Moisturizing skincare products that are essential for cold weather
We have you covered for your winter skincare needs.
By Samia Abbasi, Editor
With the weather getting colder in the Bay Area (that’s 45-50° F for us…) and with hormone fluctuations, my skin was not happy with me—at all. It was dry, patchy, and irritated with painful cystic acne breakouts. I took a step back to rethink my skincare routine and did what I often do to learn more about skincare: I read some Kulfi Bites articles. I found a treasure trove of hydrating products recommendations and skincare tips by a variety of South Asian women that I wanted to share with you. Read on to see what hydrating skincare products our Kulfi community loves, especially during winter weather. At the end of the article, I share what steps I took to nurse my skin back to a more balanced state and soothe those angry cystic pimples.
Affordable Pick: E.l.f. Super Hydrate
“E.l.f. Super Hydrate ($12) is an incredible gel moisturizer which has key ingredients such as Squalene and Vitamin B3, which are incredible ingredients for dry skin. I use it every night as a deep conditioner for my face. Through this, I wake up to a face that is hydrated and feels moisturized! This product can also be used as a overnight mask for extremely dry skin." —Badhon Tithi, @astrobadhuny
Read our Career feature on Badhon here: How Badhon Tithi finds balance with Aerospace engineering, art, & makeup.
Morning & Nighttime Pick: Laneige Water Bank Cream
“Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream ($38) is my go-to moisturizer, and it truly allows my skin to feel hydrated and use less products such as foundation, concealer and setting powder. Given that I am focused on keeping my skin healthy, a hydrated base is my key to an easy application!” —Aliya Varma, @asapaliya
Read Aliya’s Beauty article here: Finding makeup products for my undertone empowered my beauty journey.
A New York-based Model’s Picks: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, Sunday Riley Vitamin C + Turmeric Oil, & Weleda Skin Food Cream
“Hydration is key, especially when I’m at home in New York or in countries with colder climates. So, I layer The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5 ($6.80) and Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil ($40) and top it off with the Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra Rich Cream (18.99).” —Natasha Ramachandran, @natasha_ramachandran
Read our Beauty feature on Natasha here: Inside a model's beauty routine with Natasha Ramachandran.
A Sustainable Beauty Content Creator’s Pick: Lush Moisturizing Bar
“For moisturizer in London, I would alternate between the Lush Moisturising Bars, which are actually so cool because it's a zero-packaging block of moisturizer that you can just rub on. Even though it can be so cold in London, the warmth of my skin would make the bar glide.” —Dhwani Kathotia, @mylittlecupboard
Read our Skincare feature on Dhwani here: Dhwani Kathotia on creating a sustainable beauty routine.
Hydrating Mask Pick: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
“My favorite face mask would have to be Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask ($48). It’s such a versatile product! It can be used as a moisturizer, an overnight mask or just a quick, 10 min mask. It’s very hydrating and soothing and always leaves my skin feeling so soft! Every time I use it, it makes my face look instantly alive.” —Ria Biyani, @rithink_skin
Read our Skincare feature on Ria here: Content creator Ria Biyani's journey toward healthy, nourished skin.
Eye Cream Pick for Busy People: OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
"Virgos like myself tend to be workaholics, which can be both good and bad. Running on minimal sleep is often part of Virgo culture. Therefore, I highly recommend OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème ($39). This immensely hydrating and brightening eye crème is a staple in my daily skincare routine." —Zenab Kashif, @zk.captures
Read our Astrology Beauty Gift Guide here: South Asian content creators tell you what to gift each Zodiac sign in your life.
A Beauty Editor's Travel Essential Pick: Embryolisse Lait Crème
“For me, the key to packing beauty products for a trip is to minimize the amount of space I use and maximize how much I use them. Something like Embryolisse Lait Crème ($28) is great, because it works as a moisturizer, face mask or a hand cream.” —Mishal Cazmi, @mishalcazmi
Read Mishal’s Career article here: Mishal Cazmi on how she became a beauty editor & magazine founder.
Pick for Eczema-prone and Dry, Patchy Skin: Topicals Like Butter & Eczema Honey Skin Soothing Cream
“Topicals Like Butter Hydrating Mask ($32) really changed my eczema experience. Knowing that this product was designed with eczema and dry skin in mind, I immediately felt the difference in the way it nourished my skin. Instead of feeling like my eczema had flaked off and would eventually come back, my affected skin areas felt truly moisturized. My skin absorbed Topicals rather than just sitting on top of the affected area.” —Zehra Naqvi, @zehra_hk
“Eczema Honey Original Skin Soothing Cream ($29.95) has a soft, honey-like texture and provides a protective barrier for your eczema flare ups. My abu uses the skin soothing cream for very dry patches of skin on his hands and feet. This works especially well for dry patches if you put it on overnight and cover the affected area with cloth, gloves, thick socks, etc. It also comes in a nut-free version.” —Samia Abbasi, @samiabossee
Read Zehra & Samia’s Skincare article here: Best eczema-soothing creams by BIPOC-owned brands.
My Skincare Routine: Re-balancing my dry, cystic-acne prone skin with products I have at home.
After getting skincare inspiration from the lovely Kulfi community, I realized I had pretty much everything I needed to treat my dry skin and cystic acne.
I had to be more proactive about my skincare routine by layering on moisturizing and soothing products.
Here’s my current skincare routine:
Cleanser: I remove makeup with Up & Up Micellar Water ($6) and gently cleanse with Eczema Honey Gentle Oatmeal & Lavender Soap ($8.95)
Serum: I pat Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed ($27) into my skin. This serum does have noticeable cologne-y, green tea scent, and I wanted to note that for folks who might have sensitivity to scented products
Moisturizer: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($11.99) is my favorite moisturizer for morning and night! It’s so lightweight and blends into my skin so nicely. I make sure to take some on my pinky and blend it gently on my eyelids and under-eye area, where I’ve been experiencing a lot of dry patches
Face Oil: I rub Majestic Pure Rosehip Oil ($14.98) into my skin, especially my cheeks. I use this mainly to reduce the appearance of acne scarring, but it’s also great for its moisturizing properties overnight
For active pimples: I cut small patches of Hydrocolloid Band-Aids ($4.29) and place them on my active cystic acne. I wear hydrocolloid patches often at nighttime and shamelessly during Zoom calls. When I feel a cystic pimple coming on, putting an ice pack on it for 10 minutes on and off is helpful
For pimples that are healing: I learned of Hero Cosmetics from the Kulfi team and started using their Post-Blemish Rescue Balm ($12.99) recently. My cystic acne takes about 3 weeks to heal, and the rescue balm has been helping!
Twice a week: My cousin Arifa, who is one of my beauty role models, gave me this Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask ($55). I use this about twice a week, especially when my skin is really dry or irritated/red. Ingredients such as aloe, cucumber, and chamomile make this mask super refreshing to use after a long work day
Amongst seasonal & hormonal shifts, I’m learning to listen to what my skin needs every day and nourish it accordingly.
All in-article images are from brands’ websites. Images enlarged to show details.