Since I have been living in Michigan, I have been looking for hydrating products which would be up to the task for (Midwestern) winter here. Knowing how cold it gets here in Michigan during that time of the year, my very dry skin tends to be itchy and there is no way for me to go out without applying a thick layer of hydrating cream everywhere beforehand. I am a thrifty person so everything you will see on my list is affordable (no need to spend thousands of dollars to moisturize your skin correctly) and can be found easily in stores in the US.
I have been suffering from hand eczema so, as soon as I have to go anywhere, they are wrapped in comfy gloves. I am using a cream prescribed to me by my dermatologist but I cannot only rely on it to properly hydrate my hands. In addition to this prescription cream, I use the Working Hands Cream from O’Keefe’s. This is the only hand cream which gives me an immediate relief from the itch and make them softer. It does not contain any fragrance and my skin absorbs it quickly so no worries about any greasy feel.
On the advice of my dermatologist (and it may be surprising), I wash my hands with my Dove Sensitive Skin shower gel. The texture is very creamy and it works wonder to nourish the skin.
Every night, I apply a very thick layer of healing ointment from Aquaphor on my hands and I put gloves on to sleep. Indeed, the cream creates a protective layer (thanks vaseline !) on your hands and protect them from the drying effects of cold weather. I noticed a huge difference only two days after I started using it.
I follow this routine but also, I do other things to keep my hands away from any harsh chemicals such as :
- Wearing gloves for household tasks. I recommend latex-free gloves which have a soft lining. I have three pairs of them for each task in the apartment (doing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom and general cleaning).
- I also do not wash my hands too often, and this is when the gloves help.
Long and hot showers do not help very dry skin (but it’s sooo good though). What I have been trying to do is to shorten them and end them with cold water. I scrub my skin once a week only with the Breakfast Scrub of Soap & Glory and it is more than enough. This scrub smells incredibly good and make my skin very soft and prepared for any future shaving or hydration.-> you can find it at Target and Ulta Beauty for $15
The cream I use after my shower is the Advanced Therapy Lotion of Lubriderm. I take the red one, specifically for very dry skin. I apply it twice a day, after the shower and at night (before going to bed). This product is amazing, my skin literally drinks it and feels hydrated and comfortable all day long. -> around $8 for a 24FL OZ bottle, you can find everywhere and you can also find a smaller size bottle as well.
I have a combination skin so I want to remove the excess oil at the same time as I hydrate the rest of my face. To do so, I clean my face with the Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser from Neutrogena. It is a gentle face cleanser which is perfect for daily use and which is for all type of skins (perfect for combination acne-prone skin). I like that the active ingredient in it is salicylic acid as I find it very efficient to fight acne (I happen to get allergic reactions to benzoyl peroxide, it is too strong for my sensitive skin) and its minty scent -> $7, you can find it everywhere.
Once my skin is clean, I pat the serum from Vichy, Minéral 89, on my face to deeply treat my thirsty skin (this is the whole purpose of a serum. Warning : A serum is NOT a hydrating cream, it is a treatment so apply a hydrating cream after that).
-> $29.50 for 1.69 OZ , $19.99 for 1.01 fl. oz
Then, I apply the Oil-free Moisture (Combination Skin) from Neutrogena. I was looking for such a cream for a long time, that is to say a cream which is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, light but efficient and which would not take forever to absorb. This is the one ! -> around $10-11 for a 4 FL OZ bottle).
For the sunny days, I opt for the Tolériane Double Repair Moisturizer UV (SPF 30) from La Roche-Posay (brand that I particularly like). La protection UV ne se sent pas, la crème ne colle pas, elle hydrate bien et elle ne rend pas l’application de mon maquillage laborieuse par la suite. L’indice 30 est suffisant pour ma peau très pâle (peau de rousse) en hiver. Bien qu’il n’y ait que 75mL de produit, il n’en faut pas beaucoup pour tout le visage donc le tube vous durera longtemps. -> $20, on la trouve à Ulta Beauty, Target, CVS, Walgreens et Kohl’s.
To finish, I use the Nurturing Eye Cream from Lumene, which is a Finnish brand (Actually, I also like their toner quite a bit). This eye cream is for all skin types. I apply twice a day, in the morning and at night, patting it with my ring finger. -> you can find this brand at Walmart only and this 0.5oz tube is $10.63.
I use a homemade sugar + honey scrub to get rid of the dead skin on my lips and I then apply the Lip Protectant + Sunscreen from Aquaphor specifically for very dry lips, it repairs them and protect them from the sun. This is the only lip balm I have tried that I found was doing a great job keeping my lips really smooth -> this tube is $3.99 and can be found everywhere.
I have to admit that I forget about them too often but, when I think about it, I scrub them with my body scrub and I moisturize them with the L’Occitane en Provence foot cream. This cream smells divine (ahh Lavender, I love you), it is rather liquidy and takes some time to absorb so no need to use a big quantity of it as a little goes a long way. -> Prices vary from $25 to $29 for 5.2 OZ. You can find it at Walmart, Nordstrom, Sephora and in L’Occitane en Provence shops if there is one near you. I think I will opt for a cheaper option in the future, as I find it a little bit pricey.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love French brands such as La Roche-Posay, Clinique, Avène and Vichy (the list could go on and on though). The problem is that the products of those brands are (way) more expensive here than they are in France and there are even some that I just cannot find here (Avène is a good example). I cannot buy them all the time either so I usually bring some back from France when I go visit my family or I try new products here and this is something I am really enjoying.
And you, is there a product you use that helps keeping your skin hydrated during winter that you found outside of your country/in the US and that you cannot stop using? What is your routine?