*Guest post by Maddie Monroe
*Contest is now closed
Breaking news: Canadian winters are rough. Over here in Toronto, we may have it easier than some other Canucks, but the icy wind, driving snow, and yo-yoing temperatures still make it hard to keep your skin looking and feeling hydrated and healthy. Especially with this winter that drags on and on!
Here are our favourite best winter skincare items from this season- hopefully you find find some that work for you! (And scroll to the bottom for a special giveaway!)
Regular exfoliation will help remove dry, dead skin and maintain a smooth look and feel to your face and body. Don’t try body scrubs on your face, that skin is too delicate, and you may end up taking off more skin than you bargained for!
Body scrubs: Great to use in the shower as a pre-shaving exfoliant or to help combat dry patches, body scrubs are an important first step in all-over skincare.
- My all-time favourite is Arbonne Awaken Sea Salt Scrub with lemon and coriander. This scrub has medium-size chunks of sea salt along with healing oils, so you get a great exfoliation, but your skin gets hydrated, too! It also smells incredible. ($36 for 16oz.)
- A very close runner up, and your best bet for sensitive skin, is Consonant Skin Perfecting Body Scrub. This one has a finer combination grain of both salt and sugar, so the small granules quickly melt away as you rub them into your skin, and the glycerin base seals in moisture. The added bonus is that Consonant is all-natural, paraben-free, and completely unscented. ($30 for 9.7 oz)
Face scrubs: Face scrubs are wonderful for removing excess makeup and dry skin, but still being gentle enough to leave you feeling glowing, not raw.
- My favourite face scrub is Pure + Simple Skin Nourishing Exfoliant + Mask. This vegan, all-natural product does double duty, since – as the name suggests – you can use it as a mask or as a light exfoliant for your face. Jojoba beads are the exfoliant here, and the lemon and algae base stimulates circulation, leaving your skin glowing and fresh. It also smells like lemon candy, which is a big plus for me, personally. ($21.95 for 50 mL)
Masks are wonderful for those times when your skin needs some extra TLC stat. They also come in a wide variety: you can get super-hydrating masks, exfoliating masks, peeling masks, toning masks… the list goes on! These are products to use once or twice weekly, but not everyday necessities. My top picks are:
- Arbonne FC5 Deep Cleansing Mask. I use this one when I’m feeling muddy and clogged. The tingling sensation really wakes up my skin, and after taking off the mask, I have noticeably softer and smoother skin. It’s a bit more intense than your average mask, so I’d recommend trying it out on a test patch of skin to see if you like the sensation and the scent. ($32 for 3 fl. oz.)
- Pure + Simple Skin Restoration Mask. Luxurious and ultra-hydrating, this one-time use cloth mask is great for perking up your skin in the dead of winter, and a nice alternative to messy liquid masks. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but worth it for the occasional DIY facial – especially since the directions are to “press lightly with fingertips to set in place and relax for 15-20 minutes.” Sign me up! ($16.45 for 28g)
Lotions and butters range from general (body lotion or body butter) to targeted (eye cream, hand lotion, foot lotion, face lotion, etc.). As with masks, there are so many on the market that you can afford to be choosy and really look for something that suits your needs. Some of my favourites:
- Bare Organics Whipped Cocoa Body Butter. This velvety product smells amazing, melts in your hand, providing rich moisture without a greasy finish. You could even try this one out as a massage oil ($24.99 for 4 oz)
- Bare Organics Healing Balm. This is my go-to for those problem areas that can’t be soothed with regular exfoliation or lotions. This ultra-rich formula has helped calm my seasonal eczema, healing the painful cracks in my hands and feet and making me feel much more comfortable than I have in years past. This balm’s beeswax, shea butter, olive and hempseed oil formula make it super hydrating and incredibly gentle. I carry a small jar in my purse, and consider it a winter necessity. ($14.99 for 50g, available in Unscented or Lavender)
- Consonant Skincare Organic Body Lotion. This powerful lotion is great for the whole body. I use it after shaving and find that it keeps my skin soft and smooth for days! This creamy lotion is part of my post-shower ritual. ($22 for 250 mL)
- Palmers Skin Therapy Oil: For those brutal cold nights and dry days, this little bottle is a miracle in a jar. Best used after cleansing and toning but before moisturizer, this really seals in skins dewy look and leaves you waking up looking hydrated! ($18 for 150ml)
Daily Lip and Face Care
Though not for everyone, these 4 products are also amazing for winter skincare!
- Consonant Ultra Moisturizing Organic Lip Conditioner. The best lip balm I’ve tried in a long time. It doesn’t taste Vaseline-y, but has a similar texture, and has helped heal my very dry lips without being too heavy or making the skin around my lips break out (which is something I’ve experienced with similarly rich products like Blistex). ($12.00 for 4.44 mL)
- Pure + Simple Collagen Elastin Plus Far and away the best anti-aging product I’ve tried! It visibly reduces redness almost immediately and improves the look of fine lines in just a few weeks. It works best in conjunction with a general face moisturizer. It is unscented, gentle on the skin, and great for both men and women. ($84.95 for 50 mL)
- Pure + Simple Sensitive Cleansing Milk This is my nightly makeup remover: gentle enough to use around the eyes as well as the rest of the face, it is the best product I’ve tried at removing my signature cat-eye eyeliner and red lipstick without irritating my skin or leaving it feeling stripped of moisture. ($13.95 for 50 mL)
- Pai Skincare Camellia and Rose Organic Cleaner: This cleaners is also great to take off makeup at the end of the night and it has a sweet rose smell. It is a bit more drying then the Pure and Simple line so best to use is your skin runs slightly oilier.
As a special treat for She’s So Savvy readers, we’re giving away a 50g bottle of my favourite Bare Organics Natural Healing Balm! All you need to do to enter is like this post on FB or retweet “I’m surviving winter with @Shes_So_Savvy and @BareOrganics! #winterskincare” We’ll run the contest until next Tuesday and notify the winner by e-mail!