It’s a drugstore classic.

By Claudia Fisher
Updated January 23, 2020
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As per usual, winter has brought along its unfortunate friend: cold weather. Cold weather, in turn, has proceeded to wreak havoc on skin.

Whether it’s causing rough patches or bouts of flakiness, basking in this level of chilly, dry air isn't doing your complexion any favors. You’ve probably already sampled your fair share of thick moisturizers and overnight creams trying to reverse the damage, but one skincare step that’s often overlooked when people are searching for winter saviors is the foundational one.

Facial cleansers have a major impact on your entire skincare routine—and if you’re using the wrong one, you could be setting the rest of your products up for failure (and wasting the time and money you’re investing in the first place). The wrong face wash can negatively affect the pH balance of your skin and leave your face looking more irritated than it would be with a gentler formula. Throwing off that balance with an overly drying face wash also hinders the efficacy of other ingredients in your products, like the AHAs and vitamin C you’ve diligently researched and carefully selected for your skin. Your face may have let you get away with a harsh cleanser in the summer, but that won’t cut it now that the temperatures have dropped.

The secret to keeping your skin’s moisture barrier strong all winter long while removing daily dirt and grime buildup might just be my tried-and-true $15 drugstore staple: CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin.


To buy: $15;

The cleanser is actually one of CeraVe’s original three products from its 2006 launch. This core set introduced the world to the brand’s restorative formulas that feature an innovative delivery system and a mix of three ceramides, fatty acids, and other skin-boosting lipids. Today’s version of the gentle cleanser also features hyaluronic acid, renowned not only for its skin-hydrating capabilities but also for its anti-aging benefits of plumping skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines.

Before you glob on that ultra-rich night cream or add a zillion balms and oils to your cart in the hopes of alleviating your tight, aggravated skin, consider changing your cleanser to CeraVe instead. It’s probably the easiest, quickest, and (not to mention) most budget-friendly way to give your winter-worn skin the much-needed relief it craves.