Winter can really dry out your skin and make it feel itchy, scaly, dry and even cracked to the bleeding point. It’s not just ugly to look at, it’s downright uncomfortable to the point where you feel like waving the white flag and signalling defeat, or going out and dumping a ton of money on an entirely new skincare routine. But sometimes all you really need to do is find the one (or a few) products targeted to your skin’s particular issues. Before you run out and buy anything, here are three things you can easily to do help hydrate your skin (and it’s free): Add moisture to your air. Humidify! Place a pot or pitcher of water on top of your radiators, or purchase a humidifier. Take shorter showers and don’t make them really hot (hot water makes your skin lose moitsture). When you finish that bath or shower, immediately apply lotion or cream to your skin while it is still damp, to trap that water into your skin.
When you’re looking for skincare products to help you deal with the most common skincare woes of Winter, here are six that can help.
Your skin is so dry, it’s scaly and cracked:
For the budget minded, consider Aveenos’s affordable but effective range of hydrating skincare products for face and body. Two for body that I like as a first defense against dry, itchy, and even really cracked skin, can also make a big different, immediately” Under $8.50 gets you Aveeno’s Active Naturals Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion with Soothing Oat Essence (3 oz. tube) in a flip top tube. The soothing to skin, patented triple oat formula, with shea butter and Dimethicone skin protectant, relieves and soothes itchy, extra dry skin, and can even help to moisturize for 24 hours.It offers a more substantial formula for dry skin. If your skin is very dry and sensitive, this fragrance free moisturizer can really help. It’s also dermatologist recommended. The fast absorbing, it contains no added fragrance and is good for even sensitive skin.
People who have seriously dry, cracked skin (especially it it’s hands and feet) swear by the Aveeno Skin Relief Healing Ointment that also comes in a 3.0 oz. flip top tube with the ability to moisturize irritated, cracked, dry skin for up to 24 hours. Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Petrolatum Skin Protectant is much more emollient and for lack of a better word, “jelly-like” in consistency, because it is an ointment, not a lotion and you need much less of it to do the job. It soothes and shields minor burns, scrapes and cuts. It’s also gentle enough for sensitive skin, this formula is free of lanolin, fragrance and dyes. If you have a particularly scaly,, cracked, itchy or dry patch of skin, an ointment can often be the most effective way to deal with it. You can use this on chapped lips as well as other parts of your body, and it also can help protect your skin from the drying effects of wind and cold, and soothe minor cuts, scrapes and burns.
What is the difference between a Cream, a lotion and an ointment? These are common terms used for moisturizers (there are also gels and serums, but we’re not discussing those in this article). Ointments are 80% oil and 20% water and the trap moisture exceeedingly well but they are often a bit “greasy” and don’t absorb quickly or at all. They are not generally for use on large areas. Ointments in medicine, are more potent than the exact same ingredient packaged in a cream or lotion. For more general use, creams are the most popular and of medium thickness. They are a semi-solid emulsion of half oil and half water. They spread easily, absorb quickly and wash off with water. Creams are most always packaged in a jar or a tube, because they are too thick to be dispensed in a pump, but creams are very hydrating, Lotions are thinner than creams, and are often packaged in a pump. They absorb very quickly and feel very light on the skin. Aveeno products can be found at food, drug and mass market retailers and for more information visit the Aveeno Web Site
You want a good facial cleanser, but your skin is so irritated you need one for sensitive skin:
Multi-Tasking Cleansers: When your face is already irritated from dry heat, wind, cold, etc. keeping your skin clean, removing your makeup, and generally using a toner can irritate it even more. Avène makes two unique multi-takers that clean and soothe, one may be just what you are looking for! The Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Makeup-Up Remover ( $20.00 6.76 fl. oz. ; $29.50 13.5 fl. oz. ) does it all: cleanse, remove makeup, and act as a toner, too. It’s good for all skin types, hypoallergenic, non comedogenic and you don’t have to rinse it, yet it will whisk away almost all types of makeup (except maybe the most stubborn, long lasting type), without a struggle. A flip top plastic bottle holds a technologically-advanced cleansing water, based on a micelle principle, that protects and releases cleansing agents and softening actives upon contact with skin. Other good for your skin ingredients include soothing chamomile, hyaluronic acid and a gentle surfactant that does the cleansing without alcohol, soap, or oil (so it’s good for eyes and lips as well as face). The product has 95% soothing and anti-irritating Avène Thermal Spring Water .
Another cleanser from Avène that I really like a lot (this one is meant to be used with water) is the Avène Oil-Free Gel Cleanser $25.00 6.76 fl. oz. A slim, plastic flip top bottle holds a clear gel that has 60% Avène thermal spring water, that soothes and softens the skin while acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. But the cleansing base on this product is 15% of the product, made with gentle surfactants that not only refreshingly and thoroughly cleanse, but actually help control oil products and help mattify the skin thanks to a “sebo-regulating complex.” The fragrance-free formula is also colorant and paraben free, but my skin felt clean, refreshed and soft. This one is meant for normal to combination skin or skin that is prone to blemishes.
What is a Miceller Water? Oh those chic and clever Parisians! Apparently Paris has hard water which is not so great for your skin, so Miceller water is made to cleanse with a cotton pad rather than to be rinsed off your skin with water. Micellar waters use tiny micelle particles to draw make-up (including waterproof mascara), sebum and impurities from the skin. Micellar waters don’t contain soap or alcohol, so if you’re a “wipes” fan you may find that a cotton pad soaked with micellar water works more gently, but just as well. Avène’s Thermal Spring Water originates as rain and moves through the Cevennes Mountain aquifer in France, to produce thermal spring water ideally suited for the care and management of sensitive skin. It gradually becomes infused with trace elements and silicates, achieving a perfectly balanced mineral composition ideal for sensitive skin. For more information on Avene and to locate purchasing sites, Visit the Avene web site.
Another Micellar product that I really, really like is from the elegant and effective Fremch skin care company, Orlane. The Orlane Paris Oligo Vitamin Vitality Radiance Micellar Water,($45.00 8.3 fl. oz.) is for face and eyes. It contains Orlane’s exclusive “Cellular Life” complex (key ingredient is anti-oxidant pomegranate) rthat has 7 minerals, 8 trace metals, 12 vitamins, and 19 amino acids that work to enhance the vitality of your skin. The thing that I love about this is that it is protective and provides the necessary balance for even the most sensitive of skin types (and for that I’m raising my hand). Cleanse your face without soap –just pump some onto a cotton pad and swipe it on your face — no water required. it is 100% hypoallergenic and paraben free. It will clean all the dirt, sweat, impurities from your face (well, maybe not the most stubborn long lasting type of products, but just about everything else) without turning already compromised or irritated skin even more so. I really like the pump top, and the fact that this clear liquid has no smell and doesn’t make my skin burn or red after I use it. I cleansed my face with my usual cleanser, then used this one to write about it about ten minutes later, and I was shocked at how dirty that pad still was! Yes, I was really impressed. If you like to go camping or want to clean your face where there isn’t soap and water available, this product will be a lifesaver.For more information visit the Orlane Web Site
Your skin is suffering from Winter dryness, and you need to cleanse and moisturize it, but you also have breakouts:
For those who don’t have sensitive skin, but are suffering from large pores and perhaps, some acne issues, Clear Clinic Labs T2 Wash $(35.00 100 ml) might be your Winter skin saver cleanser. This minty-scented cleanser in a sliim pump bottle with an all in one top clarifies and cleanses with salicylic acid, sulfur, and a blend of botanical ingredients, including tea tree oil and peppermint, designed to enhance complexion. I can’t tell how much salicylic acid is actually in the cleanser, but any amount is helpful in dealing with breakouts. Sulfur effectively dries excess oil and has antimicrobial properties that can destroy bacteria trapped within your pores. If you combine these with tea tree oil which is a nat ural anti-inflammatory, you will hopefully be washing with a product that is still reasonably gentle, unclogs pores, destroys bacteria and reduces the appearance of redness on the skin. In all fairness, I loved the peppermint scent and the invigorating formula, even though I wouldn’t suggest this for someone who normal to dry skin (the ingredients in this one will be drying). You only need an amount the size of a dime, but for best results leave it on your skin for a few minutes before washing it off, to make it as much of a treatment as a cleanser.
Whether your skin is oily or prone to breakouts or not, you still need to provide it with moisture, especially in the Winter. Oil is not the same as hydration! Clear Clinic Labs Prep & Soothe Daily Gentle Moisturizer $35.00 (2 fl. oz) . It is a quickly absorbed, light, gentle moisturizer designed to be used after and with acne products. It helps to reduce the irritation associated with acne treatment medications and to moisturize acn-prone skin with the major ingredients includingPurified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, and Glycerin. Prep & Soothe is oil-free and fragrance-free and specially formulated for blemish-prone skin.The consistency is thin and light enough to be in a pump delivery system, so why they chose a jar which can be contaminated, I wonder??? It may be formulated for those with acne, but I liked it enough to keep using it as a light daily moisturizer just because I liked the way it made my skin feel. For more information Visit the Clear Clinic Laboratories Web Site
Your whole body itches, and you want luxurious soaps that won’t dry your skin out in the shower:
One of the ways you can help to add and maintain moisture in your skin on your body, is by selecting a body wash or cleanser that will wash away sweat, dirt, oil and dead skin cells, but also moisturize your skin in a gentle way. BeautiControl has come out with a trio of limited edition Moisturizing Body Bars that are just $10.00 each (3.5 oz.) but are full of shea butter and coconut oil to replenish moisture. These square bars are beautifully wrapped in shiny white paper with herbal graphics, and have an 83% organic, vegetable-based formula. They’re safe of all skin types, non comedogenic, dermatologist, sensitivity, and allergy tested. Even better, they’re available in three scents: Exotic Beaches, Juicy pear, and Verbena Blossom. The scents are subtle, but luxurious. Verbena Blossom features citrus scents of lemon and mandarin orange are paired with the soft floral notes of verbena and calming hints of lavender. Exotic Beaches has notes of sea salt, coconut and pineapple aromas (light and subtle, men will like it too). My personal favorite is the yummy Juicy Pear with notes of pear, pineapple and peach that almost make you feel as though you are eating a ripe pear. I don’t know how long these are going to be on the BeautControl web site, but check them out now
The man in your life complains about his dry, sensitive skin, but he won’t touch your “girly stuff”:
A man’s skin is thicker and rougher than a woman’s and when it comes to Winter skin woes, wants a product that is easy to use, and if possible, a multi-tasker than won’t force him to use a lot of bottles, tubes and jars. That’s why I am suggesting a new products for him, from Lubriderm: Lubriderm Men’s 3-in-1 Lotion, Light Fragrance (16 oz. $6.99). The first thing our male tester liked about this was the large plastic pump bottle, which meant he wouldn’t have to purchase it again in a nano-second (because most men really don’t like to shop), and he liked the pump top (which meant he didn’t have to stick his fingers into a jar of cream). The light formula was reported as non greasy and the scent was “pleasant” (try getting a really succinct answer about fragrance notes out of most men and you’ll just get a quizzical look). In fact, my press notes say the notes are:” clean and fresh fragrance, with top notes of black pepper and lime, and base notes of sandalwood and musk.” But the formula also has aloe to help soothe his skin after shaving, or from the elements of dry heat, wind, cold etc and there are minerals in the lotion that are naturally found in men’s skin (Vitamin E, minerals and essential moisturizers) and for those with sensitive skin, it’s good to know that the product is hypoallergenic. *there is also a fragrance free version. Lubriderm is available at Available at food, drug and mass merchandisers and for more information visit the Lubriderm Web Site