Here’s what the MUSE team suggests for managing your winter skin.

Compared to winter’s in past years, 2021 started particularly warm and stayed that way until a few weeks ago. That’s why when the weather did start to change again, it was a real shock to the system, made evident by my skin. As someone who deals with combination skin, becoming oilier in the summer and dryer in the winter, it constantly feels like my skin is doing the opposite of what it should be. And although I have been able to figure out some ways of dealing with my skin in the summer, the winter has always been more troubling to handle. Although many of us may associate acne with over-productions of oil, dry skin, which affects most of us in the winter, is surprisingly just as vulnerable to breakouts and clogged pores. While thinking about this makes sense, it still doesn’t solve the problem that most acne treatments work by drying out the skin further, which seems counterproductive when dealing with already dry skin. Based on this, it is evident that skin troubles during the winter, like dryness and acne, may require different products than those you use in the warmer months. 

Skin, like most things about us, is subjective. What works for some people isn’t guaranteed to work for all, even if they identify as having similar skin. Besides weather, many factors impact skin, such as stress, sleep and eating habits, which as university students in quarantine, nonetheless, feel all too familiar. Especially as someone who has always been fascinated by skincare routines, beginning one of your own and finding the right products for you is daunting no matter how many “Skincare with Hyram” YouTube videos you may have watched. And believe me, while testing out new skincare products is truly a guessing game, knowing what has worked for others with similar skin types and problems as you are the first steps in furthering your research on navigating your skin.

So, without further ado, here are some of the top products our MUSE team is raving about that solve their most prominent winter skin troubles…


If you’re dealing with Dryness:

Erin’s Skin Type: Dry 

Erin recommends The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum:

“This product is my go-to!! I…have super dry skin especially in the winter and this product is perfect for [my] morning routine and before bed. It is so hydrating, and it has made my face look so much brighter and softer. I love how affordable it is and it truly works. 10/10!”


Freda and Allie recommend LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask:

Freda’s Skin Type: Dry

“My skin is very dry, so my skincare is basically all about hydration, and this mask is amazing for that purpose :)”

Allie’s Skin Type: Normal (dry in winter) and Sensitive 

“I apply it on top of my normal skincare routine, and I find I wake up in the morning with my skin feeling so much more refreshed and hydrated. It really helps [with the effects of] Kingston’s winters, [and] since it’s a water-based product, doesn’t make your skin oily. It is on the pricier side, but if you get it in a set it’s a really good deal and lasts for a long time:)”


If you’re dealing with Acne:

Neva’s Skin Type: Normal

Neva recommends Spectro Cleanser for Blemish-Prone Skin:

“I started using it in high school when I had a lot of breakouts. As my skin got better, I switched to other cleansers; however, I started to get perioral dermatitis from them and never had skin quite like when I was using it. The cleanser has really helped to clear that up and keep my skin calm and clean.”

She also recommends Elta MD Sunscreen, Keihl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer, and Retinol. 


Caitlin’s Skin Type: Oily/Combination

Caitlin recommends Kate Sommerville EradiKate Acne Treatment:

“[It’s] my favourite pimple product…[that’s] very similar to the Mario Badescu [Drying Lotion] but so much better. I use it every night, it’s helped my acne so much! And [a] quick tip for oily/combo winter skin, I use a thick night moisturizer to keep my skin from drying out, and a lighter day moisturizer to help prevent me from getting too oily.”


Carly’s Skin Type: Dry and Acne-Prone

Carly recommends Blume Meltdown Acne Oil:

“I tried it for the first time last year and wasn’t sure about using an oil for my acne-prone skin, but I was so pleasantly surprised by it. It keeps my skin feeling healthy and nourished but fights acne and doesn’t clog my pores.”


Sadie’s Skin Type: Dry and Sensitive

Sadie recommends Cetaphil Sensitive Skin Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer:

“I used to have terrible acne and even went on hardcore meds for it! This was the only thing that stopped my skin from literally flaking off my face (gross, I know). My skin is super sensitive, and this was my dermatologist’s suggestion for anyone with sensitive & dry skin.”


If you’re dealing with Combination Skin:

Lauren’s Skin Type: Combination

Lauren recommends Lush’s Ultrabland Facial Cleanser: 

“I first began using this product because I wanted an oil-based cleanser to take off makeup and remove excess oil/dirt! I soon realized it could even take off waterproof mascara and now I can’t live without it.”

“Another honourable mention is the Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate oil which my housemate (@honeyimrosy) suggested, it is hands down a staple in all of our skincare routines now!!!!”


Honourable Mention*:

Anna’s Skin Type: Dry 

Anna recommends Mineral Sunscreens:

“Lately I have started using a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide during the day. Mineral sunscreens protect from UVB as well as UVA rays, so are better for protecting your skin from blue light. I use one from Avene, but the Ordinary also makes one that is super affordable!”

*we often don’t realize the importance of sunscreen during the winter and the long-term benefits using it has, making this suggestion one to note for all skin types!



Skincare takes time to adjust! So, while you may not wake up with “glass skin” the next morning (sad, I know), eventually, if the product is right for you, the effects will begin to take shape. 

Just as important, if your skin is reacting, it’s time to stop using it! While dermatologists often cite the so-called “skin purging” period as normal, where small acne-like bumps may appear from a new product introduced in your skin routine, any irritation beyond that may signal the product is not working for you (Byrdie). While starting new products, monitor your skin to prevent it from causing you any new and unwanted troubles. 

Now, with these suggestions in mind, it’s time for you to start researching to see if any could be right for you! Happy exploring!


Disclaimer: The information provided above are only opinions based on personal experiences. Consult your doctor or pharmacy if you are suffering from persistent skin issues.



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