Getting That Winter-Summer Glow
Oh the plagues of dry skin, chapped lips and red noses! Winter has come and between the harsh winds and freezing temperatures, our skin is not getting treated too kindly.
The cold weather has settled in here in Shanghai; although, for a moment, I was sure it was going to lighten up as the temperature peaked back up into 50’s. The quick turnaround plunge into freezing temperatures the same week proved me wrong. So, I can’t put away the winter necessities just quite yet, to my dismay.
My body is still not excepting the fact, that I live somewhere that has a real winter. Tropical winters and temperate winters are incomparable. The cold is on a different level. I pulled out my coats, jackets, and fuzzy socks in preparation. I knew that winter was coming yet still refuse to accept it. My body still goes into shock, like “Why are we putting ourselves through this?!”
For all those who live in places with real winters, how do you face the cold? My first winter, the hair and skin terrors hit me hard. The winter only lasts a few days in Florida, barely a couple of weeks. In Shanghai, the winter months seem to drag. I’ve concluded, the only way to make it through winter without coming out like jerky is to stock up on those holy grail beauty products that would leave my face glowing, hair shining, and skin soft to the touch.
Photo by Jamie Street
Without the warmth, it’s best to focus on hydration and moisture. Still, we must remember not to overdo it. While our skin may change with the season, we must accommodate its needs and ensure it stays healthy and balanced. My choices below reflect a care routine for dry and oily skin since my skin becomes extra dry in the winter.
An oil cleanser is perfect for removing impurities and makeup from your skin all while balancing, softening and moisturizing. Oil cleansing can be done alone or in a double-cleansing routine. Currently, I am using Innisfree’s Green Tea Oil Cleanser. One pump and it’s “hello” clean soft skin!
Cleansing Water or Micellar Water
Don’t start out dehydrating your skin. It is better to use a cleansing or micellar water instead of soap alone. This is to prevent your skin from being stripped of its natural oils. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin and not only cleanses but softens skin and improves skin tone.
Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Toner
What can I say about It’s Skin Hyaluronic Acid Toner? This toner is one of my favorites! I used it before to just help with oil control, and now I love it for moisture. This lightly scented toner helps skin retain moisture. The key for me is to layer it 3 times.
Normally, I wouldn’t include a hydrating serum in my routine, but for the winter harshness it’s a must for an added layer of protection. Serums usually do not come in large sizes. It makes sense, they pack a huge punch in a little dose. Innisfree’s Intensive Hydrating Serum with green tea seed does just that. In two or three pumps, my skin is amply plenished, plump and ready for the next stage.
I seal everything in with Corsx Advanced Snail 92. If you are wondering, yes, it does contain snail mucus—and I love it! The cream absorbs easily without leaving any residue or sticky feeling. My face is nice and soft after a double application. Best of all, a little goes a long way with this moisturizer.
The dread of chapped and cracked lips! This requires a little bit of Innisfree Lip Sleeping Pack with Pomegranate at night and thin layer in the morning before applying any lip color, or tinted lip balm. A back up to this is always some good ole Vaseline.
Hydrating Face Masks
Sheet masks. A. Must. It quenches all my winter skin needs with glowing results. The intense moisture is a killer for battling the cold. I look to Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Bamboo sheet mask during this season as my main mask and rotate in Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Honey and Tea Tree, for moisture and clear skin, respectively.
Coconut oil is my fail safe. On days where I know it will be especially cold and my face will most likely get beat up by the wind, I lightly pat on some coconut oil where it will be felt the most—my nose, cheeks, and forehead. Not only is coconut oil a good moisturizer, it is also a great sealant. My face may be glistening when I leave, but by the time I walk into work, the shine is gone, and my face is still soft.
Photo by Tiko Giorgadze
Winter is not the time to skimp on hair care! Curly hair especially will easily get dull, dry and become vulnerable to other hair damage. My go-to for dealing with cold weather is protective styling because my primary concern is my hair drying out. Ninety percent of the time my hair is under a wig. But under the wig….
It really can be used for anything. Once again, I use it as a sealant for my hair and moisturizer for my scalp. It has always done me well. It does not require a brand name, as long as it is organic. I tend to go with coconut oil straight from the grocery store that comes in a mason jar.
In the morning and at night, a conditioning mist is great for replenishing your hair. It’s easy and simple, great for late mornings and styled hair. If I don’t have Cantu’s Leave-In Conditioning Mist, I can easily substitute with a mixture of my natural conditioner and water.
In shower shampoo and conditioner is not enough. A leave-in conditioner is essential for nourishing your hair beyond the sink or shower. Leave-in conditioners treat a variety of hair needs including, hair repair, moisture, and color treated. Currently, I am quenching my curls with Cantu’s Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Cream. It is everything and smells so good!
Hair butter is a recent addition for me. In the winter time, my hair will easily break or ring into single stranded knots, being brittle. The moisture treatment and added nutrients is much appreciated by my curls.
Photo by Caroline Hernandez
The skin is the largest organ on the body and as such requires a lot of treatment and pamper with everything we put it through in the day. Braving the cold is just one of its many tasks.
These are great for initial hydration. St. Ives Nourish & Soothe lotion is like toner for the body during the winter. It preps for my remaining moisturizing steps. The lotion is a thin, water-based mixture. It’s lightly fragrant and absorbs easily.
Body Cream or Butter
Body creams and butters are thicker in consistency and can be used together or separately to give the skin that added moisture and nourishment. Jergen’s Hydrating Coconut Crema cream deeply penetrates skin for intensive moisture and nourishment to help make skin soft and supple. The smooth blend absorbs well without sticky excess and feeling heavy. It also smells like a tropical vacation.
I’m a fan of hand-made beauty products, and butters are really popular now. Essential oils can be added to the body butters for treatment or simply for nice scents. My favorites so far have been eucalyptus, cinnamon and tea tree.
Body Oil or Gel
The final sealant. Swap on some gel or body oil of choice as a final step and have soft skin throughout the day. These are great for sealing in those previous moisturizing layers with the bonus of added nourishment.
If you have any more recommendations for skin and face care for the winter, feel free to gladly share. As when it comes to keeping skin healthy soft, and smooth in the winter, all tips are appreciated.