The secrets of my winter skincare routine!

Hi all! It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a new post here, but I’ve been doing K-beauty posts at work so I’ve had a little less time to post here. Please check out my work there too when you get the chance!

It’s that time of year where my skincare routine gets very long. Insufferably long, to some. If summer is about letting the humidity do its job to keep my skin happy, winter is about replacing everything it took away. As a sensitive skin type my skin requires more work in winter to feel good. However, since I’m already hiding in my house in fuzzy pajamas with a cup of tea, I’m in the perfect spot to do a long, uninterrupted routine.

My fiance and I recently moved and I got to set up my own bathroom (which I think of as the K-beauty bathroom). It’s pretty amazing to have a dedicated room in the house for just skincare. I’ve been testing some new products lately, so some of them are to be found here in my current round up. Luckily they are all ideal for dry, aging skin, so I’ll tell you more about them as I go!


This is the current routine from left to right (masks and weekly treatments not pictured), and the product list is as follows:

  1. Deep Cleansing Oil/DHC
  2. Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel/Paula’s Choice
  3. Time Revolution FTE Moist/Missha
  4. Bulgarian Rose Moisture Toner/Nature Republic
  5. Gokujyun Lotion Premium/Hada Labo
  6. Wonder Serum/D’Ran
  7. Pressed Serum Tundra Chaga/Blithe
  8. Pink Camellia Eye Gel/Blossom Jeju
  9. Super Aqua Moisturizer/Missha

You’ll notice there’s no double cleanse going on here. I did a test with it over the summer to see if my skin seemed majorly affected to me by only doing one cleanse. If I wear makeup that day, I do the DHC oil followed by a wipedown with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, which is a lot cheaper than Son & Park Beauty Water (which I love, but $$) and lasts a lot longer. Technically that’s a double cleanse, I suppose, but most days I do not wear makeup and on those I just use the oil. I find it’s more than sufficient, and let’s face it, this routine really does not need to be any longer!

Also returning from my spring routine is the Paula’s Choice AHA gel, which was the product that got me over my fear of actives (so glad that time is behind me). It’s mild and wonderful but it also gets results fast. I love the clarity and youthfulness it produces. It’s also a winner to me because of it’s reasonable price (about $28), how long it lasts, and that the company does not test on animals. I’d really like to try more Paula’s Choice products in future as this one has been a major winner.

When I got into K-beauty way back when, one of the cult products was the original Time Revolution FTE. I remember Soko Glam raved about this bottle of supposedly magic fluid that would speedily age your face backwards. It was so tall and pretty in its fancy glass bottle. Not only did I want it on my face, but I wanted it on my skincare shelf.

Not friendly to fingerprints, as you can see.

I was bummed when I finally did try the standard edition and didn’t feel I got a lot out of it. I’m not alone either – many K-beauty bloggers have expressed mixed feelings, although some love it as it has been called a dupe of SK-II’s famous (and famously expensive) First Treatment Essence. It’s a very watery product, and when I tried out the Moist version I was expecting something more like the change between Hada Labo’s regular (reviewed) and premium Hyaluronic Acid lotions. It’s a LITTLE thicker, but not much. And maybe I just use much thicker products these days, but it feels a little weak compared to the rest of my lineup. I’m actually planning a test with it this week where I only use it and no other products to see what the true result is really like. Anyway, I’m obviously not completely won over by it, but I’ll report back in the future. For now, it stays in the routine.

On a trip to New York last year (for K-pop, what else), I visited the Nature Republic store in Koreatown and was really amazed by their products. That’s why the Bulgarian Rose Moisture Toner is in my lineup here, and I intend to keep it in for as long as I can. I never used toners before I got into K-beauty, but now that I know that thicker toners exist I’m 100 percent on board. I love the gentle rose scent and it’s left me glowy all summer long, so I don’t see any reason not to take it along with me for winter. Plus, at $6.90 a bottle, you can definitely afford it.

I could talk about the Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium for the rest of my days on Earth, but suffice to say this product never leaves my routine no matter what season it is. If I could only take one product from this lineup with me, this is the one I take. It’s not for everyone, but if you have dry skin that is thirsty this is your best friend. As it’s a Japanese product it’s a little harder to score than a lot of the more popular K-beauty items, but if you have a Japanese grocery in your town look for it there. It’s a drugstore product in Japan, which also accounts for its fabulously low price ($11.80).

So I have my trusty Wonder Serum from D’Ran on hand, which is a fabulous hanbang product, but I have been swapping it out most days for the Blithe Pressed Serum, which was supplied by Glow Recipe along with the Pink Camellia Eye Gel (Thank you!). This is an incredibly unusual product. Despite it’s price tag ($49), I will probably rebuy it. I like keeping skincare inexpensive because there is so much out there that is so effective and cheap, and it also means I can recommend it and everyone can afford it. I would consider the Pressed Serum a splurge, but it’s a worthy one.


This serum is so rich that it can easily also do double duty as your moisturizer. If you do a sheet mask, for instance, and then this, you really don’t need anything else. It’s a powerful product, and I love the format. A little scoop of it goes a long way. The smell is just OK to me, but I pretty much forgot about not being wowed by that part of it because of its performance. Also, it’s so dense it lasts forever, and all you need to use is a tiny scoop smaller than a dime. Truly incredible.

If I do a sheet mask pre-serum, this is the end of my routine. But if I don’t, I’ll do a thin layer of the Missha Super Aqua to finish, which is a lovely rich cream. I don’t love it as much as I love my precious Miss Flower and Mr. Honey, but it does feel like relief on my face (which is pretty much how I decide if I am going to keep using a product). It’s also a lot less expensive at $36, so I would consider using it if I just don’t wanna cough up $49 for my fave (which at this point I just horde and use in little bits at a time).


Results! A happy, glowy face that looks and feels well moisturized. 40 has never felt better! I’d love to hear what products work wonders for you during the winter months, so please share with me in the comments. Happy skincare adventures and much love to you all!



[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.]




5 Comments Add yours

  1. choronghi says:

    I use that aha and fte too but not together since I don’t use AHA everyday (i rotate all my actives: aha, bha, vitamin c, retinol 0.1%) and I feel like i’m washing off the aha if i were to use fte after it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your routine. You made me want that pressed serum when I only thought “meh” of it before. For winter, I’m backing off Biore Watery Essence and using more moisturizing sunscreens instead. -Angela

    Liked by 1 person

    1. colettebennett says:

      I’m so glad you said that because it reminded me I need to look for a winter sunscreen – do you have any favorites to recommend? 🙂


      1. I’m liking Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk a lot. It dries down yet is moisturizing enough to replace moisturizer. It’s replacing my precious fave, Solanoveil Watery Essence, because the Solanoveil left my fave very very shiny.


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