As the temperatures get colder, bath water temperatures get hotter, weather gets gloomier, winds get stronger, indoor heating higher, the need to have an efficient hair care and skin care routine gets crucial and more relevant.
Winters can be quite a tricky season, stripping the skin of its much-needed hydration. The last thing one would want is to be constantly scratching off peeling skin. Heavily foamed body washes, heavily perfumed products, lack of sufficient moisturization, scratchy clothing fabrics can stimulate the skin making it drier than usual.
Note that different people have different skin types and what works for one may not work for another. It is more important to go with the least number of harsh products as possible free of perfumes, sulfates and parabens, especially if you have sensitive skin prone to breaking out. It is tempting to cover up, but the skin does not heal when you apply a ton of products to soothe it all out. Attempt to go for products as natural and organic as possible. It takes time and patience complementing with the right diet to look good and feel good!
❄ Cleanse: The first thing I do in the mornings is use a gentle face cleanser- Hot Cleanse and Polish by Liz Earle (suitable for all skin types). (9/10)
- I love the smell and the mousse-like consistency of this product. Paired with a muslin cloth, it does a great job exfoliating the skin leaving it refreshed and baby smooth.
- Great at taking light makeup off.
- Has a menthol, eucalyptus scent, so if you do not like the smell of essential oils, you would have to forgo on this one.
I follow up on the cleansing with Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser by Kiehl’s. I feel this product is just perfect for this season. (9/10)
- It is soap-free, so it works great for sensitive-combination skin.
- It does not leave the skin squeaky clean but it is extremely refreshing and calming.
- It is a brilliant product if you suffer from redness, spotty and flaky skin.
❄Exfoliate: Gets rid of the built up dead skin cells.
I use the Kiehl’s Clealy Corrective Skin Brightening Exfoliator with White Birch and Peony once a week. It is certainly a good scrub and a very generous amount goes a long way. (8/10)
- Leaves the skin bright and blemish free and lifts it up from the dullness.
- No parabens, sulfates and perfume is a win-win for me!
- Takes time to fade superficial scars and discoloration and I think you would just need to be patient with this product.
- However, it does leave the skin “squeaky clean”, so you would need to follow up with a toner and moisturizer.
I really enjoy using this product and I think it is worth the price you pay for it.
❄Tone: The Instant Boost Skin Tonic by Liz Earle is what I use after I cleanse / exfoliate. (7/10)
- It is floral-scented
- Tightens skin
- I love that it contains generous amounts of aloe vera and vitamin E, which works great on discoloration and hydrating sensitive skin.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel– (8/10)
I had heard a lot of good reviews about this one and decided to try this out.
- Extremely lightweight and oil-free.
- Provides hydration and leaves the skin flake-free.
- A great product for combination, oily and sensitive skin types.
Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum by Kiehl’s– (6/10)
- A little goes a long way.
- If you are suffering from dry patches and itchy skin, this will instantly boost hydration levels and leave the skin super soft while producing a cooling effect.
- It calms down redness.
- 15% plant based glycerin leaves the skin feeling no irritation.
I would like my moisturizers to do much more than hydrate.
❄Follow up with a sunscreen of your choice.
Regenacalm 2% Retinol Serum: Vitamin C, Dill, Licorice Extract and Hyaluronic Acid– (10/10)
This is by far my favourite product! It is perfect for anyone with dry, spotty skin with acne-scars.
- It works great on marks, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, dry and sensitive skin.
- Licorice and Hyaluronic Acid work effortlessly on marks, blemish-prone skin to stimulate the skin to produce more collagen and regenerate skin cells while keeping the skin extremely hydrated.
- Vitamin C reduces the appearance of dark spots and lightens up existing dark spots.
- Vitamin E provides an anti-oxidant boost.
- It is 100% paraben free, silicate free and vegan.
- This serum is non-greasy so it works well even on oily skin.
- Absolutely lightweight and non-irritating.
Apply this product before applying your day time/ night time moisturizers.
❄Masks and Serums-
I had received the following samples from Kiehl’s and I had not used the products long enough to have seen drastic results.
Powerful-Strength Line-Refining Concentrate (DAY) (5/10)
This product was to be used either alone or under moisturiser.
- Contains 10.5% activated Vitamin C to reveal healthier looking skin.
- Makes skin brighter and more radiant
- Found this making my skin very oily.
Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution (NIGHT) (5/10)
Meant to improve clarity, reduce spots and unify skin tone.
- I did not find this serum to cause any skin brightening effect.
- Contains a few oils, which irritated my skin (combination and sensitive).
Nightly refining Micro-Peel concentrate (NIGHT) (7/10)
- This product leaves my skin feeling quite sticky.
- Provides gentle exfoliation through the night.
- Lightweight and absorbs quickly.
- Works well on oily and combination skin.
When I washed this product off in the mornings, I did feel my skin was bright and rejuvenated. It is worth it if you are willing to invest.
Estēe Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery II (NIGHT)
- It goes a long way.
- Provides great moisture and soothes complexion.
- Aids skin cell regeneration and renewal of the skin.
- Skin feels smoother, hydrated and tauter.
Estēe Lauder Night Repair Eye (NIGHT)
By far the best cream I have ever used.
- Helps with dullness, puffiness and dryness under the eyes.
- Non-comedogenic, so it will not clog pores.
- Does not help much with darkness under the eye.
I adore Korean skincare products as I feel they are gentler than Western skincare products and they work great on Asian skin.
I Need You Mask- Pearl by Etude House
This Pearl mask contains hydrolyzed pearl extracts full of amino acids and minerals to brighten up dull skin for a clear and bright complexion.
- Softens skin, brightens it (by a fair amount, temporarily of course) and makes the skin fuller and healthier.
- Evens out skin tone.
- It does not smell much, so I love it!
Berry AHA! Bright Peel by Etude House
This serum contains plant derived collage and claims to remove stubborn dead skin cells.
- It smells fruity and leaves the face refreshed.
- Skin feels soft after the peeling.
- Provides mild exfoliation.
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
- Makes skin super plump and provides immense hydration.
- Great for most skin types- dry, combination, oily.
- This product is fragranced so it will irritate acne-prone skin.
Keep in mind to never avoid moisturising skin after you take a shower or a bath. It locks in the moisture necessary for you to survive winter without patchy and flaky skin.
I use the Japanese Cherry Blossom by Bath and Body Works and occasionally switch it with the Double Crème macaron scented Body Cream by Zoella.
- Both are fantastic rich products and do their job of moisturizing the skin.
- They have amazing scents that do not irritate the skin.
Just like how scrubbing off dead skin cells from the face can improve your skin’s health, exfoliating the body makes the skin smoother, healthier, softer and brighter. Do exfoliate at least once a week in the winters.
The Original Brown Sugar Body Polish by Fresh is a fantastic product for leaving the skin velvety and soft. This is one exfoliator I would not want to substitute.
- Extremely nourishing.
- Brown sugar crystals buffs away dry skin cells.
- Ginseng root extract and peppermint revitalize skin cells.
- Has a mix of several essential oils to leave the skin soft and smelling good- Jojoba, sweet almond, citrus oil (helps to brighten skin).
- It does leave the bath quite messy and slippery, so be careful!
If you use a lot of heat and chemical products on the hair, there is a high chance it is going to have split ends and be unmanageable.
Overnight coconut oil hair masks sound gross but I swear it makes the hair during winters extremely soft and silky.
It does smell a bit, so it is not wise to do this mask overnight if you cannot stand the smell or there are people living with you who cannot. You can instead do this mask over the day for a few hours, whilst studying to avoid focusing on the temporarily greasy scalp.
- Massage coconut oil into the hair before sleeping.
- Tie the hair up with a band and cup your hair into a shower cap to avoid spoiling the bed.
- Wash off the hair the next morning using your shampoo and conditioner.
I promise you this treatment works wonders on frizzy and itchy hair.
Alternatively, you could use hair oils as conditioners like the Morocco Argan Oil Hair Conditioner, which leaves the hair silky smooth and healthy.
I hope that none of you neglect the importance of skincare and hair care routines, especially during this time of the year! If you are unhappy with the present condition of your skin, understand that nothing changes overnight. It takes a clean diet and adequate amounts of exercising to relieve yourself of the toxins that may have piled up in your bodies. You may have heard this all, but it is true and be patient. If your skin is not responding to your current products or becoming worse, it may be a sign to change up your routine a little even if the reviews of the products are outstanding.
Everyone’s skin type is different and more often, it is lesser and cheaper that is better. Try opting for more natural skin care masks made from organic oats, fruits and greens instead of spending money on expensive and reputed brands.
It is about the quality of your products and not the quantity.
❄ Eat right, sleep well and take care of yourself! ❄
All images are credited to Sanjna Ravikrishnan.