Winter Skincare Favorites
I enjoy many aspects of winter. After all, Christmas, knitwear, cozy comfort food, and cocooning are some of my all-time favorite things. Not to mention the fact that winter is drunk bath season. Joy of joys!
With that said, my skin does not love winter. In fact, it HATES it. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m a delicate flower with incredibly sensitive, rash-prone skin that enjoys playing games with me despite my best attempts to treat it with extreme TLC. My skin starts straight up panicking the minute the temperature drops below 60 degrees, so you can imagine what happens when winter hits its full, bone-chilling stride in NYC. Throw some good old polar vortex winds into the mix, and it’s game over for my epidermis. If I didn’t take the necessary precautions (read: slather myself in all manner of hardworking products), I’d have to introduce myself as Freddy Krueger from November through April. Fact.
While I’ll never completely crack the winter skin code (like I said, my skin looooves to screw with me), I have slowly built up an arsenal of products over the years that help keep my redness/flakiness/dullness/rashiness in check during the winter months. I’m sharing my favorites today in the hope that you may reap some of their moisturizing benefits this season. Whether you’ve got scaly hands, cracked lips, eczema, or your face is peeling off, I’ve listed my best remedy recommendations below for your skin soothing experimentation.
So, without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to my winter skin saviors!
My Favorite Winter Skincare Products:
1. Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. This oil! It’s a dream. I prefer a gentle oil cleanser during the winter months, and this one instantly dissolves my makeup (including waterproof mascara!!) and leaves my skin feeling silky and supple rather than tiiiight. It also love the smell—floral but not grossly perfume-y.
2. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum. I discovered this serum about 2 months ago, and I never want to be without it again. Packed with plumping hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and soothing grape water, it absorbs quickly and weightlessly, leaving my skin instantly softer. (I use it after my vitamin C serum and before my moisturizer, which penetrates infinitely better.)
3. Honest Beauty Deep Hydration Cream. I always have a problem with cream moisturizer sitting on the surface of my skin, but this one penetrates really well. It’s rich but not overly greasy and keeps flaking at bay. Not to mention the fact that it’s all natural and reasonably priced. HALLELUJAH. Also great for dudes. (Logan’s been using it for years.)
4. Mother Dirt AO+ Mist. I started using this probiotic face mist last winter in a last ditch effort to help clear an inexplicable (and annoyingly persistent) face rash. Not only did it help soothe my angry skin, it also had a fabulously clearing and balancing effect. It’s been a staple in my daily skincare regime ever since, and I’m particularly grateful for its magic during the colder months.
5. Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial. Winter means more dead skin build up (yay!), so regular exfoliation is extra important. Given my sensitive skin, I tend to forego physical exfoliants (i.e. scrubs) in favor of their chemical counterparts. I’ve tried various enzyme and acids, but I always return to this cult classic mask, which doesn’t irritate my skin and gives consistently glow-y results. It stings a little bit for about a minute after applying, and it does leave me slightly red afterward, but the next day? BABY FACE. Use a thin layer, and be sure to follow it with plenty of moisturizer or face oil. (For the record, my second favorite chemical exfoliant is True Botanicals Resurfacing Moisture Mask.)
6. Youth to The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil. I’ve tried many a face oil over the years, and this all natural formula is a favorite for wearing either on its own—it leaves me dewy—or patted over a cream moisturizer for an extra boost of hydration. It’s reasonably priced, smells delightful, and doesn’t clog my pores like many face oils do (including my beloved Goop oil).
7. Meder Masque Hydra-Fill. This supremely hydrating sheet mask is a winter game changer, people. After 20 minutes, my dry skin is noticeably soothed, plumped, and vibrant, and I look like I’ve spent the day at Tribeca MedSpa (a girl can dream). With that said, it’s absurdly expensive, so I save it for special occasions/days when my face is about to peel off from the cold. I look forward to the future when I make that Beyoncé money and can don these masks on the reg…
p.s. I feel it is important to note that this sheet mask has ear slings to secure it to your face. I believe all sheet masks should have this feature. Let’s start a petition.
8. Dr. Hauschka Hydrating Cream Mask. This luxurious cream mask calms redness, smoothes dry patches, and generally helps repair skin from seasonal havoc at a semi-reasonable price point. It also doubles as a heavy duty moisturizer/night cream when you’re in particularly dire straits.
9. Eczema Honey. So, I have mixed feelings about this stuff. I know many peeps who tout it as their holy grail product, but I can’t say that it’s had any noticeable effect on my body eczema. HOWEVER, this is the only product that I’m able to put on my eyelids/eye area when they’re extremely dry or eczema ridden that instantly soothes them and doesn’t burn. That alone is a miracle.
10. Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream. This one’s for my fellow rashy peeps! I picked this cream up on a whim at CVS a few weeks ago, and it’s provided so. much. relief. It soothes my dry, itchy, sensitive skin like no other body lotion I’ve tried. But be warned, it’s pretty thick and rather tacky. I recommend going to town with it at night and only using a tiny bit in the mornings. (I made the mistake of going HAM and then trying to pull on jeans the other day. Never again.)
11. Weleda Skin Food. I love this rich cream for my dry hands and patches of dry skin on my body. My skin literally eats it up, and while it’s a little bit sticky, it’s worth it for the gloriously soothing hydration. I do occasionally use it for dry patches on my face (and I often pat some on my cheekbones/brow bone as an alternative to highlighter—do it!), but I avoid my T-zone because it clogs ze pores. With that said, I have friends who use it as a daily moisturizer with no breakouts, which I’m jealous of because of its affordability.
12. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1. As soon as December rolls around, my lips require a perpetual slick of heavy balm at all times to avoid cracking like crazy. I’ve been a die-hard fan of this super emollient salve since high school, and it rarely lets me down. If my lips are feeling particularly parched, I make a scrub with a little bit of coconut oil and sugar to exfoliate the dead skin (I’ll just massage it into my lips with my finger or a soft bristled toothbrush) and follow it with this balm.
13. WATER. Drink it, dammit! One tried and true (and nearly free!) method to help keep your skin hydrated and dewy this winter is to drink some water. And then drink some more. xox, Captain Obvious
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