Expert Advice

The Beauty Editor's Favorite Cold Weather Comforts

by Jane Larkworthy
Winter Photo by Joshua Harkon/ Unsplash.

My shins itch. So much. When it’s cold outside and dry indoors, everything itches and everything feels dry, scaly, and tight. Right?? In my ongoing search for discovering serious, hydrating softness, I’ve found legit relief in these products, most of which will remain in my arsenal to accompany me on future trips to dry-skin-red-alert destinations like ski slopes and desert camps.

CeraVe Healing Ointment
It’s no surprise that CeraVe has such a loyal fan base. The products were developed by doctors, they’re affordably priced, and the no-nonsense packaging (ironically) begets a stamp of coolness. What’s not cool are my roughened heels. (I’ll refrain from elaborating.) This concentrated blend of petrolatum, ceramides, mineral waxes, and hyaluronic acid has given them — and the rest of my sad, sorry feet — a second chance. ($23.99)

54 Thrones Beldi: Moroccan Body Mask 
The Moroccan ritual of Beldi is an ancient one that’s withstood the test of time for good reason. I like to first soak in the tub for a few minutes, then step out and dry off before slathering this decadently thick formula, made of saponified olive oil and eucalyptus leaf oil, on the extra itchy areas (shins, arms, the backs of my hands). After letting it do its work for 10-15 minutes, I shower it off. Everything feels less rough and less, well, itchy. ($42)

Strivectin Hyaluronic Omega Moisture Lip Mask
Despite its name, you can use this product as you would a regular lip balm, though it really is a treatment. Slathering the unctuous goo (and I mean those words in the best possible way) over your lips before bed will deliver softer lips that might also appear a bit more billowy than usual in the morning. ($28)

Photo by Juliet Cangelosi.

Hanahana Shea Body Butter  
A finger-dug scoop of this divine solid butter quells dry, scaly skin while softening it, too. Having earned its place in the esteemed “How did I survive without this?” category, I rub any extra into brittle nails, scaly elbows, and knees. ($28)

Kahina Giving Beauty Lip and Face Balm 
The notion of smearing something on your face that essentially feels like Crisco might give pause, but on snowy or bitingly windy days, this blend of fatty-acid-strong carrot seed oil, argan oil, and sea buckthorn oil is a formidable humectant against the elements. It goes without say that it should be followed by  a hardy SPF, of course. ($44)

Naturopathica Marshmallow & Probiotic Sensitivity Soothing Cream Cleanser 
Along with being a bonfire favorite, marshmallow has long been relied on for alleviating sensitive skin issues. (That’s a beauty editor tip for you.) Even the mere act of applying this rich, luxurious cleanser could very well induce an audible “ahhhh...” It feels so softening, in fact, you might wonder if you picked up its sibling moisturizer by mistake. ($64)

Colleen Rothschild Extreme Recovery Cream 
I’d heard so many raves about this cream I had to try it, and I’m happy to report it lives up to the hype. Some use it as a night cream, but I like how it hydrates my skin during the day and provides an excellent canvas for makeup. ($75)

Ace of Air Night Serum 
Serums are like the greeting committee for moisturizers. By getting there first, they prep your skin to optimally receive said moisturizer, then help it settle in comfortably. I’ll apply this one before a night cream (including Ace of Air’s very own), a Vitamin C lotion, or sometimes use it alone. My skin always feels silky smooth the next morning. ($84)

Romer Treat Hydrating + Soothing Treatment 
Waking up with cheeks that not only feel softer but firmer and plumper is my favorite benefit of this divinely rich cream, which you can also use during the day should your skin need the extra nurturing. ($50.50)

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
Salve is one of my favorite words. It sounds as soothing as it should feel. Too bad it’s so often misused. Though not in the case of this thick formula, which is exactly what it should be: a comforting blanket of humectant saturation that dry hands are begging for. ($24)

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub 
With a rubbery tip that ensures direct access to your scalp, I apply about 5-8 lines of this slightly cooling lotion from hairline to nape, spreading evenly from ear to ear, as it were. Massage it in, let it sit for ten minutes, then shampoo as usual. The result will be a lot less head scratching. ($36)

Hask Tea Tree Oil and Rosemary 5-in-1 Leave-In Spray
Anything that contains tea tree oil feels soothing and smells even better, in my opinion. A few generous sprays of this leave-in conditioner not only relieves an itchy scalp but imparts a nice softness to hair, too. ($6.47)

Leonor Greyl Gentle Anti-Dandruff Shampoo 
Sometimes an itchy scalp is just an itchy scalp. But sometimes it can be a sign of something else, like dandruff. Fortunately, this pleasant formula addresses both the itch and the flakes. ($46)

Red Flower Ohana Gingergrass Bamboo Scrub
This dry scrub is the most unique texture I have experienced in a long time, and the closest thing I can compare it to is the moistest sponge cake ever. It’s not a dry scrub, per se (a concept I struggle to embrace), but it’s definitely not goopy either, and its tiny fine grains do an excellent job of sloughing while leaving skin feeling super soft and provides serious itch relief, to boot. ($68)

Olverum Bath Oil 
I compare a modest capful of this lemongrass scented bath oil to a paraffin hand treatment. Don’t misunderstand me: It’s not waxy and there’s no plastic glove involved, but bathing with it really feels like you’re being cocooned in weightless moisture. If I’m extra diligent, I’ll try to let my body air dry once I’m out of the tub so the oil can do its job as long as possible. ($52)

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