ingredients target redness is lactobacillus ferment lysate. Not only has this ingredient been found to balance the skin microbiome, but it can address irritation, too. The texture is also rich — it’s the kind of formula you’d expect to find in the bathroom of a third-generation Upper East Side resident. It feels more expensive than the $40 it actually costs, without leaving skin looking shiny in all the wrong ways. After all, you’re not here to look like a glazed donut — you just want your skin to survive winter.
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