Winter Skin Essentials

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I don't know about anyone else, but so far 2015 is being quite snappy + cold in terms of day it's balmy and sunny (I wore SHORTS last week), then yesterday it was 30 degrees when I woke up. Ughhhh.

So while I've been trying to adjust to the rapid weather changes, I've found a couple things helpful for my skin during the colder days.

1. Bundling Up - Head to Toe

If I've just woken up, it's all too tempting to roll out of bed, throw on a jacket and run to class. But I've made it a priority to make sure I put on a thick pair of socks, wrap a warm scarf around my neck (infinity ones are the best, you can bury your face in them), and slip on a thick headband that covers my ears or a warm beanie. Gloves are also great if you have a long walk or bike commute ahead of you.

Simple things, I know, but ones that have overall contributed to my happiness...I'm less grouchy in the morning and my skin is less red + chapped when most of me is protected from the cold + wind.

2. Water, Water, Water

Hydration is definitely still an area where I need to improve, but I carry around a water bottle in my backpack pocket and try to make sure I get 1-2 glasses at each meal. I always notice a difference in my skin when I'm not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep. One of my favorite ways to hydrate is tons of winter citrus (I keep a bag of grapefruit in my room) and fresh fruits in the morning. I also try to eat at least one salad a day for those leafy greens - so important to get clean eats in there. Like I said, I can always tell by my skin if I'm not doing #2 and #3.

3. Make Time for Sleep

This by far is one of my that I'm finally making it a top priority and it feels good to try being more disciplined about it. I love reading blogs, checking IG, and Pinning at night especially, so one way I like to wind down is by having a little routine.

I light a candle (if I don't have one burning already), change into a tank + yoga pants, put my slippers on, wipe off any makeup or wash my face while soft classical music plays in the background. I also like keeping my main overhead light off (not a fan of fluorescents) and use my lamp instead, which gives the room a warm, cozy glow. Then, a spritz of lavender mist on my pillows and sheets and off to bed I go. If I'm still not tired, I'll usually journal or write until I'm sleepy.

4. Take Care of Those Lips

In addition to skin cracking, my lips usually suffer during winter, so I'm that obnoxious girl who is always slathering on helps immensely though, because even lips need some TLC. I've gushed before about my love for Maybelline's drugstore BabyLips (the clear one is my all time favorite) because it goes on so smoothly but isn't sticky and it sinks straight in. Definitely does a great moisturizing job. Burt's Bee's has some great ones too, in almost every scent/flavor.

I also like to regularly exfoliate my lips with E.L.F's lip exfoliator (again, available in drugstores, not expensive + so worth buying!). It's essentially a compact tube of a brown sugar scrub with honey + vanilla and...oh. my. word. It smells + tastes so good. I swear my lips are softer and look larger afterwards!

5. Homemade Sauna 

photo one credit; a cup of joe

One thing that I've found so relaxing and good for my skin is to let the hot water run in the shower - as hot as possible for a minute or two with the shower curtain shut, even before you get in. The hot water rises and thickens into steam, creating a sauna-like atmosphere.

If I really want a spa feel, I spray a few quirts of this amazing mist into the stream of hot water and voila...instant lavender aromatherapy. I usually let my skin soak up the moisture (it feels so good) and let my pores open up. Then you can turn the water to a cooler temperature and shower like normal.

6. Face + Lotion

I've always had really bad cracked skin, mainly on my hands and knuckles, during winter, but I found this great cream by Neutrogena that I slather sinks in at once and leaves my normally-leathery hands feeling soft and rich. I haven't had an issue with my skin cracking this year, but I know it's a common problem, so I thought I'd share what's worked for me in the past. Bath & Body Works's coconut lotion is something I love for normal lotion purposes as the tropical scent is especially cheerful during the cold, grey dreary months.

I also try to give my face a gentle deep-cleanse once a week or so, and this stuff is amazing. I tried it after hearing EssieButton mention it in one of her videos...and I'm so glad I did. It's cool + creamy + exfoliating + smoothing + refreshing + hydrating all at once. I always feel like I'm pampering myself when I use it - and it lasts forever! I've been on one tube for over a year now.

So there you are, friends...a couple of ways how I take care of my skin during these cold months. Do you have any tips or tricks? I'd love to hear them below in the comments!


  1. Oh, how I wish it were 30 degrees! That sounds like a beautiful heat wave! ;-) Even living an hour away from Chicago, we still get the full force of Lake Effect weather and while snow levels haven't been bad this year, it has been COLD (highs of 15 degrees this week!) I definitely hear you on the dry skin... and I need to get much better about drinking more water. I tend to reach for a hot coffee or chocolate before drinking water this time of year, but I am working on getting better with that.

    1. I realize that's nothing to you Northerners, haha...I always froze in New York each time I was there. But I'm right there with ya on the drinking caffeine or hot chocolate instead of water. But improvement only comes with effort, so I'm trying!

  2. I wish it was 30 degrees here today! That would be wonderful! We've had highs of less than 10 degrees all week. I'm excited for the 20 degrees they are predicting for this weekend! Dry skin is terrible in the winter, especially my hands because they are so cracked. I am a nursing student, so I wash my hands a lot. I try to drink enough water but it's hard when it's cold. I usually try to use lotion and sometimes coconut oil at night. I also need to get more sleep - that is one area I fail at constantly.

    1. Ugh, 10 degrees - I don't know how you Yankees do it! And I hear you on the dry's terrible! I'm a huge hand-washer, so I always worse my problem too. I keep hearing really good things about coconut oil...I need to try it!

  3. Yep, we had a 70 degree day last week, and ice on Monday! This weather is crazy! I've made sleep a huge priority this school year, and have finally gotten into a good consistent routine. It makes such a difference in so many things! Also thanks for the reminder that I should drink water and not just coffee or tea. ;)

    1. Insane!! Sometimes I think weather has a female personality because it's as fickle as me at times! That's great that you've gotten into a good sleep routine - I'm still trying to work out the kinks with my own schedule!

  4. Girl, 30 degrees is balmy compared to my stomping grounds... Hah. This is a great list! Clinique is my favorite lip stuff - they have great colors that also work as a moisturizer. :)

    The Starving Inspired

    1. So I keep hearing, ahah. Ooh, good tip about Clinique!