My skin definitely takes a beating this time of year. With the wet, the cold and the winter wind pelting me outdoors, and the dry, warm air enveloping me indoors, I’m setting off on an epidermal rollercoaster for the next few months. Of course this is nothing new to me, nor I’m sure to any woman living in the northern hemisphere. So just like most of you, I’ve had to develop a tried and true arsenal to keep me glowing until all that humidity returns (yeah… I know…that’s a whole other bag of issues!).
I have four main steps in my winter skincare routine that I follow without fail morning and evening. They are fast and effective. It’s what I do before I put on my make-up and directly after I take it off at night. It’s not brain surgery. Just cleanse and moisturize. Having said that, wading through the multitude of products can be daunting, so recently I have narrowed it down to four that do the job beautifully, and I’d love to share them with all of you.
Over the last few years, micellar water has become the go-to cleanser for most Europeans and is slowly making inroads in North America. Models sing the praises of this miraculous liquid and stock up at french pharmacies whenever they get the chance. The most popular brand is made by Bioderma, a dermatological lab based in Lyon, France. The cleanser is soap-free and pH balanced. It contains microscopic beads of oil suspended in a solution that allows for the cleansing of face and removal of all make-up without drying or irritating the skin. I apply it with a cotton pad and wipe, repeating until my face is clean. No need to rinse with water but definitely dry with a clean towel. My face feels so clean and amazing after use.
I purchased mine in Paris where it’s called Crealine but it is readily available in North America under the name Sensibio. You’ll find it online here or at most drugstores.
My go-to facial moisturizer for the last little while has been Moisture Surge Intense Fortifying Hydrator by Clinique and I love it! It’s a long name that keeps dry skin at bay for a long time. The texture is a combination of gel-cream so it absorbs nicely and leaves my skin plump without feeling greasy. There is a lovely floral scent to the product that might not be to everyone’s taste but it doesn’t bother me or irritate my skin. I always put my face products on while my skin is damp to help seal in tge moisture. But sometimes, I layer the Hydrator on more thickly as a moisturizing mask and leave it on while I’m relaxing with a book or even cooking. The steam from all those pots opens my pores and makes absorbing the cream that much easier. After 30 minutes I gently tissue it off to reveal baby soft skin. Feels heaven.
Clinique products are available in many department stores but they also have a great site.
I’m starting to see tiny lines around my eyes. Now this doesn’t make me particularly happy but it sure as heck not going to stop me from smiling. Not being a huge fan of injecting things into my face (at least not at this point in my life), I had to find something to plump up those little suckers. Enter Advanced Time Zone eye cream by Estee Lauder. I love that it feels silky smooth when I tap it on around my eye making sure to hit the brow bone area as well. This is a more specialized product aimed specifically at the eye area and age related issues that seem to be creeping up on me. And even though the product cost is high, I’d rather feel the pain in my wallet than on my face!
It’s available to most department stores or online at Sephora.
And last but not least, I really look after my lips during winter. More than any part of the face, the lips show the effects of dryness, windburn, and the cold. I try to remember to exfoliate my lips at least once a week, but when I can’t, a great moisturizing/healing product is key.
Here, I fall back on another product that french women stock up on at their local pharmacy and which I product back with me from Paris in multiples, Homeoplasmine by Boiron. This is more of a do-it-all ointment like Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream more than a proper lip balm or moisturizer. It provides a long lasting, matte finish barrier on your lips that sinks in to get rid of dryness and flakiness. You are left with baby soft, kissable lips! I use mine both overnight and under lipstick (especially the red ones that really draw attention to my mouth). I can’t say enough about this product, especially since I’ve also used it on other parts of my body since it soothes, protects and moisturizes.
If you can’t fly out to Paris to pick up a tube, you can find a generously sized one here. It’s not inexpensive, but it lasts a long time since a little goes a long way (unless after discovering it’s multiple uses your boy starts lifting it out of your medicine cabinet!).