How to Win at Winter Skin

How to Win at Winter Skincare

For the first few years that I lived in Massachusetts, I lived in an apartment that was built in the 1940s, which came complete with steam heat radiators. It wasn’t until I moved back here a couple of years ago that I understood how harsh central heating can be on the skin. This year has been particularly cold and I’ve had to fight my way back to healthy skin. But I’ve finally found a balance using a few surprising products that I never would have dared to use on my face back when I lived in Hawaii.

Washing: My skin is usually combination/oily and most of the year I wash my face twice a day. This winter, since my skin has been so dry, I’ve taken to washing it in the evenings only. I use a moisturizing oil cleanser by Tu’el followed by an emulsifier. These two help to keep my pores blackhead-free without stripping my skin of natural oils.

Daytime Moisturizer: Last year, Victoria recommended Waleda Skin Food and I immediately went out to Whole Foods to get some. This stuff is thick and rich, but it sinks into my skin and has never caused me to break out (and I’m pretty prone to breakouts). Victoria used it as night cream, but since we’ve had so much extreme cold accompanied by a good amount of wind, I need something this heavy during the day.

Nighttime Moisturizer: Despite using such thick moisturizer, the skin on my cheeks was still red and chapped. I was about to resort to Vaseline when Lindsey recommended Lanolin. Typically, Lanolin (an oil derived from sheep’s wool) is used by mothers who are breastfeeding, but it turns out that it’s excellent for healing all kinds of dry, chapped areas where nothing else is helping. It is greasy and doesn’t sink in quickly, but if you’ve tried everything else and nothing is helping, it’s worth a try. Lanolin is the number one thing that has helped my skin this winter. And at $7 a pop it’s a steal.

Supplements: When I was struggling with dandruff and dry skin, my favorite esthetician recommended taking fish oil supplements. Within a week my scalp was once again balanced and I noticed a real difference in the overall health of my skin. I take these pearl-sized ones in the morning and evening. Fish oil also promotes heart health, so it’s a win all around!

Air: Since I hail from a place with 90% humidity year round, I put off getting a humidifier for a long time. But we recently invested in this one by Air-o-Swiss and it’s made a huge difference, not just in my skin feeling balanced, but in the way we feel overall. No more ear/nose/throat issues! No more tight morning skin! It’s worth every penny.

Oil Pulling: If you’ve been suffering from flaky and/or itchy skin on your lips and around your mouth, it may be because of your mouthwash. The chemicals that whiten your teeth and the alcohol can be incredibly drying. While I couldn’t commit to just oil pulling without brushing, I’ve added it to my routine in place of mouthwash. Since coconut oil naturally kills bacteria, I’ve actually found it to be more effective than regular mouthwash. Happy gums mean a happy body! Here’s some medical information on the benefits of oil pulling.

Thirtysomething Skin: How to Battle Acne Scarring + Fine Lines

Burts Bees with Daisy Extract for Dark Spots | Frock Files

At this point in my life, I seem to be nearly done with my 17 year battle with acne, but I’m still dealing with a little bit of scarring. And last winter, between the indoor heating and the wind chill outside, my skin went through the ringer. Now that it’s warm out and we’re spending more time outdoors, the scarring has become more obvious. Sick of wearing foundation all the time, I turned to scar cream, only to find that my skin started to get red and irritated.

So it was good timing when Burt’s Bees approached me about testing out their Brightening Dark Spot Corrector. It’s part of a line of products containing daisy extract, a natural skin brightening agent. Since I’ve seen the ways that natural products often work better than other (chemical-filled) ones, I decided to give it a try.

Burts Bees with Daisy Extract for Dark Spots | Frock Files

As someone with sensitive skin, I’ve always appreciated the gentleness of Burt’s Bees—I’ve never experienced a harsh reaction from any of their products. The dark spot corrector is similar to other fruit enzyme extract products I’ve used in that it targets fine lines as well as dark spots as it gently sloughs off the unhealthy skin to reveal the healthy layers beneath.

But unlike those other products, this one didn’t turn my face red or result in flaking and dryness. Instead, over a four-week period I saw a slow and steady improvement in the condition of my skin. The daisy extract does what other products rely on chemicals to do—except without the harsh side effects.

Burts Bees with Daisy Extract for Dark Spots | Frock Files

I’ll continue to use the dark spot corrector and I’ll report on my experiences after a full eight weeks of use. But today, as of four weeks, I’m happy to report that I went out without any foundation on! Definitely a big improvement over hiding behind thick pancake foundation just a few weeks ago.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burt’s Bees via Burst Media.  The opinions and text are all mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that enable Frock Files to continue growing!

At this point in my life, I seem to be nearly done with my 17 year battle with acne, but I’m still dealing with a little bit of scarring. And last winter, between the indoor heating and the wind chill outside, my skin went through the ringer. Now that it’s warm out and we’re spending more time outdoors, the scarring has become more obvious. Sick of wearing foundation all the time, I turned to scar cream, only to find that my skin started to get red and irritated.

So it was good timing when Burt’s Bees approached me about testing out their Brightening Dark Spot Corrector. It’s part of a line of products containing daisy extract, a natural skin brightening agent. Since I’ve seen the ways that natural products often work better than other (chemical-filled) ones, I decided to give it a try.

As someone with sensitive skin, I’ve always appreciated the gentleness of Burt’s Bees—I’ve never experienced a harsh reaction from any of their products. The dark spot corrector is similar to other fruit enzyme extract products I’ve used in that it targets fine lines as well as dark spots as it gently sloughs off the unhealthy skin to reveal the healthy layers beneath.

But unlike those other products, this one didn’t turn my face red or result in flaking and dryness. Instead, over a four-week period I saw a slow and steady improvement in the condition of my skin. The daisy extract does what other products rely on chemicals to do—except without the harsh side effects.

I’ll continue to use the dark spot corrector and I’ll report on my experiences after a full eight weeks of use. But today, as of four weeks, I’m happy to report that I went out without any foundation on! Definitely a big improvement over hiding behind thick pancake foundation just a few weeks ago.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burt’s Bees via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that enable Frock Files to continue growing!

Cosmetic Uses for Coconut Oil

5 Great Uses for Coconut Oil

I’m about as into cosmetics as the next girl, but lately I’ve discovered that using natural things works a lot better with my body. Coconut oil is one of those products that just keeps on giving — one jar and I’m covered for a variety of beauty needs, from moisturizer to teeth whitening. It feels good to eliminate the mystery of what’s going into my body when I’m using coconut oil. After all, so many other things I use have ingredients I can’t pronounce, so it’s good to do what I can.

Today, I’m over at My Thirty Spot with a post on five great uses for coconut oil. If you use this magical oil for other things, I’d love to know about them, too. I love giving that glass jar of goodness a workout!

P.S. My other favorite magical elixir.

Favorite Spring Cosmetics

Favorite Spring Cosmetics // Frock FilesFavorite Spring Cosmetics // Frock Files

Working outside my home has been a great motivator to get back into enjoying cosmetics. Someone once told me that grooming isn’t about vanity; it’s really about showing other people that you respect them. I’ve always carried that with me, and now I make time each morning to get myself together before heading to work.

Since I’ve been trying out new things, I’ve fallen in love with a few that I couldn’t wait to share with you. Here are three of my new favorites, plus an oldie that people have been asking about:

Cover FX Cream Foundation | I was a little hesitant to try this foundation because it’s thick and looks like it might be pancake-y. But through it provides a lot of coverage, it looks natural and doesn’t clog my pores. The best part is that it’s paraben, synthetic, and GMO-free. Or maybe the best part is that it lasts all day. Or maybe it’s the built in SPF 30. (I vote for all of the above!)

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagance Mascara | I really tried to stray from Make Up For Ever’s mascara. I tried a few other highly rated brands, but they were sticky or clumpy or just not quite right. By the time I came back around to MUFE’s mascara, it was this new formulation, which I like even better than the old one. The shape of the wand makes it easy to get those tricky corner lashes, and I find that the formula is easy to build up slowly.

Shiseido IBUKI Refining Moisturizer | My grandmother used Shiseido but this is the first time I’ve tried the skincare products for myself. I don’t know why I waited so long – this moisturizer is fabulous! It’s like the creators knew all of my needs and addressed them with one cream. IBUKI is meant to address roughness, large pores, and dehydration, and since using it my skin has been noticeably softer. I’ve been moisturizer hopping for about a year now, but I’ll be sticking with this one for awhile.

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil | Since posting the photos Justin Hackworth took of me in Salt Lake last month, the number one question I’ve been getting is, “What’s that lip color?” Ha! Who knew lipstick could cause such a stir? I’m a huge fan of the NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils, and this shade, Mexican Rose, is my absolute favorite. The color actually becomes more saturated after you’ve worn it for about half an hour! It makes me think of flowers in the springtime.

What are your current favorite cosmetic products?

P.S. How to keep your skin flake-free, naturally.

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Cherry Blossom Illustration

Winter Skin Trick: The Washcloth Technique

The Washcloth Method

When we got back from Hawaii last November, I noticed that my skin was nice and plump, without a lot of residual flakiness that usually comes with travel. All that warmth and humidity made it easy for me to get by with my lightest moisturizer/sunscreen. But things have gone downhill fast since then, and no matter what new scrub I tried, my skin was still embarrassingly flaky — especially after coming back from Salt Lake last month. My cheeks felt like sandpaper!

I ended up visiting my dermatologist, who gave me a surprising bit of advice. It’s the kind of advice your grandma would give you, which you’d probably ignore because it’s almost too simple: wash your face with a washcloth. I’ve been doing it every morning since then, and I’m no longer afraid to look at my pores under the magnifying mirror because they’re that clean!

There’s a method to the madness, so check out my post on My Thirty Spot today to for more!

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