Karlie Kloss by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue. April 2010.
BY ALEX COOK
It’s that dreaded time of year again: WINTER. As Canadians who live in the cold for 6 months of the year, I think it’s safe to say that after the beautiful summer weather we had in 2017, this year’s cold weather was definitely a hard adjustment to acclimate to. I mean, we really had unthinkably warm weather late into the year, with September reaching temperatures of 28 degrees celsius and Homecoming actually being warm enough for us to walk around in cute skirts and knee-highs! Flash forward to Jan. 2018 and we are just coming out of the coldest ever recorded temperatures for a Canadian winter in a LONG time. For a week straight we had between -25 and -30 degree weather, which I’m assuming has affected everyone’s skin the same it has mine: Leaving it DRY. AS. HELL. Well, fret no more, MUSE readers, because I’m here to save your skin with some winter beauty skin tips that will have your skin back to feeling moisturized and loved once more.
Tip #1: MOISTURIZE!
For many this is a given in the wintertime but the way our skin dries out from the cold leaves us feeling a little more dry, flaky, and cracked than what were used to. In the winter, it’s important to use a very hydrating moisturizer and not just any old cream you see on display in Shoppers. EVEN if you have oily or combination skin, moisturizer is KEY to maintaining a healthy glow that leaves your skin feeling smooth, clear, and hydrated.
Where most people go wrong with moisturizers is they choose CREAM based ones: this is a BIG no-no. Cream-based moisturizers will lock in any dirt on the surface of your face and will block your pores and prevent them from their natural process of sweating out toxins and dirts. When reaching for a moisturizer this winter, look for a GEL-based moisturizer. This changed my ENTIRE complexion and saved me from any acne and dryness I had been experiencing. Gel moisturizers are less heavy to apply, refreshing, cool to the touch, and not nearly as sticky as a cream moisturizer. Below I will list some of my favourite to date that have helped me keep my skin feeling plump, moisturized and health in this cold weather.
Holy Grail: Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer
Price: $36 CDN.
This moisturizer is my holy grail. It smells heavenly of oranges and is very light and cool on the skin. You need only a little bit to spread around the face to leave your skin looking brighter, fresh, and moisturized with no dry patches. This formula is one of the best, and can be bought at Sephora.
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Price: Small size $46 Large size $61 CDN
Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief is another amazing gel-based moisturizer to really combat dry skin for the winter time. It is fragrance-free for our sensitive skin readers, and gives your skin an extra needed boost for 24h. It is also oil-free which is another important thing to look for when choosing moisturizers. Oil in moisturizers means blocked pores! This can be bought at any retail store that sells Clinique which includes Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bay, or Sephora.
Tatcha The Water Cream
Price: $82 CDN
Tatcha is a skincare brand that has been DOMINATING the beauty guru world for the past year. They have been given absolutely stellar reviews by nearly everyone who has ever used their products and for good reason! I myself have used this amazing gel-based moisturizer in December right around the time the snow hit the ground and one word: WOW. This hydrating and delicious smelling face moisturizer feels weightless on the skin. It is cool to the touch and deeply hydrates your skin leaving it feeling silky smooth and looking fresh. This is also an oil-free moisturizer so it can be used by any skin types! Can purchase this brand from Sephora or UltaBeauty!
Tip #2: Use a Face Oil
Now I know I just raved about all these moisturizers being oil-free but face oil completely changes the game. I myself used to be a face oil skeptic: why put the stuff on your face that we so desperately try to cover up with powder? Well my friends, we use face oil because in these dry winter months our skin needs the extra boost that face oil can give you. Not only is it hydrating but it also provides our skin with nutrients and omegas that we can’t get from moisturizers! Face oil really penetrates the dry spots that plague our skin in the winter and leaves your skin feeling healthier, smelling great, and absolutely smoother as a baby’s bum! Face oils are pretty high on the price range for a face product, but take it from me who is a serious cheapo: they are 100% worth every penny for that perfect complexion.
They are meant to be mixed in with your moisturizer AFTER you apply it as the last step to prepping your face. Oil goes on LAST to set it in!
Holy Grail: Fresh Seaberry Skin Nutrition Booster
This is my #1 holy grail face oil for the winter time. Fresh is an amazing, all natural ingredient brand from Sephora that has absolutely KILLED the face oil game. This oil smells AMAZING, almost like a blend of spices but not sharp and is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. This particular oil is rich in omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9 from the seaberry oil and gives your skin the antioxidant boost that it needs. It leaves your skin feeling radiant, hydrated, and smooth to the touch. I can say with my own experience, my skin has gotten less cystic acne, looks and feels ‘fresh’er than ever 😉
Farsali Rose Gold Elixir
Price: Small $25 and Large $67
Another beauty guru favourite is the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir. Although having never tried it myself (due to the pricey tag) I can vouch from nearly all my favourite beauty gurus that this is a definite hydrating priming face oil. With flakes of real 24k gold in it, this oil is great especially for hydrating dry cracked lips, mixing with your foundation to keep a dewy glow in the dry months, and giving that little needed extra boost under the eyes. It helps with fine lines and wrinkles and penetrates the creases in our skin leaving a fresher and more full looking face. You can find this product at Sephora.
Tip #3: Hydrating Face Masks!
This is my last but definitely FAVOURITE tip that I can offer to my readers: USE FACE MASKS! Face masks give our skin that last needed extra boost a few times a week that totally changes the game for our skin. Face masks are a bit harsher in the sense that they are designed to specifically target a certain aspect of our skin whether it be tiredness, puffiness, blackheads, clogged dirt, or HYDRATION! Let me tell you there is no better feeling than a hydrating face mask cooling on your skin. Each of the masks listed below I have chosen specifically to combat our dry winter skin, and I guarantee each will leave you feeling brand new and ready to brace the -15 degree weather we Canadians so know and love 😉
(P.S the reason not many drugstore brands are listed in this article is because I am a strong believer in GOOD and honest healthcare for our skin. Many drugstore products cheap out and use alcohol in their ingredients deceivingly which actually dehydrates the skin and causes more damage than good. Each of the products below are true, honest hydrating products that genuinely do the job.)
Holy Grail: Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift and Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Price: $92 CDN
Now… don’t be scared of that price tag! Before scrolling any further and thinking these are unaffordable (they 100% are too expensive on their own) there is a Peter Thomas Roth Mask-a-Holic set with 5 of their amazing masks for the price of $96 CDN! This is 5 full sized masks including these eye patches here. This is one of my faves out of the pack because it really does leave your under eyes feeling more plump, hydrated, and SO smooth. You merely pop two patches out and leave it under your eyes for 5-10 minutes for a quick pick-me-up! Under eyes are notorious for getting dry and wrinkled fast so paying extra special attention to the area is a must in the winter time. You can find Peter Thomas Roth at Sephora.
Fresh Rose Face Mask
Again… don’t be frightened by this price tag! Sephora offers samples of every product that will last you around 5-8 tries! This is usually enough to help you make a decision on whether or not you want to invest in a product and I can 100% vouch for this one! This mask is a GOD send for the winter time. It is a beautiful clear rose-petal infused gel-based face mask that leaves your skin feeling so smooth and clean. It goes on wet and stays wet till the wash-off, giving your skin the ultra deep moisture that it needs to absorb in the dryer months. You can find this product at Sephora!