Winter can be beautiful to look at - what with its silent snow falling on the ground, outlining bare trees with its illuminating flakes. Stunning, really. But to our bare skin - and especially our faces - winter can wreak havoc on its surfaces. You’ve felt it on your hands, right? Or at least I have. That dry feeling like you haven’t drank water for days. And while you do shed skin, it feels like you’re doing it much faster during the winter.

That’s why I always rely on exfoliation and deep moisturization and protection; and here are my four must-have face products for the winter: 

1. Exfoliation - Conair Tru Glow Sonic Facial Brush

There’s no better time to keep your skin surface fresh than winter time, as you’re drying out more than usual. I’ve been using the Conair Tru Glow Sonic Facial Brush for over a month, nearly every day, and I love it. Prior to the Tru Glow, I was using a manual face brush for years. While the manual face brush was fine, I needed something with a bit more power. There are a number of competitors on the market but I really liked this one for its price point and it delivers. My skin definitely feels smoother and cleaner this past month than using my old manual face brush - and certainly more so than simply using your hands or even a washcloth. This brush also comes with a larger brush head for use on the body and you can also use it in the shower. I love multi-purpose gadgets.


2. Deep Moisturization - La Colline Moisture Boost Cellular Dynamic Hydration Mask

Winter is perhaps the most important time to be using a mask product frequently, especially one that helps to infuse a ton of moisture into your skin. Again, the market is saturated with a variety of masks but I really like this one. It’s thick without being greasy - more like a whipped cream consistency - and you can feel the product soaking deep into your skin as soon as you apply it. What I also like is the scent. All La Colline products have a very faint, soft scent to appeal to even those who are super sensitive to scented products in general. I’m really enjoying this Swiss brand lately, I have to say. And I will be featuring one more ‘must-have’ from La Colline in a second. When you’re done with this mask and have rinsed everything off, your skin feels much plumper, softer. I use it up to 3 times a week at night time.


3. Deep Moisturization, Part Deux - BIOEFFECT EGF Serum

So everything you do before going to bed - the cleansing, the masks… you want to capture that softness when you sleep and also when you wake up. In addition, the moisturizer I use during the winter is dramatically different than the one I use in the spring or summer. I need something that’s powerful enough to work its magic through the night and not dry out nor rub off on my pillow. That’s why my next winter ‘must have’ is this serum. BIOEFFECT is a company in Iceland that has produced this serum, made with a plant protein (from barley) - a cellular activator called the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) that they discovered which won them the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1986. Considering that most beauty products still use animal cells, this company’s use of EGF from plants is very forward thinking. The plants they use are grown in Iceland and are watered with natural Icelandic spring water, all in sustainable greenhouses. There are no preservatives, fragrances or unnecessary chemicals. You simply apply two drops of this serum (they say two to three but usually two is plenty) all over your face and neck and that’s it - you go to bed. In the morning, you wash it off and go about your daily cleansing routine. Quite simple and very effective.


4. Protection - La Colline Swiss Riviera Global Anti-Pollution Emulsion

My last winter ‘must have’ is this lotion - for use during the day. You apply it in the morning, following your cleansing routine and after you apply moisturizer and sunscreen. Think of this as your last layer of defense again all harmful effects of the pollution around us. I live in Vancouver, and while it’s a gorgeous city with lower levels of pollution than most metropolitan areas around the world, it’s still a place where cars and industry dominate. This is a light lotion that you apply to seal in that final layer of moisture while providing a barrier to things like lead (when you’re sitting in traffic). 

There you have it - my absolute winter ‘must haves’ that I swear by. Check them all out - use one or all of them. But do pay special attention to your skin during this chilly winter season - your skin deserves it and so do you.