We are all pretty well aware that this has been our coldest winter or record. Polar Vortex, ChiBeria, Snowmageddon, whatever you call it, it doesn’t look like we’ll be forgetting this one any time soon. As we remain warm and comfortable (alhamdullilah) in our homes to ride out the cold wave, each time I look down to my red, dry hands I am reminded of the products I need to re-apply. It’s the constant washing of dishes, laundry and general hand-washing in this super dry and cold environment that is really beating up my skin. However, each night in the winter I have a specific regimen I follow, using one or more of the following products as well as using them sporadically throughout the day as needed. They are the best I’ve been able to find that fit my criteria of being free of toxic chemicals, drying alcohol and of course they must have a positive effect (i.e. something I can feel and/or see) on my skin.
Here’s my rundown of favorite products for winter-time skin:
1. Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream by Burt’s Bees
I was first attracted to this product because chamomile is so calming and the packaging almost made me think it was an Italian product with a very similar look. Burt’s Bees is one of my favorite brands because their products are mostly (if not all) vegan or vegetarian and the ingredients are natural and interesting. For example, this also has coconut oil and cocoa seed butter which are incredibly moisturizing. The creaminess of the cleanser is my absolute favorite reason for using it. My skin feels amazing after I wash it with this.
2. Humphreys Alcohol Free Witch Hazel- a skin softening facial toner without the alcohol is hard to find. I looked around for a while and this was the only one I found without alcohol in my local drugstore, although online I am sure you can find more. What I like about it is that it smells very nice and really does soften the skin. I apply it after washing my face with the cream cleanser above. It helps to remove any other dirt that didn’t come off in the washing.
3. Egyptian Magic
I’m not crazy about the name or the info on the jar that isn’t related to the content itself (I’m not exactly sure what it is or what to make of it) and I haven’t quite figured out if there’s anything else going on in the advertising of this product (let me know if you find out). I actually hesitated quite a bit to mention it simply because of it’s name but the only reason Idid is because it works absolute wonders on my skin- and it’s not actually from Egypt, just in case you were wondering. Hailing all natural ingredients, it’s one of the best products I’ve ever used (and I’m not young), a kind of oil cream perfect for red and chapped hands or dry skin on elbows and legs, too. Think Vaseline without the petroleum, which is very important if you’re trying to avoid petrochemicals. I put it on my face and leave it there for a while (almost like a mask) when I don’t have anywhere to be in the near future. I was surprised to find that it can be purchased at Costco in a larger (4-ounce) and small jar (2-ounce). It’s main ingredients are beeswax, olive oil, bee propolis, royal jelly extract and bee pollen- some of the best beauty ingredients in the world.
4. Tropical Traditions Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
My suggestion for this product isn’t just to keep a jar in the kitchen- buy an extra one just for your beauty regimen and use it for so many things (lots of interesting uses here). For the cold season, I use it to moisten up any dry spots on my face, lips and hands, but mostly my face. You can also put it in your hair. Just be sure to use minimal amounts, as it’s a solid when it’s cold and as soon as you get it onto your warm fingertips, it starts to liquefy. The best brand I know is a well-known source and the only one I’ve used for many years.
5. 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil (Cosmetic Grade) by The Olive Tree Soap Company
If you’re a long time reader of My Halal Kitchen, you’ll know that I have a huge affinity for Argan oil- and not just for cooking. I actually use the cosmetic grade for my skin more than I do in cooking, since it’s such a specialty ingredient here. For cosmetic use, it’s truly a blessing in the 30 mL that comes in this bottle. It’s been a wonderful natural treatment for spots of returning eczema and any areas where dry skin occurs. I also put it on my face to moisturize generally, but don’t put it anywhere near your eyes- that thin area of skin is sensitive to a lot of things, at least in my case, and something as pure and potent at argan oil might work a little too strongly in that area.
That’s my roundup of the products I’m using right now to protect and maintain my skin from the harshness of winter. They’re all a true bargain in exchange for the benefits they provide, so don’t be too alarmed at seemingly high prices for the ones that are sold in large quantities (i.e. coconut oil and Egyptian Magic)- it’s actually a much better deal!
What about you? How are you surviving the winter dryness and what are your go-to products to have on hand?
Note: I was not paid to receive or mention any of the products in this post.