We are not even officially two weeks into winter – but that did not stop the snow coming to Toronto in early November. Sure it has many benefits – it looks picturesque outside, winter sports and activities are in full swing and the below freezing temperatures and snowfall reduce the spread of illness to name a few! There is one downside though and it is at our delicate skin’s expense. The winter weather is the arch enemy of our delicate skin because the humidity level has decreased. When the weather outside is (frightful) cold and dry the water in your skin evaporates quicker than it would during the summer months. This is what causes the skin to become dry and tight and it can even appear flaky. It doesn’t necessarily have to be skin that is visible and exposed to the weather, our entire body will suffer and it is extremely important we take this time to step up our skin care routine and ensure we are providing good quality moisturizing products to keep our skin looking and feeling its best.
You can apply every amount of hydrating creams and ointments on the market but if you are not drinking enough water per day you are fighting a losing battle. Water hydrates every cell in our bodies once it is absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered by our kidneys. At the cellular level drinking water flushes our system of toxins and hydrates us overall. Do I need to say any more to convince you to pour a glass of water right now?
On the topic of water… showering with water that is too hot can also be the cause of dry skin during the winter months. I know how tempting it is to heat up with a hot shower and while it does have many benefits, such as opening our pores and reducing anxiety, cooler water is equally important and can actually stimulate the immune system and help prevent us catching the cold. A ten minute shower should be all you need and even turning the water slightly cooler for the last two minutes could make all of the difference.
Have you ever looked at the ingredients listed on the back of the packaging when looking for a moisturizer? You would be surprised to see how many reputable brands aimed at nourishing and repairing dry skin have alcohol listed as one of the first ingredients, and they are listed from the highest to lowest amount present in the product. Alcohol dries the skin out (as hangovers taught us well the further we progressed into our twenties) so a brand that has lower alcohol or better yet alcohol free is going to work best.
Life Brand Cocoa Skin Lotion
In a rush, I mistakenly picked this Shoppers’ Drug Mart brand body moisturizer up assuming it was my usual go to Vaseline. Once I got home and actually read and compared the ingredients I was pleasantly surprised to find this affordable alternative actually has more moisturizing ingredients and skin benefiting properties. Alcohol is still listed as an ingredient, but at a much lower dosage and it absorbs incredibly fast so it does not leave me feeling sticky or greasy the rest of the day.
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
I have been obsessed with the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream for roughly one year now – and you should be too. As the name would suggest this product is designed to tighten and reduce the appearance of cellulite around the buttocks, thighs and other areas of the body. While cellulite is not a concern for me – I love the firming, lifting results of the moisturizer and one of the many ingredients Guaraná has five times the caffeine found in coffee – known to help stimulate circulation and smooth the skin. Even the smell alone is enough to make me repurchase this again and again!
Take a moment to think about how many times you have used your hands today. You snoozed your alarm (but didn’t we all), took a mile long scroll through your social media, replied to a dozen emails, sorted through money, shook hands with someone and (hopefully) washed your hands a number of times. The soap we wash our hands with is essentially a detergent which is stripping away our bodies natural oils. Our hands are all too often neglected from our skin care routine and defenceless to the environment and poor weather conditions. To say you need to moisturize after every single hand wash is a little excessive, every night before bed should be more than enough and for years I have been getting so many compliments on how soft my hands are.
Eucerin Complete Repair
Working in a hair salon my hands are constantly in water, shampoo (which acts as a detergent), chemicals, gloves … the list goes on. Every night before bed I apply a generous layer of the Eucerin Complete Repair and because this is a barrier cream, it is heavier than a typical hand moisturizer and takes slightly longer to fully absorb so I place a pair of cotton socks over my hands. After just one use my very early signs of contact dermatitis had disappeared. My hands no longer had rough patches, dry cracking areas or felt tight. Instead I woke up to soft, nourished hands with no visible signs of redness or cracking.
The skin on your lips is incredibly thin in comparison to other parts of the body. A lip balm will provide a layer on the lip surface to seal in moisture and protect them from external exposure such as dry air, cold temperatures and wind – all of which summaries winter weather and its reputation for drying out the skin. According to dermatologists there is only a few times per day you should apply lip balm: when you wake up, after eating or drinking and right before you go to bed. Too much of anything is never good, it is important to find the balance to keep your lips looking plump and feeling soft.
Carmax is a cult staple. Every morning, after every meal and every night before bed I reach for my trusted Carmax to keep my lips as soft and plump as possible. Enriched with Aloe, Avocado, Beeswax, Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E to name only a few – rest assured your lips are receiving only the finest treatment and care.
Even our hair and scalp is prone to feeling the effects of winter weather and left lacking moisture. Your winter attire will, most likely, consist of a hat for the next three months but that just does not provide enough protection and shelter. First thing on the to do list is get a trim as the lack of moisture in the air will lead to split ends and possibly breakage – hair also grows slower in the winter and even the best conditioner in the world (read my Olaplex Step by Step blog post) can not be the only salvation.
L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil
The Extraordinary Oil is an incredibly versatile oil derived from 6 flower extracts and contains UV protection – which is extremely important for chemical or dyed blondes as the UV rays from both the sun and tanning beds will strengthen the yellow tones found naturally in the hair. This oil when applied to damp, towel tried hair locks in the moisture as it dries leaving your hair stronger, easier to manage and feeling incredibly soft and shiny.
We are just over 11 weeks away from the first official day of spring – not that I am counting or anything! As the old saying goes if you can’t beat them, join them and I am taking full advantage of the winter by participating in as much sports and activities as possible. Hopefully the tips and products I have recommended above give your skin the break it truly deserves this winter. Let me know what activities or trips you have planned throughout the first quarter of the year in the comment section below.