Dry-skin-winter-blues got you down?


The winter is the most harsh time of year for my skin. As someone who has very dry skin, the cold temperatures and all that come with it bring to my face a chapped, flaky curse that is determined to return with every winter season. I have teenage memories of myself desperately attempting to moisturize extra dry spots with by whatever means necessary — strange potions I found in my mother’s makeup cabinet, water, hand cream. I guess determination was also a gene I had gotten from my mother, because there was no way I was going to settle for a life of horribly dry and patchy skin!

At present, I am 27, and I can say that I’ve figured it out. My skin no longer has that dull, flaky, I-could-be-her-mother look. I have made peace with my dry skin and the products that help it look its best, and now I would like to share that with you.

I’m an avid shopper at Sephora, but for skin care I tend to check out my local health food store (usually The Natural Food Pantry, though I am sure you can find similar products at other health food stores), as their prices tend to be cheaper, but also only stock products that are primarily vegetarian and cruelty-free. I have had the best success with skin care products that range from $10-$30 at health food stores, and anything beyond that price for a cleanser, toner, or even moisturizer is more than you need to spend, in my humble dry-skinned opinion.

I have experimented with several different natural brands, and my favourites are Alba Botanica, and Avalon Organics. Interestingly, they are the same company, but these two brands offer products that are unique to their specific brand. I regularly use products from Alba Botanica and Avalon Organics.

Let’s get product specific here. What do I like from the Alba Botanica brand of products? I have only tried their Hawaiian line, which offers a delightful bunch of tropically scented goodies including a Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser, Hibiscus Facial Toner, Pineapple Enzyme Facial Scrub, Pineapple Enzyme Facial Mask, Aloe and Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer, and others which I have yet to try. In the summer my skin is perfectly content with using the cleanser and even the moisturizer during the day. For winter, I must add some extra, more moisture-intensive products into my regime.

These winter-friendly products reign from the Avalon Organics Lavender line. This line is aimed at those with dry and sensitive skin, so I jumped at the opportunity to try them.

First I tried the Lavender Hydrating Toner. This product was $11.99 at The Natural Food Pantry. I loved this product because it has a soothing “herbally” lavender scent, and it is surprisingly moisturizing for a toner. I noticed my skin felt so smooth after using it.

My most recent purchases from the Lavender line include the Lavender Ultimate Moisture Cream, and the Lavender Facial Cleansing Milk.

Let’s start with the Lavender Facial Cleansing Milk. Avalon Organics’ entire Lavender line promotes Renewal and Vitality, and this product claims it is “optimal cleansing for sensitive skin”. The product description says it is “soap-free, gentle cleansing with moisturizing plant emollients. Calming Licorice Root, Organic Lavender and Arnica protect skin, as Organic Flax and Borage Oils replenish moisture, leaving skin hydrated”. This product is recommended for usage for normal to dry skin types.

To use, I apply 1-2 pumps directly to my face and neck. This product is thicker than a typical gel or liquid cleanser. It comes out almost like a lotion and feels so gentle and creamy on the skin. I massage it into my skin with my hands for about one minutes, and then I wash it off with water, or a gentle cloth. This cleanser comes off easily, so a cloth isn’t required, just warm water. It claims it is perfect for makeup removal, but I prefer to use coconut oil for my mascara, and before cleansing I use makeup removal wipes (currently using the Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes). This helps makeup come off quicker when I follow up with the cleanser, as I don’t feel it removes makeup as well as it claims. After rinsing, my skin is extremely soft, and I love that it is not stripped of moisture or feeling tight and dry. This cleanser was $12.39.

It is also important to tone during the winter to return your skin to its regular PH, and to ready it for a moisturizer. I am currently using the Earth Science Aloe Vera Complexion Toner and Freshener for dry and sensitive skin, which is a lovely addition to anyone’s skin care regime if you want a toner that refreshes without drying and over-tightening your skin. Simply pour a bit onto a cotton pad and massage over your face. This cost me $12.99 at the Natural Food Pantry. I will probably be switching back to the Avalon Organics Hydrating Toner, since I found it to be more moisturizing and soothing for the redness around my nose.

The pride and joy of my dry skin regimen is the Avalon Organics Ultimate Moisture Cream that I mentioned earlier. This cream really lives up to its name! It says it is a “daily or nightly moisturizer made with soothing and calming botanicals”. It is great as a night cream for all skin types, but can be used daily for dry skin. I have been using this day and night, and my skin is no longer flaky, especially in the typical areas around my nose. Even with makeup application over the cream, my skin remains adequately moisturized. Along with all other products in their Lavender line, this product has a light, natural lavender scent. It is extremely relaxing, so if you enjoy lavender I would highly recommend these products for you. Moisturizers often run rather expensive, as I recall the moment a saleswoman at Sephora was trying to convince my mother (who is rather frugal) to spend $75 dollars on a small Philosophy moisturizer that I am sure would be great, I would never spend that much when there are products like the Ultimate Moisture Cream out there. This cost me $18.29 at the Natural Food Pantry, and on Avalon Organics’ website I believe it runs at $20.99. When it comes to a good quality moisturizer, you shouldn’t have to use a ton of product for it to work, so a 2 ounce tub can last 3-6 months, depending on if it is a night cream or for night and day.

These products currently sum up the majority of my winter skin care regime, and I find myself extremely satisfied with them. I hope you take the time to try them and check out this line; they were tremendously helpful for my dry, sensitive, and flaky skin. Feel free to comment and suggest other products that have helped you, and also did not cost a fortune. Thank you for reading!

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