Fun

Seasonal Remedies

Products that help dry winter skin stop freaking out and/or flaking off.

Those of us in the northern hemisphere are currently experiencing the very apex of dry, flaky, crackly winter skin. There are probably as many good ways to deal with it as there are Rookies out there, but there are more bad ones. To help you steer clear of the latter, here’s what’s been working for us.

palmers-cocoa-butter-lotionPalmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E
You know those lotion commercials that compare people’s skin to alligator scales, cracked earth, deserts, and other things that are dry and grody? That is totally how mine feels, especially this time of year. I spent my entire life trying to find a body lotion that could remedy how taut, shriveled up, and itchy my epidermis gets basically the second the leaves start to turn in the fall. That is, until I started using this cocoa butter lotion from the drugstore. Cocoa butter is widely regarded as an excellent remedy for dry skin, but it had never worked for me in its pure form, which I found to be too hard to rub in because it’s a solid and gets really flaky. But Palmer’s formula sinks in instantly, transforming my body from a dried-up riverbed to a glistening, baby’s-butt-smooth specimen of softness. And while it’s cool to finally have a remedy for my parched skin, especially one that costs about $6, I saved the best part for last: IT WILL MAKE YOU SMELL LIKE A MILK CHOCOLATE BAR. Delicioso. ($4, Drugstore.com) —Julianne

philosophy_hope_in_a_jarHope in a Jar (Philosophy)
First, let’s get past the fact that Hope in a Jar is a pretty crap name, and if I were buying beauty products based on, like, feminist viewpoints, this is not the one I would buy, because, really? “Oh here, WOMAN, here is some HOPE in a JAR!” is majorly barftastic. But this cream is always mentioned in all the fashion magazines, so when I was looking for a new moisturizer, it was one of the first ones I tried, and it does NOT disappoint. It smells good, but not like a perfume—it has the kind of scent that makes me feel like a fancy adult who wears marabou feathers while applying makeup in front of one of those giant mirrors with lights. Within a few seconds of dabbing the cream on it vanishes, and then I can put on my face powder or whatever without creating a major cake situation. I don’t think it’s the most lightweight moisturizer ever—I can feel it, but it’s not a greasy or weird feeling. Something’s just protecting my face, and as soon as that first giant gust of wind hits when I go outside, I’m glad it’s there. ($40, Sephora) —Laia

sparrow_true_essentialSparrow True Essential Oil
My face is like an oil slick most of the year, but once winter comes it turns into sandpaper. It gets SO DRY that I swear I’ve seen a flake of dandruff or two in my eyebrows—WHAT! I’ve tried millions of moisturizers, without finding anything perfect, but even though facial oils are in right now, I was still nervous about putting an OIL on my usually OILY FACE. But, you guys, Sparrow True Essential Oil is cool! It’s moisturizing and it’s light enough that it absorbs right into my skin. It’s totally NOT like putting bacon grease on my mug (although that does sound kind of appealing). And it’s a multi-purpose product, so not only does it get rid of my BROW FLAKES (WAH!), it also triples as a makeup remover and a hair serum! ($88, Bona Drag) —Marie

look_no_xemaLook, No X E MA! Cream (Four Elements)
My skin is sensitive and often freaks out when I try new things, and I am stubborn and beyond picky about my products. I’ve been loyal to the same face wash and makeup for what feels like forever, and almost every moisturizer I’ve tried upsets my face. When cold weather hits, I’m either flaky or breaking out. But last year when I was with my sister and her tiny kids, I took a chance on this stuff they love. Look, No X E MA! healed the dry skin on my face super fast, and without any breakouts. And aside from doing its job, it has a really short list of all-natural ingredients with names I can actually decipher (there are no scary -chloro -cetyl -butyl unknowns), which makes me love it even more. ($15, Four Elements) —Lauren R.

aesop_parsley_seedAesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator (Aesop)
I don’t tend to change my moisturizer to suit the seasons. I use the same light moisturizer before I go to bed every night, and nothing else. But recently I started to feel the effects of air conditioning, heating, and changes in weather and decided I should probably find something a little lighter to use throughout the day, so my nighttime product wouldn’t have to work as hard. I picked up a small bottle of the Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator on a recent trip to Aesop and have been using it a few times a day ever since. Its consistency is a little thicker than milk (but not milk that’s gone chunky, FYI), and it takes less than a minute to absorb into my skin. It really is hydrating and leaves my face feeling kind of firm. I’ve been using it as a primer under BB cream on warmer days and it helps my makeup stay on longer, and without feeling cake-y. I swear by Aesop products, and while they can be pricey, they last aaaages. They all smell delicious as well! This one isn’t fruity or fancy-smelling; it’s really earthy and herbal (but not in a store-that-sells-crystals-and-incense kind of way) and totally unisex. ($65, Aesop) —Brodie

creme_de_corpsCreme de Corps (Kiehl’s)
There was a time in my life when I literally had TEN different body lotions on my dresser. Drugstore lotions, body butters, lotions that smelled like cookies… everything. And I was using them all! I was a lotion junkie! But I pretty much gave them all up after I started using Creme de Corps. Once I get out of the shower, I slather this stuff all over my bod. I love how it’s light but still penetrative enough to keep my legs as soft as pillows for hours. I also like how it doesn’t have much of a fragrance, so it doesn’t get in the way of the cotton-candy-scented perfume I like to wear. ($11, Kiehl’s) —Marie

mario_badescuProtein Night Cream (Mario Badescu)
I have really, really dry skin. It flakes. It itches. It’s usually red. The cold makes it even worse, and I sometimes end up breaking out in hives. Basically, it sucks. The things that make my face happiest tend to feel pretty greasy. I’m sure anyone with an oily complexion who is reading this right now is probably gonna cringe, but I want to be a big ol’ greaseball! That’s why when the temperature drops and the air gets dry and harsh, I slick on this night cream. It’s a thick and white and doesn’t have much of a scent. I massage it into my face and it immediately makes everything feel soft and smooth. Plus, because it works its hydrating magic while I’m asleep, I wake up looking dewy. It’s my face’s best friend. ($20, Mario Badescu) —Hannah

beeloveNourish & Smooth Body Cream (Beelove)
I found this tiny tub of emollient salvation at a hippie boutique by my house in Chicago when I was on a mad hunt for a lotion that was super natural, totally worked, and had almost no fragrance. I was rill pregnant at the time and, like many preggos, super sensitive to odors—to the point that passing a person on the street who was wearing cologne felt like being dipped in a rancid vat of Cool Water. Beelove saved my life and my dried-out Midwestern-winter skin, which freaks out if I put chemical ingredients on it. It’s formulated as a body cream, so on the face it’s like two steps down from a night cream, relatively speaking, and it absorbs into my skin so well. It’s pretty rich but not greasy, so I look all radiant and supple-faced even when I am feeling especially haggy. The added bonus is that the raw honey in it comes from apiaries on Chicago’s South Side that employ “people facing significant barriers to employment, including criminal convictions.” So you get to feel good about your money not going to some big chemical corporation. Also, they make a body balm that is like God’s personal formulation, it’s so magic. ($31, Beelove) —Jessica

advanced_genifiqueAdvanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate (Lancôme)
We can talk about the wonders of growing old (I love the idea of me as an old lady), but when I’m 80 I also want to be an ageless beauty who bones people a third my age and has a different motorcycle and/or car for every day of the week. And preventative care is ultimately much better than corrective care! So when I was given this serum to test out, I was super stoked, because I’d heard lots of good things about it, and it’s beautiful and expensive, so it must be dope, right? Nah. It’s just whatever. Don’t get me wrong—it feels wonderful going on and it has ingredients that work. But the experience of putting on a lovely serum from a lovely bottle that touts great “clinical results” is much more effective than the actual ingredients, I think. When I examined what’s actually in this concentrate, it didn’t seem worth the price per ounce. The ingredients that are doing a lot of the work in here are bifida ferment lysate (which is derived from a bacteria similar to what’s in yogurt, which is a good skin-conditioning mask on its own), hyaluronic acid (also available as a supplement that you can find in pharmacies and health stores), a cosmetic acid that’s similar to aspirin (which also reduces redness and is great crushed into face masks), and vitamin C. This isn’t a BAD serum per se, and I do use mine! But it’s also a huge mark-up on stuff you can get way cheaper at the drugstore. ($105, Sephora) —Arabelle

curelDaily Moisture Original Lotion for Dry Skin (Curél)
My skin is so sensitive that if I even lightly press a cheek on a pillowcase that’s been washed with scented detergent, it’s the facial equivalent of the end of the world—breakouts, rashes, scaly spots. An exploding mess. To fight dryness, I’ve tried every facial cream and moisturizer you can probably name and…they all make me break out. But you know what doesn’t? At all? Ever? Curél. Basic drugstore Curél. It’s the only thing I can put on my face, and I use it for my body, too. It’s an oddly thick and creamy lotion that immediately disappears when you rub it in, and it combats dryness without making extra zits and oil happen. I cut it with water in the summertime, and I mix essential oils into the unscented version for my body lotion. I am lost without Curél—it goes with me on overnight trips in a tiny container, there’s a bottle of it at my desk at work, and like a grandma I hoard a stash of it under my bathroom sink. I never don’t have Curél. I once wrote Kao Brands Company, which owns Curél, a love letter because I was so grateful to the people who make it, and they sent me a pile of coupons for FREE CURÉL and it was amazing. CURÉL, YOU GUYS: IT’S CHEAP AND IT WORKS. ($7, Drugstore.com) —Krista ♦

10 Comments

  • irismonster January 3rd, 2014 12:59 AM

    i live in california so thankfully winter does not exist, but marie–dandruff in eyebrows is a thing! so are eyebrow mites, which are basically lice. i like to think of my eyebrows as tiny manes on my forehead.

  • Emmie January 3rd, 2014 1:02 AM

    EUCERIN! It’s a miracle cure and non-greasy, amazing absorption!

  • spudzine January 3rd, 2014 1:12 AM

    AHHH I really needed this right now! Winters are the worst for me for a number of reasons, and bad skin is one of them! Thanks for the suggestions, Rookie!

    http://spudzine.tumblr.com/
    http://emotwins.tumblr.com
    http://rockogirl.tumblr.com/

  • Lillypod January 3rd, 2014 4:14 AM

    woah looks like the whole rookie staff has sensitive skin sorry guys that sucks

  • julalondon January 3rd, 2014 8:29 AM

    Love this. For me it has always been NIVEA Soft; i love that stuff.

    • Ella W January 4th, 2014 7:07 AM

      Same! I just slap on a bit of NIVEA every night, seems to work for me.

  • Estelle January 3rd, 2014 9:38 AM

    I will be trying ALL OF THESE THINGS. Except the expensive ones.

  • Tara Warkentin January 3rd, 2014 2:17 PM

    My skin is so so sensitive too! I mix coconut oil, avocado oil and sweet almond oil up and use it for everything…. night oli/serum thing, bath oil, hair mask, cuticle stuff… its brilliant and cheap.

  • llamalina January 3rd, 2014 5:28 PM

    Queen Helene’s Cocoa Butter lotion is also fantastic for dry skin any time of the year, and it’s only about $1-3 (depending on where you buy it) for a ginormous bottle that lasts me a few months. Just an extremely affordable option (:

    http://llamalina.blogspot.com

  • Sophii January 3rd, 2014 8:17 PM

    I used to moisturise my body everyday all year round but then I got lazy :( this has inspired me to try some of these out and moisturise more often again. The skin on my arms and legs gets quite dry in the winter but also I just love the smooth feeling you get after moisturising :’) <3

    http://prettypassionsfinefashions.blogspot.co.uk