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layering skin care products

Winter can be drying, and sometimes one moisturizing product isn’t enough. We don’t need to tell you that. We’re the generation that has to keep our tween siblings and daughters away from the skincare aisles at Sephora.

Most of us have been inundated with enough skincare marketing at this point to understand the basics of a good skincare routine, but — thanks in some part to the dominance of Korean beauty over the past few years — there are a few tricky skincare products like essences and milks that take a bit of getting used to. In these dry winter months, that can confuse or dehydrate skin, it can be nice to stack in a few more layers to help skin stay its most supple and comfortable self! Here are our absolute faves…

ILIA Beauty The Base Face Milk | Clean makeup darling ILIA now makes a few makeup-friendly skincare products and they’re all fantastic. The Base Face Milk is brand new and perfect for the season. A lightweight, hyaluronic-based “milk”, this stuff is just what layered skincare is about. Shake the bottle, tap a few drops into your palms and press into the skin for a light quench your skin will drink in and then apply your cream or oil over the top. When summer comes the milk could be enough on it’s own!

BIOEFFECT EGF Hydrating Essence | No, it’s not a toner and it’s not a serum either. Essences may seem completely superfluous to your routine — until you try one. A few watery drops of Bioeffect’s Essence pressed into the skin gives the skin a dose of the brand’s Barley EGF – a moisture-binding and skin-rejuvenating “signaling protein” that has us hooked on this full line of products. The Essence has been a winter MVP, adding a layer of softness, moisture and calm without any heaviness. Layer under moisturizer and serums (and under the milk if you’re layering up or down).

Glow Recipe Watermelon Toner | Speaking of Korean beauty, Glow Recipe is one of our favorite brands in the genre. There are so many stars in the brand’s line up, but none more culty than their Watermelon products. If the ideas o all these moisturizing layers already have your oily or combination skin in a panic, consider this gentle toner that’ll gently support regular exfoliation to help with skin cell turnover and clear pores. Non-stripping with a gentle dose of skin-loving hyaluronic acid.

Osea Hyaluronic Sea Serum | A moisturizing serum is probably the most familiar of skincare layers. Used just under your regular oil or moisturizer, a hyaluronic acid has become the modern girl’s non-negotiable. The light, gel-like Sea Serum is best in it’s category and utterly addictive. A few glassy drops underneath your cream will change the way your skin feels big time — especially if your skin just never feels supple and moisturuzed.

Tower 28 Beauty SOS Daily Rescue Spray | If you get too involved with all these moisturizing layers, Tower 28 can help set your skin back in balance. This soothing and calming spritz goes on just after cleansing. It’s made with one superstar ingredient: Hypochlorous Acid. Hypochlorous acid is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial substance that fights redness and irritation and helps defend our skin from bacteria. On days that your skin is feeling irritated or break out-prone, try layering this spritz in before you apply your products.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner | Another skincare ingredient that deserves it’s trending status, niacinamide is the base for this brightening toner from transparent skincare brand, Good Molecules. Together with licorice and arbutin, this toner is a gentle, daily brightener that helps with a smooth, even skin tone and to diminish the appearance of pores. It gets hundreds of glowing reviews across several shopping platforms.

Read Next: 4 Winter Skincare Rituals We Swear By From Facial Steams To Oil Baths

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