This time of year is brutal for our skin. Dry central heating, with freezing temperatures outside can leave us with rough, dry, itchy skin. Moisturizing has long been an obsession of mine- I’ve been known to hold my daughters down and apply lotion if I thought their skin looked dry. The knees! The hands! The elbows! Ah those poor girls… I moisturize in the morning, and at night, and pretty much at any time I can. Like the main rule of real estate is Location, Location, Location, the rule for great skin is Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize. Inspired by the brilliant Janine Falcon at Beautygeeks I’ve decided to share my favourite products to scrub, polish, and saturate our skin til its plump, dewy and glowy.
First of all, we must exfoliate our skin. Applying moisturizing potions to dry flaky skin is painting over chipped peeling paint without scraping and sanding first. It’s a waste of product and the skin that needs the nourishment won’t get it. There are two ways to exfoliate, manually, with a granular or “scrub” cosmetic product or brush/loofah/mitt product. This is best done is the shower unless you want to vacuum or sweep up the by products of this process…which is dead skin. Ew.
My favourite exfoliants are the scrubs. These usually contain rough granules that help smooth the skin. I like high and low versions of these products, as long as they get the job done. For low, I’ve used the basic St Ives Apricot Scrub. I use the original formula is intended for the face but the granules are nice and fine and work miracles when used head to toe in the shower. I also enjoy the scrubs that heat up. St Ives Fresh Skin Warming Scrub is a facial version that I have used head to toe & find it quite cozy and comforting after a day in the cold. The St Ives Mineral Therapy Body Polish is also quite good but I’ve been equally happy with all of these. Extra attention given to knees and feet and especially any area that gets, ahem, sat on all day. Another exfoliating option is via a vitamin A or alpha hydroxy or chemical exfoliant. I have recently been using Derma E Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Wrinkle Treatment Gel. It is for the face, but I didn’t know that! It comes in a large bottle for under $15 and I have been using it all over my body at bedtime. It is barely scented with a mild cucumber scent and I love its smoothing effect.
My higher end faves include my latest love, Caudalie Merlot Friction Scrub. It comes in a lovely pot, smells divine and makes my skin smooth as silk. I adore the Caudalie line and their Beauty Elixir is an HG product I adore. The Nuxe Tonific Exfoliation is a kinder, gentler scrub that also smells and feels luxurious but is perfect for a more sensitive skin. The Clinique Sparkle Skin Exfoliator is another one I love. Well, except for the name. Are you naming your products for 6 year old girls Clinique? Anyways, I have been known to use the Clinique 7 Day Scrub on my body as well- it smells amazing and sometimes I prefer the smaller size “scrubbers” that come in the facial formulas.
I have never been a big fan of the cloths or brushes that exfoliate as I tend to like products- the scent, the luxurious feel of a body product just appeals to me more. However after reading Beautygeeks raves for the Dermalogica Buffing Cloth I think I might have to get one. I adore Dermalogica and find their products have integrity and purpose so this cloth sounds perfect!
Kiehls makes an oil wash as part of their Argan line- Superbly Restorative Argan Body Cleansing Oil. This stuff is genius and somehow manages to cleanse and lightly resurface at the same time. Again, I have only tried samples of this but plan to get my hot little hands on a bottle. Soon.
Ok. So now that we have scrubbed, buffed and polished ourselves to a shine, its time to moisturize! I am a big fan of body oils, and I especially love to combine them with lotions and creams for extra oomph. I am almost through a bottle of Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil and while I quite liked it, I am keen to try some others before buying another bottle. The Wild Buckthorn Oil Janine mentioned sounds wonderful, as does the latest Weleda Oil, Pomegranate. The Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse has been a long time favourite of mine- it smells like soft sweet honey and just soaks into the skin. Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil is a classic as well. This is perfect for right after the shower and the scent is soft and lovely, as well as nostalgic as I recall using this as a teenager. Has anyone tried the Kiehls Argan Dry Oil? This stuff is magic and while I have only used samples, a bottle of this stuff is on my hit list.
I also adore Monoi Oil- it smells like gardenias and sunshine. I use the Yves Rocher Monoi Oil but have heard it has mineral oil…I have also used and loved The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Monoi Oil which does not list mineral oil anywhere but The Interwebs is crawling with Accusers saying it has mineral oil as well so if anyone knows of a readily available Monoi that is free of mineral oil let me know!
Lotions and creams are a must have in the fight to stay soft and moisturized. My ultimate high end product is Kiehls Crème de Corps– nothing soaks in like this product and when used regularly it does improve the texture of your skin. It has almost no scent which is great for use in the morning as it won’t interfere with my perfume. My go-to daily moisturizer is Nivea Q10 which I’ve reviewed here. I used Palmers Cocoa Butter lotion forever but stopped recently as the scent became too overpowering for me. I have seen an unscented version on the web but have yet to stumble upon it in real life. If I do, I will buy a case as this is truly the BEST lotion I have ever used, and at $8 a bottle the value is unprecedented.
What are your faves? How do you stay soft, silky and glowy? Share!