Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Favorite Winter Products

This is it.  Winter is here. The holidays are over, the first crocuses are many weeks away, and shoveling and studded snow tires are the norm for a time.  In honor of the Nor'easter about to bear down on us this evening, I thought I would review some of my favorite products to protect your skin for the season.  I hate that mid-winter feeling of your face being on too tight and your hands cracking painfully.  After many, many years of living in New England, I finally have a near-perfect roster of moisturizing products, guaranteed to make you feel like your skin is in Hawaii, even if your body is stuck in Boston for the foreseeable future.

For the face:
Our faces are on the front lines in the colder months.  The rest of our bodies are swaddled in wool and fleece, protected from the elements, but our faces are out front, relentlessly taking on the wind and bitter temperatures.  Times like these call for special treatment.  An extra rich facial cream is a worthwhile and necessary splurge for the winter months; my favorite is Origins Perfect World Antioxidant Moisturizer with White Tea. This cream is thick and rich without being greasy, loaded with age-fighting antioxidants, is paraben-free and smells dreamy (think citrus fruits on a beach vacation), plus the price point is reasonable compared to other products in this class.  Even after a run in the bracing wind yesterday, my face felt soft and smooth.  I'm totally sold on this product.

For a cleanser, I use good old Dr. Bronners' Peppermint Castille Soap ten months of the year, but for the dead of winter, it's good to switch to something slightly less astringent.  I got this Fresh Soy Face Cleanser as a gift, and I've been really loving it.  The cleanser is strong enough to remove make up, but gentle and non-drying as well, and smells deliciously like cucumbers.  I highly recommend it.
For the lips:
Like your face, the lips bear the brunt of the harsh weather.  I've found that frequent moisturizing is the only answer to the raw cold.  I've long been a fan of the Palmers' Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick; it costs a couple bucks at the drugstore, lasts forever, smells terrific, and really does the job.  This one is really a cult classic; join the club and see what I mean.

For the hands:
During cold and flu season, we have no choice but to wash our hands frequently with plenty of soap and water.  The cruel joke is that this is incredibly drying, and soon enough your cuticles and joints will start to crack, making you more susceptible to picking up the very germs you were trying to avoid with all of that scrubbing.  Brutal.  After Little J was born, I was washing my hands a zillion times a day with every diaper change and spit up episode, and eventually my hands broke out in a horrible red rash.  Certain I had some sort of post-partum leprosy, I went to the dermatologist prepared for the worst.  Turned out my rash was just due to acute dryness, and she said the best thing she could recommend would be Cerave cream.  Cerave is another cheapy drugstore find, and because of its very un-sexy pacakaging, you'd probably walk right past it on the shelves.  Don't!  A $12 tub lasts forever and alleviated my post-baby hand-suffering in less than a week.  This thick, rich cream is also perfect for the winter months; take it from my dermatologist.
For the bod:
I was a Bath and Body Works devotee in high school and college, but have since moved on.  However, this White Citrus Body Butter appeared in my Christmas stocking, and I have to admit, I'm loving it.
It's literally as thick as butter, but absorbs into the skin immediately and leaves you feeling summery smooth, plus I love the fragrance.  Organic it is not, but you can't beat the price point, and B&BW always has some sort of buy one get one free thing going on, making it an even better deal.  For a winter treat, I think this is a great choice.

How do you keep yourself from turning into a chapped, red monster during these raw cold months?
Do tell.


  1. Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardeners Hand Therapy Cream...it's A-mazing.

  2. "will you still need me will you still feed me, when I'm 64" not a question you want to ask when you ARE 64

    keeping my skin soft and moving at 64 is not just for looks but also for feel

    it is not easy, but two quarts of water a day, no drinks that dry me out, not a lot of scrubbing, and mostly Origins products works pretty well

    he says he needs me and we just finished dinner, so there you go

  3. This past weekend I went out and got the CeraVe hand lotion. My hands were looking gnarly, but are already much improved! Thanks :)