Friday, December 13, 2013

Skincare and Makeup for Harsh Winters

I've been noticing that my skin is screaming "help" at every opportunity. So I had to revisit my skincare and makeup routine to help accommodate how my skin is reacting to the harsh weather conditions where I live.

It's been a much harsher late autumn/fall season in Chicagoland this year, compared to the past two years. Icy weather and snow, plus plenty of chilling wind has left me wishing I could leave during winter to warmer shores.

  • Using a good, gentle cleanser (Cetaphil foaming) year round makes taking care of your skin a breeze. For me it's really important to wash around the ear, hairline, and chin/neck area very carefully.
  • On weekday evenings, I alternate using a facial scrub (that I'm trying to finish up) and my Clarisonic Mia. Otherwise flakiness and oil blend into congestion. 
  • Because my skin tends to be oilier during the day, I try to stick with a basic, non-oily/non-comedogenic moisturizer during the day like the Murad Energizing with SPF or the Cetaphil basic lotion. At night I exfoliate and follow up with a big goop of the Cetaphil moisturizing cream and a nice facial massage with the pads of my fingers.
  • I always take off all my makeup at night using cotton pads and cotton tips soaked in eye makeup remover and then soaked in water to follow up and rinse out nooks and corners. 
  • I really like the lightweight Clinique's All About Eyes roller because it cools down and soothes the eye area. The Clarins contour balm is also nice.
  • I am using restorative shampoos (Ouidad oil shampoo, Biolage Delicate, and B&B Mending) and good conditioners on those days that I wash my hair. I have begun spacing out my shampoos because too much washing over-dries sensitive scalps and hair.
  • No heat styling. I air dry my hair, and make sure my head is covered if it's unusually harsh out or just plain windy.
  • No hair color treatments. I'm growing my natural hair out--making me see so many more greys than I'd like, but the texture is also much better than for the hair that still has hair color on it. Plus, up-keeping hair color is so darn expensive.
  • Lighter application of more moisturizing hair products. I've switched full time to two products that I've been slowly adding into my routine (Ouidad moisturizing hair gel and Ouidad moisture lock). They are milder and have noticed better hair condition and styling speed.
  • A more moisturizing foundation can help prevent flaking and irritation during intense winter weather, for me. I alternate between my Clinique City Block 25 and Mac Matchmaster SPF.
  • A lighter touch of powder just where needed helps keep the skin moist from the other ingredients, without looking cakey or too oily on those particular areas.
  • I add some blush and bronzer to help give a healthy glow when otherwise I might look a little peaked due to the harsh cold weather and stark/grey environment.
  • Eye makeup can be lighter on days where a formal look isn't required, giving skin a well-deserved break from the irritation of harsh weather conditions. I find that a lighter application of eyeliner, primer, and mascara makes my eyes less likely to water during the day.
  • Lips tend to get dry and cracked if not well moisturized. I pply a moisturizing lip product (eos or Clinique chubby sticks) as often as possible. I try to stay away from products containing petroleum derivatives or menthol because they're irritating on me.
  • It's important to keep a positive mindset even when the weather is harsh and uninviting. Keeping up one's exercise routine, or continuing mild, low impact activities help keep one healthy both in mind and body.
  • I try bright colors that suit me rather than the traditional greys and blacks. It's gloomy enough outside!
  • Adding a variety of breathable layers allow mobility and the appropriate look for the activities on my schedule that day.
  • I don't neglect outwerwear and hands. I want to be comfy and warm without looking frumpy (enough blimpy down coats already! grr!).
  • I apply a non-greasy lotion and/or cuticle oil to keep hands and fingers moisturized.
  • This is the season to enjoy wearing lots of boots, booties, and other great shoewear that helps get some traction on slippery roads and walkways. I'm loving my growing collection of Doc Marten booties with fluffy but stretchy socks inside.
There are lots of other things that I'm considering to help stay warm and comfortable even in incredibly uncomfortable and uninviting weather.

Like drinking lots of green tea and matcha tea lattes. They're soothing and hot, and I love using my Delonghi at home :D

Continuing my recent practice of taking warm (not hot) baths. I'll need to add lots of moisturizing ingredients (shea, oatmeal, and even expired milk). I find that warm baths help my mind perk up and my thought process to relax, as well as relax tense shoulders and neck. Especially with nice smelling candlelight around me and soothing music. Gotta defrost my bone marrow and mood!

Soaking up lots of favorite body oil, moisturizer, or body butter. Great way to use up stuff I've been unintentionally gathering in the cabinet under the bathroom sink all year!

Buying some new, toasty pjs. I have no idea what happened to my old ones, but I definitely need long sleeve and comfy, stretchy apparel for lounging around the house, walking the dog, and going to sleep in.

As always, it's important to remember to drink plenty of water. Our body is straining against the harsh weather conditions, so lots of water helps not only stay moisturized, but also clean up the system of used materials. Digging in to lots of soups and continuing to add healthy fats and oils (fish, nuts, and avocados) to my meals is also another priority to keep in mind. Plus, I love plain baked sweet potatoes, delicious.

Whatever the temps where you are, I hope you are staying healthy and happy. Have a great late fall and early winter season :o)

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