As we quickly approach the official start of winter, does anyone already feel like you need to send out a distress signal for your skin? If so, welcome to the club. All winter long I try to combat the effects of dry, cold air. It probably does not help that I always feel cold, so I tend to take really long and hot showers or baths more frequently in the winter, which does not help my situation. Last winter part of me was wondering if I just needed to accept that my skin will always look visibly thirsty, as evidenced by chronic red and flaky skin. Fun side note about me, I used to work in social services and, “as evidenced by” was my favorite line in documentation. Okay, I will continue… so, the worst part was that the flakes were not so terribly obvious until after I applied concealer or foundation to try to tamp down on the redness those areas of my face prominently featured. I am pleased to say, that so far, and I know, we still have a few weeks until winter has officially arrived, my face is looking pretty dang good.
I plan to write a follow-up post to this post in late January, after I do some extreme winter weather testing in Toronto, but for now, let me share what I have been using on my skin to get some remarkable results. I am going to quickly share the cleansers I am using now because they help, but they are not the focus of this post. First, as always, I use a 2 step cleansing routine to end my day (in the morning I start at step 2). Step 1, is the first cleanse, and I like to use an oil-based cleanser, currently, I am using African Botanics’ Pure Marula Cleansing Oil. It has a fairly strong vanilla-like smell which I don’t mind, I would probably even say I enjoy it. The cleansing oil has a nice light consistency to it, and an almost slippery feeling on the fingers. I follow this first cleanse with my second cleanse, which is typically some sort of water-based cleanser. Du jour it is True Botanicals’ Hydrating Cleanser, which is part of their RENEW line. This cleanser bridges the line of water-based, and oil-based. The second ingredient in it is Green Tea Seed Oil, and the third is water. The Hydrating Cleanser also has a fairly strong, but pleasant smell. This cleanser, like the one is step 1, has a very nice consistency to it. It is not thick as it is water and oil based, and one pump gives you enough to rub it all over your face.
Okay, we got the cleansers out of the way, getting closer to the main event! After the cleanse I give myself a few spritzes of Odacité’s Aloe+Immortelle Hydra Repair Treatment Mist. Designed to hydrate, plump, reduce redness and inflammation, and stimulate cell growth, it is perfect after my cleanses to pump (okay, so really spritz) hydration back into my skin, making it ready for my serum. Organic Aloe Vera is the first ingredient in this product, and also features prominently later on this post. As anyone who has ever had a nasty sunburn can attest, Aloe Vera is the first thing many of us reach for after turning tomato red. I have experienced a few vacations where we need to make a trip to the pharmacy for Aloe Vera after my husband refused my numerous offers of sunscreen, or reapplication of said sunscreen. Aloe Vera acts as a protective layer and helps moisturize the skin, it also contains two hormones auxin and gibberellins, the later which helps stimulate cell growth. Both hormones help to reduce inflammation, which are very helpful with those nasty sunburns. Aloe Vera also contains numerous antioxidants which help combat the aging of our skin by keeping it firm and hydrated. As the name of the product suggests, there is another superstar ingredient in this Hydra Repair Treatment Mist, Immortelle. Immortelle (or everlasting) is a flowering plant of the daisy family and found around the Mediterranean. In the Treatment Mist, Immortelle is in essential oil form and helps contribute to the reduction of redness and fine lines and wrinkles.
So now that the skin is cleansed and misted I turn to my serum, one of Odacité’s Pure Element Serum Concentrates. A collection of 18 different serums that address specific skin concerns, which can be mixed and matched to target a number of skin concerns on any given day. Feeling like your skin is dry, yet your forehead is populated by pimples at the moment? Not a problem, there are Odacité serums for that. The only serum I currently own is the Mo+P Very Dry Skin serum concentrate, which sold me with the description “very dry skin.” Often products will say they are for “dry skin”, or “mature skin”, but they also claim to do a number of other things, I liked the fact that this serum is basically like “hey you, yes I mean you, the person with crazy dry skin that is flaking off your face, yeah, I can really help you out.” The Mo+P stands for Moringa-Petitgrain, Moringa oil contains lots of essential fatty acids, which when applied externally to our skin (versus eating food that contain essential fatty acids) add moisture and hydration and can be well absorbed by our skin. Additionally, like so many ingredients in green skincare, Moringa oil is another powerhouse when it comes to antioxidants. Antioxidants combat the free radicals that all of us have and continue to generate. Free radicals develop from exposure to ultraviolet light, pollution, and cigarette smoking, just to name a few. These free radicals can attack the cells and collagen that make up our skin’s architecture. Two powerful antioxidants found in Moringa oil are Vitamins C and E. Vitamin C plays a role in collagen synthesis and both it and Vitamin E are thought to prevent and treat ultraviolet light damage to our skin. Moving onto the Petitgrain oil, which is derived from the young leaves of an orange tree, and works with the Moringa oil to up the moisture and hydration factor. Mo+P Very Dry Skin Serum does not have a strong scent, the directions say to use 2-3 drops, if I mix this into my moisturizer, which I have been doing in the morning, 2 drops suffice, but if using alone, which I do at night, I would say 3-4 is useful.
Finally, we arrive at the last step, moisturize. Josh Rosebrook’s Vital Balm Cream, is lovely and amazing. First of all, and I really can’t explain it, I love the color of this cream. I know, it does not make much sense, but it is this cool and cold looking gray color. The cream has a fruity scent, which I surmise comes from Mango Seed Butter, and is listed as the second ingredient. A little bit of this cream goes a long way and it seamlessly absorbs into the skin. After its application I have a nice dewy complexion. I would recommend going light on the cream’s application in the morning to avoid passing the dewey look line and arriving at super shiny look line. The first ingredient in the Vital Balm Cream is Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, I won’t rehash the amazing benefits of Aloe Vera, but when you see it show up as the first or second ingredient in numerous dry skin products, it clearly has some useful properties in that arena. The second ingredient as I already mentioned is Mango Seed Butter, which is another ingredient that is rich in essential fatty acids which help moisturize. It too, contains a number of antioxidants like Vitamins A and C. Vitamin A assists with the dewey look and targets fine lines and wrinkles, with Vitamin C helping to plump the skin. It too, has many similar soothing properties just like Aloe Vera. Another benefit of the Vital Balm Cream is the price tag, a manageable $45, which is hard to beat and one that will keep me continually in stock.