Hello beauties! As I’ve mentioned winter is upon us in South Africa and this season does not agree with me at all! Not only am I constantly sick, but it’s like every part of my body rejects winter. People always ask me why I hate winter so much, seeing as I spend the first 12 years of my life in Ukraine where winter means lots of snow and temperatures that drop down to -15C. I guess that when I moved to South Africa my body thought it was done with the cold! My skin goes dry and flaky, my hair refuses to grow and overall my whole body just says no to winter. So to keep sane, I have to use lots of products all over to keep my body happy. 
Today I am starting my “Winter Series” posts on my blog. Today’s one is all about skincare, because my face just wants to go berserk as soon as it gets cold. Johannesburg winter is especially terrible because it is incredibly dry up here. We stop having any signs of rain from April until September so you can just imagine how dry ones skin can get. I will also be talking about my favourite winter products for hair, body and bath time as well as my favourite winter lipstick shades and scents over the next couple of weeks. Yes I really do turn my whole skincare,make-up and body routine around in the colder months!
Skincare is important all year around of course, but in summer I don’t need to use nearly as many products to keep my skin happy and healthy. Due to the natural moisture in the air during the warmer months, I can get away with just cleansing my face and using a bit of moisturizer. In winter however, I have to pile on the products. I obviously don’t use all of these at the same time, I fluctuate between these products and these are my “Holy Grail” of products for the cold season.Some are old favourites, some are new additions, and I will be counting on these babies to help me this winter!

1. Skin Smoothing Cream from Dermalogica
This product is especially recommended for drier or prematurely-aging skin. It contains Grape Seed extracts as well as Vitamins A, C and E to help shield the skin from environmental assaults. I carry this in my handbag to apply in the middle of the day. I did an in-detail review of this cream here, and this is great just to apply when your skin is feeling tight during the day. I also put this on in the mornings before doing my make-up, because due to my skin being so dry, my make-up wants to flake of if I don’t moisturize properly. Pair this with a sun-screen for the ultimate effect.The cream retails for R560 for 50 ml and is available at select Dermalogica stockists nationwide.

2. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial

This is a new product that has just recently hit the shelves and Elizabeth Arden was nice enough to send it to me to try out. Face masks and facials are especially important in winter to keep you skin hydrated, and you should be pampering your skin with a face-mask twice a week during the winter. The first time I tried out this product, it didn’t go so well. I didn’t read the instructions properly (idiot) and cleansed my face before putting on the mask, and put waaay too much of it on my face. You are only supposed to put a small “cotton-ball” amount on your face and spread it around. When you first apply the mask on, it is a liquid-like texture and it takes about 2-3 minutes to fully activate and turn into foam after which you can wash your face and put on Step 2(which is the replenishing serum) on.
The foaming mask straight after application(left) and 2 minutes after(right)
The mask is highly active and when you apply the right amount of it, you will just feel a slight tingle on your face. Apply too much like I did the first time, and it will be an uncomfortable feeling. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it again after my first try but seeing the result convinced me- my skin was glowing! Even my friends noticed it and asked me if I have been for a facial or a mild peel. The result was truly astonishing, so I decided to give it another go-and read the instructions first. It was so quick and easy, and my face felt a nice tingle while the mask was activating. This at-home facial is very easy to do, and with the results being so magnificent I have been using it twice a week for the past three weeks now. This is a perfect way to give your skin a natural glow this winter! The Self-Foaming Mask contains ingredients such as Lactic Acid and Protease Enzyme which gently exfoliates your face and draws out the impurities and it also contains Glycerine which replenishes skin with moisture. The Replenishing Serum contains the Ceramide Triple Complex (a blend of Ceramide 1, 3 and 6) that helps to restore the skin and stimulates new Ceramide production.  There is no need to go to a spa if you have this baby at home! It costs R795 (but it really will last a long time and think about what the cost of just one facial at a salon is) and is available at select Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide.

3. Balm Balm Frankincense Oil
I love natural oils, especially in winter because of my dry skin. I have reviewed this little gem before, and you would be a fool not to invest in this, or some other kind of natural oil this winter!This little guy contains Peach Kernel and Jojoba extracts and what I love most about this oil is that your skin will simply absorb as much or as little as needed of it(in my case, a lot!) Read all about this product and where to get it over here and the oil retails for R188 for 10 ml.

4. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
I’m sure every girl knows about how amazing this product is. I’ve been using the Eight Hour Cream since I was a teenager and it has so many different uses! It is actually more of a balm than a cream, and it is very thick, but this is exactly what I need to keep my skin hydrated.
As you can see the texture of the cream is very thick.
 I use this every night under my oil and thanks to the Eight Hour Cream, my skin can somehow survive through winter. You can as well use it on your hands, lips and pretty much anywhere you want too(read Anjas hilarious blog post about it over here). It is useful in winter and in summer, so if you don’t have this product as part of your beauty arsenal yet, you need it! A whole tub is only R195 and not only will it last you ages, it will also be one of the most amazing products you try! I know that some people don’t like the original citronella scent of the cream, and that is why Elizabeth Arden also offers an un-scented version of the cream (mine is lavender scented, which was sadly discontinued). You can get it in a tub or in a tube to be able to carry it around in your handbag. Get it at select Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide.

5. Environ Intensive Oil Hydrating Capsules
I have been using these for the past three winters and these little capsules are nothing short of life-saving for me. There is about 30-35 capsules in each pack, and each capsule is enough to cover your whole face and décolletage area at a time. These are very precious to me and I only try using them when my skin is doing really, really bad because this is my miracle product. The oil is just rich enough to hydrate your skin but not so that your skin feels shiny and oily. Usually I use my oils overnight as to let my skin absorb them, but this can be used anytime of the day and is suitable for all skins. The capsules contain Antioxidants and Vitamin A and extracts of Green Tea and Lipochromalin. They help to prevent skin cell damage and overall are an amazing product for your skin. They retail for R440 and you can get them at select Environ stockists (such as Sorbet beauty salons) nationwide.

6.Philosophia Botanica Royal Africa Serum
It is never too soon to start using serums especially the ones that have anti-aging properties. I have written about this wonderful, 100% natural and organic brand here before, and this is their latest offering which contains African Rose Geranium, Vitamin E and a blend of pure botanical oils including Rosehip Seed oil and Neroli. It is pure goodness that you are putting into your skin, and my skin thrives from its natural ingredients. I apply this every second or third night and let my skin soak in all of the oils overnight.For more information on the product see Philosophia Botanicas website over here.

What do you use to keep your skin sane in winter?

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5 thoughts on “Winter Series- My Skincare Must-Haves”

  1. Great post! I was so happy to read that someone else has experienced severe tingling after using the Elizabeth Arden 5 Minute Facial! I had the EXACT same reaction, but was also so amazed by the results that I decided to reread the instructions and try again. Haha. So bad! Looking forward to your other winter posts! x

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