Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to effectively moisturize in winter


I have a love-hate relationship with winter. I love the crispness in the air, the promise of soft snow, and sticking two sticks on my feet and skidding down a mountain, but I detest the myriad of bodily problems that pop up during the season. We've discussed my nose freezing up (which a few of you identify strongly with), so let's get to another big problem: skin.

Every year in November, if I don't keep up a regular moisturizing regimen, I will inevitably get rashes on various parts of my body. Once, I had to go to a doctor because I was suffering from dry skin even after constantly moisturizing. I wasn't prescribed anything, but I did walk away with valuable tips on how to avoid it happening again.

The best time to moisturize is after getting out of the shower. Your pores will be open from the hot water and thus absorb product better. Pat down (do not rigorously wipe!) your skin so that it's still a little damp, then apply lotion liberally.

Some days I don't have time to moisturize immediately out of the shower, which is when I layer a body oil and lotion later in the day. I've found a few products that work marvelously together and provide me with that elusive 24-hour hydration (no matter what the marketing people say, it's hard to find them). In fact, nowadays I only get rashes if I don't moisturize within a week!

1. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Spray ($46 for 3.3 fl oz / 100ml)
I'm on my second bottle of this cult classic. If Nuxe was known for one thing only, it would be their Huile Prodigieuse oil. I like the nutty, gourmand scent, and the oil hydrates skin without leaving it greasy. It also comes in a splash bottle, but I prefer the spray for ease of use and especially to access hard-to-reach areas. That said, while a spritz would be enough for summer or fall, this oil is more of a layering item in winter. I use it as a base before applying my other body creams so they absorb better.

2. Haus of Gloi Aether Pumpkin Butter ($10 for 6 oz / 177ml)
I almost didn't want to share this because it's difficult enough for me to procure as it is. Haus of Gloi is a small vegan business that sells handmade bath and body products, and the Aether Pumpkin Butter is their best selling product. The proprietors describe the scent as "absolute nothingness." The butter itself is lightweight and easy to spread (ha!). Right now, it's out of stock again, but when it's available I usually just purchase in bulk. This is a glorious product, especially at this price point!

3. Tatcha Soothing Silk Body Butter ($46 for 6.8 oz / 200ml)
This product is geared toward people who have sensitive, inflamed, or irritated skin – perfect for a rash-prone individual like me! The indigo extract contains actives that help reduce irritation. The formula is lightly creamy, smells wonderful, and the blue hue disappears into skin upon application, leaving in its wake sighing soft skin. I will always remember it as "the nice stuff."

4. Tata Harper The Royal Treatment Ultimate Antiaging Body Set ($125 for both; 4.1 oz / 125ml each)
I'm on a Tata Harper kick lately. I love discovering products from her brand, because each of them is more decadent than the last. This limited edition set is the definition of indulgence, price and product-wise. The body oil has an intriguing formula – it pumps out of the nozzle as very fluid liquid, but applies like rich, slightly heavy (but not gross and greasy) oil. If you made me describe the scent of the oil, I would say it's nice smelling insect repellant (dear Tata Harper, I'm sorry my nose sucks). The application instructions echoes my doctor's advice: massage generously onto damp skin.

The lotion is much lighter in texture and less distinct in scent. While not entirely necessary, since the body oil is rich enough as it is, I apply the lotion after the oil dries as extra immunity toward the frigid weather. Both products boast a long list of Good Things in its ingredients.

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample products sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

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