Hydration by Layers | What Works in the Cold Air

Currently, I’m in New Mexico for the US National Cross Country Junior Olympics…four out of my four kids are competing here so it’s an awesome event and race weekends like this as a family are always a total blast. They also subject my skin to the elements for long stretches of time, and I’ve learned that a little weather prep, whatever the environment is, is crucial to keeping my skin in balance and can head off lots of damage and issues that take a lot longer to correct than they do to prevent. So, I am all about preventative skin care, especially when it comes to my very favorite place in the world, the outdoors… For example, I know that I am heading to the cold, dry desert air for several days (this is true for any ski trip you might have upcoming…fyi) so I am going to be pumping my skin with moisture and giving it something new to nourish it several days before I leave. This makes my skin ready for the cold and the moisture barrier is built up well, so that it doesn’t go into “dryshock” and then I have to build it back up from there – which is no fun and takes such a long time. *BAG is Anna Griffin from Lizzie G’s in Vintage Park. It’s waterproof and carpet bag style large and awesome.

You may not be familiar with my made-up name, but you probably recognize the actual condition I call dryshock.  It comes during cold snaps, on airplanes, when you travel, and sometimes being triggered by hormones, or some internal reason, it just shows up unannounced. The symptoms are: skin that feels dry to the touch, looks dull on the surface, suddenly shows extra or deeper wrinkles and lines, feels horrible tot he touch, it can even hurt to smile, chapped lips, exzema, other bumps, redness, rashes, and a number of other symptoms, plus your makeup does not look good, it cakes, it feathers, it just doesn’t work. All these are reasons to work ahead of the cold to prevent that pesky condition.

Think layers. I stopped fearing cold weather when I learned the basics of layered dressing and the freedom from ever feeling cold that it provides. (That’s wool, fleece, down, or both, and Gore-Tex Pro wind stopper by the way 🙂 ) And the same theory applies to your skin. Layer to nourish, hydrate, insulate, and protect.

DV8T1462Layer 1/Nourish: One of my little pots of gold when it comes to protecting your skin in freezing or even subfreezing temps is REN O12 Ultra Moisture Defense Oil. I massage this in liberally at night and again in the morning with a lighter hand since it’s dense oil. This is delivering Omega 7 acids, Seabuckthorn Berry Oil to build the lipid barrier, Rosa Damascena Oil – the grandmother of all hydration, and Vitamin C from an African fruit oil. I love the smell and feel of this oil too, and there’s nothing like it as a first defense against cold climates. Press it into the face immediately after washing for the best results.

DV8T1465Layer 2/Hydrate: I have to say my new favorite step is Carita Lagoon Cream. I have been introduced to a new level of softness and hydration by way of Carita’s fabulous, amazing Lagoon Cream. After just three days of use, my skin hydration levels have easily tripled, as this is an extremely quenching, drenching drink for the skin that penetrates deeply and plumps up skin with cell level moisture using super effective ingredients from Polynesian lagoon waters and noni fruit extract. This blue gel cream is heaven to put on, and it smells fresh like a lagoon or an ocean.

DV8T1458Layer 3/Insulate: This is where Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Cream (regular or oil-free version, both work) comes in as a secret weapon. It’s got SPF 20 for sun protection, but the detoxifying effects and environmental protection elements actually create a little incubative environment for my skin no matter the weather, and when I wash it off at the end of the day, my skin feels soft, preserved, even unscathed. By the way, I never wash with anything harsh in cold weather, I stick with balm cleansers like The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser or a milky one like Carita Milky Water or Avene Antirougeurs. 

DV8T1464Layer 4/Protect: This final layer acts a seal and wind barrier. It can be as simple as another layer of oil, but this trip I’m not taking my chances. Lots of time I use the classic Avene Cold Cream for this layer, but I’m trying for the first time, and loving Avene Skin Recovery Cream now. It’s a softer barrier cream, and it’s also perfect for the kids on the nose and cheeks which I usually have to chase them down to get this on, but it saves them the red winter cheeks and dry cracked skin they can get from playing in the snow or just being out in the cold.