1. Tatcha The Water Cream / 2. Glossier Priming Moisturizer / 3. Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer / 4. Kate Somerville Goat Milk / 5. Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer / 6. Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb / 7. Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil / 8. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Moisturizing is a crucial step in any skincare routine, particularly in the fall & winter. (For simplicity’s sake, I am lumping together moisturizers and face oils for this post.) Moisturizers hydrate and plump skin for a more youthful appearance, have anti-aging benefits, can reduce redness and balance skin tone. By their nature, they also prevent your skin from feeling tight and developing dry patches during the harsh winter months, which can make it practically impossible to apply makeup. (Seriously – have you ever tried to apply makeup over a dry patch? It flakes off, makes everything look worse and, in short, is beyond frustrating!) Another benefit? They seal in all the goodness from your serums and eye creams.
A good moisturizer won’t make you look greasy, even if you have oily skin. It will, however, up your glow factor, keep oil production in check, and prevent you from looking dead. (All good things in my book.) My mantra throughout the fall and winter is basically “moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize some more.” In summary? Moisturizers are essential to a radiant complexion.
So, without further adieu, here are my favorite winter moisturizers and face oils. I use each of these regularly, and they all work extraordinarily well on my ultra-sensitive skin. I usually prefer something lightweight for the day as it tends to work better under makeup and a thicker formulation before bed. (Layer your moisturizer over your serums and your facial oil on top of that.) Alright, on to my picks!
Tatcha Water Cream. This is a gorgeous, oil-free moisturizer that provides bursts of good-for-your-skin nutrients upon application. Lightweight and hydrating, it works brilliantly under makeup while promoting a healthy, even complexion. In addition to anti-aging benefits, it also brightens skin and shrinks the appearance of pores. It probably won’t provide enough hydration for seriously parched skin, but if you have “normal” combo or slightly dry skin, it is perfect for everyday use. (For a “bursting” moisturizer that provides more intense hydration, jump down to my pick by Belif.) All you need is a tiny dab of this miracle product for a glowing complexion: it contains the teensiest bit of 23 karat gold (not sparkles) that gives skin that “glowing from the inside” look. I use this in the morning and typically generally reach for something richer at night. Its one drawback is the packaging – it is only available in a jar, which exposes it unnecessarily to air and bacteria. However, it comes with a cute little spoon attached to its adorable jar so you won’t contaminate its precious contents with your fingers. Problem solved!
Glossier Priming Moisturizer. I have fallen in love with this moisturizer over the past few months. It is lightweight, absorbs quickly and primes your skin for makeup application. It also combats redness and uneven skin tone, which are major issues for me in the winter. Despite its lightweight texture, it provides serious moisture that is truly buildable. Simply layer the product where you need more moisture and voila! Perfect skin. Plus, it comes in a squeeze tube, which makes it super easy to use (and keeps out pesky bacteria and air). I reach for this when getting ready for a busy day that requires a full face of makeup or a night out as it doesn’t cause my foundation to slip. Bonus points for the price: it’s a steal at $22.
Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer. Oh, Tata Harper – how I love you! This silky, refreshing moisturizer is super hydrating, fast absorbing and feels incredibly luxurious on your skin. It is full of natural goodies that will make your skin glowy and happy. Plus, its scent is divine and completely addictive. The packaging is gorgeous too – it comes in a lovely green bottle with a gold pump, keeping air and bacteria out while giving you access to every last drop. I usually reach for this in the morning, although I do like to use it at night when I am not using an AHA or retinol serum. For additional hydration (and extra glow), I use it to seal in Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum. (If you are interested, I talk about the benefits of this beautiful holy grail serum here.) Expert tip: If your skin is oily or you live in a humid climate, you can opt for the equally fab Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer, which is still hydrating but keeps your natural shine under control with a matte finish. (I use the Rebuilding Moisturizer in the summer and the aforementioned Repairative Moisturizer in the cooler, drier months.)
Kate Somerville Goat Milk. I reach for this moisturizer when my skin is angry, red, blotchy or dry. It soothes sensitive skin, reduces inflammation and pretty much just magically fixes whatever is causing it to freak out. A thin layer of this stuff delivers a whopping dose of hydration and helps restore skin’s natural lipid barrier. I use this morning, noon and night whenever my skin is misbehaving. I adore the packaging of Kate Somerville’s products too (a pump with a push top dispenses the product). This moisturizer is a winter must-have.
Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer. This is another phenomenal moisturizer from Kate Somerville. It is full of anti-aging peptides and is super moisturizing. I use this no matter what my skin is up to – it soothes my sensitive skin and delivers deep hydration. This is a very “wet” moisturizer, which is great for sealing in serums too. I use this on mornings when I don’t need to wear makeup and in the evening as a night cream. The push top packaging ensures there is no product waste and prevents contact with air and bacteria. Half a pump is enough to cover my entire face and decolletage. I love using this over Kate Somerville’s Deep Tissue Repair for an extra shot of moisture. (You can read about the Deep Tissue Repair serum in this post from my Radiant Skin Series.)
Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. This moisturizer is a K-beauty favorite for a good reason. It has a lightweight texture that belies its intense hydrating properties. It is designed to burst upon application for deep, long-lasting moisture (up to 26 hours!), which leaves skin unbelievably soft and supple. It has a light, pleasant scent and absorbs quickly without a trace of shine or stickiness. Words can’t explain how hydrating this product is. You just have to try it. If you have dry skin, you can use this over your entire face, although I usually use it as a sort of spot treatment to heal dry, flaky spots caused by the dry climate, my crazy radiator, or an accidental O.D. on retinol. You only need a small amount to cover your entire face, so it will last you ages. It is only available in a jar, so use a spoon instead of your fingers to avoid bacterial contamination. I reach for this one both day and night – basically anytime I need a serious hydration boost.
Hydrating Face Oils
Since moisturizers are water-based, I always apply face oil after my moisturizer. These hydrating oils tend to give me a bit of shine, so I usually use them before bed. However, on the days I can’t escape my home office, you will find me unabashedly dripping in face oil. (It’s the silver lining to working from the house all day.) I know there are many other face oils out there, but I have found that these two products cover my hydration and anti-aging needs.
Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil. I adore this product. I always get the smaller size that comes with the roller ball dispenser so I can swipe it across my cheeks, forehead, cuticles, even bug bites! This lightweight face oil not only hydrates skin but also delivers a mega dose of goodies that balance, soothe and brighten. Layered over a moisturizer, it eliminates dullness for a seriously radiant complexion. It also smells amazing and is 100% natural. It’s a miracle worker. Plus, the tidy packaging eliminates any chance of spillage. (As the clumsiest person I know, if it’s possible to spill something, I will inevitably spill it.) A must-have for every skincare arsenal.
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. Holy heck! This is one luscious face oil. Like Tata Harper, Drunk Elephant products are cruelty-free and 100% natural. This product feels super luxe and is the most hydrating oil I have come across. Unlike the marula oil you can purchase from the market, this is unrefined, fair trade, and extracted using a patented process that makes it higher in omegas and antioxidants for increased anti-aging benefits. The packaging also protects it from exposure to air and bacteria, which can degrade it over time. This lightweight oil works wonders on my sensitive, rosacea-prone skin – both in terms of hydration and anti-aging. Completely brilliant.
< A final note: Since this is a skincare post, I have to say it. Always apply sunscreen after your moisturizer in the morning. (None of my picks have SPF – I like to keep my sunscreen separate from my jars, bottles, and pumps of hydrating goodness.) La Roche Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Lite Sunscreen is my go-to facial sunscreen. It absorbs immediately, plays well with makeup and never leaves a greasy residue.>
Shop the Post!
Tatcha The Water Cream / Glossier Priming Moisturizer / Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer / Kate Somerville Goat Milk / Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer / Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb / Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil / Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil