This winter in Vancouver has been absolutely brutal – we almost never get snow here but this year we had five separate cases of snowfall and blizzards. With the arctic cold air, also came the dry, itchy, irritated skin. Here are some products I’ve been using lately to help soothe and heal my winter skin.
Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser
The Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser (C$38.50 for 100mL) is my go-to morning cleanser. It contains beautiful hydrating oils such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, rose oil, as well as nourishing shea butter. I also love that it contains lactic acid to help gently exfoliate any pillow-residue / dead skin cells off my skin before applying skincare and makeup. It is ultra gentle, massaging wonderfully into my skin and rinsing off completely. I also love this because you can use it on damp skin (some cream cleansers require that you use it on dry skin and then emulsify later with water), which makes it easy for those lazy morning cleanses.
A little bit goes a long way, I’ve been using mine for two months and I’ve only used up 1/3 of the bottle. I normally use two pumps, but in an effort to use it up more quickly, I’ve started using three pumps. Two pumps is more than enough though. It smells wonderful, but that’s also where my major issue lies with this product – fragrance (parfum) lies halfway down the ingredients list, even before rosa damascena flower oil, which is really disappointing from an ingredients point of view. I will still use this though, because it does cleanse, soften, and hydrate my skin, all in one.
You can pick up Primavera at Petal & Post.
For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules GHK-Cu Moisturizing Serum
The biggest mistake that you can make when you have dry skin is not replenishing your skin of water, and only replenishing the oil. It’s important to have balance, both oil and water content should be at a happy medium in order to have comfortable skin. I use a deeply nourishing facial oil at night, but during the day, I make sure to replenish my skin’s water via a lighter, but still heavily hydrating facial serum. The For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Serum (C$68 for 30mL) is a light-as-water serum that just plumps my skin out and refills my overnight heater dehydrated skin with a heavy dose of water. I only use one pump and it’s enough to cover my entire face. It’s also a great pre-makeup serum because it absorbs so quickly, making my morning base prep so much easier.
You can purchase For Beloved One at T&T Supermarket locations across Canada.
belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb
My favourite day-time moisturizer during the winter is the belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (C$47 for 50mL). This lightweight gel-cream moisturizer applies very thinly but veils my skin in a heavy dose of water. I love this during the day because it absorbs so quickly while relieving dryness, flakes, and redness. I like to use a heavier / more emollient sunscreen during the winter, and the lightweight moisturizer layers perfectly underneath. It also creates a great base for makeup, as it leaves my skin looking and feeling smoother. On certain days I end up using more than my usual dose of moisturizer, but it never leaves my skin greasy. The only negative is that it doesn’t contain any built in SPF, otherwise it’d be even more perfect!
belif is available at The Face Shop locations across Canada and online.
L’Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanser
My night-time cleanser is the L’Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanser (C$28 for 125mL), a new product introduced this January. It is a very gentle foaming cleanser, lathering up into a soft foam. It removes light makeup, and leaves my skin feeling clean but never stripped – it is one of those rare foaming cleansers that actually leaves my skin feeling super soft! If you’re a lover of foaming cleansers like me, and despite having dry skin, can never wean off the foaming cleanser, this is the ONE for you. The major ingredient in this is 5% shea oil, which really does help to protect and nourish the skin. I can see myself repurchasing this, and also purchasing it for my mom to use.
You can get L’Occitane products at L’Occitane boutiques and Murale stores across Canada.
Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum
The Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum (C$182 for 30mL) is an aloe vera leaf juice-based hydrating and anti-aging serum that is created using Kat Burki’s signature cold pressed methods, and contains her famous KB5™ Complex. It also contains rose hip seed oil, and stable forms of Vitamins C, B, A, and E. Aloe vera and glycerin provide intense hydration, while everything else helps to balance and brighten the skin, while minimizing future lines, wrinkles and the look of pores. While it is pricey, a little bit goes a very long way – I only use one pump on my face and neck each time.
Kat Burki is available at Murale, Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutique Online, and Nordstrom locations in Canada.
Farmacy Eye Dew
The Farmacy Eye Dew (C$49 for 15mL) has been my go-to winter eye cream for the last little while. It has a gel-cream texture that feels lightweight, but is still quite emollient in terms of spreadability. Supposedly it is great for dark circles, dullness and elasticity, but I haven’t really noticed much improvement in those areas but it is very hydrating without being heavy. Since moving into my late 20s, I’ve really noticed that my under eye area is dryer and that there are more lines, so sad. This product really helps to keep those lines at bay, without giving my undereye area milia. A little goes a long way, so this 15mL size really lasts a very long time.
You can pick up your Farmacy products from Sephora.
May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
I can’t be writing a winter skin rescue story without including the cult favourite May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (US$160 for 50mL). This is a cult classic for a reason – it does an incredible job at soothing redness, irritation, and general weathered skin. I find that it is actually not the most hydrating facial oil unless you seriously pile it on, but the blue tansy oil does a fantastic job at calming any redness that I may have. I don’t use this every day, but rather on the days or nights when I feel like my skin is overbeaten. Did I mention even though this is basically 100% oil, but you can use this in your eye area? It doesn’t leave milia, and really helps to soothe the area around my eyes as well. Works on lips too!
Pick up your May Lindstrom from the May Lindstrom online shop!
Hand & body
L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm
The L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm (C$40 for 150mL) is the newest member of the L’Occitane Shea Butter body care family. It contains a whopping 25% shea butter formula in a beautiful light balm texture. My hands are usually the first to show dryness in winter. Wait who am I kidding, my hands are dry all the time… but it’s especially bad in the winter! I’ve been getting cracks in my hands and also any cuts just don’t heal because the dryness pulls the skin apart. I’ve been slathering this on religiously since I received it, always applying a very thick layer right before bed. I was worried that the heavy shea butter content would leave my skin feeling super greasy, but it actually completely absorbs! It also leaves a soft, silky protective film on top of my skin to prevent moisture from escaping. While I feel like my hands are just marginally more hydrated in the morning, I’ve actually gotten to the point where I don’t have to continuously apply hand cream overnight.
Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion
In addition to dry skin on my face, the rest of my body is also dry and scaly. The Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion is my secret to deeper body exfoliation and also allowing other more nourishing products to penetrate deeper into my skin. I use this product twice a week, allow it to dry on my skin, then layer on another, thicker body cream (currently I’m using The Body Shop’s Spa of the World line, so much love for this). My elbows, legs, and knees are the worst when it comes to dehydration, and this really helps to remove that top layer of dead skin.
Pick up Reversa at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations near you.
Some of the products featured were courtesy of PR for review consideration, others were purchased with my own money; all opinions are my own.