Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Surviving the Dry, Cold, Winter Months!!

Today when I woke up, it was -15° out this morning. That's without a windchill. If you live in an area like me, the cold winters result in chapped lips, dry skin, and cracked hands... none of which look or feel pretty. Luckily, I have some fight in me, and the help of some great products! The most important thing you can do is MOISTURIZE, but you can take that to the next level with the help of exfoliating!

For Your Hands...
Your hands are probably the first thing to react to the cold. They become dry, red, and can even crack and bleed. To exfoliate those beauties, use a hand scrub (usually sugar based) to remove all those old, dead skin cells. I highly recommend Burt's Bees Sugar Scrub ($13), but you can even make your own at home for just pennies! Find a spare mason jar (we all have at least a dozen of those laying around somewhere, right?), and make a mixture of sugar (the larger rock sugar works even better) and olive oil. You can add some honey or coconut oil if you have it handy as well, just mix until you get a gel-like consistency. Grab a nickel-sized amount and rub through your hands for about a minute and rinse with luke-warm water. (On a side note, avoid hot water as much as possible, as it is super drying!) I promise you your hands will feel baby soft when you're done!

After exfoliating, its time to moisturize! There are plenty of great hand moisturizers out there, but people are so quick to jump to the best smelling one. The problem with these heavily fragrance moisturizers is all the fragrance and chemicals used to keep it smelling great- they are drying! You'll find yourself using even more moisturizer. I recommend something with natural fragrances, such as Josie Maran's Whipped Argan Oil Hand Cream ($22), L'Occitane Ulta Rich Body Cream ($44) for use all over, or the more pocket friendly Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream ($6.99).

For Your Lips...
Chapped lips are the worst. They hurt, they peel and can bleed, and nothing ruins a pretty shade of lipstick more. But the solution is once again- exfoliate and moisturize! You can use the exact same sugar scrub you made for your hands, on your lips! Massage the mixture into your lips with a clean finger and rinse! Another great low-cost solution is to make a paste of baking soda and water, and use your tooth brush to gently scrub your lips! The results are great! For on the go, Tarte makes a great  Maracuja Lip Exfoliate ($16) that works great! 

Time to moisturize! Hands down, the best lip balm to ever touch my lips is Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50). It leaves your lips feeling like silk, has all natural ingredients, and one stick lasts forever! However, the price can be a tough pill to swallow. A great drugstore alternative is Softlips Lip Protectant ($2.99)! A lip balm with sunscreen is your best bet!

For Your Face...
Your face might not look as bad as your lips or hands, but dry skin can definitely cause more frustrating problems like breakouts, dry patches, or redness. To exfoliate, my holy grail product is my Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System ($125), but the price hurts just looking at it. Definitely put it on your wish list, I promise you it will change your skin forever! And exfoliating is just the beginning for the Mia- it also minimizes pores, cleans your skin like no other product you've ever tried (I promise), and evens out your skin tone. But, for a more cost friendly alternative to exfoliate, try St Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Scrub ($5.99). Be careful- too much exfoliation can hurt you more than it helps! I would start with once or twice a week and slowly work up to a higher frequency of use.

For moisturizing your face, again, look for something without fragrance and that is safe for you skin. I swear by First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream ($12), but a great drugstore alternative that I use just as often is Cetaphil's Daily Facial Moisturizer ($12.99). Again, any SPF protection is a great bonus!

Also in the winter months, I add an extra step in my moisturizing routine- face oil! I know you're thinking "there's no way I'm putting oil on my face", but your skin will love you for it! A great nighttime oil is Tarte's Pure Maracuja Oil ($17). I'm planning a great skincare routine post, and I will go into more detail on the benefits of oils!

Keep fighting the good fight out there against Old Man Winter, and I promise spring will be right around the corner!

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