'Tis the season for dry skin! By wrapping ourselves in wool scarves and hats, turning up the heat in our cars and homes, and enjoying nice hot showers and baths, we're basically devoting the holidays to drying out the ol' epidermis.
Festive right? Exactly why I'm posting about this today; the more moisturized our skin is, the more it glows as a perfect canvas for our favorite holiday looks! Just, y’know. Pardon the dry subject. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)
Evaporation and lipid loss are a vicious cycle for dryness during winter months. When it’s colder out, you turn on the heat, right? Unless you're my handsome, ordinarily sane husband. Ahem.
Um - oh right, dry heat. When the heat comes on, it sucks the moisture content right out of the air - and when our skin contains more water than the air around it, that water evaporates. Which manifests, of course, as dry skin. And we sometimes worsen this effect by taking long, hot baths or showers, which strip our skin of lipids, the protective oily substances that retain moisture. (These same glorious hot baths and showers also dry out our hair. Lame.) Our lips are especially at risk for chapping because they have no oil glands (lipidless!) and are constantly wetted by saliva and dried by breathing (evaporation!). Pretty much the perfect storm for tight, angry skin.
And so, in light of the punishment we undergo during the colder months, I’ve compiled a list of golden products that really help skin retain its moisture. They might not make lukewarm baths any easier to tolerate, but they’ll make your face a heck of a lot happier, and that’s its own holiday miracle right there.
1. Tarte's Maracuja Oil: yes! Oil! On your face! Voluntarily! Facial oils can fight free radicals, reduce inflammation, plump out your skin AND increase absorption of active ingredients in skincare products. Maracuja, a relative of passion fruit, brightens your complexion and contains boatloads of vitamin C, which encourages cellular turnover, clearing out the dead skin cells that contribute to dull, dry skin. $46 for 1.7 ounces at Sephora and many other online retailers.
2. First Aid Beauty's Intense Therapy Ultra Repair Cream: the mack daddy of moisturizing. FAB’s cream is loaded with oils, antioxidants and pharmaceutical ingredients like colloidal oatmeal (used OTC to treat eczema), and results can be visibly noticed just 15 minutes after application. A great spot treatment for any painfully dry, tight skin on face or body. $28 for 2 ounces at Sephora.
3. Dr. Lipp's Original Nipple Balm For Lips: a staple in my kit and also my favorite thing in the world. And that’s only being slightly hyperbolic. I’m telling y’all, it’s MIRACULOUS what this lanolin-based balm does to dry lips. I’ve seen cracked, chapped skin turn into supple, glossy goodness within 5 minutes of application. Perfect for dry elbows and cuticles as well as lips, their site lists more uses than I could ever count - most of which are completely practical. “Healer when you cut yourself on corset hooks” . . . mayyybe not as pragmatic as most, but hey. This stuff really does it all. $14.50 for half an ounce, all over the internet.
4. Boscia's Restorative Night Moisture Cream: the perfect night cream for dry skin that isn’t prone to breakouts. Fragrance free and loaded with botanical antioxidants, this cream penetrates deeply into skin to promote some pretty radical hydration. A LITTLE dab will do ya, and for particularly dry skin, this can double for a day cream - provided you mix in your favorite sunscreen. $48 for 1 ounce at Sephora and other online retailers.
5. Murad's Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture: “The most hydrating moisturizer Murad has ever offered.” Those are big words, coming from a company whose core science centers around “cellular water” - aka hydration. And, like most of Murad’s products, it delivers. By incorporating lots of good botanical oils (sunflower, avocado and olive to name a few) along with other heavy hitters like collagen and algae extract, this stuff sinks immediately into skin, retaining moisture and providing all-day hydration. Bonus and a caveat: it contains retinyl palmitate, which delivers some hefty anti-aging benefits but CAN irritate extremely sensitive skin; if you’re sitting the fence, definitely venture in for a sample before shelling out $62 for a half-ounce jar.
And there you have it! Day, night, creamy, oily, lips, face, elbows, toes - something for everyone in my carefully curated goodies. Until next time, may your lipids be plentiful and may free radicals forget where you live.
If you swear by a favorite that hasn't made the list, though, be sure to tweet us @CampMakery and let us know what we might be missing out on!