As a curly-haired, medium to dry-skinned person, winter is a bitch for me. My hair gets kinda lank and the ends get straight and it doesn’t curl as well, plus it’s dry and static-y; my nose flakes, my lips are chapped, etc. It sucks.
Living in New York for several years now, though, I’ve finally, after many failed winters of beautiful red chapped skin, learned how to prevent myself from drying out like a jellyfish on a dock (or, uh skin in Northeastern winters) without spending a ton of money on insane beauty products. Sure, there are a lot of amazing facial cremes out there, but most of us aren’t shopping of department beauty counter for chapped lips.
Behold, my essential (mostly not expensive) products for combating Old Man Winter, available at local businesses (almost) everywhere.
1. Coconut Oil
People are all about oils these days: argan, Moroccan, coconut, tea tree… so much buzz, you almost want to ignore it all because it’s too much to process. I’ve used Moroccan oil for years, but finally decided to jump into coconut; if I didn’t like it, I could at least cook with it.
But it’s a miracle worker, on both hair and skin, and I now shout its praises from the mountains. As a moisturizer, it leaves your skin so dewy and glowing—apply after a shower for maximum soakage, but be sure to let it sink in before sitting on nice furniture. It might feel greasy at first, but sleep on it and you’ll wake up to baby softness.
For hair, it’s a great mask (especially if you have curly hair prone to dryness, like me). Slather it on and let sit for 30 minutes–rinse (disclaimer: this may take two shampoos. It is oil, after all), condition as normal, see your hair seal split ends and look bouncier than a Upper East Side blowout.
Also, you can cook with it. Wahoo!
Note: ALWAYS get unrefined, no matter which brand or store you buy from.
Spectrum Naturals Unrefined Coconut Oil, $11 for a hefty jar
2. Exfoliating Facial Scrub
Fact: Skin flakes in winter. Dry skin is easier to see. So slough it off! Exfoliating in cold temps ensures your freshest face is on top, literally. And you literally can’t beat St. Ives; exfoliating is baasically all they do. Instead of the basic, go for the Renew & Firm scrub, which has caffeine and a host of other natural ingredients that tones + brightens.
St. Ives Renew & Firm Face Scrub, $4.29 for 6 oz
3. A Solid Face Moisturizer
I sumbled on this by accident, finding it in my roommates cream supplies and now stealing it forever. Don’t be scared by the thickness or drugstore brand; this is the best winter facial moisturizer I’ve ever used. Non-greasy,doesn’t clog pores, lasts all day, can be layered with night oils/creams without gross buildup, mixes well with foundation… what more could you ask for?
Walgreen’s Dry Skin Cream, $6 for 10 oz
4. Tinted Chap Stick
Chap stick is a no-brainer. But if you want a little more bang for your buck, go with Maybelline’s Baby Lips, which have the tiniest bit of tint to give you a rosy sheen while plumping.
Baby Lips, $4.25 per tube
5. Lip Scrub
Your lips need a good scrubbin’ too, you know; moisturizing, as we all know, can leave lips peeling. Lip scrubs are mostly made with thick sugars, so they’re sweet + harmless. Skeptical? Seriously, try it. A 30-second rub and you have plump, soft, let’s-make-out lips that are primed for lipstick (so no uneven dark patches from chapped-ness). I personally prefer Sara Happ’s Lip Srub, shown here, but I hear Bliss makes a wonderful version that’s cheaper by about $6.
Sara Happ Lip Scrub, $24 for 1 oz
Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub, $18 for 0.5 oz