How to Layer Your Winter Skincare Products According to the Weather Outside

If you’ve eavesdropped or engaged in elevator small talk lately, it sounds like it’s going to be a mild winter. Even if that’s the case, Canadian weather from December through March is still brrrrr for the most part, and drains our bodies of every last drop of moisture. Which is why it’s important to get your skincare situation sorted in case things to get really ugly (cc: polar vortex). The key to making it through the season all hydrated and glowy? Layering your skincare.“Rather than putting on a heavy and nourishing cream that only covers your skin… layering penetrates your skin,” says Florence Bernardin, a trend hunter who scours Asia for the next best beauty breakthroughs. In other words, think of layering is like an insurance policy against winter. For those who aren’t already doing the 13+ step Korean beauty routine, we’re talking about more than just wearing a serum under your moisturizer. It’s time to look into essences, and to dabble in face oils. And don’t forget about sunscreen, because UV rays don’t take a vacation once it snows.

When you’re layering, apply your treatments in progression from lightest to heaviest. “Never put a cream that is formulated with wax and paste on first,” says New York-based facialist Kristina Holley. “The goodness in the oil or the serum can’t penetrate the wax and reach the skin. Always put a cream on last to create a seal.” Ditto for multi-layered eye treatments. To use a baking analogy, multi-layering your skin care is like adding butter cream frosting, a rum soak and sprinkles to your cake before placing the pretty fondant on top that seals everything in. (The fork in this scenario is winter.) Re: fondant, you may want to switch to a different moisturizer if your usual one is too rich. Typically derms tell us to use a heavier formula in the colder months, but since you’ve been balancing the hydration levels in your skin from the get-go, Bernardin says try innovative new and lighter textures like cloud cream, a gel mousse combo that hydrates without weighing your skin down.

Bottom line: these additional steps will involve investing more time, yes, but it’s not like you’ll be missing out on anything, because what else do you have going on besides devouring comfort food and binge-watching Master of None?

We’ve set up your winter skincare layering routine below, according to the weather outside, from light flurries to a straight-up blizzard.

With files from Juliette Baxter