I’m one of those people who just dreads slathering on body lotion. I know, I know…it’s basically a sin in the beauty world but I hate feeling cold and sticky before getting dressed, especially in the winter. But when I first tried Dial 7-Day Moisturizing Skin Therapy Lotion for Extra Dry Skin ($5, drugstores) on my hands, it absorbed so quickly and didn’t leave behind an icky greasy feel, I decided it might just be exactly what I needed to add to my after-shower routine. Well, I was right! I quenched my flaky arms and legs with this lotion packed with super-hydrating shea butter and was ready to get dressed in just a few seconds. Plus, it moisturizes for up to seven days so even if I get a little lazy and skip a day, I don’t feel that bad.
Post-workout, I treat myself to a warm soak to ease my sore muscles. While testing bath-friendly beauty products (tough job, right?), I stumbled across these three standouts, which have helped transform my bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary. I even use them as an incentive while working out (just one more mile until some TLC)!
Set the mood:
Bath & Body Works White Barn 3-Wick Candle in Honeysuckle ($20, bathandbodyworks.com)
Dim your lights (it’s you time!) and activate this candle. In a few minutes, the subtle blend of honeysuckle and creamy vanilla will fill the air. The best part: the sweet scent lingers for hours after the flame goes out.
Soak it up:
Lush Peaceful Lavender Bathing Under the Stars Bath Bomb in Twilight ($6, lushusa.com)
A fun alternative to bubble bath, this fizzy bath bomb will bob around the tub and dissolve, turning the water into frothy pink and purple swirls. Lavender essential oil will help you unwind—perfect for taking the edge off before bedtime.
Soften your skin:
Victoria’s Secret Seriously Soft Body Cream in Jasmine & Water Lily ($12, Victoriassecret.com)
Once you’re out of the tub, lightly pat your skin with a towel. While it’s still damp, slather on this rich cream. Hydrating coconut and sunflower oils will leave your skin feeling silky, while the tropical scent will put you in a vacation-mode mindset.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern
Not a winter goes by that we don’t find ourselves sniffling and sneezing, so we scoured the beauty closet for head-clearing solutions. Our first find: Burt’s Bees Therapeutic Bath Crystals, bursting with eucalyptus oil. A steamy hot bath with these citrusy salts relieved our stuffy nose, but the aroma is concentrated, so sprinkle sparingly. Bonus: The eucalyptus will also help relax sore muscles.
After a soak in the tub, we slathered on our second discovery: C.O. Bigelow Lotion Mentholus NO. 002 , laced with skin-soothing oat extracts and scented with a bracing mix of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Apply directly after your bath for the best results—the steam lingering in your bathroom will give you a final sinus-decongesting boost.
Tell us: What beauty products do you use to help relieve cold symptoms?
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
Since arriving in chilly, arid New York City from Mississippi a few weeks ago, I’ve been plagued by flaky, parched skin and chapped lips. So I grilled dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, for his best tips on fighting climate-induced dryness:
- Thicken up your skincare routine by choosing a moisturizer that’s one level heavier than what you normally use. If you usually go for a gel formula, try a lotion; if you normally use a lotion, try a cream; and if your go-to is a cream, try a balm, salve or oil.
- Even your ears need a little TLC in the winter, because they’re often exposed to the elements: Apply the same product you use for your face on your ears as well.
- Don’t neglect your lips! Your lips have fewer oil glands than other parts of your body, so they’re highly susceptible to cracking and sun damage. Slather on a lip balm with SPF, Nivea A Kiss of Protection Lip Care SPF 30, every day.
- Using antibacterial gels and frequent hand-washing during flu season can cause dry skin. Help your hands by hydrating with a thick cream such as Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy after each wash. For severe dryness, cover your hands and feet with petroleum jelly followed by gloves or socks before bed to help skin heal overnight.
- Skip the soap: It can strip the body of oil and dehydrate skin. Try a moisturizing body wash like Neosporin Moisture Essentials Daily Body Wash that will gently cleanse dry skin.
- Super-hot showers feel great during the winter, but the heat can break down the skin’s lipid barrier. Prevent damage by taking cool or lukewarm baths.
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
As a college student, my schedule can get a little hectic. Unfortunately, my tired skin is often a dead giveaway of a stressful week.
When a term paper threatens my complexion, I turn to Skyn Iceland the Antidote Quenching Daily Lotion ($45). The invigorating formula (free of harsh chemicals) refreshes and rejuvenates my skin. I use it morning and night—and sometimes even smooth a little on my T-zone during my 2P.M. slump.
The lotion reduces redness, prevents breakouts and calms irritated skin. After a tough spinning class, it’s the perfect antidote to my red, splotchy face. Just because the going gets tough doesn’t mean your skin has to! How do you treat your over-worked skin?
—Catherine Q. O’Neill, contributing blogger