Hello guys and welcome to the seventeenth day of Blogmas! While winter officially begins in four days, I’m sure many of you are feeling it already. I know I am! Indoors or out, dry winter air takes a toll on skin, and the often exposed face and hands take a lot of the brunt. Because winter skin care can include more than a few steps, I’m doing a three-part post on my winter skin regimen along with some general recommendations.
Before jumping in, let me tell you a bit about my skin dilemmas. Ever since shortly after my daughter was born, I’ve had issues with breaking out. After trying many over-the-counter options, without relief, I turned to a dermatologist who ultimately prescribed Retin-A. It’s basically a prescription strength retinol cream that causes rapid skin cell turnover. Although it’s most often used as an acne remedy, it is also prescribed as an antiaging treatment. Sound too good to be true? Well, Retin-A is certainly not without a downside–super dry, flakey skin. While this isn’t a side effect I’m constantly dealing with, it’s most likely to come on during the cold, dry, winter months.
As a result, I’ve been on a five-year quest to find the right combination of products to banish my sporadically super-dry winter skin. While finding the right face cream isn’t all there is to it, it’s definitely one of the most important parts of the regimen. It’s also, regrettably, one of the most expensive.
I’ve tested a lot of different products over the years and have tried to include some of my favorites at various price points. One thing to keep in mind if you decide that it’s necessary to splurge on one of the pricier options, is that if it doesn’t work for you, many stores will offer a full refund. Just pay attention to the time specified in the return policy.
Now on to some of the moisturizers that I’ve had luck with. Although everyone’s skin is different, I would recommend any of these for dry, sensitive skin. Another plus is that they don’t tend to cause breakouts!
Up first, Renee Rouleau, Hawaiian Nourishing Cream and First Aid Beauty, Ultra Repair Cream are some lighter-weight moisturizers that I’ve found effective when my skin is moderately dry. The Hawaiian Nourishing Cream is smooth textured, easily absorbed, and works well as a day or night cream. I’ve used this one in summer as well as winter, with good results. It wouldn’t be my first choice for extremely dry skin, but I do think it could work for many as a good winter face cream.
First Aid Beauty, Ultra Repair Cream is unique in that it can be used “from head to toe” according to the instructions. I received this travel-sized version in a Glossybox a while back. This stuff has actually worked fairly well on my dry winter skin, but I haven’t had great luck with it lasting for an entire day under makeup. Again, I think this could be a great option if your skin gets only moderately dry in winter.
Moving on to some of the more intense moisturizers, these have all been my winter skin care staples at one time or another. Currently, I’m back to Crème De La Mer, with really good results. This moisturizing cream has been around forever and received more hype than most. It is quite pricey, and yes, there are many newer formulas out there but (for me at least) this stuff does the job. I usually apply this morning and night. Although the packaging says to warm a small amount between your fingers before applying, I use my palms, because this technique seems to result in less product being absorbed by my hands. I’ve never had a problem wearing this under makeup when my skin is dry, but would recommend using The Moisturizing Soft Cream during warmer months, if you want to stick with this line, as the Crème formula can be a bit heavy.
Fresh, Crème Ancienne is another thick moisturizer that needs to be warmed in the hands before applying. I was obsessed with this a few years ago, when we had a particularly brutal winter. This lasting moisturizer has protected my skin during walks outside in frigid temperatures and long days in the office, where the air is so dry it crackles with static electricity. Despite its super thick, paste-like, formula it somehow doesn’t break me out! If you are looking for a serious moisturizer, I would highly recommend this one. It’s also available at Sephora, so you can always ask for a sample before committing!
Last, is another one from Renee Rouleau, Phytolipid Comfort Cream. I picked this up after reading on the Renee Rouleau website that it was recommended for use with Retin-A. Although it’s meant to be used as a night cream, I’ve had good results using this one during the day and it works fine under makeup.
As you can see, Phytolipid Comfort Cream is a creamier and less dense formula than the other two. This allows it to go on smoothly straight from the jar. While this formula is lighter than the others, I would still classify it as a heavy moisturizer. It’s also fairly long-lasting and could easily withstand 8-10 hours at the office.
With all moisturizers, it’s important to pay attention to sun protection. I don’t believe any of those I’ve included here have built-in SPF, and while my foundation generally does, I always like to supplement with sunscreen. UV rays have been proven to accelerate the aging process and (much, much worse) cause melanoma. So never forget to protect your skin, even on cloudy days!
Let me know if you enjoy this sort of post. If you’re wondering about a specific moisturizer not listed here (and there are loads) don’t hesitate to ask. I’ve tried out many more that didn’t make this post!
P.S. Thank you so much, Renee Rouleau, for your kind mention on Twitter of this post! I’ve been buying and loving Renee Rouleau products for years now and she has tons of helpful skin care tips on her blog/Advice section as well. For anyone interested in a professional’s advice regarding just about any skin care tip/concern you can think of, I’d highly recommend checking it out!