Sunday, March 6, 2016

Winter Essentials - Tips on Preventing Dry Skin

It's that time of the year again; frigid temperatures, back-breaking snow shoveling, salt-encrusted shoes and epic journeys across mountains snow banks. You guessed it! Winter. And not only do we have to endure all of this, we have to do it with dry, cracked and itchy skin. If you're like me at all, this can be especially frustrating. While my face is incredibly oily, my body on the other hand, especially during the winter is as dry as ever. It's so dry that my skin becomes flakey! My dry skin is at its worst on my hips because my underwear and jeans are constantly rubbing up against me. My boyfriend calls me a monkey because I'm constantly scratching! For years I have been battling dry skin to no avail.

Well fear not! For I have found the answer!

I have finally found the perfect combination of products that have helped make my skin baby smooth.
It is safe to say, that I have kicked dry skin in the butt!
Here are the products that have been working for me.

Facial Oil - Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil

I know what you're thinking, "Joann, you just said you have oily skin. Then why are you using OIL on your face?!"
I know, that's exactly what I used to think as well I used to assume that putting oil on my face would make it worse. It's important to use the right type of oil. I'm currently using Josie Maran's Argan Oil for my night moisturizer. Even if your skin is oily, some parts of your face isn't. The body will produce more oils to make up for the dry skin, thus making your skin more oily. Argan oil provides the adequate amount of oils needed for your skin so it will not overproduce more. I have tried a couple of different facial oils so far and argan oil is by far my favourite for my skin. It's fast absorbing and doesn't leave the face feeling greasy. I use about 4-5 drops for my face which is more than enough. I only use the argan oil at night before bed. The small bottle pictured is 15ml and it is available at Sephora for $20CAD, which pretty expensive, but I think it is worth the investment. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, The Body Shop has some great facial oil options as well.

Facial Moisturizer - Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Even though I use facial oil, my skin can still get a little dry throughout the night. To ensure my skin is well hydrated, I use the Origins Drink Up Intensive Night Mask. This actually is a really good product on its own as well. But together with the facial oil they are amazing!

I really like that the cream is nice and thick. It is absorbed quickly and it lasts! Best of all, it doesn't leave the skin feeling sticky either. After reading the ingredients, I realized one of the main reasons why this product is so good is because it contains avocado and apricot kernel oil.
As for the scent I know it will be a hit or miss for some. It smells a little like ginseng or ginger to me. I detest ginger but luckily, the scent if very faint and after application the smell goes away. I purchased this at The Bay for $31CAD, but it is also available at Sephora for the same price.

Baby Oil

My parents have been using baby oil for years and they kept telling me to try it. But stubborn me, I kept saying no and spending ridiculous amounts of money on body butters. Finally, this winter, I gave in and tried it. I feel so silly for not having used this earlier!
The issue I find with body lotions/butters is that it's moisturizing in the moment, but I'm left with dry skin minutes later, causing me to constantly reapply. It's as if I put nothing on at all! Moisturizers are meant to be like a seal for your skin to prevent water from escaping. Not much of a seal to me since my skin is dying for more lotion after.
This is where oils come in. Oils are recommended for extremely dry skin. They're best used when you just get of the shower when your skin is still moist. Naturally, oils last longer than more moisturizers, thus preventing the water from evaporating from your skin. Now my skin is hydrated for way longer than with body lotions/butters.

Price wise, it is so incredibly affordable! The bottle of oil is 592 ml for anywhere between $2-8CAd if you purchase it on sale. Obviously since the bottle is so large, I pour it into a smaller one. The tiny bottle pictured is 65ml and it lasts me about 2 months and I use it every night. I will never go back to lotions!

Hair removal

I'm sure a few of my fellow ladies out there are thinking, "Hello, why would I shave in the winter? It's extra insulation and keeps me warm!" I'm not the only one who feels that way right? Riiiight??

But there are times when you want to have smooth hairless skin. You may either use a cream or wax and if you do, as I mentioned above, baby oil to help moisturize!

If you shave like I do, then make sure to open a new razor and throw out your old one that's been sitting in the bathroom. Many a times I have gone to grab my razor only to find 2 things:
1. My razor is dull from previous use
2. Rust build up because it's been sitting in my shower or bathroom

I know I'm guilty of using a razor well past its natural life-span; shaving with a dull blade can make your skin more irritated. The hair regardless if it is on our legs, underarms or head, helps keep the natural oils around to moisturize our skin. When we shave, the blades are scraping off those oils that our body especially needs during the winter.  


You always hear about how humidifiers can help clear your congestion and make it easier to breath. But it really helps your skin as well. When you turn up the heat in your place, it evaporates all the moisture in the air creating dry air. In my apartment I typically turn up the heat quite high. The air becomes so dry, that I would get nose bleeds and my skin would become cracked and rough. I use my humidifier at least every day and it helps a lot. Walmart and Canadian Tire have some great humidifiers available.

Hydrating Spray

Lastly, I also use a hydrating spray. This is optional. I don't use it that often, but if I'm say outside and my face feels dry, I use a spray to hydrate my skin a bit. It doesn't do a great job but since I'm outside it is a good option for hygienic reasons.

There you have it, these are my go-to products I use to maintain my soft and smooth skin. Since I have mild eczema I have become quite diligent in ensuring my face and body are well moisturized.

What are your go to products for winter?

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