My mom and I have a pretty consistent Christmas tradition. She always calls me a few days after Thanksgiving, requesting that I send along my Christmas list so that “Mrs. Claus” knows what I want. I then reply that I don’t really want anything. She scoffs on the other end of the phone, then follows up with text messages ridden with Santa emojis and crying cat faces, begging for my list. Inevitably, I always cave and send her over a short list that always, always includes the Clinique Moisture Surge moisturizer ($40).
The truth is, this humble jar of pink Clinique moisturizer truly is the only thing I ever want for Christmas, every single year. I first bought it at a Sephora a few years ago during a particularly brutal winter, when my oily, rosacea-afflicted skin was drier than the jokes on Fleabag. After slathering a few tester moisturizers on the back of my hand, this one was the winner in terms of texture—it’s a gel that is super lightweight and blends into skin almost immediately without leaving behind a greasy residue.
But don’t let the thin, light texture fool you: This baby is potent. (The name “moisture surge” isn’t for nothing.) It’s got the moisturizing trifecta of glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe, so it’s deeply hydrating yet gentle… which is good for my sensitive AF skin. And it’s spiked with green tea and birch extracts, both of which are anti-inflammatory, which takes care of redness. The first time I used it, I applied it before bed and woke up with skin that looked like it had just drunk several S’well bottles full of water—my complexion had never looked as bright or plump with hydration (unless you count when I was a fresh little baby).
The only downside is that this moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF (a daytime must for a pale gal like me). So I use it strictly in the nighttime for true beauty sleep. In the coming months, when winter weather ravages the city in full swing, I’ll just bundle up in my trusty red coat and smile when people ask me how my skin could possibly be so dewy when it’s this frigid and dry outside. It’s all thanks to my secret weapon, and my favorite Christmas present ever.
Before you try this moisturizer yourself, make sure you’re not making some of the biggest face washing mistakes. If you want more hyper-specific beauty recs, you should probably check out this amazing lymphatic drainage roller.
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