The Skin Savers

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Confession: I’m less than diligent with my skincare routine when the weather is warm. I slick on a moisturizer with SPF in the morning and do a quick cleanse before bed in the evening (which, shoot me, may not involve anything more than a facial wipe if I’m lazy…I know, I know). But come winter, it’s a completely different story.

Harsh Chicago winters (and the non-stop blast of heating indoors) will wreck their havoc if I’m not on the offense. I’m always looking for ways to prevent and repair cracked, dry, inflamed skin from December to April (or October to May, depending on what kind of winter we’re having). January and February can also be pretty drab, so I turn to my beauty products to double as little pick-me-ups.

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I know from my magazine reporting days that it’s important to slough off dead skin cells to allow your moisturizer to settle in. I recently discovered this sugar scrub. Its ingredients include organic cocoa butter, coconut oil, organic lavender buds and the essential oils of lavender and geranium. It has the most intoxicating, calming scent and it leaves skin glowing. I found it at this amazing store in Chicago called Modern Cooperative, which features mid-century modern furniture and other goodies made by local artisans. You can also buy it on Etsy.

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I love this Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Body Milk and Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Showergel. The vanilla cinnamon scent is warm and toasty for winter, and I really like Korres for its natural ingredients (and long list of no-no’s: silicones, alcohol, etc.). The products are not tested on animals and the packaging is all recyclable. The line is available at every pharmacy in Greece (both my parents are from Greece). I always stock up when I’m there and also buy them through Amazon. My husband loves the mint line.

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The key to combating dry skin is using oils to cleanse and moisturize the face. Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil is my favorite oil cleanser. I don’t use it every night, especially during warm weather, and I’ve had this bottle since last winter. It’s such buttery goodness on your face — such a treat when it’s bitter cold.

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I recently started using Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil and I have quickly become addicted to it. It has seabuckthorn oil and omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9. You can add a few drops to your moisturizer or apply it directly onto the face, which is what I do. I use it both day and night. During the day, I apply it under my moisturizer with SPF. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy. The nutty aroma also provides a little aromatherapy.

Stay warm!