Winter Skin Care

The Top 5 Sephora Products a Cosmetic Chemist Swears By for Dry Skin

Zoe Weiner

Photo: Getty Images/ Westend61
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No matter what kind of skin you have, during the winter months, dryness is inevitable. The cold, dry air sucks the moisture from your complexion, which means you need to stack your routine with topicals to make up the difference.

"This change in the air is dehydrating our skin, and we're all going to turn on our furnaces, which will speed up that dehydration process even further," Audrey Kunin, MD,  board-certified dermatologist and founder of DermaDoctor, previously told Well+Good. "Eventually, there’s going to be a chemical reaction going on in the skin where we lose our protective acid mantle and our pH gets disrupted. When that happens, the cells of the skin, which normally lay tightly on top of each other, like shingles on a roof start, to pull apart."

Because of this, pros recommend doubling down on hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, and limiting the use of known dryness-inducers, like hydroxy acids, alcohol-based products, and clay masks. In a recent TikTok video, cosmetic chemist Jane Tsui revealed her go-to Sephora products for dry skin to help you hack your routine accordingly. Keep scrolling to shop them for yourself.

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Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser — $35.00

When it’s cold outside, it’s extra important to use a face wash that won’t strip your skin. The reason? Harsh cleansers will mess with the integrity of your skin barrier, making it more difficult for your complexion to retain that oh-so-important moisture. This creamy formula combines Japanese Algae with hyaluronic acid to nourish and hydrate your skin while also helping to whisk away dirt and debris.

Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask With Vitamin C — $48.00

The whole point of an overnight mask is to seal in hydration (think of it like a super-charged moisturizer), and this stuff does that and then some. It’s packed with antioxidants to brighten and protect your complexion, and also contains hyaluronic acid and squalane, two ingredients that derms think of as “big gulps” of moisture for thirsty skin.

The Inkey List Retinol — $10.00

Though retinol has a reputation for sensitizing skin, this formula was designed to do its job without irritation. It’s made with time-released retinol, which means that your skin will get small doses of the stuff in the hours after you apply. It pairs the ingredient with squalane, which adds moisture and helps to further reduce irritation.

Lancôme Skin Feels Good Tinted Moisturizer With SPF 23 — $35.00

In addition to switching up your skin care for winter, you should also consider adjusting your makeup routine. This tinted moisturizer is a great swap for your standard moisturizer, and contains skin-friendly ingredients like hyaluronic acid and moringa seed oil. It’s got a sheer, radiant finish that will leave your complexion dewy on even the dryest of days, and comes in 15 blendable shades to match a range of skin tones.

La Mer The Concentrate Serum — $400.00

Though you may balk at the $400 price tag, this stuff really is worth the investment. It’s made with a blend of La Mer’s famed “miracle broth” (which comes from fermented kelp), plus other fermented marine ingredients and antioxidant-rich lime tea concentrate, and has a reputation for being both nourishing and hydrating. When one of our editors tested it out for herself, after only a week she noticed a brighter complexion, a more even skin tone, and fewer fine lines and wrinkles—and of course, unparalleled moisture all over.

For more intel on the best ingredients for dry skin, check out the video below. 

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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