My friends in Florida make me laugh around this time of year. “OMG, it’s 50 degrees,” one of them lamented on Facebook this week. At one time, I might have said the same kind of thing. But right now in Chicago, it’s 30 degrees and the inevitable slide into winter has begun. It’s cold, and getting colder. All we can do is hunker down, master some good chili and stew recipes, and prepare for the worst. And by prepare for the worst, I mean stock up on cold weather clothing, accessories to carry you through, and the necessary beauty supplies to weather any winter storm. Let me tell you what I’ve learned about my skin and this thing called winter.
- Ash does not discriminate. People of color, we aren’t the only ones who get ashy skin in cold and dry weather. It just shows up on our skin more noticeably. When I lived in warmer climates (and let’s face it, was younger), I had no idea was ashy truly was. My skin didn’t get visibly dry in hot Trinidad or humid Miami. Moving to Chicago taught me some things about some things. Crisp, cold winter air can be your skin’s enemy. The heating used indoors to keep us all warm and alive also does a number on your skin. If you don’t know what ashy looks like, come to Chicago during the winter for a week and don’t bring your lotion. It isn’t pretty. To avoid ashy skin in the winter months, I recommend increasing your external moisture. But first – let me say this.
- Internal moisture is essential. Are we all drinking the amount of water that’s recommended for us every day? I’m asking because I know I’m not. I downloaded an app on my phone called Water Your Body, which helps. But I’m still falling beneath the recommended amounts. And I can see and feel the difference when I’m giving my body what it needs. When I’m drinking enough water, I FEEL better. Even if there’s no scientific evidence that suggests internal moisture is a factor in your skin’s external appearance, I know that dehydrating my body makes a visible difference and that’s enough to keep me sipping.
- Exfoliate your situation to preserve your sexy. Dry skin and dead skin cells are not the business, and during cold wintry months you can notice a visible difference. Your skin gets that dull, leathery look. Your legs and heels may be cracked and ashy – as we might say in Trinidad “like you’ve been kicking flour.” It’s not cute but I have been there, and we can get through it together. I’d like to recommend you invest in a sugar scrub (or DIY a sugar scrub, click here to learn how). I personally prefer to use a sugar scrub when my skin is slightly moist, and scrub it all in without the shower running and wasting my precious granules (click here for my sugar scrub shower step-by-step). I also am currently using a sugar based exfoliant for face, Mojo Spa’s Go Green Face and Body Scrub. The consistency is everything. Check it out!
- Switch up your products to survive the season. In the summer my skin is fine with a regular body lotion. When the weather dips below 40 degrees, it is time for me to escalate the situation to a body butter. And when it’s icy and cold and that hawk is out on these mean Chicago streets, I require a body butter followed by a body oil. And it’s so important to apply your product right when you’re emerging from the shower. Capture the moisture that’s still on your skin, slather on your body butter and oil when your skin is still drinking it all in. Let it absorb so you’re not greasy, and go about your business.
And you know I wouldn’t leave you in the cold without relevant product recommendations, right? Here are some amazing body butters to improve your skin’s happiness as the weather becomes increasingly frigid. Enjoy!
Luxury moisture recommendations
Lush Dream Cream (it’s their best selling product for a reason)!
Drugstore moisture recommendations
Indie brand moisture recommendations
What are your favorite body butters and moisturizers when the weather takes this annual turn?
See also – Winter Skin For The Win