16 Winter Skincare Products With 5-Star Reviews At Sephora That Actually Deserve Their Ratings
Winter is synonymous with the holiday season, but it's also a time when our skin takes a harsh beating that results in dryness, flaking, and redness. (Fun!) To fight those conditions, approach your skincare routine just like you do your winter wardrobe: layer up. You may have the basics down (serum before moisturizer; toner before both of those), deciphering which products are true must-haves isn't easy. The good news: There's a bevy of winter skincare products with five-star reviews on Sephora, and that's as good a place as any to start.
In this case, the ones with five stars (or close to it) deserve all of the hype. "Generally speaking, the skincare products that you use in the winter tend to be richer formulations. Many contain natural oils that serve to soften the outer skin layer," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City says. "In the winter months, make sure to stick to gentle and hydrating cleansers. Many of the foaming cleansers that are used during more humid months can dry out the skin," he explains.
The change goes beyond what's on top of your vanity, too. "To combat [dryness], avoid using excessively hot water in the sink or shower," Dr. Michelle Henry, a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon in New York City, adds. "And always moisturize immediately afterward to lock in hydration and give your skin a healthy glow."
Naturally, moisturizing is top priority around this time of year, and Dr. Henry suggests creams over lotions, as they're more occlusive — which means they can better protect the skin barrier function to lock in moisture.
Just be wary of irritating ingredients in those products, like "retinol and hydroxyacids," Dr. Zeichner warns. "You can use them, but you may want to space them out to every other night and combine with your moisturizer."
Ahead, see the highly-rated products to add in your routine.
This cleanser works well in a wintertime skincare routine because of "hyaluronic acid which is like a sponge that binds to 1000 times its weight in water," Dr. Zeichner says. This creamy cleanser thoroughly cleanses while sealing in moisture.
"Greek yogurt has calming and skin protectant properties," Dr. Zeichner says. The wash is full of proteins and vitamins that work to keep your skin nourished, and the yogurt helps to repair and restore the skin while reducing redness.
The milk in this cleanser keeps skin illuminated as you wash away dullness and uneven skin tone. The cleanser also contains licorice and peppermint extracts, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
If you can get multiple uses out of skincare products, then it should be an instant add-to-cart. Multi-Miracle is a cream-to-oil, three-in-one cleanser that doubles as a mask and a balm. The rosehip and camellia oils in the formula exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Dr. Zeichner notes.
This serum begins in balm form, and then once it is melted on your skin by a lathering motion, the balm turns into a translucent serum texture. The serum seals in hydration, finishing your skin off with a dewy look. "The apricot and turmeric provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits," Dr.Zeichner explains.
Australian-made, vegan, and slapped with a clean seal of approval, this serum offers an extra amount of moisture due to the aloe vera and hyaluronic acid that is infused into the formula. Another component of the serum is squalene. "Squalene is a natural fat that protects the outer skin layer," Dr. Zeichner says.
You can use this cream, infused with vitamin C to protect against free radicals and UV damage, in your morning or night skincare routine. In addition to the vitamin C, "safflower seed helps hydrate while vitamin C helps brighten dark spots," Dr. Zeichner adds.
In the winter, it's nice to let your skin breathe without makeup everyday. Just because you don't want a full face of makeup doesn't mean you can't have some coverage. This moisturzing sheer tint provides coverage, and SPF is also included in this moisturizer.
Shea butter, a hero ingredient in this luxurious buttercream, is a natural oil "that softens and protects the outer skin layer," Dr. Zeichner says.
Effective Face Oils
"Cannabis sativa seed oil is packed with Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9, which all help hydrate the skin. It's also an anti-inflammatory therefore effective against acne," Dr. Henry says.
This face oil contains 100 percent pure plant extracts, including sandalwood, cardamom, and lavender which all calm irritation. And the hazelnut oil in the formula helps to lock in hydration and boost the moisture levels in the skin, Dr. Henry explains.
"This oil contains fatty acids and vitamin A and C to protect skin from winter damage in addition to UV, pollution and other environmental stressors," Dr. Henry says.
Restoring Night Creams
"Passionfruit oil is a natural oil that contains antioxidants to hydrate dry skin," Dr. Henry says. "The AHA, BHA, and PHA acids are used to exfoliate and soften skin. Although they can cause irritation for those with sensitive skin, the oil is a powerful anti-aging ingredient when used properly."
You might think that a balm could be too light to be used as an overnight cream, but the olive and almond oils in this one nourish your skin at night when cell turnover is most active. "These natural ingredients work together to help hydrate and repair the skin from the inside out," Dr. Henry explains.
La Mer is known for their ultra-luxurious products, and this mask is no exception. This particular one contains a specially-formulated lotion formulated with Miracle Broth (a mixture of nutrients and minerals in most La Mer products), is to thank for these immediate benefits.