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Winter Skincare essentials

Every winter I wonder how I managed to survive through the last one. I am now staying in France and the weather isn't the coldest, but I am heading back to NY this weekend so I wanted to go through my survival tips to protect my skin during winter before that. As I tend to have a much dryer skin during winter, I found some solutions that work for me, and I hope it'll help you too.

 

How to protect your skin from drying

  • Use oils to clean your skin. If you don't do it already, I recommend switching your usual cleansing products for a good cleansing oil. It removes all dirt and makeup perfectly without drying the skin, leaving a protective layer even once you rinse it. I love how effective Boscia's Cleansing Oil is while being gentle on the skin, and it doesn't leave the skin oily either.
  • Use a different moisturizer during winter. You need a thicker cream that protects from the cold and wind during the whole day. This season I use Dr. Jart's Ceramidin Cream as I find its texture perfect for what I need during the winter, it's soothing and comfortable on the skin, and I love its herbal smell which makes me feel so relaxed.
  • Remember to always exfoliate (not more than once a week if your skin is pretty fragile). Exfoliating your skin regularly allows to remove the dead cells and let your moisturizer and masks be more effective. It's also better if you tend to have a dry skin that can be irregular and you want to wear foundation. I wrote about Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion Exfoliator before, that I use only once a week or less because it is very effective.
  • Drink 2L of liquids a day (preferably not too much coffee or tea that actually takes the water out of your body). It's especially hard for me to drink during winter as it makes me feel cold, so if you're the same you can make a huge tumbler of herbal infusion and bring it everywhere with you, so you can have both hydration and warmth.
  • Invest in a humidifier. Some heaters dry the air so much that I wake up with a very swollen face, especially around the eyes. The only solution for that is to use a good humidifier in your bedroom.
 
 

 

How to repair an already damaged skin

  • Skin food by Weleda! I talked about it when I first created The French Glow, and I am still in love with this product. It saved my skin many times when it felt so dry it was red and tight. I use it at night on the dry areas of my face, as it is so thick that you can't put it on during the day unless you want to look greasy. It doesn't burn like some other creams and the next day my skin feels normal again, it's like magic. You can buy it at every organic store or at Wholefoods.
  • Use a moisturizing mask. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is still a favorite as it does the job, has an amazing smell and it's not too pricey.
  • Remember to eat enough fats. Even if you are eating a high carb low fat diet, remember that your brain, body, and skin need a certain amount of fat to function. And fat is really important to help the skin to stay hydrated naturally and elastic. So enjoy the avocado toasts and flax seeds in your smoothies.
  • If your skin feels sensitive, you can use Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist to calm it down. I received a sample of it and I am definitely satisfied. Rosewater helps to prevent dehydration and prepares the skin for a better absorption of your moisturizer but honestly, even if it did nothing, I'd just use it for the smell and refreshing feeling.
 
 
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Face masks of the moment

Face masks are a great way to accelerate an effect, whether it's purifying your skin (you also can read about Skinclay masks in my previous beauty article), repairing the damages from the cold weather, regenerating a tired skin, hydrating and so much more. I love to use at least one face mask per week because I live in a big town, therefore exposed to pollution and I want to keep a baby-soft skin no matter what ! Sometimes I'll use it more often or I will use different kind of masks depending on what my skin needs most. I'm also always curious to see what's new on the market and compare brands. At the moment I have 4 masks I like to switch between.

 

 
 

 

erborian - Matcha perfect mask

 

Great for : purifying, minimizing pores.

A new discovery for me ! I liked the very simple packaging, and I was dying to try it since I love matcha and I know Korea is the best for skin care. It's a morning revitalizing mask that takes only 1mn to apply. You pour one of the individual doses in your hand and add some drops of water until you have a paste (this can be tricky or messy at first but once you figure out the perfect amount of water to add it's all good). Apply the paste on your face and leave for 1mn. Then massage with cool wet hands and rinse with cold water : I find that the cold effect paired with green tea helps de-puffing the morning face. I was a little skeptical about how much effect could only 1mn do but my skin was really "baby-soft" and the pores looked smaller especially on the cheeks and forehead.

 

Erborian - Matcha Perfect Mask - 25£

 

Origins - Drink Up Intensive

 

Good for : deep hydration.

This one is my favorite at the moment. It smells like apricot which gives a summer feeling at all times. I use it more often than once a week : every time before getting on a plane, because this mask prevents from future moisture loss, and whenever my skin is dry but not broken (when I simply need an intense hydration). It's an overnight mask to apply after cleaning your face before going to bed, so I tend to associate it with a zen, relaxing feeling.

 

Lancôme - Energie de Vie Nuit

 

Good for : repairing and hydrating.

You can actually use this one as a night cream using a little thinner layer if your skin suffers a lot from pollution and season changes. Used as a mask you will apply a thicker layer for about 10mn. I love the texture which is fresh, transparent, perfect for a spring/summer skin routine. Neither heavy nor too thick, very smooth and easily absorbed, way different from other types of masks. I started using it about once a week and after long trips for a refreshed and healthy skin.

 

Lancôme Energie de Vie Nuit - 66€

 

Sisley - Black Rose Cream Mask

 

Good for : reducing traces of fatigue, plumping the skin

As this mask is more pricey I use it less often, saving it for special occasions. I find it to be a life savior for after-party skin. Drinking/smoking, and/or not sleeping makes your skin feel tired-dull-dry, and Sisley's rose mask plumps and brightens the skin while moisturizing it. The strong rose smell is also by far my favorite ! Paired with the rich creamy texture it is really cocooning my skin when I need it most. More of a conventional mask, you apply a nice layer on your skin and simply remove the unabsorbed cream after 15mn of pose.

 

Sisley - Black rose Cream Mask - 162$

Traveling beauty essentials

I am about to fly to London and I haven't stayed there for a while, how exciting is that ! As I am preparing for my flight, I realized it took my a little while to know exactly what to bring with me in the cabin to be able to feel comfy and take care of my health/beauty. In the past, I often landed sweaty with breaking-dry skin and feeling very uncomfortable. Planes will never be as welcoming as home of course, but I felt like writing about the little life changing tips.

Hydration

I think if you should focus on only one tip it's this part you should remember. Air conditioning in planes does not only dry your skin but also dehydrates your body, and hydration is so important for your health at any level, you don't want to feel sick when you arrive at your destination !

  • Drink water. It's a no brainer but you need to drink more than what the plane personnel offers you. You could carry an empty bottle with you at the airport that you can fill with water after security or buy one, and not hesitate to ask for more water during the flight. It's recommended to drink at least a glass (250mL) per hour of flight.
  • It can be useful to do a high hydrating face mask the night/day before your flight, so your skin will be prepared for hours of dry air.
  • Always carry lip balm with you ! You can also use it around the eyes (but be careful not to put it in the eyes though) if you don't want to bring too many products, as it will also protect this area.
  • Think about the hand cream ! I use to forget to pack this ultra necessary item, and after washing my hands many times, my skin literally started breaking. So HAND CREAM, always, but even more necessary during flights.
  • Eye drops. As I wear contact lenses, it really makes a difference for me. Maybe you won't feel like you need to use it, but you might want to consider it.

Comfort first

I don't understand people who want to look too fancy on a plane : if you're one of them, I don't judge you but seriously how do you do ?? I feel like if I can't be comfy enough to sleep and relax, I won't look good when the plane lands, and that's more important than being cute during the flight.

  • Compression tights. Okay, I use to think these were only for grandmas and I refused to be involved in such things. But when you have to fly more than 3-4 hours it's seriously the item you want. Swollen ankles and feet ? Painful legs ? Compression tights help you avoid it. Normally you should go to your pharmacy and ask them to take your measurements, because if it isn't the right size it can do more bad than good (like blocking the blood circulation) or/and be uncomfortable. If I have a short flight, I also sometimes use 2XU recovery compression tights. They are made for recovery after working out, enhancing the blood flow. As they don't cover the ankles and feet they are not perfect, but they are comfortable and they still help a lot the blood circulation. Also remember to put your legs up when ever you can after landing.
  • Eye mask. This isn't ugly neither annoying, so you got no excuse. Of course it helps when your neighbor wants to read its book, or when the cabin lights are on, but for me it's also a life savior to keep my eyes from drying.
  • Wipes. I usually don't like to use make up remover/cleaning wipes as it's a lot of waste and it's not the most gentle for the skin. But on planes it's great to have something to refresh yourself and wash off the sweat, wash your hands, clean any spilling...
 
 
 

Other tips

  • Think small. Because of security, but also for your own comfort as it can become pretty heavy to have too many products that you only need in tiny quantities, don't forget to use travel sizes or use small containers to put a little bit of your favorite products with you.
  • Stay organized. You don't want to have to take everything out of you bag to find you hand cream, and then having your eye drops rolling under your seat... Think travel cases or transparent bags to keep it easy.
  • Bring your own headphones. Even if you are not a music addict, having good quality headphones change everything when it comes to watch movies, or even just sleep without hearing babies crying (there's always a baby crying). Since I started using mine, I always feel bad for my neighbors who are sticking with little earbuds or airlines headphones since the constant noise irritates me. You might want to think about it.