My family lives in part of North America that is extremely fucking cold and dry during the winter. The dryness is amped up by the cold, of course, because it means furnaces running around the clock. Every time I go back there, my face freaks out, apparently from trying to adjust to the difference in climate. This time, I finally remembered to bring a shitload of moisturizers to prevent that reaction. And so, naturally, the weather this year was warm enough to be rainy - i.e. not fucking dry. Sigh. But I still moisturized the hell out of my face and my skin was quite happy for the whole visit.
Here are all the little tubes and tubs and bottles and packets I brought with me, with the goal of emptying out as much as possible and leaving the packages in my parents' garbage can. I also brought mostly things that I hadn't tried before to force myself to branch out.
|Hard to take good photos in the low winter sun.|
Things I finished:
Pacifica Purify face wipes: These worked fine. They are quite small, but maybe that's because this is a travel pack? They smell just like the Pacifica Sea Foam face wash (mini review here): coconuty, fine. I wouldn't buy them, because I found them a little too drying and kind of burny. I am mostly loyal to my Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes. Nothing else I've tried compares. I buy them in multiple packs on Amazon.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: I'd read many a rave review for this stuff, but I wasn't impressed. I didn't like the medicinal eucalyptus scent; it wasn't particularly hydrating; and it also felt slightly burny. I don't like burny sensations on my face. I have no idea what is supposed to be "ultra" about this shit.
Paula's Choice 2% BHA Lotion: This was fine, though I didn't use it long enough to judge its long-term effects. Though it's supposed to be for drier skin, it dries to a matte finish, unlike the slicker-feeling 2% BHA liquid (reviewed here). I prefer the liquid, but if you don't like how that stuff feels on your face, you might consider giving this a try. It's also slightly moisturizing.
Kate Somerville Quench Oil Free Hydrating Serum: My memory of this is already pretty damned foggy. I think it was lightly moisturizing and had a thin consistency, but it obviously didn't make much of an impact on me.
Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion: I used this at night, because it's very greasy. I wouldn't recommend it during the day, unless you have extremely dry skin. When I'd wake up in the morning after a full night's sleep, I could still feel the greasiness on my face. That said, it does moisturize well. This was the last packet I had left from the stuff I was sent by BzzAgent in 2012 (reviewed here). I actually liked the scent quite a lot when I used it this time around.
Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream: This smells gross and it's greasy. I used it on my feet. It worked well for that.
Nourish Organics Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion: This is a mediocre product. First of all, it smells like artificial oranges. Second, it wasn't particularly moisturizing, which is one of the main qualities I look for in a moisturizer. I'm just super weird like that.
Things I gave away:
Pur-lisse Pur-protect Moisturizer SPF 30: I gave this to my mother. One of the things I'm pickiest about when it comes to sunscreen is if they don't soak in/dry quickly enough and smear into my eyes. Have I mentioned I don't like burniness? Sunscreen in the eyes is burny. I have to be able to use sunscreens around my eyes, or they're useless. This one got in my eyes repeatedly, so it's useless. The end.
Coola Matte Tint SPF 30: On the plus side, the tint is pretty much invisible, so almost anyone could use this. On the minus, it made my skin feel tight and dry. Gave this one to my mother too.
Things I did not finish:
Smith's Rosebud Salve: Not sure why I included this in the photo, since it's not a mini, and I really had no realistic hope of finishing it while I was away. I have been using it for well over a year and still have a at least quarter left, if not a third. I previously reviewed it here and said I didn't love it. Since then, I've become really fond of it - but I still only use it for a single purpose. I smear it around my nostrils before bed. I am a particularly sniffly person for reasons that medical science has not been able to explain to me. I am constantly using kleenexes - in a very discreet and polite way in public, of course, but at home there are piles of them everywhere, so give me some warning if you want to come over, please. This means that ordinarily my nose is pretty red and dry and irritated and flaky - unless I use this salve on it every night. With the exception of times when I have an actual cold or something, using this stuff at night keeps my flaky nostrils under control. Sexy. Also, I think I now associate the rose scent with going to sleep, so some psychological benefits have become attached to it.
Peter Thomas Roth Oiless Oil: It's oil. It's pure squalane. I had some hopes of finishing this, and I might have used it more often if the weather had been drier. But I still have at least half of this tiny bottle left, because you really only need 1-2 drops for your whole face. I've been trying to use this up for many, many months. I'm not sure if I've seen any special results, but if you want to try it out, and you can get your hands on a mini bottle, you will definitely have enough to really test it thoroughly.
Paula's Choice Clear Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution (2% BHA, Regular Strength): This doesn't work as well for me as the Clear Extra Strength or the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA liquid, but it's better than nothing, I guess, and I had a convenient travel size.
Coppertone Clearly Sheer SPF 30 lotion: You can see my full review here. Of the three sunscreens I brought, this was the least annoying. Nothing matches my Kinesys sunscreen for convenience and comfort and general awesomeness.
So that's what I used to keep my face moisturized and protected while visiting the not-quite arctic tundra. Mainly I was able to test and rule out a bunch of different products, which is an entertaining process, if nothing else. Like I said, my skin stayed happy the whole trip, so even though I wasn't particularly impressed by anything here, nothing was terrible, burniness aside. (I promise to never write "burny" on this blog again after today. Probably.)