My Winter Skincare Essentials

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The high for Monday in Atlanta is currently predicted at 39 degrees. The high!

Don’t you just love the winter weather? When it’s biting cold outside, and every building you walk into must have boiler heat and it must be set on the sweltering setting?

I’ve got no real fight to pick against winter, itself, really. It is what it does to my skin of which I’m not a huge fan. It’s that beautiful time of year when my skin can’t decide if it wants to be dry as dust or an oily mess.

To combat my skin’s ambivalence, I’ve collected some tried and true winter essentials — skincare and beauty products that have found their way into heavy rotation during these colder months.

 

First things first: removing makeup.

1. Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleanser and Make-up Remover
$16.00 (30 ml) / $42.00 (120 ml)

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I first purchased this stuff on whim, along with a few other products from this brand, from Urban Outfitters. (I find a lot of good lesser-known skincare and makeup brands on clearance on the Urban Outfitters website, truth be told.) After using it for a week, I actually went back and purchased 2 more back-ups at the clearance price because I loved it so much. It does wonders to not only remove makeup, but heal and balance your skin.

This is an oil cleanser, and while it may seem counter-intuitive to use oil-based skincare products if you, like me, have oily skin, it actually replenishes your natural oils and keeps your skin from over-producing oil during the day. Harsh products that dry out your skin can actually trigger the skin to produce even more oil that it normally would. In short, more oil = less oil. I have gotten to the point that I love using natural oils to cleanse my skin, no matter the time of year.

If you’re new to cleansing oils, all you do is put a sufficient amount in your hand (I use about 10 pumps of this stuff), rub it between your palms, and then massage the oil all over your face. At first, it will look like a hot mess, especially if you have on a full face of makeup. But you take a damp cloth and gently wipe the oil from your face, and everything comes off with it. And I do mean everything. This takes off even the most stubborn eye makeup like a dream. And it leaves your skin so soft! Seriously, after using this cleansing oil every day for only a week, I could not stop touching my face because my skin was so soft and smooth. It’s also great to use at night, before bed, because it contains lavender and other calming essential oils.

 

2. Enfants Paradis Hydrating Cleansing Toner
$22.75 (50 ml)

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After cleansing, I like to use a toner to remove any excess product and/or pick up any microscopic bits of makeup that may have been left behind. While the Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner is my holy grail toner, I have been using this a LOT in the winter months because it’s extra hydrating. Plus it smells AH-mazing.

Enfants Paradis is actually an Australian Botanical Skincare brand, with their flagship store being located in Bali. This is another Urban Outfitters clearance score.

 

3. Nature’s Bounty Vitamin E Oil
$6.00-7.00 (2.5 fl oz)

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If my skin is feeling extremely dry, or if I’ve used a mask or scrub that’s irritated my skin, I like to use straight-up Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E is found in tons and tons of moisturizing products, but when my skin is in distress, I go for the gold.

The brand I used is Nature’s Bounty, but you can find quality Vitamin E oils from a number of different brands.

 

4. Pur-Lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum
$65.00 (15 ml)

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This stuff is pricy! I actually got mine in a BoxyCharm box — I did NOT pay full retail — but after using it for about 5 weeks, I may have to splurge when I finally run out.

My under-eye area is always so dry, and I sometimes suffer from dark circles, especially toward the inner corners of my eyes. Using this serum at night and in the mornings has really helped in all of those areas. I can always tell a difference in the mornings if I’ve forgotten to use it the night before.

 

5. Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm
$7.00 (0.8 oz)

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I absolutely adore Smith’s Lip Balms. I have the Strawberry and the Rose Salve in the tins, but the one I’ve been going to lately is the Minted Rose; I love the peppermint oil. According to Sephora, these can also be used to sooth skin irritation, and on chapped, cracked hands and elbows, as well as dry, chapped lips.

 

6. Burt’s Bees Hand Salve 
$9.00 (3 oz)

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Speaking of cracked hands, mine get incredibly dry in the winter months. When I worked in restaurants and was tending bar it was so much worse because I was constantly washing and drying my hands. This 100% natural salve has been my go-to for years. I always keep a travel-size tin in my bag and on my bedside table.

 

7. Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream
$9.00 (2 oz)

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Another Burt’s Bees favorite is the Almond & Milk hand cream. This stuff is super thick and smells wonderful. I used it on a daily basis, on not just my hands, but my elbows and other exceptionally dry spots, as well.

 

8. Aster & Bay Argan + Ylang Ylang Hair Oil
$28 (59 ml – SOLD OUT)

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My skin isn’t the only thing that suffers from dryness in the winter. Because I heat-dry my hair so much more in the winter, my ends get dry and brittle much faster. This shine-infusing hair oil is a great treatment, and I love the herbal scent.

Aster & Bay is a botanical beauty line run by a couple here in Atlanta, so this product gets extra points for being local. This hair oil is currently sold out everywhere, but I encourage you to check out their website and try some of their other products. Everything is 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

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