Winter Skin Savers
By Rebecca Perrin
As soon as the holidays are gone and so is our fond affection for the fluffy white stuff. Cracked cuticles, bumpy-red thighs and phyllo pastry cheeks persuade us to fight winter’s ravage with these creamy defense mechanisms.
Gentle cleansing and soothing treatments are critical for allowing it to keep calm and carry on through to spring.
Before bed is a good time to give your face a deluge of hydrating nourishment. The almond and calendula oils in NIVEA Rich Regenerating Night Care Cream ($8 at mass beauty retailers across Canada) will drown the dry.
For wearing beneath your makeup, Sephora Instant Moisturizer ($24 at Sephora) is oil-free, paraben free, and a trustworthy go-to when you need a protective fortress for your face.
Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion ($25 at weleda.ca and independent health food stores) uses organic almond and plum kernel oils to cleanse and balance out the natural moisture levels in your skin. Consider this cleanser a calm but powerful resistance to deep-seeded dirt and dehydration.
Effectively similar but far more attractive than wearing a balaclava, Dr. Hauschka Moisturizing Mask ($61 at drhauschka.ca) acts as a barrier between wintry winds and your face’s delicate surface, amping it up with rose wax and quince seed extract.
Enlist a strengthening serum like Vichy Aqualia Thermal 24hour Concentrate ($38 for 30mL at pharmacies across Canada) for some serious, subcutaneous back up. The active liquid magic is thermal spa water, rich in fortifying minerals found deep within magmatic rock to strengthen cells and activate an eruption of moisture that you want to blow up in your face.
Inspired by her baby’s eczema, Diane Lai’s All Natural Sooth cream ($34 at dianelai.com) houses a collection of organic oils that offer a daily aide to the more severe cases of skin irritation and is perfect for de-scaling even the worst case of iceskater’s skin.
Damp mittens, moistened neck warmers and soaked-through boots make our cheeks, hands and feet suffer the brunt of winter’s cruel jokes. Proper hydration and moisture control can help them find peace despite blistery winds and pools of slushy snow.
Certified organic and vegan, Green Beaver Cheek Balm ($10 at natural food stores across Canada) contains capuaçu butter, a softer, creamier alternative to cocoa butter which will absorb excess water left on skin’s surface.
The sound of pulling tights over rough heels makes us cringe! Tenderize scratchy soles with a spread of Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze ($24 at farmhousefreshgoods.com). Aloe leaf juice, pineapple and papaya mend rough heels and toes.
Elemental Herbology Wind and Cold Therapy ($30 at spacenk.com) is an après-ski cocktail of botanicals for your hands, cuticles and lips. After drinking in the Tree-of-Life oil and its high level of essential fatty acids, your digits will be brimming with hydration and lips sufficiently satiated.
You’ll feel instant relief from cracks and tightness caused by submerging your hands in dishwater or, say, a pile of snowballs with Atoderm Hand Cream by Bioderma or L’Occitane Pure Shea Butter ($45 for 150mL at L’Occitane boutiques across Canada).
Do you treat your shower like a recording studio? If you want your skin to thrive longer than a rock star’s liver, keep exposure to scorching water brief and shortlist these products on your shower time lineup.
Dove took chemistry beyond memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements and created NutriumMoisture technology with its VisibleCare Crème Body Wash ($4-$7 for 300mL at all major grocery and drug stores), a formula that encourages skin to absorb lipids and rebuild itself from the inside, out. Sure, it sounds Sci-Fi but the results are much less frightening than the shedding of your own snake-like skin.
Prevent yourself from committing scratch suicide by banning foamy soaps from hanging around the bath – they strip your skin and rob you dry of natural oils. Sooth and protect with Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash ($8-$9 for 354mL at national food, drug and mass merchandisers) or A-Derma Exomega Shower Cleansing Gel ($18 at Pharmaplus, Pharmasave, London Drugs and Lawtons Drug) instead.
Elemental Herbology Velvet Skin winter body wash ($34 at spacenk.com) reveals what lies beneath by including a sloughing body mitt with their super soothing botanical cleanser. Watch dead skin sink down the drain as you scrub in new life with rose damask water and aloe vera.
Stiff upper lips are neither endearing nor attractive. Soften up with Crabtree & Evelyn Ultra-Moisturizing Lip Butters ($7 each at Crabtree & Evelyn stores or crabtree-evelyn.com); they baste your lips in essential oils and spread over a layer of sweetened butter to fatten up parched skin. Choose from Vanilla Crème Brule, Crème de Menthe and Citron Crème & Honey.
Since we don’t have fur pelts to protect our largest organ (and really, thank god), sometimes we have to commission a protective taskforce to manage business as an inside job. Genuine Health dermalipid softgels ($50 for 120 capsules at health food stores, pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide) taken for 3 weeks claim to improve hydration with barrage oil and squalene to prevent future discolouration and dryness. Take that, old man winter!