Save face: Drugstore picks for healthy, hydrated skin

Winter is around the corner. Luckily, so are these skin-savers!

Winter is around the corner. Luckily, so are these skin-savers!

Welcome to almost-winter, pretties. It's that dreamy land of cozy sweaters, warm wools… and dry, patchy skin! Once the temperature dips, most of us are faced with tight, irritated moisture-zapped complexions with no end in sight for at least six months. Sigh.

To counteract the drying effects of the cool air — not to mention the brutal forced air heating inside most buildings — we hit up our nearest drugstore for the essentials to hydrate and care for your face from now well into winter. Apply now, thank us later!

In the clear

It's crucial to use a gentle cleanser that won't strip your visage of its natural oils, especially now. In addition, makeup artist Jordy Poon, a Cetaphil brand ambassador, recommends using lukewarm to cool water when washing your face, as well as laying off of harsh exfoliators in the fall, to help from causing any unwanted irritation. And with clients like Katy Perry, Lily Allen and Jenna Dewan Tatum, we trust him when it comes to healthy skin advice. Bonus: Cetaphil is made right here in Canada.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, all major drugstores, Walmart, Amazon, well.ca, $19.99 (500 mL)

Seal of approval

Created as a sister line to Rodial (the cult brand that introduced the beauty world to the Bee Venom and Dragon's Blood lines), Nip + Fab takes the research from it's older sibling and applies that knowledge to its collection highly effective, concentrated lotions and potions. We love Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads, which come as a two-month supply (hello bang for your buck!). They help to brighten and smooth out the complexion thanks to witch hazel and blue daisy extracts. And Kylie Jenner is a massive fan, so there's that.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Daily Cleansing Pads, Shoppers Drug Mart, $12.95

Makeup on, makeup off

If you need some extra help removing your perfect smokey eye and that long-lasting red lipstick, and you want to be as gentle on your skin as possible (really, who doesn't?), lean on Marcelle's newest Micellar Solution, now perfected for oily skin. Along with wiping away stubborn makeup, this gentle wash will tackle excess sebum and other impurities in the skin, without drying or irritating your complexion thanks to aloe vera juice and witch hazel.

Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution, marcelle.com and select drugstores, $20

Brighten up

Vichy's latest is a highly concentrated vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum, made to brighten, smooth and lift. With 15 percent pure vitamin C, this wonder elixir also contains vitamin E, and Vichy mineralizing thermal water, which all act to help fade dark spots, hydrate and provide firmer skin within just 10 days. If you have never used a C serum before, be prepared for a little funk—they work really well, but do not smell great.

Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C with Hyaluronic Acid Brightening Skin Corrector, www.vichy.ca and pharmacies, $45

Power booster

The first sheet mask from Clarins (which covers face and neck with a biodegradable fibre sheet) works to lift and plump the complexion, with the help of harungana extract which is known to target a key element in the dermis that promotes denser skin by increasing the production of collagen. Each mask has the equivalent of 30 mL of high-powered serum and any excess serum should be patted into skin after its 15-minute use.

Clarins Super Restorative Instant Lift Serum Mask, at select drugstores across Canada, $22 each or $110 for a box of 5 masks

Night repair

If you're looking to take your brightening strategy up a tick, add in a retinol product. This one from NeoStrata contains hyaluronic acid to help hydrate skin while it exfoliates. Also, make sure to follow the instructions—use every other day for two weeks to help skin build up a tolerance to retinol, otherwise you may be faced with tight, red patches. After those two weeks though, expect to see spots slightly faded and wrinkles a little less prominent. Hallelujah.

NeoStrata All-In-One Night Serum, available at drugstores across Canada, $89