Skincare and haircare can get complicated in the winter. Skin is zapped of moisture and tends to form a reptilian texture, which makes it crack and itch like crazy, which — ugh. Then there’s the frizz, the flyaways, the static. Here’s the thing: If I’m going to invest in a beauty product, I want it to do as many jobs as possible. So get ready to simplify your winter beauty routine without breaking the bank or sacrificing results!
Shea butter is one of the hardest working ingredients in the beauty business. According to the American Shea Butter Institute, it moisturizes, treats eczema, fades stretch marks and relieves muscle fatigue, just to name a few of its many superpowers. You can buy shea butter online through outlets like Bulk Apothecary, but there is just something about fancy packaging that makes even the most basic item feel special. L’Occitane, makers of chic natural beauty products, has an entire collection of shea butter beautifiers, but my pick is the Certified Organic Pure Shea Butter, which is packed with Vitamin E. Don’t know where to begin? Check out L’Occitane’s Facebook album featuring 50 (yes, 50!) ways to use this tin of awesomeness.
Dr. Lipp’s Nipple Balm began as a salve for breastfeeding mamas, but it has cultivated an obsessive following thanks to its magical ability to solve just about every cosmetic issue in a pinch. Dr. Lipp’s website claims that this 100% medical grade lanolin beauty balm soothes dry skin and lips, tames unruly eyebrows and can even be mixed with pigments to create on-the-spot custom cosmetics. A dab perfects pouts for hours without being too shiny, and when the balm sinks into dry skin, it creates a healing barrier that protects from further damage and irritation. This potion is great for smoothing, soothing and imparting a dewy glow on the go. You will want to have tubes of this bad boy stashed everywhere.
Vegans are going to love these simply gorgeous options. S.W. Basics of Brooklyn, a company dedicated to making natural beauty products with no more than five ingredients, blends fair trade shea butter with organic coconut and olive oils to create a super hydrating cream that can be used all over. There’s no need for a separate pricey facial moisturizer when you have this in your skincare arsenal. The apothecary-style jar is also perfect for displaying on your bathroom counter or vanity, if you’re into that sort of thing. (Clearly, I am.)
Ultrabalm from Lush Cosmetics is a mix of jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax that hydrates and protects skin and hair from the elements. The tin is small enough to be stashed away in your gym bag, so you can replace your ordinary lip treatment with this versatile balm.
The National Institute of Health reveals that sweet almond oil calms itchy, irritated skin and provides major moisture, while Yahoo.com reports that almond oil is suitable for all skin types. Perhaps this is why Ultrabland cleanser, also by Lush, is such a hit. The soap-free formula uses almond oil as well as other powerhouse ingredients like softening beeswax and soothing honey to cleanse and moisturize in one step, making it perfect for winter. Ultrabland is also a phenomenal makeup remover. Smear some onto even the most stubborn waterproof formulas, wipe off and — ta-da! — fresh-faced in no time flat.
Guys and gals will love Hand Salve from Burt’s Bees, which costs under $10 for a generous tin. Despite the name, this completely natural concoction can be used anywhere your skin needs some love, particularly rough elbows and knees. It also has a fantastic herbal scent. Your body and your wallet will both be grateful.
Shaving seems futile in the winter until your leg hair starts rubbing against your running pants. Yikes. Whish Shave Crave is a luxurious cream that will actually make you look forward to shaving. First of all, it comes in a variety of scents with bottles in corresponding cheerful shades, including Key Lime and Lavender, infusing your shave session with aromatherapy and a dose of color. Secondly, this rich cream is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids and our good pal shea butter to keep you so silky post-shave. You can occasionally skip the lotion after a shower and still stave off lizard legs.
The simple life has never felt so luxurious.