When I was a child, dry weather was my enemy. At the touch of the winter wind, the skin on my hands would inflame and my knuckles would crack like the Salt Flats of Utah, bleeding on my school books. My lips would split when I laughed, and my hair would break when I brushed it. By December, my mother was lathering my hands in solid lanolin nightly, sealing them with gloves to keep in the moisture.
Now that I’m older, things have leveled out a bit. Still, I struggle every year, not with coldness, but with the brittle air that creates static cling and breaks my skin to pieces.
I’m not a complex-beauty-routine kind of person, but I have found a few simple - maybe even obvious - tools that help me manage winter skincare, and I hope you’ll share any insights you have, too.
This is honestly the one I struggle with the most. I’m terrible at drinking water, but it is so vitally important for overall health and makes a giant difference in how dry your skin looks and feels. 64 oz. or about two liters of water a day is a good place to start. There’s an app I find helpful and very charming called Plant Nanny which gives you pet plants to take care of. In order to keep them healthy, you must log your water intake. And they’re really cute, so you want them to make it!
Find the right chapstick
I am a chapstick fanatic. It’s a truth I’ve come to accept. I didn’t mean to be this way, but when Carmex and Blistex just made my chapped lips worse, I embarked on a years-long search to find a brand that really worked. For me, it turned out to be Vaseline’s Lip Therapy (I like the Creme Brulee flavor best), but take the time to try and find the best product for your skin type. It just elevates your comfort level in winter so much that I’ve found it worth the effort to find the perfect match for me.
PRO TIP: This also works great on a chapped nose!
The thing I’ve found most helpful other than moisturizing is exfoliation. Now obviously you don’t want to go too far here, but about once a week I “dry brush” my face with a face brush (I got mine from Amazon, I think they were these). I also love to use homemade scrubs, and if I ever get the chance for a bath, I’m hitting my hands and feet with everything I’ve got.
I don’t think I’m alone, here! Some of my favorite bloggers have shared their recipes for DIY scrubs (etc), so I thought I’d link the ones I like best below, in case you’re interested:
I’ll keep building this list as time goes by and I discover more products and recipes!
I know this post is super-simple, but I really have found that covering your bases and making sure that 1) you’re hydrated and 2) you’re moisturing and exfoliating properly generally keeps things under control long enough to make it to spring.
Any tips from you to me? I would really love to find more simple-but-effective ideas for surviving brittle winters. Let me know!