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Albeit a childhood skin infection that I vaguely remember, it’s been mostly good times for my face. For starters, I think there are actual benefits to drinking water and minding your business; way less fine lines, in my personal experience. Additionally, thanks to a mix of genetics (hi Mom!), a meat-free diet since high school and preventative skincare since my early 20s, I’ve sidestepped almost everything outside of a breakout here and there. Unfortunately, turning 30 means all predictability goes out the window. For me, that meant tracking down the best winter body products because, hello eczema!
Come winter, I’m not surprised when my elbows are ashier than usual. That’s just what happens when you’re constantly shuffling between indoor artificial heat and snow on the way to the subway. However, when I began itching to the point of bleeding, experiencing painful flaking and seeing bumps that weren’t the product of ingrown hairs, I knew it would be stupid to avoid the doctor any longer. Unsurprisingly, she confirmed my suspicions and quickly prescribed an antibiotic to help calm my more severe symptoms. Now that I know what I’m dealing with, I’ve become obsessed with gently exfoliating and layering hydration on my body every day.
Those with eczema-prone skin will tell you there is no “one size fits all” solution for treating excessively dry skin. Some of us need everything to be fragrance-free. Others have to stick with all-natural moisturizers. As for me, regular exfoliation and layered hydration have been working so far. To be honest, I’d recommend using any of these if you don’t have eczema either—they’re just that good.
I use body scrub once every couple of days. If I do it more frequently, I risk doing too much and irritating my skin. This one is lowkey fancy because one, it’s not cheap, and two, celebs kind of love it. Now that I’ve used it multiple times, I get the hype. The vanilla brown sugar scent is hardly overpowering and the coconut oil makes it way less abrasive than most body scrubs.
Rarely will I recommend a body moisturizer without suggesting at least one type of CeraVe product. I love putting a dollop of the healing ointment on my cupid’s bow when I’m congested and blowing my nose 24/7, thus creating a sandpaper texture between my nostrils and lips. The classic Moisturizing Cream is also my go-to, no matter the season. However, this anti-itch formula has made sleeping so much easier. When I swipe it on before getting into the bed, I know I won’t be up in the middle of the night, pulling on my PJ bottoms to itch my leg.
The brand’s new-ish moisturizer for psoriasis-prone skin is also keeping my skin calm and helping to shrink the scaly patches left over from my initial breakout. All of CeraVe’s products are enriched with ceramides, aka the lipids that help our skin retain moisture, so regardless of which product you prefer, you’re getting the moisture you need.
I rarely use physical exfoliants on my face, but Dr Brandt’s Microdermabrasion mask is one that I have continually used for years because it’s surprisingly gentle and actually leaves my face baby soft. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to try the body version and it does not disappoint. It smells like peppermint (just in time for the holidays!), isn’t too abrasive, and when I first rinsed it off, I literally gasped because I didn’t expect my skin to be that soft before I applied body lotion.
If there is a Necessaire hive somewhere, I am ready to join. This brand is ridiculously famous on social media and I don’t why I’ve held out on trying the products for so long. I love taking my time and applying both the serum and lotion, but if I could only use one, it would definitely be the former. The niacinamide and multi-oil-enriched formula feels cool to the touch and absorbs fast without leaving behind a greasy film.
With that being said, using the serum with the lotion somehow still feels lightweight, but keeps my skin moisturized and ash-free for most of the day. A little goes a long way if you’re using the serum beforehand, but otherwise, a standard dollop will do.
I’m usually partial to thick, ultra-rich body moisturizers, but Neutrogena’s hyaluronic acid-enriched balm is one of my new favorites. It feels so lightweight upon application that you may feel the urge to add another lotion on top. You don’t have to! It gets the job done on its own and the cooling sensation is one you will not want to tamper with.
I am still highly skeptical of the many claims being made about CBD’s beauty benefits, but I can confirm that it’s been somewhat helpful in calming inflammation on my face and body. I’ve been using Saint Jane’s Beauty Serum for over a year now whenever I have a breakout and the body formula has been just as effective for combating flakes.
If you have eczema-prone skin that can tolerate fragrance, this brand is almost as good as a spa day. All of the scents will make you want to take a nap and the body salve is a godsend for ashy elbows and knees. Whenever I use this one, I really take my time since it warms up as you run between your hands.
And if you’re going to use the salve or lotion, you might as well prepare your skin with the polish beforehand too. It’s more creamy than scrubby and the scents are even more satisfying in a steamy shower or bath.
Urban Skin Rx fans love that the brand is available at affordable prices in the drugstore, but the Pro Strength line has made a huge difference in my body care routine. The Body Cleansing bar is what I credit with getting rid of the bumps leftover from my initial breakout and may have even diminished some of the scarrings.
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