Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter Skin Savers

Photo by Michele Shirley

The cold, blustery, winter weather can stress out the very best of skin, and living in Connecticut, I've seen my fair share of harsh winters. But what happens when moisturizer alone isn't enough? You shouldn't have to deal with irritated, red, dry or dull skin! Great makeup is only as good as the skin that lies underneath, so you need to take care of yours and protect it from stressful conditions. 

Face oils are a great add on to your beauty routine, especially in the winter time. They add extra hydration and boost radiance while still feeling lightweight and clean. Oils are true multi-taskers and if you choose the right one and apply it correctly, it won't make you greasy. The correct way to apply oil is to put about 3 drops into your hands, then massage your palms together to distribute it. Then press your palms onto your forehead, cheeks and chin and let it absorb. Everyone can wear an oil, it is just a matter of finding the one that works for you. As an example, many people LOVE Josie Maran's Argan oils but they make me break out like crazy! What works for one person might not for another, so take home some samples and figure out what helps your skin feel its best. My two personal favorites are Boscia's Tsubaki Beauty Oil and Fresh's Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil.

* Boscia's Tsubaki Oil works well with any skin type. It absorbs immediately and leaves zero greasy residue but truly imparts baby-soft skin. I have dry skin and I love it, and friends with oily skin love it for morning and evening use too! It has a pleasant, faint floral smell and helps combat oil, shrink pores and improve fine lines. If you only try one oil, this would be it!

* Fresh's Seaberry Oil is the most hydrating oil I have tried, yet it doesn't weigh down my skin. Sea Buckthorn is its hero ingredient, and it is a very interesting one because it has been used to treat a multitude of skin issues ranging from eczema to severe burns. It soothes, moisturizes and repairs the skin, leaving it healthy and glowing. Being dry skinned, I can wear this in the morning or evening, but those with normal/combo/oily skin will probably only want to wear it at night.

Masks are my favorite skincare category hands down. I love to use them all year round, whether for clearing toxins, minimizing pores or adding radiance. Masks are great for soothing and hydrating as well. My top three picks are the Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment, the Korres Greek Yoghurt Sleeping Facial, and the Boscia Tsubaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask. All of these masks are meant to be left on while you sleep, which is great because they can penetrate deeper into your skin, but it also might mean that your pillow could stick to your face (haha). I've never used a silk pillowcase, but one is recommended for treatments like these because they will glide a little bit better against your skin instead of sticking to it.

* Glam Glow is famous for their deep cleaning and anti-aging masks, and they recently added a hydrating mask into their lineup. It is meant to be used overnight to lock in moisture and sooth the skin. It smells absolutely delicious, like cinnamon and sugar, and it leaves your skin feeling silky and hydrated. Just know that this mask stays wet on the surface of the skin, so you might wake up with your hair or bits of fuzz stuck to your face.

* A step up from your nighttime moisturizer, the Korres Greek Yoghurt Sleeping Facial soothes redness and adds proteins, minerals and vitamins to stressed skin leaving the complexion soft and hydrated. It is supposed to be used every so often as a 'facial in a jar' but it is gentle enough to use every night if you wish. Unlike the other two masks, this one will absorb completely into your skin like a moisturizer, so you won't have to worry about it getting onto your pillowcase! I love its subtle scent and soft texture, and I sometimes even use this during the day when I'm feeling extra dry.

* Boscia just released another mask, sure to be a favorite just like their peel-off Luminizing Black Mask. This one is also meant to be left on overnight and promises a smoother surface, smaller pores, a bright glow and hydrated skin. This mask delivers with a subtle flowery scent that is pleasant and not overwhelming. I love how soft it leaves my face and how creamy the mask texture is on my skin. Again, this mask stays wet on the surface of the skin, so you might wake up with your hair or bits of fuzz stuck to your face.

Lip Products
Don't forget about your lips, they get ragged this time of year as well! The best way to combat dry, chapped lips is with a lip scrub and an intensive balm. 

* My favorite lip scrub is by Bite Beauty, it tastes like cherry and it's all natural, made with food-grade fruit butters. 

* When I want a tint, I love my Dior Lip Glow and my Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in 'Rose'. The Dior one changes to a girly pink that suits your individual skin tone, and the Fresh one adds a subtle, natural looking hue. (Dior just added a coral color as well!)

* For intense overnight repair you want to use a product without SPF, and the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy balm is the best I've ever tried for deep hydration.

UPDATE: I had written this post before I found this next item, but I wanted to share it because it is better than anything else (even the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy) I've ever tried for deep hydration!

* The Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask is incredible! This antioxidant packed treatment is comprised of agave nectar, jojoba oil and vanilla CO2 extract that will intensely hydrate the lips and get rid of cracks or dryness. It's natural, free of gluten and petroleum, and it smells and tastes amazing! It's thick in the tube but it feels like a soothing lip balm once applied, so I like to wear it throughout the day and at night.

Stay warm! 

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