Happy holidays for those of you that are celebrating, and Happy Winter to all in the northern hemisphere!
This time of year can be simultaneously joyous and stressful for a lot of reasons. For all the things that have to get done during the holiday season, one thing that I never have time for is taking care of my skin.
As I’ve mentioned before, my skin is normal to dry type. The “dry” is especially emphasized in the winter months, mostly plaguing the skin around my nose and the backs of my hands. Not only are these chronically flaky areas unsightly, they also are rather uncomfortable and can expose my skin to breaks, increasing vulnerability to infection.
Over the years I’ve become better and better about taking care of my skin. I’ve tried many products of a wide range of prices, but have gradually narrowed down my routine to a few choice items. Here’s what I’ve been loving this year:
For extra-dry areas:
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: If you’ve read my review of the First Aid Beauty Facial Cleanser you’ll understand why I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this product. I use this all over my face and hands during the day and overnight. Within a minute my skin is left softened, even the scaly bits of dry skin. The formula is thick and will stay in place to provide extended hydration. It is fragrance-free and won’t irritate the skin. Unlike the facial cleanser, which had a plasticky smell despite being labeled “fragrance-free”, this lotion has a much more pleasant “unscented” scent. Try out a sample at your local Sephora or Ulta to see how well it works for your skin!
For the body:
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion: A popular product and favorite of dermatologists for its irritant-free formula and low price tag. During the rest of the year its adequate for use all over my face and body, but in the winter prefer to use it only for the body. I find that its lotion formula is just not thick enough to hydrate areas that are exposed to the elements, i.e. face and hands. Conversely, it still works very well over the rest of the body which spends winter covered up. You probably wouldn’t want to use the more expensive stuff to cover larger areas, anyway. For maximum results, apply directly after showering or bathing.
For the eyes:
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye: It wasn’t until about last year when I began to understand the importance of protecting the skin around your eyes. It is an area of especially thin skin that tends to be drier than the rest of the face. It is for this reason that facial signs of aging tend to show up here first. There are many great eye treatments out there besides this one, so shop around for something that fits your budget.Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, so even a little pot will last you for a while. Look for something a little heavier so that it can be worn overnight. I try to use this nightly in the winter, applying a thin layer in the undereye, inner corner, and outer corner areas.
For the lips:
Skoah Lip Love (Mint): The good news is that I could probably use this stuff for the rest of my life. The bad news is that you can only get it with the purchase of a Skoah facial (which cost about $80 a pop). Something this exclusive must be good, right? Due to its inaccessibility I won’t go into too much detail about it, other than that its the perfect texture and mintiness, and keeps lips soft for hours at a time. Instead, I’ll offer up this alternative Skoah lip balm, which seems to be quite similar to Lip Love with the added benefit of SPF 30 (although I have yet to try it myself!).
With a little bit of love and care, we (and our skin) will survive this harsh winter together!