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.