If you, too, have been doing your best to help flatten the curve, you haven’t left your home in what feels like years. Back when life didn’t seem like the plot of Contagion, I thought spending a little more time in my French-country-meets-bohemian apartment sounded like it could be nice. However, after a week of being locked in what I now realize is a tiny box coated in about a thousand layers of paint that keep the doors from closing all the way, I am les mis, to say the least.
And I’m not the only one; my skin is also suffering through this difficult time. Look, even though my complexion should be thanking me for not covering it in 17 different cosmetics everyday, it does not appear to be showing any gratitude. As it just so happens, being deprived of vitamin D and living in an apartment where the heat doesn’t turn off until May isn’t very good for my face. If you have noticed that your skin is feeling more sensitive and drier than usual, you are not alone and you do not have to accept that your skin is f*cked. Over the course of four New York winters, three New York summers in an overly air conditioned office, and several spring breaks on the West Coast, I tried about every skincare product out there, and these are my favorite moisturizing and/or soothing ones that combat the elements of an apartment.
Like I said, I’ve experimented with a myriad of products, but I always come back to this one. I have been using it for about eight years and am just as obsessed now as I was when I got it as a little baby college freshman. What I love most about it is the consistency: it goes on kind of thick, but it doesn’t just sit on your skin and rub off the second you touch your face. It takes about 10 minutes to absorb on a normal day, but on the days that I am chilling inside, it absorbs almost instantly. It’s also very reasonably priced, which is great because I’m using way more now than usual.
(If you haven’t noticed, I love Kiehl’s.) The skin around your eyes is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, which is why it’s usually the first place where you’ll find signs of aging. *sigh* A lot of people who try this cream hate it because it goes on like cream cheese (very tick and heavy), but those people didn’t bother learning how to use it! This does, indeed, go on very thick, but after you work it into your skin, you can actually feel it breaking down to a very watery consistency, at which point, you use your ring finger to dab it into the skin.
I wear this at night because even though it does absorb, it leaves your skin a little shiny and not in a cute way. Its hero ingredient is avocado oil, which is super moisturizing and can help keep that sensitive area around your eyes from getting too dry and angry.
If there is a brand I may love more than Kiehl’s, it’s Lush. I really appreciate that literally every ingredient in their products is natural and pronounceable. This was actually the first product I ever tried from Lush and since then, I have spent many, many dollars in this headache-inducing store.
Anyway, if your skin is dry, moisturizing is key, but so is exfoliating. Even if you can’t see it, which is probably for the best, your dry skin flakes and forms a layer of dead skin on your face (gross) and blocks your other products’ ability to do what they’re supposed to do. This Lush mask smells like a Thin Mint, which, for a while, was its main selling point for me. It’s also made with honey (super moisturizing), mint (soothing) and ground aduki beans (exfoliating). Unlike a chemical exfoliator, the ground aduki beans exfoliate your skin when you wash the mask off. I usually wet my hands and just kind of move the mask, which doesn’t dry on your skin, around my face and I can feel the beans exfoliating. I am always left feeling super clean and rejuvenated.
After exfoliating, it’s important to soothe your skin, and the best way to do that is with a very gentle serum. Serums are great because they’re the most concentrated of all skincare products, but this one is my favorite because it’s not very aggressive. I don’t entirely understand which ingredients do this, but the second I spread it around my face, it feels cooling and soothing. It’s a really slippery, gel-like serum that goes a long way. I’m obsessed.
Until I tried this two years ago, I was a firm believer in cleansers being kind of a waste. Like, it’s on your face for 30 seconds tops, so how much could it possibly do, right? Then I stole this from my mom and I am so happy I did. First of all, having vitamin C in your skincare routine is essential. Secondly, your cleanser should leave your skin feeling clean (duh) and supple. When you cleanse your face and it feels tight and dry, that means your cleanser is way too harsh. This one has a lotion-like texture, which, in my opinion, is ideal for a cleanser because it’s easy to move around, doesn’t get everywhere, and it’s rich enough do do its job.
I am fully prepared to get verbally murdered in the comments because this price is laughable and almost offensive, but I swear it is worth it. I went on Accutane when I was in high school and this balm was the only product that kept my lips from ripping in half. I know Aquaphor is allegedly amazing, but in my opinion, this is the only thing that works when my lips are dry af. Because it’s so expensive, this is definitely not my everyday product for chapped lips; it’s my go-to when I feel like smiling could be dangerous for my mouth. It has a really buttery texture and does this thing where half of it absorbs and the other half coats and protects your lips. Most importantly, it’s not sticky, so if you shake your head and a strand of hair touches your lips, it wont be there until the day you die.
Image: Unsplash; SpaceNK; Lush; Kieh’s (2); Image Skin Care; Dermstore
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