As I've mentioned here in the past, I live in New York (cold, cold winters!), in an apartment (dry, dry moisture-sapping, heating systems!). It's an interesting combination, which never fails to wreak havoc on my skin from the first day the temperature dips below 40.
In years past, I've played around and tested various items to keep my skin from, you know, looking scaly and leprous, but I've never managed to catch it in time before the combination of the cold temperatures and our ridiculous WWI-era radiator heating had started affecting it. This year, I finally got it right. I'm proud to say I've found a way to stave off Icky Winter Skin, once and for all.
I stage a three-pronged attack, which covers the biggest trouble spots: Overall Body, Hands, and Lips. Here's what I recommend:
I'll be honest, I hate putting on lotion after the shower. My hands get all slimy, and random stuff just starts sticking to me, and how, exactly, am I supposed to deal with my freshly-washed hair with my slime hands? HOW, I ask you?
Enter in-shower lotion!
After you're done showering, but before you EXIT the shower, you slather on some of this stuff (I like Olay Quench In-Shower Body Lotion ($6.99) or, if you're feeling flush, you can spring for Lush's Turkish Delight Body Polish ($29.95), which smells fantastic.) Let it sink in for a few minutes, then rinse off. Ta da! You have gorgeously moisturized skin, minus slime hands.
Chapped, cracked lips are the worst, aren't they? The trick is to find a balm that (a) works and (b) you want to frequently reapply. EOS Lip Balm Smooth Sphere (I prefer the Sweet Mint flavor) fits the bill, for me. For starters, HOW CUTE IS THE PACKAGING? While I know we're not supposed to judge books by their covers, and blah di blah, it certainly doesn't HURT, especially considering the product is great, to boot.
Formulated with vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil, it's one of the best lip balms I've found, keeping chapped lips at bay, and the fun shape makes me want to keep applying it more, if that makes any sense at all. The price ($2.99!) is so wallet-friendly that I got a bunch. I keep one on my desk at work, and a bunch stashed around in various bags.
Have you ever pulled on a sweater in the winter, and then your HAND catches on the knit BECAUSE IT IS SO DRY? And then you want to dry heave, because: gross? I -- er, my friend had that happen to her, once. As mentioned, though, while I (obviously) do not want dry hands, slimy, overly-moisturized hands are also something I cannot abide. I need something that keeps my hands from resembling those of a gnarled old witch, but also doesn't make me feel as though I've dipped my hands in a vat of motor oil.
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Fast Absorbing Hand Cream ($6.99) is a miracle product; it's the only hand lotion I'll use in the winter. It's effective, and not greasy at all. (It also doesn't have any smell, which I like, so it's not engaged in a turf war with my perfume.) Considering that it won an award in Allure's 2010 Best of Beauty issue, I'm clearly not alone in my adoration.
And there you have it, my simple three-pronged attack on dry winter skin. Go forth, and be dewy, even as the snow falls! Laugh in the face of arctic winds! LAUGH, I SAY.
What are your favorite winter skin care products?
Metalia also blogs here.