Shopping·8 min read

Transitional Skincare Products for Cooler Weather

Transitional skincare winter skincare
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Beauty Counter, Glow Recipe, RMS
August 21, 2023

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When you’re heading into colder temps, you get your puffer ready, you dust off your mittens, and you *should* be swapping out some of your summer skincare. With less humidity, you can start introducing thicker formulas and barrier-building ingredients (like ceramides) to protect your skin from cold and wind. And if your skin is looking dull (bye, sun, hi, longer nights), work in brightening vitamin C to give your skin a boost.

For all that and more, read on for a list of our favorite products that’ll help make the transition into the fall/winter season a little easier on your skin. This season, we’re not fazed. 

Red light mask

A red light therapy mask that’ll keep your skin healthy…

If you haven't hopped on the RLT trend yet, now’s the time. More and more research shows how effective it can be at alleviating UV damage if you spent a little too much time in the sun over the summer, reducing acne scarring, and even boosting your mood (we’re looking at you, seasonal depression). This red light therapy mask is made from silicone and has holes for your eyes, mouth, and nose. Plus, the hands-free wear lets you go about your work or chores unencumbered. Psst…check out our full review here. ($349, HigherDose

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Bubble Skincare

A light moisturizer you can mix and match with…

If you have normal to combination skin and are looking for a lightweight moisturizer to use morning and night, this is the one. It has hibiscus extract that helps slow down sebum production, celery seed extract to minimize pores, and lilac extract to mattify. On its own, it'll be moisturizing enough for those early fall days. When it gets truly cold out, it'll layer nicely over an oil or hydrating serum, without feeling heavy. ($16, Bubble Skincare)

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Skincare set

A skincare set designed to rejuvenate mature skin…

Lately, we haven’t been able to get enough of Womanness. This set comes with one of our favorite products — the Let’s Neck cream — that utilizes microalgae extract to hydrate and lift the skin around your neck in a big way. You’ll also get a full-size The Works cream for allover body use with the same tightening ingredient. Finish off your new routine with the overnight mask, which uses a gentler, plant-based alternative to retinol that hydrates and penetrates while you sleep. Psst… use code SKIMM20 for 20% off sitewide through September 30. ($69.99, Womanness)

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Hydrating cream

A cream packed with hydrating ingredients to combat the cold…

It’s like a miracle in a pot. Not only does this water-based cream target dehydrated skin, it also enlists the help of ceramides to plump and restore your skin’s natural barrier. Customers love how soft it leaves their skin and say they see a big difference in their complexion. ($78, Beautycounter)

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Hyaluronic acid

A serum that’s all about hydration…

This one is a staple in our skincare routine all year round, but it’s a smart choice for the colder months in particular. Hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates and plumps, and vitamin B5 can bolster your skin barrier to protect against the elements. Squeeze a couple of drops straight onto your face in the morning and nighttime, or work it in with your moisturizer. Buh-bye, dry patches. ($8.90, Ulta

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Face oil vitamin C
Sunday Riley

An HQ’r-favorite face oil for a brighter complexion…

We’re big believers in vitamin C skincare all year long to help you through every transitional period. This face oil combines the brightening powers of THD ascorbate — one of the most effective forms of vitamin C — and the calming effects of golden turmeric to give you a million-dollar glow every morning and night. It soaks into your skin almost instantly, allowing you to pair it with other serums and creams without feeling too heavy. We highly recommend snagging this brightening serum from the same line to really boost your glow. ($80, Sunday Riley)

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Avocado Serum
Glow Recipe

A holy grail serum for targeting redness…

If winter brings redness and eczema along with it, this serum is a must-have to add to your routine. Avocado butter works to hydrate, rice milk soothes, and ceramides protect your skin barrier and calm redness. Use one to two pumps each morning and night after cleansing for the best results. ($45, Glow Recipe

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Lip mask

A lip mask worth the price tag…

We’ve never tried a lip mask that was as hydrating, glossy, and thick without being sticky and heavy. It comes in a little tub with an applicator to keep your fingers clean, and features ingredients like squalane to lock in moisture and Japanese peach to repair chapped, dry lips. ($29, Tatcha)

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RMS sunscreen

A light SPF with a little tint…

This one comes in three shades — light, medium, and rich — so you won’t have to completely give up on your summer glow. It has SPF 30 with soothing zinc, strengthening peptides, and a hint of radiance that boosts your skin’s glow. It’s the perfect go-to for light coverage on days when you miss that sun-kissed tan. ($48, Credo)

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Dr. Jart

A rubber face mask with major plumping effects…

Once we used this cryo rubber mask, we never looked back. Regular sheet masks can be hard to put on and dry out quickly, but these rubber masks hold so much product and have a sturdier silicone structure that comes in two pieces, so you get full facial coverage. This one comes with an ampoule of hyaluronic acid formula that leaves your skin super hydrated and glowy. Pro tip: Store yours in the fridge for a cooling sensation you’ll fall in love with. ($15, Sephora)

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A retinol oil that’s gentle on skin…

This retinol oil from Drunk Elephant is a smart way to double down on the nourishment your skin needs when the weather gets cooler. It’s also great for retinol beginners or those who have sensitive skin, since it’s packed with ceramides and marula oil to lock in hydration. The brand says you can use it morning or night, but we recommend opting for nighttime application since you’ll have to be extra careful with UV exposure when using retinol. Pair it with one of our favorite SPFs and watch the magic happen. ($72, Sephora)

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Glow Recipe

A multipurpose cleanser perfect for colder weather…

We can’t seem to get enough of Glow Recipe, and for good reason. This gentle cleanser combines moisturizing hyaluronic acid and exfoliating AHAs in one gel formula that can be used three ways. Wash your face with it, remove your makeup with it, or even let it sit on your skin for five minutes like a mask before continuing on with your normal routine. ($34, Sephora)

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