Winter Skin Routine

Carlee Dather

Cole’s Salon – Eagan Station   

Winter Skin Routine

December 7, 2018


The first step in any skincare routine is a great cleanser. For years, I gravitated towards the most exfoliating and astringent cleanser for my combination skin. However, switching to a cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin of all of its natural oils can really transform your skin and help prevent breakouts and irritation. Ditch the drug store makeup wipes (full of alcohol and artificial fragrance) and face wash boasting to dissolve dirt and oil (usually containing harsh sulfates for that foamy finish), and replace them with an oil pre-cleanse to gently break up makeup without stripping your skin and a gentle milky cleanser with lactic acid to help brighten and even skin tone.


Regular exfoliation is important in any skincare routine, however, it’s especially important during the winter months when you’re most likely to be dry or flaky. A gentle manual exfoliant will not only help smooth out flaky, rough patches, but will also allow serums and moisturizers to penetrate more deeply into your epidermis, creating a more hydrated and radiant finish. I would stay away from harsh scrubs (yes, I’m talking about the St. Ive’s Apricot scrub you’ve been using since middle school) and look for less abrasive ingredients such as rice, oat, or chickpea powder. The Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant by Eminence Organics is gentle enough to use everyday and will also help with stubborn blackheads.



I cannot stress enough the importance of a good serum! Because serums are formulated to go deeper into your skin than your other skin care steps, you can target nearly any concerns you  are having. During the winter, your skin is more likely to be dehydrated as there is less moisture in the air – using a serum with hydrating and antioxidant ingredients such as vitamin C will not only help prevent dehydration, but also aid in firming and preventing aging. I love the A C and E Serum by Image Skincare because it’s not only high in vitamin C (the holy grail of skin care ingredients – brightening, firming, antioxidant), but also has the added benefits of vitamins A (think smoothing and wrinkle prevention) and E (protection against free radicals and nourishment for the skin). Use morning and night, before your moisturizer, to see the maximum benefits of your serum.


If you’ve been slacking on moisturizing your skin throughout the year, you’ll want to make sure to start moisturizing every morning and night as the last step in your AM or PM routine to protect your skin against the elements and help keep your skin’s natural oil barrier intact. If you have oily or combination skin, you’ll prefer something lighter in terms of thickness, or even a water based moisturizer for day time. The Hydrating Water Burst by Image Skincare leaves a super smooth, light finish to the skin (an amazing base for makeup!) while still ensuring you don’t feel dry throughout the day.

For your nighttime moisturizer or extremely dry clients, I recommend a facial oil. Although putting an oil on your skin may seem foreign (especially to those of us who have struggled with acne), it can help balance you skin’s natural oil production to keep your skin more hydrated and balanced throughout the day. The Rosehip Oil by Eminence Organics is amazing for sooo many reasons (anti-aging, ultra hydrating, protection against the elements… I could go on). If you’re nervous to use an oil on your skin, you can also add a couple of drops of this liquid gold into your regular moisturizer.


My favorite way to revamp a skincare routine for a change in seasons is adding in a face mask. If you’re struggling to feel hydrated or moisturized with your everyday products, adding in a sheet mask a few times a week or an ultra-moisturizing shea butter treatment can completely transform your complexion. If you’re planning on doing any traveling over the holiday season, I highly recommend bringing a mask along with you to balance the stress your skin is undergoing (especially if flying) and to prevent issues such as: breakouts, excessive dryness, or inflammation due to an increase in sugar and fat in the diet (let’s be honest, our willpower isn’t going to hold up Grandma’s cooking). These sheet masks by Image have seriously been a life saver for me when I travel! Plus, you can save the extra product left in the packaging as a serum the next day.

For every skin concern, and to ensure you’re getting the most out of your routine, I recommend seeing an esthetician as a regular part of your skincare regimen. An esthetician will be able to help you develop the best system for your skin and lifestyle, and be able to administer professional treatments (plus, who doesn’t need a facial this time of year?). As much as the internet is a great tool for reviewing products, your favorite beauty blogger doesn’t know your skin. This is where an esthetician will be able to work with you and your individual concerns to make sure your investment in skincare and the results you want are maximized.

Meet the Author: Carlee Dather

I’m an Aveda Institute Minneapolis graduate and work as an advanced practice esthetician at Cole’s Salon and Spa in Eagan, Minnesota. I offer a full array of esthetic services, from brow waxes and tints, to dermaplaning and chemical peels. I feel most fulfilled when I can help my clients feel more confident in their skin (and have a little fun along the way). As someone who has struggled with acne-prone, combination skin, I understand how difficult navigating the skin care world can be.

Give me a follow and come see me for complementary consultation in person, so we can get your skin on track!

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