Where I live, it's ridiculously cold. I'm visiting Georgia at the moment, and it's much milder, but there's still heat in the house that can really take a toll on the skin.
In the summertime, I'm pretty lax about my skin. I generally just wash it at night, slap on some light moisturizer, and go to bed. But in the winter, my skin goes nuts! My forehead gets insanely oily, but from my temples down, I'm dry as a bone.
I've only just figured out how to take care of my skin in the winter, and I'm happy to say that I'm completely blemish free and my skin is smooth and moisturized. I sort of want to sing a song about how I feel about that but I won't.
When I flew over here to Georgia, the plane dried me out. I kept using my same cleanser and moisturizer, and within two days my face was red, itching, burning, and it looked like I'd been slapped. I immediately ran to Walgreens to get some new stuff, and it worked like a charm.
If you have sensitive skin, I would avoid using what caused my irritation. I was using the Velocity cleanser and moisturizer from Mary Kay. It may not do the same to everyone, but fair warning! The day I stopped using it, my skin felt so much better.
Here's my new routine!
((Step One)) -- Clear
I use cheap-o face wipes from the drugstore to remove my makeup. If I have any stubborn eye makeup, I pour a touch of makeup remover onto the wipe. This saves more product than putting it on a dry cotton pad, because the wetness of the wipe doesn't allow the wipe to soak up all the liquid. The only wipes I wouldn't recommend are the Neutrogena and the Yes to Cucumbers ones. I've tried a ton of wipes, and these always burn the skin around my eyes.
((Step Two)) -- Purify
Next, I wash my face with a gentle cleanser. Aveeno and Burt's Bees are the most gentle, I've found. Right now I'm using the Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser and it's a holy grail product for me. It makes my skin ridiculously soft, and it doesn't make my skin tight, dry, or irritated. I use lukewarm water, because hot water dries out your skin and makes it more prone to irritation, and overly cold water is uncomfortable and makes my skin feel tight.
((Step Three)) -- Tone
I use a toner from a drugstore (Hema) in Belgium, so I can't really recommend it to you. But purchase one that's meant for dry, sensitive skin, even if you don't necessarily have sensitive skin. Toners can be harsh, and using something like Sea Breeze can really kill your skin and sting. I put mine in a spray bottle, spritz it on my face, and then wipe my skin with a cotton pad. This is my favorite part, because I'm weird. I like to look at the cotton afterward and see all the makeup that toner picks up from what the wipes and cleanser left behind. You'd be surprised! This also helps tighten your pores and even out your skin.
((Step Four)) --Moisturize
For my moisturizer, I use Aveeno Smart Essentials Nighttime Moisture Infusion. What a name, eh? I sometimes use this in the morning, too, because it's really thick, which I need. This smells amazing, and it really makes my skin feel supple. It takes a while to blend it in, but a little goes a long way and it's another holy grail product.
And then we're done! I know that this is more than a lot of people do, and for some reason, this often offends people. Look, you don't have to do all this exactly how I do it! You do what works for you. But I can't stand having blemishes and dry patches when I know there's something I can do about it.
I have a "no excuses" philosophy about my face. If you use soap and water to wash your face every night, you can't allow yourself to be frustrated that you have blemishes. It means that it's time for a change!
If you have really, really bad skin, ask your folks for a visit to the dermatologist. In this day and age, there's always something you can do. There's hope for your skin!
If you have any other questions about different products or methods, ask away!
You can change your skin. It takes some work, but what good thing doesn't?