Last winter was terrible, with numerous far-below-zero days well into February, and a ton of snow. My skin was so dry that I resorted to using body butter on my face. This past winter, I opted to not do that, and came up with a skincare routine that kept my skin moisturized and nourished, without being totally ridiculous. I added some new tools to my skincare arsenal and started using some more targeted potions to better care for specific areas. Overall, my skin looks and feels great thanks to the changes I made, and I feel like I can confidently step into summer dresses and heels without worrying about dry skin cramping my style. Read on for the products I used to get summer-ready skin!
The most notable item I have added to my skincare toolkit is the Mary Kay Skinvigoroate™ Cleansing Brush. I had been tossing around the idea of getting a Clairsonic brush, but couldn’t justify the $150+ pricetag for something I wasn’t even sure I’d use. When a friend of mine introduced me to a Mary Kay rep, who showed me the Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush, I told her right away I was buying it. At $50, with two brush heads included, it was a much better deal. When you factor in the $15 for two replacement brush heads, it’s still a better deal than the Clairsonic one, and there are a ton of reviews that say that the Skinvigorate brush just as good, if not better. It was an easy choice for me, and it resides in my shower (it’s waterproof), where I use it every day. Within a couple weeks of using it, I noticed a remarkable difference in some of my problem areas, like my forehead.
In addition to using the Skinvigorate brush, I’ve continued to use Mystelic’s Nature’s Best Vitamin C Serum, which I reviewed back in April. There have been a few products that I’ve reviewed that I absolutely adore, and this is one of them. I’m on my third or fourth bottle of it now, and use it every morning. I feel like it’s really made a difference in the appearance and feel of my skin. I have less breakouts and a smoother overall skin texture now, and I attribute it directly to this serum, which is why it’s become a regular-use item for me.
I opted to up the amount of vitamin C my face got by switching to a vitamin C cleanser when I ran out of my regular Cetaphil. I had used Avalon Organics moisturizer before, so when I saw they made a Vitamin C Renewal Cleanser, I bought it. I feel like it does just as good of a job that Cetaphil did in terms of cleaning, and it smells refreshing too, which is a plus in the mornings.
Last but not least, I added two lip-care items to my beauty bag. The first was a lip scrub, because nothing bugs me (and my husband) more than chapped lips. I tried, for a little bit, the ELF Lip Exfoliator, but wasn’t big on the delivery method–it broke off in the tube and got kinda gross after awhile. Thankfully, my favorite artisan soap and body butter maker, Clean Apothecary, had a solution. Clean has some fantastic lip balms, and I knew that already, having discovered them last year. But they also make a lip scrub that’s wonderful, and comes in a nice-sized jar that lasts and lasts! You can get both for just $12 (a savings of $4) by buying the Lip Lux Set. Coconut Lemongrass is my favorite lip balm, but I have them all floating around… one at my desk, one at my makeup area, one or two in my purse, and one on my nightstand, and they last and last when you put them on.
Hands, feet, and body.
In fall, I headed into Body Shop with a friend for the first time in years and discovered a hand cream that I credit 100% with preventing my eczema from flaring up during the winter. It’s the Hemp Hand Protector, and it’s the only hand moisturizer I’ll use now. It’s thick and creamy, but not overly greasy or scented. It absorbs quickly and did wonders for keeping my hands soft. My nails were, perhaps, a little stronger as well, but likely just because my hands weren’t as dry all winter. I keep a larger tube on my desk and use it a few times a day (less so now that it’s not as cold and dry out), and kept a smaller tube in my purse for when I wasn’t sitting at my desk. I highly recommend this moisturizer if you have dry hands!
For my body and my feet, I opted to stick with a body butter. But since I’d run out of the one I used last winter, and couldn’t find it online, I turned to Clean Apothecary for a solution. And sure enough, their Naked Skin Body Butter worked wonders! Plus, it’s natural, hand-made, USA-made, and smells like cupcakes. What more could you ask for?! Oh wait, it comes in a handy deodorant-like applicator that keeps your hands clean and travels easily… I have a few of these in travel bags, my gym bag, and on my nightstand, all easy to grab when I need a little extra moisturizing. I usually smooth it on my heels, the bottoms of my feet, and my toes before bed, give it a good rub in, and throw on some cotton socks. My tootsies were sandal-ready all winter. I use it weekly on my legs as well, to keep them nice and soft too.
Otherwise, for my skin, I opted to stick with straight up Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. It’s unscented, it’s cheap, and a little goes a long way. I can lotion up one full leg with just one pump, but if I need extra I don’t have to worry about feeling like I’m being wasteful. I tended, in the winter, to do my arms and legs both in the morning and before bed, with a little heavier of an application before bed.
Another thing I did this past winter was switch to home-made soap. I buy all my soaps now from Clean Apothecary, and love both the way they smell and they way my skin feels when I step out of the shower. I’d been using Dove for years, and while I felt like it was doing a good job moisturizing my skin (1/4 moisturizing lotion, and all that), I have found that even during the coldest, driest days of winter, a natural soap, like Clean’s, allows me to stay even more moisturized. In fact, if I skipped a day of moisturizing my legs (because let’s face it, skinny jeans and freshly-lotioned legs aren’t a great combination, especially if you’ve decided to sleep in in the morning) it wasn’t a big deal, like it would have been if I’d still been using Dove. So yea, I’m a total natural soap convert, and at $6 a bar, it’s actually a little cheaper than Dove (plus, Clean does coupons often, so I take advantage and stock up on my favorites, like French Lavender and Nag Champa). And let’s not forget that buying an artisan soap from someone like Clean Apothecary means you’re supporting a small, American business, which is also a big win!
And that’s it!
Those few changes to my routine and the products I use have made a big difference in my skin, both over the winter and now that summer is “officially” here. It was wonderful, this past Memorial Day weekend, to be able to wear sandals, dresses, and shorts without worrying about dry legs or cracked heels. And my hands and face have really never felt better than they do either.
So if you are looking to try out a few products to help you get summer-ready skin check out some of the ones above, especially if you struggle with dry skin! And regardless, you should give hand-made, artisan soaps a try… they’re wonderful!
None of the companies above sponsored this post or sent me products in exchange for mentions, links, reviews, whatever. I really do love using the above products and just had to share my good finds.