After a freak snowstorm this weekend, the cold is officially here in NY. Jackets crowd the sidewalks, and boots are the new gladiator sandals. The fireplace is packed with logs, and my closet has switched from sun dresses and swimsuits to soft scarfs and cozy sweaters. I’ll admit it, though I certainly don’t love the winter, there are parts of it that are ever so romantic, and what’s better than cold weather to give you a darn good reason to curl up to someone you adore? But that my dear friends, is where the happy times end. Because with all this cozying and warming up indoors comes . . . going outside. Wind chapped skin, red noses that would make Rudolph smirk, and dry skin that would make an elephant cry. It was less than two months ago that I spent every weekend in the Hamptons, yet now I’m craving the blistering heat I so actively escaped all summer long. And as a Californian, my friends back west have complained that it’s hit the high 60′s and they’re cold. Cold? You want to talk about cold?!? It’s enough to make me just want to fly back home and smack them once upside the head (and possibly hit the beach while I’m there). Yes, the cold turns me into a bi-polar mess. I love it, I hate it! I want to stay, I want to go! And oh god it’s only November. . . .five more months of this.
Truth is, I’ve learned I can handle the cold, even if I don’t love it. I can get by with my Mackage Jackets (gorgeous, and functional!), SmartWool socks, and serious ear muffs. But my face, that’s the hardest thing to protect. And just as I was noticing that first week of my skin feeling the change in weather, several of my friends came to me for skin care advice, complaining that they too felt their skin wicked of moisture, the dewy glow of summer’s humidity erased from their faces. Fear not my friends, there are solutions. The list below comprises my favorite cold weather skincare, all designed to give your skin the extra love and care it needs in these colder months. See, in the summer, there’s all this extra moisture in the air. The same humidity that drives you a little crazy is also what gives your skin that plump, youthful, summer glow. When winter comes not only does the air outside get cold, windy, and dry, but indoor heating takes away all the moisture from the air, so your skin relies solely on you to keep it nourished. Texturally, you want to look for a richer cream, something that feels soothing and luxurious to the touch, that will flood your skin with moisture as well as nutrients to replenish and enable your skin to retain what moisture it does have. Additionally, It’s important in the winter to use more gentle creams and cleansers as the battering elements will make your skin more sensitive than it might be lounging by the pool, glass of rose in hand (slathered in SPF 50, of course!).
Each of these products I’ve used at some point and love. Currently, my cold weather rutine begins with Boscia Cleansing Oil, Caudelie Premier Cru Eye Cream, Amore Pacific Future Perfect moisturizer, and Josie Maran’s Aragan oil (for an extra dose of saturated hydration, but I like an obscene amount of moisture). All skin is different, and some products may work better for you that others (everyone’s wallets are different as well, so I’ve included products at all different price points so there is sure to be an option to fit your individual needs). What is common among all of these products however is they are natural, paraben and mineral-oil free (mineral-oil is the one that clogs your pores and makes you break out, but many other oils are truly magical for your skin), and most are organic. There’s a lot of information, but finding what fits best for you will be worth it in comfort and confidence.
Boscia MakeUp BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil 5oz ($26, Sephora.com)
I’m a huge believer in cleansing oils. Not only do they get your skin deliciously clean of dirt, make up, and other oils, but they leave your skin feeling so soft and nourished. Of the oils on the market, Boscia is my absolute favorite not for being the cheapest (though a lovely surprise!), but because it leaves my skin feeling so balanced, returned to equilibrium. It’s important to use a cleansing oil correctly, as it is different from any other cleanser. To begin, make sure there is absolutely NO water on your hands or face. The oil works by attaching itself to dirt, make-up, and anything foreign on your skin, so if there is water there, it will just repel the oil from penetrating into your pores. After gently rubbing the oil into your skin for 60 seconds (it takes any cleanser that long to do its job) add a small amount of water, and continue rubbing. Repeat this step, again adding a small amount of water, rubbing, and only then should you fully rinse your face. You’ll notice the oil turning milky white on your skin, and this is good. That’s the oil separating from the water, rinsing away all the elements from the day. Pat your skin dry, and you’re ready for your moisturizer.
Josie Maran Argan Oil 50ml ($48, Sephora.com)
This is my latest obsession. Josie Maran and actually I went to the same high school (though she was years ahead of me), and we follow many of the same beliefs in health and wellness (her company’s motto is ‘Luxury with a Conscience.’ Love that). I’ve known of her flagship product, Argan Oil, for a while now, but had never tried it. Let me tell you, it has blown me away. It’s light-weight, and absorbs effortlessly into the skin. As I like an obscene amount of moisture, I use it on top of my normal moisturizer, but for many people I think this oil is all you need. Skin is radiant after applying, and it acts as a fabulous primer for foundation, giving the skin a healthy glow from within (cheesy, but so true!). Sourced from the Argan tree native to Southern Morocco, Argan Oil is all natural, 100% organic, chemical free, and a luscious source of Vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. It is also antibacterial, so it helps heal and prevent break-outs. While good for your skin, you can also use this oil on your hair, cuticles, stretch marks, and is gentile enough to use on babies sensitive skin in place of baby oil. As I said, I’ve been amazed with this product. And for the price, I think it’s crazy not to add it into any beauty routine.
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream 30ml ($42.95, Whole Foods Stores, DrHauschka.com)
Shop for your healthy produce at Whole Foods, and pick up a great moisturizer while you’re there! The Dr. Hauschka skin care line is an exceptional company, using ecologically sound methods of growing and sourcing their ingredients as well as aligning with international fair trade initiatives. While I don’t have experience with any of their other products, this one I know well. It is a lovely, rich, and soothing moisturizer. 30 rose flowers go into each tube, and that ingredient helps nurture and renew sensitive, dry, and weather damaged skin by protecting the outer layer of the skin and sealing in moisture to prevent further dehydration. The extracts of rose petals, rose hip, and avocado sooth and revive red, irritated skin (like that which comes in from a long day of walking outside mid January in NYC). This cream always left my skin plump and supple.
Claudelie Premier Cru La Crème1.7oz ($150, Sephora.com) & Premier Cru The Eye Cream .5oz ($95, Sephora.com)
I love this whole line created by college sweethearts Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas when they spent a summer working at her family’s winery in Bordeaux. Through a chance encounter the met the world’s leading expert on grapevine polyphenols, Dr. Vercauteren, they learned of the grape seed’s extraordinary antioxidant powers and created the ‘vinotherapy’ skincare line.
Effective for numerous reasons, the product’s main ingredients are polyphenols from grape seeds (the most powerful antioxidant in the plant world), and viniferine (from grapevine sap, the most effective natural molecule against dark spots).I’ve never met a product from this brand I didn’t like, however their newest line ‘Premier Cru’ has won my heart. Not only do I love the name (‘Premier Cru’ is the highest level of classification within Bordeaux wines), but this product’s luxe texture and clear results are undeniably special. Left plumped, regenerated, and redensified, this cream leaves your complexion looking smoother, firmer, and more even toned after one use. The eye cream is right on par with the results of the Premier Cru La Crème, and is thus far my all time favorite eye cream. Both creams absorb beautifully into the skin, and are rich and emollient. While I only use the eye cream in my current regime, I’m sure the time will come when I’ll start with La Crème for my face as well.
Amore Pacific Future Response Creme 1.7oz ($195, NeimanMarcus.com)
I’ve been using this Korean skincare line for almost a year now and I’ve become a real fan. All of their creams are exceptionally emollient (meaning a little bit goes a long way, so they last you a long time), and they’re made from wonderful natural ingredients that work with your skin to improve its condition and prevent further damage. The Future Response line is fantastic for younger people in big cities, as it protects the skin from pollutants and harmful free radicals that break down collagen and slow cellular turnover. Using ingredients including pine mushrooms (for antioxidants), bamboo sap (for moisture and rapid cell turnover), red ginseng (which firms and hydrates), and licorice root (anti-pigmentation), this cream combats early signs of aging to restore healthy skin balance. It’s just a great do-everything cream to use day and night, and each jar lasts me almost seven months.
RèVive Intensitè Crème Lustre 60ml ($375, SpaceNK.com)
This could be one of the richest most luxurious creams my skin has ever had the pleasure of being slathered in. It’s decadent, and when I reach to the time of buying cremes at this price point, this is the one I will want. Even having sampled this for only a few weeks, I saw extraordinary results from this cream. One of the more scientific products on this list, it is to me also one of the most fascinating because it makes us really look at how our skin functions as we age. While this product’s research revolves around aging, it treats the same symptoms of our worn winter skin
RèVive was started by Dr. Gregory Brown, a cosmetic plastic surgeon who felt that his medical practices had limitations for success, ‘you can get rid of the turkey gobbler or take out the bags surgery cannot give you the healthy, vibrant skin you had in your twenties.’ He established a research laboratory to study severe wounds of burn victims, and discovered a bioengineered molecule called EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) that dramatically accelerated healing in all patients tested. When applied to patients experiencing aging skin, the same extraordinary results occurred. See, skin in its twenties regenerates every two weeks, but as skin ages it can slow to regenerate only every eight to nine. This means the skin on top is old, dead, caked, and by no means fresh. By feeding the skin this EGF (through applying the cream) it speeds the regeneration process to produce fresh, youthful skin. While this process may seem artificial, this is actually a completely organic product because it replaces what naturally happens in the body but slows down with age. Bioengineering enabled scientists to manufacture the molecule, but it is still exactly the same protein molecule as the one we produce in our bodies naturally.
‘You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.’ ~Tom Ford (My hero)
Is there a cream you love? Have any specific questions on winter, or anytime skincare? Drop me a line and let me know!