Lisa’s Winter Skincare Routine

April 30, 2021 (updated January 20, 2023)

Say hello to my current anti-aging skincare routine. I update this post quarterly so it continues to reflect what I am currently using and loving—be sure to check back! Here’s what’s giving my skin its glow this winter.

My glowy winter skin.

By: Lisa Fennessy


This post is beneficial in a couple of ways. First, let’s be honest—I get to try A LOT of product. Some things I try once or twice and others take up residency in my skincare routine. Some products I enjoy, but I wouldn’t purchase again; others I rave about and would purchase a million times over.

To help paint a picture of what you are seeing here, let’s create a TNK skincare-usage taxonomy, or hierarchy, if you will.

RELATED: My guide to the best skincare routine for your skin type.

TNK hierarchy of skincare

1 | Rave-worthy, scream it from the rooftops, saw a difference in my skin, will repurchase again and again. (Think Maya Chia’s The Straight A, ILIA’s Fullest Volumizing Mascara or 100% Pure Eye Gels.)

2 | Loved it while it lasted and would repurchase. Gorgeous products that offer skincare benefits, work and have a beautiful sensory experience. This category is robust!

3 | Enjoyed it while it lasted but won’t repurchase. There is definitely a category of products that are “fine” but just don’t stand out in any special way for me. This category is also robust.

4 | Liked it, but probably wouldn’t recommend it. This category is reserved for items I enjoyed but I would not recommend because maybe the scent profile is too specific, the packaging is off in some way or it didn’t deliver consistent enough results.

5 | Didn’t like it, wouldn’t recommend it. This category is reserved for items I personally didn’t enjoy or that just didn’t work for me.

What you see in this post is what I would classify as a level 2 (unless otherwise noted). Loved it and would repurchase. It’s items that are currently taking up residency and most likely what I will use to the end. I hope that sharing my current skincare routine will help demystify what an effective skincare routine can look like and hopefully inspire yours.

RELATED: Your guide to a nontoxic personal care starter kit & the best skincare routine for acne.

What’s up with my skin right now

I don’t know about you, but this winter my skin is craving all the hydration. It’s so bad right now, sometimes I reach to my face to check if I applied moisturizer or if I forgot. Part of this is because it’s been so cold in Atlanta (one day it was even -1 with the wind chill, which has NEVER happened in the 6 years I’ve lived here).

The other part is I don’t drink enough water. 🤷🏻‍♀️

And the other part is I’m trying a new retinol which is turning my skin over FAST, leaving it a bit on the dryer side. 

I love using a retinol because it changes the skin on a cellular level, including the clinical improvement of fine wrinkles, stimulation of collagen, effectiveness in the treatment of aging and photoaging. And I especially love using a retinol in the winter because I’m outside less and generally exposed to the sun less and I feel like I get better results during this time of year. 

Right now I’m trying Marie Veronique’s Multi Retinol Night Emulsion and it’s WOW. Marie is calling it the first microbiome-friendly replacement for prescription retinoids. It delivers 2 types of retinoids: an encapsulated retinol as well as retinyl sunflowerseedate and pairs them with bakuchiol (a plant-based retinol-like active). 

Marie says, “This load-sharing, synergistic approach makes MULTI-RETINOL NIGHT EMULSION a much stronger all-round age delayer than simply opting for a higher percentage of retinol.” 

My take? It’s strong and it works. It also feels really good on my skin—I’m talking within the first day or two my skin felt really soft and smooth. I found myself just feeling my face because it felt so good, lol. l also like how moisturizing, rich and creamy it feels going on too. I started out using this nightly but I had to scale back because I could really feel it. 

I’m also relishing in all the BLÜH ALCHEMY. It feels like an absolute treat to go back to one of my favorite lines and just let it do its magic. I love their Toning Elixir, which is SUPER HYDRATING, delivering the power of a face serum but in a mist form. 

And speaking of massive hydrators, I’m OBSESSED with Alpyn Beauty’s Triple C Bounce Cream. It’s made with over 50% aloe vera and it’s a BEAST at not only delivering hydration but also at keeping it in. My skin feels so plump and happy and bouncy. I’m scraping the bottom on this one (there’s a reason this made my top products of 2021 list). 

Okay, here’s what’s working for me this winter.

RELATED: Have sensitive skin? Check out Nicolle’s sensitive skincare routine.

Morning Routine 

  1. Leahlani Pamplemousse, 3.38 oz | $56
  2. BLÜH Alchemy Toning Elixir, 3.4 oz | $54
  3. BLÜH Alchemy Multi-C Serum, 1 oz| $140
  4. Alpyn Beauty Triple-C Bounce Cream, 1.7 oz | $49
  5. Le Prunier Plumscreen SPF, 2 oz | $78

Save: Use Code TNK15 to save 15% at BLUH Alchemy.

Evening Routine 

  1. Leahlani Pamplemousse, 3.38 oz | $56
  2. BLÜH Alchemy Toning Elixir, 3.4 oz | $54
  3. Marie Veronique Multi Retinol Night Emulsion, 1 oz | $135

Save: Use Code TNK15 to save 15% at BLUH Alchemy.

RELATED: Best tips from an esthetician to reduce wrinkles.

If you are on a skin hydration journey like me, hook yourself up with some of these mega hydrators and be sure to report back—I want to know what you end up trying and liking! 

xo, lisa in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply

    Tracy DeFreitas

    Le Prunier is the best, and their packaging, it should cost more just for that alone and the smell, no words.

    1. Reply


      Tracy knows!!! I’m so glad you are loving it. I sometimes use it on my boy’s face’s too and they always say, “MMMMM, is this the plum one??” It really smells amazing.

  2. Reply


    Great post! I love reading about other women’s skincare routines!

    1. Reply


      Thanks Valerie! I’m loving this current routine! Have you tried anything here! xo, Lisa

  3. Reply


    Love the blog! I basically am going to copy and paste this to my vanity!!

    1. Reply


      Ha ha! Hi La’Tasha! Awesome! So glad this was helpful! xo, Lisa

  4. Reply


    Huge fan of yours and I am constantly buying your recommendations!!! Do you like Le Prunier better than True Botanicals Radiance Oil? I am torn😬

    1. Reply


      Hi Naomi! I get this question quite a bit actually! I like them both for different reasons. Le Prunier is ONE INGREDIENT skincare where True Botanicals is several ingredients. It’s like eating an apple vs. eating a salad. Which one is better? Depends, right? I have seen beautiful results with both oils. Le Prunier is a bit more moisturizing for my skin and I really like that. Pure Radiance delivers a totally different set of skin fortifying vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Honestly, I would say pick one, try it and in three months, try the other! See what you think. Maybe save the Le Prunier for the winter. You really can’t go wrong! xo, Lisa

  5. Reply



    I know you said that you ran out of your Straight A Serum, but where in this lineup would you use it? Before the Moth Bean Mask, in lieu of it?


    1. Reply


      Hi Megan! TSA is an oil so you can use it in two ways. You can sub it for your serum and then apply a cream over it. OR you can use your fave serum and sub it for your face oil as I find it to be moisturizing enough on its own. Very versatile! Hope this helps! xo, Lisa

  6. Reply

    Yoanna Gerwel Federici

    Hi Lisa, thank you for this great post!! What do you think of Marie Veronique Gentle Night retinol serum? Thx, Yoanna

    1. Reply


      Hi Yoanna! I’ve tried that formula too. Fantastic ingredients and I love recommending that line because it is essential oil free which a lot of people value. As far as the retinol goes, it’s just not as strong as say The Straight A or the retinol in African Botanics for example. In The Straight A you will see retinol listed as the second ingredient where as MV lists it as the very last. We know that proper labeling means ingredients are listed from highest percentage to lowest. And this correlates with my experience too. I didn’t see results with MV like I did with The Straight A. More here!

  7. Reply


    Thank you, Lisa. Very, very helpful! Take care, Yoanna

  8. Reply


    Last month, I finally threw away my Curology and started looking for a replacement. I purchased Maya Chia’s The Straight A for Christmas based on your recommendation, and now I’m obsessed. I’m still searching for a good exfoliant, so maybe I’ll try the one you suggested.

    Also, I’m not sure if I can make a manuka honey mask. I’d eat it! I supplement with a tsp a day for gastro issues. Works great.

    If you haven’t tried it yet, Mad Hippie is an amazing budget-friendly brand. The most expensive product is $34.99. And most importantly, products last a long time. I’m still using the face cleanser and toner I bought on October 1 at Whole Foods. And I just ran out of the moisturizer a week ago.

    1. Reply


      Hi Lisa! So glad your are loving The Straight A. I am a LIFER! lol. Thanks for the recs! xo, Lisa

  9. Reply


    Hi there…I always want to but everything on your lists! Such amazing recommendations and most of the ones I have tried are staples.
    Question about the Odacite’s Blue Aura Cleansing Water…you said “It’s a natural version of micellar water”. Is micellar water not natural? Thanks, nlford

    1. Reply


      Hi NLFord! Some micellars can contain fragrance or questionable preservatives…it’s always worth a look at the ingredient label before buying ; ) xo, Lisa

  10. Reply


    Good Lord that’s a lot of stuff! And money.

  11. Reply


    Hi Lisa,
    What is the strongest Vit C that you have tried and felt has worked? Thanks!!!!

  12. Reply

    Brooke Ellison

    This list is so helpful, although long and a little on the pricey side for all 10 products, I’m excited to incorporate

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Brooke! Make sure to download our Big Book of Swaps which lists options for both luxe and budget picks in all’s so good! xo, Lisa

  13. Reply


    Thank you so much for this! Have you ever tried Pratima’s products from NYC?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Amie! I haven’t…are they worth a try? xo, Lisa

  14. Reply

    Leianne Burge

    Hi Lisa! I’m new here, just found you and love all your info. At 60 and slightly oily, I still tend to breakout. I’m very diligent to clean and hydrate, and various other steps morning and evening, but oils are scary for me because of my breakout issues. A little history, I tried the Clinique balm and loved the texture but I broke out. I even took a break and gave it a second try but it doesn’t work for me. Any suggestions for the older, but oily and still acne prone?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Leianne! So glad you are here! Okay first I would ask what you are cleansing your skin with. I would recommend shying away from anything foaming or stripping and replacing that with a cleansing oil (these are my faves). This will help regulate oil production as stripping the oils during cleansing can cause skin to overproduce. After cleansing, make sure to mist your face so you are applying your moisturizer over damp skin – this helps to actually hydrate the skin. For a moisturizer I would recommend Prima’s Afterglow (ORGANIC20 will save you 20%) – it’s a cream so I think you will love it more than an oil. If this routine works for you, be sure to come back when you are ready for a refill and I can recommend a beautiful oil to will be ready by next time! xoxo, Lisa

  15. Reply


    Which Face oil do you like more- maya chia super couple or true botanicals pure radiance?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi RJ! This is like choosing which child I like better – lol. I say if you have tried one of these, go ahead and try the other. You really can’t go wrong with either but your skin might like one better than the other and they are truly both worth a try. If you haven’t tried either then I would say try The Super Couple first ; ) xo, Lisa

  16. Reply


    Wow! I’ve been researching organic skin care for mature skin for weeks. It’s very stressful, so I appreciate all your suggestions! I don’t see a Vit C serums? Are there any you’d recommend….. or do you feel it’s not necessary?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Lora! I love a good Vit C serum and I rotate them in and out—mostly because there is so much I want to try but I only have one face, lol. I would recommend this one and this one. xo! Lisa

  17. Reply

    Leianne Burge

    Hi Lisa! We last corresponded on November 11-12 but I wasn’t able to link into that thread so I’m starting a new one. You ask about my cleansing. I was using Clinique mild foaming cleanser until reading your reply and researching from there. I switched to maya chia oil cleanser which I LOVE! I never imagined I could use an oil being sensitive to breaking out but it is amazing! Then I also switched to osea cleanser that I also love. I actually started with this one and saw immediate results. Very impressive. Then purchased the maya chai. Both are lovely! I’m now ready to move to a moisturizer day/night/eye etc. I think you mentioned Prima Afterglow which I haven’t yet purchased. I currently use dermalogica day which I’m not dissatisfied with but I feel there could be something better, and exuviance night which has really been a blessing in settling my skin down at the end of each day. Again I feel there could be a better choice. I love hearing your suggestions and they have been perfect so I’d love to hear more. Thanks again!

  18. Reply

    Kelly Liddell

    Hi Lisa! I currently use true botanicals chebula serum and then add vitamin c powder to my renew oil. If I used maya chia’s ARC would i still need to use true botanicals chebula oil? Where would the arc fit into my daily face care routine? Thanks!

  19. Reply


    Hey Lisa,

    To say I’m overwhelmed is an understatement. I love your blog and everything I’ve read so far. I’m 55, never was a big fan of wearing a lot of make up nor have I ever had an extensive skin care routine. I find myself getting lost in what’s best for MY skin vs what everybody else does. Currently I rinse my face with just water, apply a serum, then moisturizer. If I happen to wear makeup, I do use a make up remover towelette, rinse and so on. I find that you don’t get a straight answer from the dermatologist either. I have been looking for more clean based products, which is what brought me to your page. I am very intimidated by all the steps that’s been listed in your skin care routine. And confused with what should be applied and when…. I live in central Illinois climate, so dry in the winter and humid in summer. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Patti! Yes! A basic skincare routine for day or night would be: cleanse, tone or mist, serum, moisturizer. That’s it! This order will prioritize small molecule before larger molecule, add hydration and help to lock in moisture. xo, L

  20. Reply


    Thank you for all the work you’ve put in! I find this post very helpful. By the way, I read in one article ( that retinoids can be very effective in resisting skin aging. But I also heard that they are quite harsh. What do you think about this?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Totally! There are several different kinds of retinol at varying strengths and compositions. I break it all down in this post with a recommendation and before + after pics for my top rec. Hope this helps! xo, L

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