As much as I like to experiment and try new products, by now I think I have figured out what my skin needs and when it needs it, so I have a fairly clear view of what types of products I need to have in my skin care kit even though I might change brands. Except for the occasional hormonal break out, I have normal to combination skin and my biggest challenge all year around is battling dehydration. As if it's not enough with the horrible weather we've had lately; storms, rain and the cold, I sit in front of a computer all day long, enjoying the benefits of central heating which sounds cushy and cosy, but it all takes a toll on the skin. So in the winter time this means I have to bring out the big skin care guns and use products that are gentle on the skin and that cleanse and exfoliate without stripping it back, but that also give deep hydration and nourishment to keep my skin supple and smooth. This winter these are the hero products that have helped to maintain my skin.
This micellar water also works to remove eye- and face makeup (including waterproof) so I've been using it in the evenings as to take off my eye makeup before using my Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser (£15). Micellar waters are great when you need a quick fix but for me there's no replacing a great cleansing product in the evenings to make sure the skin is nice and clean before applying all the night products. You may remember that I've mentioned this cleanser before - it has the most wonderful light and fluffy, cloud like consistency and it kind of "pops" on your skin. It contains grape extracts, sage and camomile that soothes and purifies the skin, and it's so gentle that you can definitely use it twice a day if you so choose, and the refreshing cucumber scent is a lovely pick me up after a long day.
Call me old school, but I like to use a toner after I've used a cleanser to make sure that there's no product at all left on my skin and Clarins Toning Lotion with Camomile (£18) works beautifully together with the Caudalie cleanser, and it helps to rebalance and stimulate the skin's moisture level. It's has a zesty sligthly peppery invigorating scent and a little tip if you don't want to buy an expensive facial spray is to pour some of this in a spray bottle and you can use this throughout the day instead and you'll get almost the same effect.
The perfect partner to Modern Friction is the well known, super hyped Origins Drink Up Intensive (£22) Overnight Mask. It contains seaweed that helps not only to repair the skin but also to retain moisture. Is it worth the hype? Absolutely 100% yes. For me this is THE Holy Grail product, that makes your skin look plump, supple, nourished and hydrated. I'll use this at least 3-4 times a week either after my exfoliator, or as a double intense night cream - applying one coat immediately after I've removed my makeup for the evening, and then another coat a few hrs later just before I go to bed, and I have even used this as a pre-moisturising treatment. It is FANTASTIC and the beautiful creamy orange peel candy scent just makes it even more lovely to use and the price for 100ml is more than reasonable. If you haven't tried Drink Up Intensive yet, it should definitely go on your list of products to try this year - you won't regret it!
For the delicate eye area I've used Kiehl's Avocado Eye Treatment (£33) which is rich in ingredients to protect and nourish the skin and that builds up moisture. If feels heavy on the skin when you first apply it but it absorbs very quickly, almost turning liquidy and it doesn't leave any shininess at all. The eye area feels protected, bright and soft and you can also use this as a masque both around the eye area and the lip contour,applying a thicker layer and then just letting it absorb naturally for 15-20 mins.
After the eye cream I apply the Gatineau Melatogenine Aox Probiotic Advanced Rejuvenating Cream (£76.25) - now that's a mouthful... It's a very luxurious, rich anti-ageing cream which is more for mature skin, and although I fortunately don't have any real issues with that yet, there's nothing wrong with starting well in advance to try and prevent wrinkles and sagging, or at least delay the inevitable as long as possible. It adds an intense boost of moisture and in the evening when I remove the day's makeup my skin still feels hydrated and nourished which is exactly what I want from a moisturiser. Another reason why I love this cream so much is because of the instant radiance that it gives, and my slightly blue tinted skin tone in winter all of a sudden looks glowy, rested and fresh without having to use any fake tan.
For night time I've turned to an old friend, the Decléor Aromessence Iris Night Balm (£34.50) which I've used during the last few winters and it's amazing for restoring skin that has been battered by the cold and wind. In the jar the balm has a very firm texture but as soon as you rub it between your fingertips, the essential oils heat up and as soon you apply, it just melts into the skin, making it feel very nourished and protected. The skins does feel a little bit sticky from the oils, although that is gradually absorbed into the skin and when you wake up in the morning the skin looks stimulated, rested and refreshed - a great intensive treatment.
My skin has actually been behaving quite well this winter (touch wood) and I'm convinced it's not just because the products are suitable for my skin type, but I think it's also down to finding a regular routine and then sticking with for a reasonable amount of time to give the products an actual chance to do their magic. What products have you used this winter and is there something you recommend that I try?