The weather has gotten a bit colder and drier recently where I live. While I love winter and truly look forward to some great snowball fights, snowshoeing, and the hot cocoa to be had afterwards, it does wreak some havoc on my newly middle-aged skin.
I have been trialing several creams and potions the last several weeks, including some old friends and some new discoveries. My experiments have led me to a somewhat simple, yet effective skin care routine (that also happens to be composed entirely of drugstore brands). Here are the players:
The Evening Routine
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water
I have found that washing my face with soap at night tends to cause it to be dry and a bit tight in our current cold weather. This micellar water removes the small amount of makeup that I usually wear (see my 5 Minute Face here) and prepares my skin to accept moisturizers more readily. The addition of glycerin, niacinamide, coupled with the absence of harsh chemicals means that this is one of the few micellar waters that don’t need to be rinsed off after application.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
I was in love with the cream for so long (see that review here), I was shocked to find a product from the Cetaphil line that I liked even better! This lotion may be used on the body or face and is packed with moisture giving ingredients such as glycerin, avocado oil, and vitamin E. Even after experimenting with several fancy creams and oils recently, I find this to be the most comfortable lotion to wear. It feels as though it actually penetrates the outermost layer of skin and it leaves my face feeling very moisturized, yet not greasy (even until morning)!
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
I don’t usually use this on my face, unless the sides of my nose feel excruciatingly dry during a bout of the flu. Instead, I use it as a lip balm on really cold, dry evenings. It’s a bit greasy to wear during the day, but lanolin and panthenol help keep my lips from cracking overnight.
The Morning Routine
Queen Helene Mint Julep Scrub
I have vacillated back and for between this scrub and other (much more expensive) competitors for years. Yet I always find myself back to this one. The packaging has changed a lot over the last decade, but the product is just as wonderful as it was back then. Made with very finely ground walnut shell and glycerin (sensing a theme?), this scrub leaves my skin soft and smooth and not dried out at all. Because my skin tends to be sensitive, I use this every other day, in the shower, and alternate with the Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash.
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
This is another product that I have adored for years. It is facial wash that does not dry out my skin, and best of all, it doesn’t sting my eyes! I am an absolute Neanderthal while washing my face, with water and soap everywhere; highly fragranced or stinging facial washes only make me cry. This is my holy grail facial wash.
Kiss My Face SPF 30 Face Factor
Speaking of holy grail products, here is my favorite sunscreen for the last several years. It is moisturizing but not greasy. It has a physical sunscreen, but doesn’t make my skin any paler (ghostly) than it already is. It contains ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and (you guessed it) glycerin, that help improve the texture and appearance of my skin.
What more could I ask for?
Oh, it also layers under makeup perfectly and, dare I say, acts a bit like a primer! (It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, just in case that’s important to you.)
Nivea Moisture Lip Care
Nivea has released numerous lip balms over the years. None though, have I like better than this one! It is one of my favorites (as you can see here), so much so that I generally order the 6-pack from Amazon. It works great in the summer, and I find that it layers nicely under a gloss in the winter.
Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss
Another perennial favorite (review here), this gloss is a must-have for me in the winter months. Nothing seals the moisture into my lips and prevents chapping like this gloss. I suspect that the linoleic acid and the squalene do a lot of the heavy lifting here, but I also believe the petroleum/wax base does something to keep it adhered (even after coffee) and prevent drying. Even if I am forgoing makeup for the day, I still layer on this gloss to keep my lips comfortable.
There you have it; my current evening and morning skin care routine. It’s not fancy or complicated, though it is complete chance that it ended up being entirely drugstore products. These products are what is currently keeping my skin pliable and non-flaky this winter, and I highly recommend them all.
My skin care needs usually change with the season, so stay tuned for upcoming routines. What does your skin crave in he winter?
Stay warm, and stay cozy!
As fall turns to winter and the air gets colder, it’s time for me to look at my current winter beauty essentials and see if there’s anything I may need to edit or add. My beauty routines are adjusted from season to season because my skin tolerates different products according to changes in temperature and humidity. And, well, I also just love trying new products…
I have always been a big fan of drugstore products, and many of them have made their way into my beauty staples. That said, lately, as was the case this last fall, I have been increasingly tempted to explore some more luxury-type items. My skin has gotten a bit drier and bit redder, given the new lack of humidity in my neighborhood, so I am definitely on the lookout for some help in that area. And while my old stand-by blush has done me well for so many years, my aging skin is beginning to not tolerate matte powders quite as well as it has in the past.
Here is my list of candidates for this season:
Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour
I have played with cream cheek colors in the past, but they have always made my skin appear quite greasy (with the exception of some cream-to-powder formulations). This time around, though, I’m considering the effects of the current drought situation on my face and thinking that perhaps a creamier compound might actually be favorable. This one gets great reviews on Beautypedia and comes in great colors, even if only a few. (Review here!)
Nars Blush in Orgasm
Yeah, I realize I just moaned about how dry my skin is and how powders are starting to accentuate that, but I’m intensely hoping that the sheen of this product will give my skin some life, rather than dull it down. This is a cult classic, peachy-pink, shimmery wonder that has been on my internal wish list for a long time. We’ll see if I actually give it a try now. Two blushes on one list? I know, I know. Blush is my absolute favorite beauty product of all time! It honestly couldn’t be helped . . .
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 21
I haven’t ever been a big foundation addict. For the most part, I try to look natural and not draw too much attention in my daily life. I like to look pretty, professional, and polished, but I am quite fearful of looking too “done.”
I’ve seen many a Youtuber review this product recently, with mixed results (oftentimes disappointing those who are looking for fuller coverage). One thing they have all mentioned though, is how easily it blends. My hope is that it can disguise some redness and perhaps some pores, for a more finished (but still somewhat natural) look.
Sara Happ The Lip Slip® One Luxe Balm
A tempting-sounding combination of jojoba, macadamia, and sweet almond oils, among other things, this lip balm has already made its way into my shopping cart. I first heard MakeupByTiffanyD extol the virtues of this balm in a recent video on YouTube and the finish it gave her lips after application gave me great hopes! I am optimistic that perhaps it can handle my dehydrated aperture.
I haven’t yet decided on the brand, but I know I am looking for a pure, organic formula. I am inspired to try this for cleansing after watching Tasha do a video about her skin care routine on her family’s YouTube channel (in case you’re wondering, yes, I am a bit of a YouTube addict). Although she used olive oil, I am thinking that jojoba may serve dual purposes as both a cleanser and a moisturizer. I love ease and simplicity . . . and fewer bottles on my counter. I am also hoping the fewer ingredients will help calm my dry and finicky visage. As soon as I get my new night-time skin care routine figured out, I will be sure to post about it!
And there you have it: some of the items that I am looking forward to experimenting with this winter. Is it winter or summer where you are? What are you trying this season?
Peace to all. Stay cozy!
I have always been a bit suspicious of facial sprays, especially those that claim to do something. I’m really unsure why I became so curious about this one. Perhaps it was the stellar review on Beautypedia, or my current insatiable need for all things Clinique (nostalgia?). Whatever it was, I’m glad it worked.
This is a facial spray that may be used morning or evening, under or over makeup or other skin care. Firstly, I’ll say that the spray itself is surprisingly refined for a pump mechanism. I was preparing for a deluge, when what I actually received was a very light and refreshing mist. Impressive for a non-aerosol spray!
I have been using this spray as part of both my morning and evening skin care routines and I have to say, I enjoy it very much. Not only is it revitalizing in the morning and soothing in the evening, but it does appear to top off the moisture levels in my skin. The blend of glycerin, aloe, and vitamin E seems to impart the last bit of hydration that my skin craves. It dries fairly quickly (while I’m brushing my teeth), so I can commence my makeup routine just five to ten minutes after application. (This is not a fixative spray and it does not make my makeup last longer…just fyi.)
Will this spray change my skin? Probably not, honestly. However, it does feel good to apply, and it does soften my skin just a bit beyond the ability of my arsenal of creams and lotions. If you’re looking for a facial spray that is refreshing a lightly softening, I highly recommend that you try this one. I have enjoyed it so much that I have already spritzed away almost one-third of the bottle, after just 2 weeks! Maybe I can see if they make a larger size…
*This product was on my Fall Beauty Wish List.
Thanks for stopping by! Stay cozy!
Cold weather is coming. The autumn equinox has happened, a chill has returned to the air, and winter is on the way. Something happens to my skin in the fall, it seems to sense the change in the weather a week before, and it begins to dry out. This is the time of year when an old friend of mine re-enters my life after our hiatus of spring and summer.
My trusty Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is my skin care workhorse during the cooler months.
I discovered this product several years ago when my son was an infant and suffered from mild eczema. In addition to using the prescription creams we were given, we were also tasked with diligently applying a fragrance-free moisturizing cream twice a day, every day. This led to auditioning countless creams and lotions with the hope of finding one that would actually retain moisture in my son’s skin. This was one of the first few we tried, and it was the one we always went back to after every subsequent failure, until we finally decided that no other cream worked better for his particular skin.
Being the mother of an infant at the time, my own evening skin care routine went from a 5 step process in the sanctuary of my bathroom to a 2 step process that occurred wherever my son was. Baby wipes and Cetaphil cream. It wasn’t glamorous or even necessarily what these products were intended for, but this combination worked beautifully for me then, and does now, especially in the winter months.
My face specifically can get very dry and crepey in the winter which can accentuate the growing number of wrinkles I now bear. My favorite summertime lotions don’t seem to be heavy enough for the winter months as the air can be particularly cold and arid, and seems to draw away light moisture as quickly as it is applied. This cream just feels good to apply, as it seems to absorb into the skin and moisturize all layers of it. In the morning my face feels soft and hydrated, even in the depths of winter. I use this cream on other body parts as well, including as a nightly foot cream, and for hands and elbows.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is a great all-purpose face and body cream that is very rich, and especially useful for the colder, drier weather.
Thanks for stopping by!
I evaded oils for the skin for a long time. As a teenager, blessed with greasy skin and zero wrinkles, anything vaguely hydrophobic seemed like a really bad idea. I avoided them like the plague, in fact, until I was a decade older and starting to experience parched, crepey skin (and a few bouts of mild eczema, no less).
For a long time I have utilized body lotion for skin moisture after a shower (unless the temperatures are quite warm). Sometimes though, especially as the fall and winter seasons approach, a warm bath can be especially comforting. I tend to find that as the weather turns frigid and my baths get progressively more searing (probably not healthy, but I have a huge distaste for lukewarm soaks, mine must, MUST be hot) , my skin requires a bit more lubrication than what can be had with body lotion alone.
I discovered Neutrogena Body Oil almost a decade ago during a particularly desperate bout of dry skin. This is a fairly light oil that features sesame oil and a light fragrance (a fragrance-free version is also available). While the instructions for use say that you may use it as a body oil after a soak or a shower, I prefer to add a few drops to my bath water. When I do this, and the weather is not yet too dreadfully cold (though I do love the snow), I can skip body lotion if I happen to be in a hurry; if my skin is super parched, the combo of the bath oil and body lotion work wonders! (WORD OF CAUTION: be very careful not to slip after using ANY bath or body oil. Spoken from experience. FYI.)
Another oil that I love year round is the Almond Shower Oil by L’Occitane. This is a much more viscous oil that the Neutrogena Body Oil. It features almond oil and a lovely, inoffensive scent (it doesn’t necessarily remind me of almonds, still very pleasant though ). While this oil is enjoyable to use in the shower and does a very good job of moisturizing the skin, it really shines when used for shaving. I have never used a more pleasant or effective shave gel or oil; my legs are so smooth after using this! This L’Occitane product is a bit expensive, bit since I primarily use it for shaving it has lasted several months and is still going strong.
If there’s one thing (of many) that gets me excited for fall, it’s those long, hot, evening baths after a day of working and frolicking in the cool weather. These oils, along with my favorite lotion, help my perennially dehydrated skin from getting crepey, flaky, or irritated after my scorching soaks.
What body oils do you like? What should I try?
Thanks so much for reading, and stay cozy!
To say that I have a temperamental face may be a bit of an understatement. My face can go from dry and crepey in the winter to pinguid and shiny in the summer. Then there are the many states in between. I am also nearing that stage in life where I am fighting both wrinkles and acne (when will it END?). Having said that however, I find that acne now can be a cagey beast; a moisturizer that is too rich can cause pimples, but a moisturizer that allows my skin to become parched and papery can also precede a breakout.
I started using CeraVe PM facial moisturizing lotion as my evening moisturizer several years ago after doing a lot of research regarding skin products and temperamental skin. It contains a lot of good ingredients, including ceramides and hyaluronic acid which I tend to look for. It is not really a treatment product in the sense that it is not targeted to treat either wrinkles or acne; it’s just a good basic moisturizer for times when the skin is volatile, or on nights in between treatment products.
I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t overly impressed by this product, but I think after many years of using it, I have finally figured out why.
This moisturizer, while containing numerous superb ingredients, is not moisturizing enough for my skin in certain situations. In really arid climates, or in the winter months, my face can still feel dry and a bit sore in the morning after using this lotion.
Where this product really shines for me though, is in the summer. In the summertime it is too easy for almost any other moisturizer to break me out. This one, however, seems to deliver just the right dose of moisture in the heat and humidity that can abound this time of year. Because it is not fragranced I can also use it around my eyes (a boon for any prospective minimalist), and when I do, I notice no new formations of milia around my eyes (which can be a problem when I use richer lotions).
In summary, I am quite fond of this moisturizer for the summer months due to the excellent ingredients and its performance in the warmth. While it doesn’t work for me, personally, in the winter months, it may be quite remarkable for someone who already retains a lot moisture in their skin.
What’s your favorite nighttime moisturizer? Does it work for you all year round?
In the mornings especially, I am a woman of simplicity and efficiency. I have a handful of products that I use almost every morning and that I have been faithful to for years. I tend to prefer multi use products as I cannot bear an overly cluttered counter first thing in the morning. So I very much appreciate a lotion that I can use for both my hands and my body. Enter Curél lotion.
Like with most body and beauty products, I am insanely picky about body lotion. I cannot handle stickiness, greasiness, or sliminess. I also prefer to have something unscented so that it doesn’t clash with any body sprays or perfumes that I happen to be wearing. And because a cluttered bathroom counter can make my mornings seem so much more disorganized, I like a body lotion that can also double as a hand lotion.
I don’t have extremely dry skin, but it is pretty dry. I use body lotion quite often (except for when outside temperatures rise above 90 degrees). And I use hand lotion all the time! Although I prefer the unscented version, the scent of the regular version doesn’t bother me so I keep a bottle of that downstairs and another at work. I find that when my hands get dry they feel very uncomfortable, like the skin is thinner, and I lose the ability to grip sheets of paper effectively (weird, right? but true for me, anyway).
This lotion has been my favorite for almost 5 years now. It effectively moisturizes, but does not wear cloyingly on the body or hands. I honestly cannot tell you how many bottles I have purchased. It is a staple for me and I would be hard pressed to find a replacement!
What kind of lotion(s) do you use? What are your favorites?