Have really almost reached Christmas? I've been obsessed with the Christmas lights and mulled drinks as usual and have reminisced about last year's winter posts on my blog, my favorites were:
Continuing on the dry skin path, here's a post on my winter skincare staples for the year - I've found quite a few new skincare gems this season to relieve my skin and keep me happy, but have also been loving a couple of oldies:
For the body:
Shanti Shower Indian Rose & Sweet Almond Oil Shower Oil, Rituals. I've never really imagined what a difference it would be to use a shower oil rather than a shower wash. It was a lovely surprise how much softer my skin was when exiting the shower (and they're perfect for shaving.) I still use a shower wash or cream a few times a week or when I've worked out because I like how it lathers up and makes me feel like I'm really cleaning myself, but generally I prefer shower oils as they don't strip my skin of moisture. I love the 'Indian Rose' candle by Rituals but I don't find that it smells anything like the shower oil, or vice versa. The candle is so lovely, with a very soft and comforting scent (not very rose-y) while the oil has a much bolder scent. I'll be repurchasing this in a different scent (the Sweet Oranges & Cedar Wood one is hella intriguing.)
Cocoa Butter Beautifying Oil, The Body Shop. This has been my winter of body oils. I've only used the Mango and Coconut scents from The Body Shop so far but decided to pick up Cocoa Butter this time around. I'm generally not drawn to chocolate, cocoa, or cacao scents in body products because I normally find them too sickly sweet but I've already used a third of this (and a little goes a long way), it's the warmest and most delicious scent - I can't get over it! Check out my favorite body oils here!
For the face:
Aloe Protective Restoring Mask, The Body Shop. Since getting the mask this autumn I've been using it non-stop. As it's suitable for sensitive skin it's very gentle and fragrance free, I find that the fragrance free-ness of the product smells a bit odd, but the mask itself is fantastic. I use this almost every night; since its consistency resembles that of a night cream I'll even use a sheer layer during the day when I want to restore my skin's dullness. I wasn't sure what the mask would really do as I normally look for masks that are either clearing or hydrating, but what this one does with my skin is turning it extremely soft and supple - it gives your skin that "bouncy" and renewed quality.
Vitamin E Sink-In Mosture Mask, The Body Shop. I've been using this sink-in mask religiously for over a year, it was formrely my night cream before I found the Aloe mask, but I do alternate every now and again and reach for this when my skin is in need of intense hydration. The mask has a gel-like consistency which I think is very refreshing when you're applying it, it's not heavy and sinks in effortlessly. If you haven't smelled The Body Shop's Vitamin E range, the scent is so lovely and soothing. I meant to include the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil in this post as well but forgot to photograph it, though, it's great and a big recommendation if you're looking for a face oil.
Facial Spray, Evian. I came across this and thought that it looked cool and might be refreshing to bring to the pool when you're on vacation, but I ended up never using it for no reason at all. When I'm travelling I'm obsessed with my Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief on long-haul flights because it keeps my dry skin (gone drier by recycled air) oh so perfectly moisturized and refreshed, it's a holy grail product of mine. In other words, it's taken a while to give the Evian a fair chance and now I'm obsessed with it. Not only does it moisturize and refresh your skin like my Clinique spray, but it purifies, tones, and revives your makeup - how am I not to fall in love with it? It's the perfect travel product as well as if you work long days.
For the lips:
Eight Hour Cream Nourishing Lip Balm, Elizabeth Arden. I've heard a lot about the Eight Hour creams but never tried them so it was about time that I went out and got the hand cream or lip balm, I ended up going with the lip balm (as I've already found an incredible hand cream this winter, more below!) - in a squeeze tube as I thought it would be handier and more sanitary to have with you out and about. I'm super picky about lip balms and few do the trick for me in the wintertime, but I'm happy with this one. The balm merges beautifully with your lips (rather than sit on them), doing a great job of softening and protecting against harsh weather; it's lasting and effective as well as kiss-friendly (non-sticky.)
Rève De Miel, Nuxe. I have a hard time believing I'll find a lip balm as intense as this one; it's such a winner and an essential in any lip balm-lovers possession. I use this only at night as it's somewhat heavy on the lips, also because I've experienced that applying it more than twice a day will lessen the effect, so this is a balm I keep on my nightstand rather than in my handbag. My lips always feels nourished and replenished in the morning when I've applied this at bedtime, it just works its magic all through the night. For everyday use I'd go for the Eight Hour one, but if you want an intense balm for chapped lips, this is your guy.
For the hands:
Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, Neutrogena. Guys, if you suffer from extremely dry hands - look no further. I haven't tried anything as effective nor aiding on suffering hands in the wintertime as this, so I'm blown away and grateful that this exists. The product isn't actually a cream but comes out a concentrated, clear balm or salve which is the reason it has so much impact. It's quite rich and you will feel it on your hands but that's what I like about it, I can feel that it's protective my hands rather than just disappearing into my skin, and it's completely non-sticky and non-greasy. I just find that this soothes and relieves dry or chapped skin instantly and amazingly, I can't praise it enough, it's a must-have right now.
Cuticle Oil, Seacret. Along with very dry hands comes dry cuticles, who knew how great cuticle oils are? Admittedly, it feels like a bit of a chore to be applying cuticle oil when I'm already applying hand cream 700 times a day but it's a huge help and I've not had a single chapped cuticle since using this on a regular basis. This particular one that I've got was part of a nail care kit, not sure if you can get it separate but I've linked the kit!