Le Peau en Hiver
Alors, le peau en hiver (Trans: winter skin). I'm just back from a week in the French Alps, where we had a lovely time skiing (and eating, nobody does food like the French...nobody). There was new snow on the first day, and the weather was clear the entire time, which is a boon when you live in Scotland; we have been months without seeing the sky for more than just a fleeting moment here in the UK .
But the real reason behind this moon-faced selfie is to talk about le peau en hiver; that tight, flaky, often-irritated and patchy skin that is as true an indication of a change in the weather as any barometer could be. Every year, when the temperatures drop and the central heating comes on, I find I have to change my skincare routine drastically. Out go the light formulations claiming to balance combination skin with their with matte finishes and anti-aging ingredients, and in come the most gentle, pure, and organic products I can muster. I find that when things start to get dried-out and irritated, the thing that works best is to completely scale-back the routine, use only the most gentle of products, keep the moisture coming, and only exfoliate very gently once every few days, when I think my skin can handle it. This year, a product that I had bought completely on a lark actually saved my face in a big way.
This completely natural moisturiser really saved my face after days of wind, sun, and dry conditions. I've said before that some of us who came of age in the 80's may feel a bit of trepidation smearing pure oil on our faces. Oil used to be something to be banished from the surface of the skin using any means possible, whether it be scrubbed with bits of apricot pit or scoured with an only slightly less abrasive pad than one might find at the kitchen sink. But trust me, if you are having trouble with winter dryness, this can be your saving grace. I like it best when put on just out of the shower, or just after washing my face at night. You will wake up with a face as smooth as a baby's butt.
I have a few other favourites up my sleeve to help tame winter dryness and irritation. Behold.
This is an extremely gentle SPF 15 sunscreen that is completely natural; formulated with only mineral elements to keep irritated skin from becoming more so. It has a light texture, sinks in, and works well under makeup. It has a bit of a greenish cast (apparently to neutralise red tones for those with rosacea and whatnot), but don't let that freak you out. It disappears once the product is on. I wouldn't be without this for a ski trip, or anywhere else where le peau is exposed to the elements.
This stuff has really been like a holy grail. This repairing creme is thick in consistency, and a little goes a long way. I purchased my first tube last year after my winter skin decided to turn into a near-bout of perioral dermatitis. This stuff wiped it out in a day. I have just ordered my second tube, one year later. I use it any time I have a blemish, scale, itchy spot, or any other skin infraction that should not be taking up residence on my skin. Seriously, this stuff is da bomb.
I could go on all day, but suffice it to say that less is more with winter skin, and the more gentle and natural the products, the better my skin seems to fare. Here are some more of my favourites to keep things smooth and supple during these central heating months.
Sauvez le peau!