Skincare Wardrobe: Winter Moisturizers for Combination/Dehydrated Skin

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5 Best Winter Moisturizers for Combination Dehydrated Skin Type | Sisley Sisleya L’Integral Anti-Age, Kerstin Florian Correcting Rescue Creme, Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream, Nooni Advanced Repair Therapy Super Revitalizing Cream, Rodial Dragon's Blood Sculpting Gel
My skincare knowledge has come a long way since I bought my first jar of Garnier moisturizer back in middle school. I used to believe that one product is all I needed [magazines told me so!], and I faithfully used that cream until the jar is empty before buying a new identical one. Almost two decades forward, I realize that, perhaps, it wasn’t the best approach. Thankfully my skin is not too angry at me for years of semi-negligence that sprawled from lack of information. After all, I made an effort and I meant well, so that has to count for something! Today I wanted to share that knowledge with you, in hopes this post may help someone correct their routine and get closer to achieving your ideal complexion. 

First things first: I have combination/dehydrated skin type, and I live in Michigan, a state with very specific climate. It wasn’t until I got interested in Korean skincare that I realized I might need a skincare wardrobe, because my skin definitely did not act the same way during different seasons. When you think of combination skin, you probably imagine it to be on the oily side, right? In fact, sometimes it’s hard to tell combination skin from oily skin, because our sebum production sprawls out of control. There is a number of factors why that happens, from medical to environmental. However, at certain times combination skin can mimic dry skin, especially when exposed to prolonged periods in dry, windy environment. To put it bluntly, combination skin is an annoying beast that constantly demands different things.

5 Best Winter Moisturizers for Combination Dehydrated Skin Type | Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream

If you live somewhere with a stable climate and minimal seasonal weather change, like Seychelles or Spain’s Tenerife island [you lucky ducks!], then you could probably get by with just one all-season routine. Where I’m from, the temperatures range from mid 90s in the summer to below zero in the winter, plus we constantly experience changes in humidity. As soon as I realized that I needed to line up several products and pick among them daily [that’s why it’s called skincare wardrobe], depending on the weather and my skin’s current mood, I saw immediate positive results.

I do plan to sort of make a series of skincare wardrobe posts to show you different products I’m using that season, because if I shove everything into one post, it would be far too long and nobody wants to read that. Today I will be covering my wintertime moisturizers. All of these have been in rotation for a while [some are soon to join the empties pile], and they are 100% approved by my combination/dehydrated skin.

5 Best Winter Moisturizers for Combination Dehydrated Skin Type | Sisley Sisleya L’Integral Anti-Age

FOR DRY SKIN:

When my complexion is looking particularly dry, tight, and flakey from dehydration caused by spending too much time with indoor heating, it’s almost impossible to believe that I actually have combination skin type. Usually the dryness is caused by over-exfoliation, insufficient water intake, and sometimes stress. There are currently two products that have proven themselves as the perfect problem-solvers. My biggest issue with rich moisturizers is that they are often too heavy for my skin type. It’s quite hard to find one nourishing enough to help address the occasional dryness, but not too rich that it will clog the pores and cause breakouts.

The one I’ve been using the most is Sisley Sisleya L’Integral Anti-Age, a luxurious moisturizer that comes with a price too steep for us, mortals. However, I felt I had to include it in the roundup, because it had played a key role in my winter routine and I used it so much this year that the jar is nearly empty. This is the richest product my skin can tolerate without breaking out, as it balances right on the edge of being too heavy. I use it on the days when my skin gets incredibly dry, and it restores the supple appearance immediately, with long-lasting results that persist for days after just one application.

The majority of the formula consists of botanical oils, butters, waxes, and extracts, so it’s very much a natural product with minimal additives. It looks more like a paste that needs to be massaged into the skin for complete absorption. Even though it may feel heavy, something about this cream makes it non-comedogenic. Sisley claims this breakthrough moisturizer targets all of the factors that contribute to premature skin aging, including your climate and lifestyle choices. All things considered, I think it’s doing a great job for a product that doesn’t increase cell turnover, and I am a little sad that a) I’m about to run out and b) I definitely won’t be able to repurchase. You can read my full review here, if interested.

Kerstin Florian Correcting Rescue Creme is one of the newcomers on my vanity, and I knew it would be joining the lineup the moment I slathered it on my face. The cream looks deceptively light, but the moment you spread it on the skin, you realize how balmy and rich it actually is. There is no greasiness to it, but it definitely feels heavy at first, until my skin drinks it up. I also really like the natural fragrance: it reminds me of freshly cut leaves. It’s very relaxing! The formula contains ALA/GLA fatty acids, Vitamin E, shea butter, and various botanical extracts that quench the skin with moisture and provide soothing, nourishing, and anti-oxidant properties.

The brand is not very well-known in the US, but they are pretty famous in Europe. In fact, I used their products back when I lived in Moscow and I remember being very happy with everything. Kerstin Florian is a line of holistic skincare with environmentally-conscious approach to all aspects of their business, from ingredient and production selection, to printing methods, and even office lighting and climate. Now that’s what I call dedication!

5 Best Winter Moisturizers for Combination Dehydrated Skin Type | Kerstin Florian Correcting Rescue Creme, Nooni Advanced Repair Therapy Super Revitalizing Cream

FOR NORMAL SKIN:

You know, sometimes you wake up and your skin is just fine. Like, it’s just chill and cool and you kinda want to hang out with it. After using products for dry skin listed above, I get more of these good skin days than you’d think. Basically, when my face feels fairly hydrated and supple, but could use a little something something just to seal in my serums and provide a good base for makeup, I go for products that are lightweight, slightly balmy, and moisturizing.

Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream was formulated for combination skin, and this has to be one of the best products that actually balances out this tricky skin type. Every time I apply it, I feel like my face is evenly hydrated throughout, with less oil production in the T-zone and more supple moisture in the driest spots. The fragrance is fairly strong, so if you are not into bitter lemony scents, this would be one to avoid, otherwise it’s just a wonderful aromatherapy experience that I love to indulge in. This 100% natural formula contains melissa and witch hazel to balance oily areas and control shine, as well as daisy, anthyllis, and carrot extracts to soothe and nourish the dry spots and help the skin retain moisture.

Dr. Hauschka is a natural skincare brand that taps into the power of botanicals using only the best and most effective ingredients. Nowadays the lineup includes a comprehensive range of at-home skin solutions for all skin types, a full makeup collection, and potent cosmeceutical treatments for professional use. If you visit dr.hauschka.com, you can find a super helpful online test that will help pick out the products for your skin type and concerns. By the way, I am currently testing out an herbal serum from Elemental Herbology [I will tell you about it in another post], and I randomly discovered that it works really well with Melissa Day Cream. I am really stoked to have found this combo, together they make a great team!

Also worth mentioning Nooni Advanced Repair Therapy Super Revitalizing Cream that I am actually about to finish. This gel-cream formula has very delicate texture that reminds me of Greek yogurt, and it spreads on the skin like a dream without making my pores feel congested. It’s quite viscous, so you can layer more or less product to get the desired amount of nourishment. I use a spatula to measure my perfect portion – usually a pea-sized scoop is what it takes to make my skin glow. The formula includes Centella Asiatica extract to treat redness and breakouts, Calendula to calm irritated skin, nourishing Evening Primrose oil, and Ceramide complex to make the skin’s surface smooth and silky. I want to note that this is not a moisturizing powerhouse. Nooni’s new Super revitalizing Cream does make the skin’s surface look soft and velvety smooth, but it won’t quench it with moisture, so I definitely would only recommend it for normal, combination, and oily skin types.

Nooni is a Korean company that belongs to Memebox family of brands, and their skincare seems to be quite popular. The company’s name stands for “one that is as pure as snow”, with products that utilize the so-called magical Asian mineral water from Chojungri. Koreans love products that have a bit of a quirk to them, whether it’s a very exotic component or a special locale where the ingredients are harvested, so the inclusion of rare natural mineral water is a major selling point of this line [that seems to be working].

5 Best Winter Moisturizers for Combination Dehydrated Skin Type | Rodial Dragon's Blood Sculpting Gel

FOR OILY SKIN:

This doesn’t happen often during the winter, but sometimes my face flares up and turns into an oil slick. I don’t know why that happens, it could be my diet, stress, hormonal, or some other underlying condition, but when it does, I would always panic and try to dig out my summertime moisturizers to use. The oiliness manifests in very greasy forehead, sides of the nose, and even apples of the cheeks that are usually on the normal side. My pores look enlarged, and my makeup just melts off around lunch time, or sooner.

There is currently only one product I use to address that concern, but one is enough. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel is a lightweight moisturizer, an anti-aging treatment, and a skincare primer in one. The star ingredient – Dragon’s Blood – is actually Croton Lechleri tree extract, which helps reduce inflammation and redness, typical for stressed and sensitive skin. Other noteworthy ingredients include Collageneer that makes the skin appear firmer, Pomegrante Extract that I dedicated an entire blog post to because it’s amazing when applied topically, and Commiphora Extract that reduces the appearance of fine lines over time.

With a name like that, I expected this moisturizer to be red or brown, but it turned out to be this milky, bouncy concoction that spreads over the skin like butter. I am already a huge fan of Rodial makeup, and you probably saw me feature their products on Instagram recently, but now I’m hooked on their skincare as well.

5 Best Winter Moisturizers for Combination Dehydrated Skin Type | Sisley Sisleya L’Integral Anti-Age, Kerstin Florian Correcting Rescue Creme, Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream, Nooni Advanced Repair Therapy Super Revitalizing Cream, Rodial Dragon's Blood Sculpting Gel

Depending on my skin’s condition that day, I would pick one of the above to apply in the morning, and follow up with the same cream in the evening. I also always layer my creams with SPF during the day, as some of these products may contain oils and extracts known to cause photosensitivity. Don’t be alarmed though, I can almost guarantee all of you are using at least a one or two products that also cause photosensitivity, you just don’t think about it. Everything that exfoliates your skin in any way will do that, whether it’s a scrub, a body lotion with any kind of citrus oil, a product with Retinol or another form of Vitamin A, brightening serum with Niacinamide, those super convenient AHA peel pads, or maybe your favorite toner with Salicylic Acid – they all make your skin more susceptible to sunburn, so it’s wise to be safe and wear SPF30+ daily if you want to keep your skin looking younger.

Do you have a skincare wardrobe? What are your current favorite moisturizers? Let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer!


Disclosure: This post features products received for editorial consideration and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.

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  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    Very interesting post. Though my skin is different from yours, there are some similarities that make some of your choices intriguing to me. The Sisley & the Kerstin Florian especially

    • I think you would love both of them! They just feel so luxurious, nourishing, and velvety, regardless of your skin type.

  • I don’t have a skin wardrobe. But I should. I typically use a handful of different cleansers/scrubs/toner but lotion, I guess I haven’t found the perfect one yet.

    • I’m sure it’s just a matter of trial and error, you’ll find your perfect moisturizer soon enough 🙂

  • Shelley Polarbelle

    I always learn so much from you about skincare. I wish I could plug a flashdrive into your head and download your skincare knowledge into mine. I really enjoy reading these posts. My current favorite healing moisturizer is Malin & Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer.

    • Happy to share my knowledge! If I’m ever in the area, we could get together for coffee and you can pick my brain about skincare if you want 🙂 I tried the moisturizer you mentioned, actually my hubs liked it a lot so I gave it to him. It’s nice for combination skin!

  • My skin is so dry – I should definitely check out your dry skin recommendations.

    • Make sure to also add jojoba oil to your routine – it’s perfect for dry skin, especially in the winter!

  • It sounds like our skin-type is very similar. I have combination skin, but with the Ohio winters, you’d think I had dry skin. Demanding!! Thanks for the great suggestions in this post!

    • You’re very welcome! And I know what you mean all too well, this northern climate really does a number on one’s skin.

  • Naked Without Polish

    Great post! Still haven’t found my unicorn moisturizer. I have one that doesn’t make me break out so it works until I have the funds to go bonkers to find the perfect one.

    • You could go to your local Sephora or Nordstrom and ask for some samples of products you’re interested in. The associates are always so helpful!

      • Naked Without Polish

        Both of those places are almost 2 hours away and too pricy for me. I tend to stick to things I can get at Target or similar stores.

  • Dying to try the dragon’s blood just for the name itself!!

    • The name is definitely intriguing! There is no actual blood in the cream though, haha 🙂 It’s just an extract of a very exotic tree.

  • Dragon’s blood. I need to try this. (Not because I’m obsessed with dragons. 😉 ) I do have a skin care wardrobe, I curate products that work for my skin and cycle them in and out of my routine, depending on my skin’s needs that day.

    • No wonder your skin looks so great! Way to go, Erika 🙂 And you should totally give the Dragon’s Blood moisturizer a try. Maybe get a sample next time you pass by their counter? I know they sell at Belk, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

  • LittleNuclearReactor

    I tend to have dry and dehydrated skin and have been working to build my skincare wardrobe. My current fav moisturizer is the Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream! Have you tried it?

    • I tried Miss Flower & Mr Honey, and it’s amazing! I would have definitely included it in my roundup if I still had any left. Easily one of the best moisturizers I’ve ever used <3

  • BeautyJudy

    I only have a skincare wardrobe by accident. I tend to buy things when my skin needs them, so I have a variety of things I lean on when I need to. I never thought of this as one cohesive “skin wardrobe,” but I think this would sound better to my husband than being a product junkie 🙂

    • That’s a great way to build a skincare wardrobe! Now you have a moisturizer for every occasion 🙂

  • Stacie Wacie

    During most of the year my skin is oilier than a rag in a mechanic’s shop, and I’ve kind of given up on trying to tame it. I think heat and humidity causes it and, in Florida, there’s nothing I can do about it. I am curious to try that melissa cream though.

    • If you email Dr. Hauschka customer service (email can be found somewhere on their website), they will be more than happy to send you some foil samples to try. Definitely request the melissa cream, it’s perfect for combination/oily skin.

  • marciaf

    Before blogging I didn’t have a variety of skincare items either. I stuck with Clinique for years and then moved to LaMer. My skin protested big time but I rode it out and saw a difference. After that I became open to the many wonderful brands available. Your choices sound perfect for our mercurial Michigan weather.

    • La Mer range is pricey, but very gentle. Even though I don’t buy the miracle broth schtick, I think their products work really well for all skin types, even sensitive, and that’s worth something. I think you would like some of the creams in my lineup above, they’re MI-approved 🙂

  • Beautometry

    Glad to know I’m not the only one that has different skin types depending on the weather. Winter I tend to be drier whereas in the summer my skin tends to be more oily.

    • You’re definitely not alone, and I know how hard it can be to keep up with your skin’s ever changing demands. One day it begs for moisture, and another day you break out because the product is too heavy. #skincareproblems 😉

  • Kristi Vasquez

    I like the term wardrobe for your skin. 🙂 It’s true – you really do need different products by season. 🙂

    • I wish I could say I came up with the term, but alas it wasn’t me, haha! I believe the term originated in Korea, where they take skincare very seriously.

  • I do have a huge skincare wardrobe as well. Actually, there are days when I use different products for specific areas of my face. I like mixing it up! And that Rodial Dragon’s Blood is one of my favorites of all too!

    • That sounds like my kind of routine, Stacie! Glad to hear you are also loving Dragon’s Blood moisturizer, it’s such a unique and effective product that I am now recommending it to my friends and family left and right 🙂

  • I keep trying to find a combination that works well for me. I also have combination skin and that plus a very humid climate is miserable.

    • I hear you! Finding a routine that works for combination skin can be so challenging, considering there are many types of combination skin to begin with. I think my skin suffers the most in humid environment, it’s hard to find products that will keep it moisturized without making it all shiny and sweaty. I plan to keep up with this series, so there will be another post on moisturizers in the summer. You can check it out then and see if I found anything that works well for us.

  • I need to get that rodial moisturizer ASAP — it sounds exactly what I need for my oily mess 👍🏼

    • Oh, it’s really wonderful! Definitely a must-try, and I think it can work for all skin types.

  • I think that Rodial would be perfect for me!!!

    • My skin is loving it for sure! So far the products I tried from this brand were all impressive, but I didn’t try very many yet. I hope the trend continues 🙂

  • My skin needs all the help it can get – Will have to try these!

    • Haha, mine, too! This is the first year when my face feels super dry, and I just didn’t even know what to do. Glad I found all of these!

  • I have combination/dehydrated skin too and it’s a pain – especially with our fluctuating Canadian weather! For the longest time I always used lotions for combo/oily skin and my face felt tight and dry. It’s only recently that I’ve starting using more oils and such, My face looks and feels better now and it doesn’t seem to get quite as oily in my T zone (which it was obviously compensating for the lack of hydration). I have taken note of that Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream, it sounds wonderful!

    • I feel you, Chantal! I am originally from Russia and yet my skin has never been so finicky as it was this winter in Michigan. I think we all go through that stage of using the same product for a long time after our skin’s needs have changed. Dr. Hauschka Melissa cream is a wonderful moisturizer that can get you through different seasons; I think it’s even light enough for a not too hot summer. I am loving it so far!

  • Becca Faceache Catlett

    My skin has suddenly become oily again out of nowhere, I’m back to combination skin! x

    • I know how you feel, my skin is going all kinds of crazy this winter. I hope you found products that work for you, too!

  • FairyTales Nails

    These sound really lovely I’m having issues with achne atm 🙁 stupid winter x

    • Acne is so tough to deal with 🙁 When I get the dreaded pimples, I usually scale down my routine to the very basic cleanser/BHA toner/moisturizer + spot treatments.