By Kathy Kitzmiller

Happy January, my beauty loving friends! I am back this month, keeping with my “winterize yourself” theme—can we hashtag that? Tom and Donna style? #WinterizeYoSelf

Making It Up As I Go Along | Winterize Your Skin

This month I have wrangled my magnificent friend and esthetician, Charlotte Fraser, for a couple of questions on keeping your face fresh during the harsh winter months.

Hi, babe! I am so excited to have you with me this month. Esthetician—can you tell us all what exactly that means, what you do and what brought you to this line of work?

Great question! Estheticians take care of the health and beauty of the skin. A lot of people correlate us to a dental hygienist: You see us for regular skin maintenance and health, versus seeing the dentist or dermatologist once a year for a big checkup. We also specialize in waxing, makeup application, being cosmetics buyers, even restoration work (aka, putting makeup on dead people at funeral homes). I’ve been interested in skin care my whole life, mainly because I’ve had to use it most of my life: I had super oily skin and breakouts in kindergarten. Needless to say, I’ve tried about everything under the sun when it comes to skin-care lines. Rather than simply having it be an interest, I decided to make skin care my livelihood.

Talk to me about basic skin care. What are your three must-have products for your face?

The three must-have products that everyone needs are a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. A good cleanser will lift dirt, traces of makeup, and bacteria without stripping the skin of its needed sebum. If your face practically feels like parchment when you’ve cleansed, your cleanser is TOO STRONG! I’m in love with Origins’ Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil. Oil cleansing is a wonderful way to get the crud out of your pores while still keeping it hydrated. Simply take a pump of oil in dry hands, rub it on your dry face, focus on areas with makeup, breakouts, or anywhere that needs attention. Take a hot, steamy wash cloth, wipe the oil off (use a good bit of pressure) and voilà! Your skin should feel soft and clean.

Next, toner. People have been back and forth about toner, but it’s a crucial step. Your skin needs a 5.5 pH to stay nice and healthy, and a cleanser will typically throw it off balance. A toner for your skin type will balance the pH back out to a manageable, healthy level. Thayers Alcohol-Free Cucumber Witch Hazel toner is so lovely. Plus, you get a decent sized bottle for around $10! Cucumber is very soothing to the skin, being gentle to both breakouts and parched skin.

Last, moisturizer. Yes, even those of us with oily skin need moisturizer. It prevents TEWL, or transepidermal water loss, which leads to dehydrated skin. In oily skin, dehydrated skin leads to even more oil production! You want something that sinks right into your skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. There are a lot of fancy-pants moisturizers out there, but I’m a sucker for Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Soft Creme. It seriously works on just about everyone and hydrates the deeper layers of skin to ensure your moisturizer actually lasts.

There are really three rules everyone should follow.

1) Take. Off. Your. Makeup. I don’t care if you have porcelain-smooth skin because it won’t stay that way if you sleep in your makeup! Makeup will settle into pores and actually stretch them out, cause breakouts that can lead to scarring, and keep your skin from having a break to breathe. Plus, dirty makeup pillow case? Ewww. It can be as simple as a makeup remover wipe (even the Kardashians use plain ol’ Neutrogena makeup remover wipes), but get it off!

2) Wash your face twice a day. I don’t care how tired you are when you get home from work! Your skin is the largest organ of your body and your body’s first defense in warding off illness. Take care of it!

3) You get what you pay for. While there are lots of beauty bargains out there, don’t expect to pay $4 for a face wash and have your skin love it. Invest in yourself! You deserve it.

What about your must-dos? Do you keep a routine for your face?

I keep a pretty intense routine for my face that’s based on the Korean 10+ Step system. Now before you freak out, no, I don’t do all 10+ steps all the time! I always take off my makeup, cleanse, tone, use a serum, and moisturize. Klorane Floral Water Makeup Remover with Soothing Cornflower is first to get the majority of eye makeup off. I do the coveted Korean double-cleanse to ensure my skin is totally clean: first I use the Origins cleansing oil I mentioned earlier, and then Boscia’s Detoxifying Black Cleanser with my Clarisonic. My skin always feels AMAZING afterward!

Next, I kind of play around with toners. I love L’Occitane’s Angelica Face Toner. While it’s definitely on the pricier side, I’ve made one bottle last a year. Then comes a serum. I have LOTS of travel sized serums from Birchbox and Sephora, so I’ve been using a sample of Boscia’s Tsubaki Beauty Oil. Just a drop or two is all you need. It’s potent and makes my skin glow.

Finally, moisturizer. I’m hooked on Air Repair, a line made for skin that’s been suffocated by airplane air. Their Complexion Boosting Moisturizer makes my skin feel like it can actually breathe! I also do a spot treatment with doTERRA’s HD Clear Essential Oil Blend for any breakouts that come up. It zaps them away and helps with even the toughest stress breakouts.

My skin takes a beating the winter. Summer, I’m so fly, but come winter, I get dull and dry. I feel like I have to walk around with lotion just sitting on my face sometimes. My face wash is amazing (Younique Clean), but I need help! Help me, Charlotte! Help me get my fresh skin back!

Ahh, the winter dullness. Girl, I feel you. There are two major things you can do to help yourself. First, exfoliate. Everyone should exfoliate once a week. If you want a budget-friendly scrub, take some coffee grounds and a lightweight carrier oil, like jojoba, until you get a good scrub consistency. Scrub your face with your fingertips, and then rinse off. Your morning coffee just got even better.

Then, you’ve got to make sure you’re using a hydrating mask probably once or twice week to sleep in. Pure aloe vera gel is an awesome choice. I use Aveda’s Intensive Hydrating Masque that’s full of aloe, rose water, and lavender to soothe and calm my skin down. Slather it on and go to bed. You’ll wake up with skin that’s chock full of hydration. If you want to go DIY, then some pure aloe mixed with rose water and your favorite essential oils would be awesome. Bergamot and lavender are two that are pretty much universally good for everyone.

Do you have tips for keeping skin fresh in the winter time?

Another Korean favorite of mine is a mist. It gives you a spark of hydration and soothing ingredients to help your skin look and feel fresh. Get a refillable perfume atomizer for your purse from Bed Bath & Beyond, fill it with your favorite toner, and voilà! Pocket mist!


Okay, peeps! You have been armed with the best information possible to beat your winter skin! Go #WinterizeYoSelf!



Charlotte Fraser is a 25-year-old esthetician, graduating from The Aveda Institute. She’s engaged to be married this October, is obsessed with huskies, is straight up in quarter-life crisis mode, and loves pretty much anything that could be considered creepy. Visit her at




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