So, What are the New Essentials?
1. A SUPER-Cleanser
Remember the obsession with double, even triple, cleansing? Well, that’s over. Every time you wash, you strip away moisturising lipids and weaken your skin’s protective barrier. “Studies show that washing your face three or more times a day can actually cause acne and irritation,” says Dr Shari. The latest multi-functional washes are just as effective as the double-cleanse method—they melt away make-up, dirt, and oil—but without all the negative side effects. And some, like Neutrogena’s, contain a patented cleansing technology that contains hyaluronic acid, which helps in cleansing effectively while protecting the skin’s barrier to help lock in hydration.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel, Rs.670.
2. A Custom Moisturiser
Serums and moisturisers should come with a warning like ‘layer at your own risk’. Best case, their non-compatible ingredients cause products to pill (you know, that ball-up-on-your-skin thing) or cancel each other out, rendering your fancy routine ineffective. Worst case, mixing all those actives can cause a
rash or peeling. Clinique’s new system removes the room for error. First, pick a hydrating base (there are three choices: lotion, gel, or jelly) and one of five active concentrates (basically a serum). Then pop off the top of the base, inject the serum capsule, seal it shut, and apply both with one pump. For colder months, Dr Shari -suggests a humectant-based moisturiser made with glycerin and hyaluronic acid (like the jelly option), paired with an antioxidant (like green-tea extract in the Fatigue Concentrate) to defend skin from the sun’s UV rays and pollution.
Clinique iD Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly and Active Concentrate Cartridge, Rs.3,800.
3. A Priming Oil
Skincare should be applied by texture, from lightest to thickest—and oils are always the last step, says Dr Shari. Why do you need one? They’re loaded with nourishing fatty acids, which seal in your previous products, reinforce a healthy skin barrier, and lock in moisture—all super-important during the winter months. (Side note: If you’re acne-prone, look for one labelled non-comedogenic.) Indulgeo Essentials’s Rose Gold Oil contains pure 24k gold flakes that absorb right into your skin, and comes with anti-ageing benefits thanks to ingredients like pumpkin seeds, Vitamin C, and zinc in the formula. Bonus, it also primes skin for make-up by creating a silky-smooth finish. Indulgeo Essentials Rose Gold Oil, Rs.1,280.
Why a Little Is the New a Lot
All skin types get drier and duller in transition weather. The old solution—layers of essences, serums, lotions, and creams—isn’t just a time suck, it’s potentially problematic too. “The more products you apply, the more difficult it is for their ingredients to penetrate and make any difference,” says derm Shari Marchbein, MD. The new fix? Skip care: nixing the unnecessary stuff and using more effective multi-taskers instead.
PSA: Don’t Forget Sunscreen!
In the morning, there’s one addition to this three-step routine: finishing with an SPF 30 (or more). It’s a must, 365 days a year, says Dr Shari. “UVA rays, the ones responsible for skin ageing and skin cancer, are as strong in winter as they are in summer.” When it comes to layering, opt for a mineral formula (look for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). Unlike chemical versions, which need to reach the skin to work their magic, physical ones can sit on top of everything. Another VIP: iron oxide, proven to protect from HEV light, the ageing blue light your smart devices emit. This one has it all.
The Glow Boosters
These multi-taskers will boost the texture of your skin, revealing a luminous complexion.
Swipe it on with a cotton ball after washing to nix dead cells, stimulate new ones, and give skin a dose of antioxidants.
Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Resurfacing Water, price on request.
This pulls double duty as it’s picked with Dreamserum (a melt-in serum, with green coffee and green tea leaf extract) and Dreamseal (a moisture boost of hyaluronic acid and mozuku green algae) that’ll leave you with plump, hydrated skin overnight. GlamGlow DreamDuo Overnight Transforming Treatment,
THE TRENDY PRODUCT THAT’S JUST NOT WORTH IT
“If you want to pamper yourself, fine—but from a skincare perspective, it’s absolutely unnecessary,” says Dr Shari.
À LA Carte EXTRAS
Flaky cuticles, lips, and eyelids will love this all-natural healer. It contains hydrating heroes like shea butter and urea that sees off dry patches easy-peasy.
Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, Rs.1,390.
Thin under-eye skin is prone to dryness and fine lines. This lightweight but supremely hydrating gel cream containing French grape polyphenols fixes that.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Fresh Anti-Ox Grape-Seed Hydrating Mask-In Eye Gel, Rs.499.
Cut the chap once and for all by replacing your regular balm with a mask. This gel-type mask perfectly sticks to lips and provides a cooling effect, instantly healing dry lips.
Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch, Rs.270.