Skincare Routine: Winter 2017

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

Evening skincare routine, Cetaphil, Simple, Aquaphor

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

Day time skincare, Queen Helene, Purpose, Kiss My Face, Nivea, Clinique

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!

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Review

 

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.

Clinique face spray

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!

CeraVe PM Review

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.

Cerave PM

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?

Stay cozy!