my favorite winter skin savers

1:48:00 PM

Raise your hand if you're as sick of winter as I am!
Ok, to be fair, I'm not necessarily sick of winter, but I just hate this part of winter. It's such a tease!
You know, when you get random little glimpses of sun and warmth, and you start to feel optimistic that sunnier days are ahead. You start to fold away some of your bulkiest sweaters, and you even attempt to coax your dead basil back to life...and then, BAM. 
It SNOWS. 
It FREEZES. 
It HAILS. 
Or worse, ALL THREE HAPPEN.
I'm so sick of winter, you guys.

My biggest gripe about winter, though, is how I always end up feeling like a scaly crocodile come spring. I grew up mostly on the equator, where the climate is humid and warm all year round. The only weather change is the monsoon season, during which it pours for months on end. Besides the never-ending issue of frizz and feeling like you're being cooked from the inside out, I'm mostly cool with that. 

What I am not so cool with, however, is how difficult regular seasons have been on my skin, especially in Northern Colorado, where the air is bone dry. I'm constantly sporting band-aids on my cracked cuticles, and my skin drinks up every little droplet of moisture it can get. Since many of you are in the same boat at the moment, I thought it might be useful to share some of the products that have been saving my skin this winter. 

I recently subscribed to Sephora PLAY, a subscription box that sends you customized, curated product samples to test and play with, all for $10/month. So far, the boxes have been AWESOME. You tell Sephora what kind of skin/hair/beauty/etc. issues you have, or what kind of products you love, and it chooses things that specifically suit your needs so you can try them before committing to the full size. 

My skin faves, below, are a mix of products that I've loved for years and some newbies that I discovered through Sephora PLAY that have been total lifesavers this season.

(Please note that I am in NO WAY being compensated by Sephora Play for this post, I just really like their service!)

From left to right:

1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer - This is a new one to me, but I can already tell it is going to be a fan-favorite. I'm not a fan of heavy coverage for daytime looks, so this tinted moisturizer is a great way to cover some of my imperfections while still letting my real skin shine through. Plus, it has SPF 20 so I can reapply it halfway throughout the day to protect from the sun (which is just as damaging in winter as it is in summer, despite summer sun feeling so much hotter).

2. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (24-Hour Miracle Cream) - This stuff is incredible. A French pharmacy staple, this lotion is soothing, plumping, fragrance-free, and perfect for all skin types. I use it in the morning after I wash my face, and it absorbs perfectly into my skin without leaving a shiny or oily finish on the skin. It won't do much in the way of wrinkle prevention/treatment, but if you're on the market for an excellent daytime moisturizer, this is your guy. And it's paraben-free!

3. Burt's Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream - Oh, guys. This cream is AMAZING. Remember that gross cuticle issue I mentioned above? When I use this cream every night before bed, that problem literally disappears before my eyes. This cream is THICK, luxurious, and not for the faint of heart. I usually only apply it before bed, because it is pretty thick and heavy, but it gets the job done like no other, and it's a great natural product.

4. Nuxe Rêve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm - Another French favorite, this lip balm has something of a cult following, and after using it even once, it's easy to see why. It's one of those lip balms you can apply once and you don't need to reapply it for another 4-5 hours. Seriously! It's made of up to 75% natural ingredients and has a subtle grapefruit flavor, a nice break from all the cloying vanilla/coconut-ty flavors that are so popular among chapsticks.

5. Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I got this from one of my Sephora PLAY boxes, and I am absolutely going to be re-purchasing it when it's empty. I know what you're thinking - why would you ever spend money on a facial spray, right? But this product is magic. First of all, it smells like a relaxing day at the spa (or, at least, what I would imagine that smells like since I work full-time and never spend days at the spa). Second, upon spritzing your face with it, this toning spray provides an instant burst of radiance and even minimizes the appearance of pores. It's refreshing and moisturizing and brightening, all in one, and the perfect antidote to a dry, dull complexion. Love it.

6. tarte FRXXXTION Stick Exfoliating Cleanser - This is another PLAY item, and, I will admit, I had to look it up before figuring out what the heck it was. So, what is it, exactly? It's an exfoliating stick cleanser that you apply somewhat like a chapstick, except it goes all over your face and you add water and turn it into a facial scrub. Exfoliating your skin is especially important in winter because your dead skin cells can accumulate and make your skin look dull and dry. It's vegan-friendly formula draws out surface oil and reduces shine, while purifying pores for the deepest clean possible.You can apparently use it as a mask, an exfoliator, or a cleanser, though I've only used it as a scrub so far.

7. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Cream - Now this little cream is pricey, but if redness is something that affects you in winter, forget about everything above and JUST BUY THIS. The Tiger Grass Cream soothes skin damage caused by dryness, irritation, and inflammation (all lovely winter skin side-effects) and is formulated with resurrection plant, houttuynia cordata, and yarrow to enhance the skin’s viability and make it appear less tired and dull. This is a sample, so I only use it when my under-the-nose redness situation is dire, but it works like a charm and soothes my skin like nothing else.



There you go! All my favorite products this season. If you like this post, let me know and I'll try to do some more regular beauty posts. I've always liked reading about other people's experiences with new (and old) products, so if you have any winter skin lifesavers, please share those too!

xxLena

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