Photo courtesy of Teddy Kelley
Winter can be brutal on our skin for those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere. Even people with oily skin can find their skin drying out in the winter and if you have to work outside, or if you cycle or walk to work in the winter, your face is exposed to wind and temperatures that can dry out your face making it appear older and papery.
I have dry skin to begin with, and so I am always on the hunt for the “perfect” face cream that isn’t greasy but thick enough to be moisturizing. Regular face cream doesn't do it for me in the winter, I need something heavy duty and emollient.
But, I am also concerned with what goes on my skin and, knowing that what we put on our skin is absorbed into our body, I am concerned about ingredients. While petroleum based creams have worked well for me in the past, I will no longer be using these types of products on my skin.
I have gone through many options in my quest and I think I have finally found a regime that works for me so I thought I would pass on some of my recommendations.
I am putting coconut oil first because it is a fairly obvious option to most. Bloggers have been singing the praises of coconut oil for years now, and everyone south of the equator has been aware of the health properties of coconut oil for much, much longer. For everything from teeth cleaning to hair masks, coconut oil does it all.
I’ve found it is great for my skin and I love the smell. After exfoliating in the shower, coconut oil at the ends of my dry hair and on my skin is long lasting and feels protective. The greasy feeling is hard to get used to at first, but I’ll take this over peeling itchy legs any day.
If you have eczema or psoriasis you might find that coconut oil works for you. As a treatment for keratosis pilaris, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, making it ideal for a myriad of skin conditions.
If you are choosing a coconut oil brand for skin care (or for cooking) look for one that is cold processed and organic. If it has no smell, chances are it’s not that natural. Nutiva claims their coconut oil is cold pressed within two hours of chopping, which is pretty impressive. Click on the photo for more info.
Another natural product that is good right out of the jar is shea butter. Shea butter is great for those extra rough patches on your elbows or in my case, the heels of my feet.
Years of spending winters on the beach and wearing flip flops almost exclusively (I know, rough, right?) has given me cracked heels that no foot lotion has been able to combat. Once I discovered raw, unprocessed shea butter, they are healed and baby smooth!
After soaking my feet and scrubbing them well before bed, I dry them thoroughly, slather them with shea butter and put some socks on. I’m not a huge fan of the smell of shea butter but you might not mind. It’s very mild, anyway.
Leave the socks on overnight and you will have baby smooth feet in the AM. It’s very sexy, trust me. Basically, I’m an eighty-year-old.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
After reading a lot of positive reviews of this product and testing a bit at Sephora, I decided to take the leap and buy First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream. I am loving it so far, and I'm here to tell you why, folks! Firstly, it's one of the only creams I've used lately that is thick and rich but isn't greasy.
My skin absorbs it right away and I can wear it under makeup. I have had peeling skin on the bridge of my nose ever since it got really cold here and nothing was working. This cleared it right up, after maybe 2 days of use. It's not specifically for face I use it multiple times a day and it's one of my faves. It has very little fragrance and according to this site, almost all of their products are vegan, including this cream.
Angelo Store Goodness Face Cream
Bali, Indonesia has no shortage of natural beauty products with amazing smelling ingredients, and Ubud might just be the centre of the industry. I can spend hours in stores like Angelo's that are filled with handmade soaps, teas and shampoos (much to my husbands' annoyance).
You can even take classes at some of the shops and Angelo's and Nadis Herbal are two of my favourite. Nadis offers this beautiful Jamu making class where you can learn how to make natural body scrubs and tonics and so if you are ever in Bali and you have any interest in natural beauty products using local plants and flowers, I highly recommend it.
I made a bunch of stuff, including a body oil with local frangipani, champaka and ylang ylang flowers and I'm telling you, I wore it as perfume until I ran out. Anyway, I digress...I bought this Goodness Face Cream at Angelo's last time I was in Bali, and I'm almost out.
It is very rich and you might find it a bit oily as it contains shea butter, olive, jojoba and sunflower oil as well as aloe vera and amazing smelling essential oils like frankincense (great for aging skin), geranium and rose. This might not be the best choice for under makeup but it's great before bed. This smells soooo good.
And if you aren't going to Bali anytime soon, don't worry, you can order it online and, check this out-this cream is under $4USD! Even with shipping costs you can go to town with all the amazing things on this website and not spend a bundle. I also recommend any of their perfume oils. Love this place!
Lush Sugar Scrubs
I have a love/hate relationship with Lush. I used to use their products all the time, but the fact that they add SLS and parabens to many of their products and then defend them so rigorously on their website, annoys me.
I also have no patience for their aggressive sales tactics once you enter the store, and I hate being hounded in there, so I kind of avoid it unless there is something I really want.
That being said, the smell lures me in on occasion and this Xmas I bought a seasonal shower scrub that smells like After Eight. I'm also trying their solid shampoo bars again, despite the SLS after a recommendation by Mostly Amelie and I have to say, they do smell great.
Exfoliating in the shower is a good way to get rid of old dry skin and get your skin shiny and new for moisturizing. It makes your skin look less dull and can apparently even fight cellulite by stimulating circulation.
And you don't need to buy a shower scrub from Lush. There are a tonne of recipes on the web for making sugar or salt scrubs. It's really as simple as putting a melted oil base (like coconut oil) in a jar, adding a bunch of sugar or salt and essential oils of choice. I recommend any blend that includes eucalyptus oil and mint for the wintertime!
That's it for my recommendations! What do you guys swear by for dry winter skin? I would love to hear your suggestions!
Caveat: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links which means I make a small amount of money when you buy something through one of my links.