Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter Skincare Update

Paulas Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Mask

Every winter, my skin transitions from dry to painfully dry and this year was no exception. It all really started the first week of November when I flew to Denver for my company’s client conference. That day, I left my home at 5:15 am to drive to the airport. By the time I touched down in Denver twelve hours later, my lips itched (from dryness) and my facial skin started to flake. The next morning, I applied my foundation and my face was so dry and cracked that I was embarrassed to go out in public. Dummy me had forgotten that I would be experiencing a triple whammy on this trip---cold, winter air, twelve hours in a plane or airport and the dry Denver climate!
extreme dehydrated skin
I did have my normal moisturizer with me, thank goodness, but it was not rich enough to take care of the problem. Since most of my coworkers (male and female) were complaining about the same thing, I was not alone. Fortunately, the hotel had a decent spa on site and I was able to get some sample packs of cream that helped the situation but I wasn’t out of the woods yet! During October and November, I traveled somewhere every week for six weeks so by last week, my skin was not in terrible shape but the dry airplane air wreaked havoc on my face (and I kept forgetting to pack my best skin potions). Finally, last week, I got serious and found a couple of skin products that I can’t live without—one is the Skin Actives Dream Cream (I reviewed it yesterday and you can read that post by clicking here) and the second one is the Skin Actives Every Lipid Serum (see my review here). This is, by no means, a post dedicated to Skin Actives---it’s just that these two products are, by far, the most effective weapons available to combat severely dry skin. As a result of this whole process, I thought it was time to post about how one can change their skin care routines to deal with everything that Winter throws at us. Here are my top tips:

1. Banish any product containing alcohol within the first couple of ingredients on the label, as alcohol can be drying. For me, this meant I had to switch up my acid-based toners. I had been using the Clean & Clear toner mentioned in this post. Fortunately, I still have my Biologique Recherche P50 1970 toner (see my review here) which doesn’t include alcohol but which does contain a few things that can potentially be drying so I have to watch that. If you can’t completely boycott toners containing alcohol, then only use them once per day and not twice.

2. If your skin is so chapped that it’s absolutely unbearable, apply a small amount of over the counter cortisone cream in the evening. I did this and the chapped, painful parts healed up over night.

3. Use a humidifier in your home or office (or both). Just getting some moisture into the air will help a lot as our heating systems really dry out the air.

4. Use something that puts the good oils back into your skin, like the Dream Cream and Every Lipid Serum mentioned above (you can purchase these products here and here. I get nothing from you purchasing them, in case you’re wondering. I just love these products so much and want everyone to know about them!).

5, If you’re not already doing so (and you should be already but I won’t chastise you too much), PLEASE use something that contains hyaluronic acid. I make my own serum and if you’re interested, read this post for directions on how to make your own.

6. If you fly a lot, apply moisturizer during the flight (and drink lots of water).

7. Stock up on your favorite lip balm (I like Burt’s Bees and the Korres lines) and use it.

8. If my face is drying out, my cuticles are too. I use a specially formulated hand and nail cream multiple times per day or a super-fatted face/body cream. Dream Cream fits the bill and works well on the hands!

9. Whenever I can, I also try to use an overnight mask (I’ve tried—but haven’t reviewed yet---masks by Korres and Kate Somerville. Paula’s Choice has a good one that I reviewed here) to add more moisture back into my skin. These seem to help a lot!

10. Last but not least, I have switched up my foundation to much more moisturizing formulas. Right now I’m loving the Clinique CC Cream and the Garnier BB Cream (the original one) because they are both really moisturizing. Today, I took delivery of the Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm and immediately applied some of it. It’s soooo hydrating! I will have to keep wearing it and report back in a separate post.
Tinted Moisturizing Balm
What are your best tips for dealing with dry, winter skin?? Please add your tips in the comments section!