We live in Minnesota, so we deal with harsh weather conditions every year. This year has been harsher than ever, and I know many of you out there have been dealing with unusually cold weather, even in normally warm areas. Now, more than ever, you need a simple winter skin care survival kit.
We all can benefit from some simple ways to protect and care for our skin when the weather turns bitter cold. Here are some products and home remedies that I have built into my winter (and summer!) skincare routine.
- Other hand lotions are fine the rest of the year, but Gold Bond’s Ultimate in this travel size is a must have for my winter hands. It is thick and absorbs well, so you are not greasy forever after you use it. It is not overly smelly, which I prefer because if I put it on somewhere like church I don’t want to draw attention to myself and sometimes perfumy smells bother me (and others around me).
- For a toner, I use witch hazel year round. I get mine at a local co-op, but you can also find it online and at some pharmacies. It is inexpensive, gentle, soothing and does not dry your skin like alcohol-based toners can.
- Lip balm! I have these everywhere – just ask my family. My favorite is Neutragena Naturals. It does not smell, does not burn chapped lips and feels great. Try to put it on before you go out in the cold weather for the best protection.
- Nothing can soothe your tender skin like a simple, thick lotion. I always use this lotion from Trader Joe’s at night, but in the harsher winter months, I sometimes use it in the morning to take care of dry spots.
- A great, simple, natural and inexpensive moisturizer for both your skin and hair is coconut oil. A little goes a long way, so the stuff lasts forever. I also use it to remove my eye makeup. It is gentle and smooths on nicely as the warmth of your hands melts it. Use it right after you get out of the shower to seal in the moisture and battle the dry spots. This is also a good face moisturizer if you are particularly wind burned. A bonus is it smells kind of like suntan oil, so you can close your eyes and imagine you are on the beach. Almost, anyway.
- This little jar contains humble white sugar. I pour a little into the palm of my hand, add some water to mix into a paste and use it as an exfoliant for my face or my body. Just remember to be gentle! It can hurt, especially dry, chapped skin, so go lightly and gently get way that dead, dry skin. I like to use it on my forehead, hairline, jaw and around my nose. Those seem to be the areas that get dry and yucky.
- This little tool is awesome! It has a grater side and a pumice side and I use it to keep my feet reasonably smooth in the winter. It makes the transition to summer a little better and prevents that sock-over-cheese-grater feeling I get when I put my socks on over dry, neglected feet.
- Gloves! So, so important. Even if it is not cold enough for a coat (yes, I live in Minnesota, I don’t usually wear a coat if I am just going from car to building until it is below 20 or so), I always try to remember my gloves. Hands, and especially cuticles, take a beating as soon as it is chilly out and wearing gloves paired wtih #1 will prevent those painful, cracked fingers.
This year I was fortunate enough to get these two lotions as gifts and I must say, I love them both. On the left is The Body Shop’s body butter (this is Olive Oil). It is a super thick lotion that feels (and smells) fantastic out of the shower. I feel great all day when I put it on. A little goes a long way on this and if my family would stop stealing it, it would probably last me all winter – ha!
On the right is The Body Shop’s Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue. After I use #7 above to get off the dead, dry skin (gross), I put on this lotion nice and thick and then put on my socks. The socks keep the lotion on my feet and it absorbs over the next hour or so, leaving my feet feeling nice and smooth. A real treat, even though I cannot put on sandals!
Are you dealing with unusually cold weather? Is your skin taking a beating?