Winter skincare: 6 Beauty Panel tips for keeping your face happy when cold, dry weather hits


There is perhaps no greater threat to our delicate skin than the cold weather. Chapped lips, flaky skin, tightness—the list goes on! With all the lotions and potions we slather on, we’re one economy-sized tub of moisturizer away from looking like a basted turkey ready for the oven. But when it comes to protecting our skin from the elements, we’ll do just about anything.

And our Beauty Panel is no different. When it comes to banishing dry skin and restoring some of that summertime glow, they have a plethora of ingenious tips and tricks. Sure, there are plenty of homemade remedies to try, but honestly, during the cold winter months a hot cup of tea can sound way more appealing than coating your face in pumpkin puree and banana. But before you stock up on winter-approved skincare products at your local drugstore, read on.

Challenge 45: How do you keep your skin happy when the cold weather hits? See the answers now! »

Gerry Xun from The Bunnie Hole, plays chemist and ingeniously adds a few drops of ultra-hydrating oil to her regular moisturizer to boost the moisturizing factor of her regular beauty regime. Twenty York Street’s Marilou Moles does double duty and fights off the cold, while also doing some pro-active anti-aging duties. Both Amanda Raponi Hart of Vanity Presse and Fun Size Beauty’s Stephanie Lau advise finishing off a hydrating routine with a polish of bronzer to instantly lift a pale complexion and imitate some sun-kissed beauty. Fake it till you make it!

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at [email protected]. Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


Gerry Xun
Vancouver | The Bunnie Hole

Some might say we have it lucky, winters here on the West Coast rarely drops below -10degrees but the windchill is enough to cause some notable dryness and chaffing. However with a few tweaks to your everyday routine, we can get back to being normal again. Here’s how:

Oils are a fantastic add-on to winter skincare without needing to completely overahaul or distrub your current regime. Simply add a few drops to your night or day cream to intensify it’s hydrating effects and soothe irritated skin. Even better, this works for any hair or body products as well. Sleeping masks containing super charged hydrators such as squalene, hyaluronic acid or shea butter are also a great addition to your routine. Applied as the last step to seal in your nigh time products, it adds an extra layer of moisture and helps to deeply repair your skin while you snooze.

Lastly, don’t skimp on exfoliating just because it’s the winter time. While your skin might be a little more delicate this time of the year, proper exfoliation will helps all your winter serums and moisturizers penetrate deeply instead of sitting on the surface causing you to feel greasy. Pick something swith a fine grain and give your pretty face a gentle rub down at least once a week.

Products used: Alba Botanica Even Advanced Sea Algae Enzyme Scrub, Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX, NUXE Huile Prodigieuse

Stephanie Lau
Toronto | Fun Size Beauty

I help my skin combat the “winter blues” (aka dull, parched skin) with a combination of skincare and beauty. Despite having oily skin, I amp up the hydration level with a serum.

Then, when it comes to makeup, I try to choose a foundation that’s more moisturizing, perhaps a BB or CC cream for more radiance. Also, I smother a cream highlighter atop my brow and cheekbones and apply bronzer liberally to the hollows of my face. There is absolutely no unwritten, unspoken beauty rule that states you can’t wear bronzer and highlighter in the winter. In fact, I probably wear more bronzer and highlighter in the winter because I don’t get the as much natural contour and highlight as when there’s sunshine. When the cold weather hits, remember that you know what makes you look good and what makes your skin feel its best. So cater your makeup and skincare accordingly.

Products Used: Pure + Simple Skin Drink, Kaia Naturals 24H Booster Serum, Marcelle CC Cream, Annabelle BB Skin Perfect Concealer in “Medium”, Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter, NYC Bronzer in “Sunny”

Laurelle Alexandra
Toronto | Paint Me Pretty

The winter months can be tough when it comes to keeping your skin moisturized. And what can be even more frustrating is applying makeup when you are experiencing dry/dehydrated skin. It is always extremely important to cleanse, exfoliate 3 times a week, apply a mask 3 times a week and of course moisturize. In the winter it is mandatory.

Now people have the misconception that when you apply anything oily to your skin you will experience oiliness throughout the day. Wrong. When you apply oil to your skin it absorbs it and hydrates your skin. When your skin is lacking oil it overcompensates, which is when you will experience oiliness. This is why the moisturizer I use day and night is One Love Organics Skin Savior. It is the most amazing moisturizer.

Now for these cold winter months you should make sure you are applying some sort of serum or oil. I personally like Josie Maran Argan Oil. Then apply your moisturizer. For the mornings you should always apply moisturizer first and then your foundation immediately afterwards so it absorbs into your skin making it look natural. Avoid foundations that are thick. I recommend Make Up For Ever’s Face and Body Foundation. If your skin is being extra stubborn and you are still experiencing dryness, apply Make Up For Ever’s HD Elixir. It will immediately put moisture back into your skin making your skin look flawless again. If you experience a lot of dryness use crème based products. Cream foundation, cream blushes etc. This will absorb into your skin much easier than powder.

My absolute favorite exfoliators are Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant and One Love Organics Brand New Day. My go to face mask for the winter is one I recently discovered which is Glam Glow Thirsty Mud. And of course my favorite moisturizer is One Love Organics Skin Savior. You stick to those products and your skin will be happy all winter.

Products Used: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Glam Glow Thirsty Mud, One Love Organics Skin Savior, Make Up For Ever Face and Body Foundation, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Make Up For Ever Microfinish Blush, Cover FX Cream Foundation, Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara, Annabelle Black Khol Liner, Make Up For Ever HD Elixir, Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow, Epic Blend Premium Lip Balm

Marilou Moles
Ottawa | Twenty York Street

As the mercury drops and the frigid arctic air dominates the weather, it’s time to get more serious about skincare. And although your prime concern should be protecting your skin against winter’s harsh elements, it’s also the perfect time to incorporate anti-aging into your routine. Why? Because anti-aging products like Canadian made Renaissance Red are rich with anti-oxidants and luxurious natural oils that protect and pamper the skin.

I’m particularly concerned with eye care and the radiance of my skin during the winter as it seems to dull and lose its glow. Renaissance Red’s Eye Refresh promises to lessen the appearance of crow’s feet and dark circles while the Brightening Facial Serum helps to add moisture while attacking pollutants on the skin as well as it helps even out and brighten skin tone. It’s the perfect anti-dote to winter’s sallow and dreary complexion!

To top it all off, I make sure I have my bronzer handy to sculpt, highlight and fake my way into a healthy winter tan!

Products used: Renaissance Red Eye Refresh, Renaissance Red Brightening Facial Serum, Thann Anti-aging Face Cream and Rimmel Bronzer in “#022 Bronze Sun”

Maggie Ng
Toronto | Beauty PhD

This has been one crazy winter, with temperatures feeling like -40 degrees celsius with wind chill to jumping to 8 degrees celsius that very same week, our skin definitely has a hard time adjusting to the weather!

When the weather gets cold, I try to use more moisturizing beauty products. For example, instead of powder foundation, I may go for BB cream. Instead of powder blush, go for cream blush. Lip balms are a must and a moisturizing lip gloss. Primers with illuminating properties helps give a healthy glow. When it comes to skincare, a hydrating mist throughout the day helps freshen and wake up dull, tired skin. And for daily use? A super-saturated hydrating fluid concentrate or serum to help revitalize dry, parched skin.

Products used : Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner, Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base in “Luminous Finish”, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in “Light”, Rimmel London Wake Me Up Instant Radiance Shimmer Touch in “#002 Radiant Rose”, E.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in “Medium”, NYC New York Color Glossy Lip Balm in “Applelicious”, MAC Cremesheen Glass in “Just Superb”