That first cold snap of winter isn't just a sign to pull out your heavy jackets from storage. If you're anything like me, it also signals that your skin is about to start flaking and drying out like a piece of over-toasted bread. Not a cute look. After years of piling on the goopiest, richest, thickest face creams I could find (and seeing zero results), I made a stellar discovery: The trick to keeping my skin supple isn't in the products I use after I wash my face — it actually has everything to do with what I rub on before I cleanse. Once I started using cleansing oil to remove my makeup, I noticed that my face maintained major hydration long after I scrubbed it clean. My favorite bottle? Mullein & Sparrow's Cleansing Oil. The brand is known for its holistic approach to skin care, and makes its products in small batches in Brooklyn. What makes the cleansing oil special is its mix of ingredients: Black-cumin seed is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, which makes it great for treating fine lines and acne-prone skin. (Don't be afraid to put oil on your oily skin!) The hero ingredient, however, is frankincense, which also has anti-inflammatory qualities, in addition to being an antiseptic and a heady astringent. The result is an oil that actually cleanses, lifting away makeup and dirt as if by magic. Plus, the packaging is adorable, which helps make the daily chore something to actually look forward to. Since I have combination skin, I still follow up with a foaming face wash, but the cleansing oil is a brilliant first step. Aside from seamlessly removing my makeup, it also acts as a hydrating primer — preventing that awful, tight feeling from over-cleansing. Plus, because it thoroughly removes makeup and grime, my moisturizing products can penetrate better. Loading up on heavy creams is enough for some. But if you still haven't seen any relief from that route, I can't recommend Mullein & Sparrow's Cleansing Oil enough. It helps keep my skin smooth, and not greasy, all winter long. I can't imagine who wouldn't want that. Mullein & Sparrow Cleansing Oil, $28, available at Mullein & Sparrow.