Ever have that feeling at the end of a long winter day that your face is absolutely barking for moisture? Or maybe you’re dealing with those annoying and sometimes painful patches of itchy dry skin between your eyebrows? Winter, we love yah, but go easy on the face please. A dry and dull complexion brought on by dry air is one of our least favorite feelings, so we’ve put together a comprehensive list of skin saving products to rescue your face from the winter elements.
We’re always telling our in-store customers to resist the urge to reach for an oil-stripping cleanser in the winter, especially if your face is already feeling dry. You don’t need to experience those scrubbing bubbles and that ultra-tight feeling in order to be clean. The outermost layer of our skin (the moisture barrier) is very sensitive, and using too-harsh cleansers can disrupt this barrier leading to moisture loss, redness, sensitivity and acne. Um, no thanks! Instead, we recommend more gentle cleansers like the Moisturizing Cleanser by Josh Rosebrook and the Cleansing Milk by Tammy Fender. Or, skip water cleansing all together and gently wipe away dirt and makeup with One Love Organic’s Vitamin B Cleansing Oil. One last insider tip on this one, try to wash your face only in the evening to wash away the day. In the morning, skip the cleanser, splash your face with a bit or water and go right to the moisturizer.
Exfoliating is super important all year round, but especially in the winter. When our skin dries out due to harsher weather, dead skin cells can clog pores leading to that ultra-frustrating combo of dry, flaky skin paired with a side of breakouts. Exfoliating 1-3 times per week washes away these excess dead skin cells, leaving skin brighter and able to breathe. Some of our favorites are the Epi Peel from Tammy Fender and the Sweet Milk & Lavender Exfoliate from Farmaesthetics. For an exfoliating experience that’s gentle enough for every day (that can be paired with any cleanser!), we love, love, love the Rose Clay Cleansing Sponge from One Love Organics.
Moisture-rich toners are a great way to boost hydration after cleansing, and before applying your oil and cream. In the winter, our skin is in need of a range of ingredients to restore and repair the skin's surface. Dry-skin friendly toners like Tammy Fender's Bulgarian Rose Water or Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator will soothe redness and flaking, leaving parched winter skin feeling supple and smooth. We love Indie Lee's COQ-10 Toner for an extra boost of moisture via hyaluronic acid.
Oil & Serums
The smaller molecule size of botanical oils allows for direct absorption into the top layers of our skin. In the winter, our outermost moisture barrier is dehydrated and nothing quenches that thirst like a face oil. For truly dry skin, we love Amber Blue's Advanced Formula Anti-Aging Serum, the Barbary Fig Seed Oil from La Bella Figura, or Tammy Fender's Quintessential Serum. Those with slightly more normal (but still a bit thirsty) skin will love the Kahina Argan Oil, The Youth Dew by May Lindstrom, or Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum.
If you’re going skiing, hiking, or just spending a good chunk of time indoors with the heater pulling every ounce of hydration out of your skin, a protective balm is the perfect way to lock in moisture. They can be worn alone or on top of any face oil; some of our favorites are the S.W. Basics Cream, the Intensive Repair Balm from Tammy Fender, and May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon. These balms have ingredients with larger molecules that sit on the surface of the skin. Think of them as the world’s most luxurious windbreaker.
There’s a reason why our first encounter with fine lines tends to be around the eye area. The skin here is very delicate and susceptible to dehydration and the best way to ward of lines is with hydration, hydration, hydration! We love the easy roll on application of La Bella Figura's Découverte Under Eye Repair Serum and the fast absorption of the Kahina Eye Serum. Those with extra dry eye areas will love the Vitamin E Active Moisture Eye Balm from One Love Organics, which incidentally makes a fantastic lip balm as well!
We’d tell you not to forget about the importance of lip care, but then again, there’s nothing that shouts louder than a bad case of chapped lips. Most of us have a lip balm hidden in every coat pocket so we never forget to sooth and hydrate our smackers. Some of our favorites are the Follain Mint Rose Lip Balm, the Sun Balm from Hurraw! (yes, SPF is important, even during winter) and for those who crave that minty-healing feeling, we love the Combat-Ready Lip Balm from Skincando. Ilia's Balmy Nights provides an amazing exfoliation that is an absolute must before applying these nourishing balms for best absorption.
We almost forgot to mention - drink water, and lots of it! It's also extremely helpful to include healthy fats in your diet from avocados, nuts, and other oils. Hydration from the inside out is perhaps the most important winter skin savior of them all!