Wednesday, December 1, 2010
WFMW: Love the skin you're in.
Depending on how you look at it, I'm either in my mid-30s or my late-30s. Next year, I should definitely cross into late-30s. This time every year, my sister and I discuss our problems with dry skin. Our faces get dry and flaky, our hands get dry and rough, and we start making suggestions to each other of products we have found that work. We were doing this again at Thanksgiving, and I decided that maybe I should blog about it. Just in case anyone else is sitting around wondering what might work for them, without costing an arm and a leg. So instead of a holiday tip, how about a winter-weather tip?
Several years ago Steve brought home a few bars of Dove Pro-Age beauty bar in a pretty maroon box. I was in my early thirties at the time and teased him about thinking I looked old and needed special care. I read the box, saw it had olive oil in it, and decided it might not be so bad after all. I tried it and found that my face LOVED the olive oil moisturizing even more than regular Dove. Unfortunately, I no longer see it listed on their website, and I'm on my last bar. So it looks like I'll be on the hunt again for a new face soap. Though their Dove Winter Care beauty bar and the Dove Cream Oil Ultra Rich Velvet might be a good replacement. I'll have to try them. (My sister had the Dove go fresh Burst at her house and it smelled wonderful!)
I didn't discover my face lotion by accident, though. It was a search. For years, I had used Walmart's Equate version of Oil of Olay for my face. But then they changed the formula. First, they stopped carrying the oil-free sensitive skin version without any SPF protection. Then they only had SPF lotions and I disliked the heavy feel of them on my face. So we bought true Oil of Olay to try instead, and discovered that it also had a heavier feel and seemed to moisturize less than when my Mom used it. I was disappointed, and my face was not getting enough moisture from the SPF lotions. Finally, I decided to try a night cream. We bought a small tub of Oil of Olay Total Effects Night Firming Cream on sale at Walgreens. I used it night and day, and my skin loved it! It finally began to recover from the winter dry patches. I have even used it through the summer, though usually only once a day. I ran out, so we recently bought a knock-off version from CVS and it also works well. Other stores might have their own versions.
Last winter, I did accidentally discover a wonderful hand lotion. I was putting together a gift basket for someone else, but when I got home I had topped my spending limit. Steve told me to keep the hand lotion I had placed in the basket. It was Curel Ultra Healing Lotion. I had never used Curel, but I started using it on my hands. I FINALLY began to get relief from the dry winter hands I'd been struggling with. My finger tips had been dry and cracking until I started using the Curel Ultra Healing Lotion. I still have that bottle, because I hadn't needed it as much through the summer. But cold weather is here again and I'm using it daily.
Our children have even worse winter hands than I do. The back of their hands and their wrists turn very red and rough. They will even start to bleed if we don't catch it fast enough. We've discovered that using liquid hand soap makes it worse, especially if it's anti-bacterial, so we set out bars of moisturizing soap for the winter instead. (Or I use Dr. Bronner's Lavender liquid castile soap to re-fill foaming soap pumps, which is very gentle on my children's hands.) The first winter we struggled with this, my Dr. recommended we use Eucerin cream on their hands. We bought a round tub of it, and started slathering it on the kids' hands at night. That was years ago, and we have since began to buy the off-brand (Walgreens or CVS) tub that is similar to Eucerin cream. We call it the "white goop". Kids will ask who has the white goop, or I will tell them to "go goop up your hands." It's so thick, but it really works! When we are out and they wash their hands in public restrooms, they come home with bright red hands again. The Eucerin cream makes a visible difference after just one night.
For all-over skin care during the winter, we've found that Aveeno Natural Colloidal Oatmeal Lotion really works well to relieve dryness and winter itchy skin. It's also light and not oily. We first discovered this when Steve was dealing with extremely itchy skin. He'd scratch until he had welts on his skin. The doctor suggested he stop using deoderizing soaps and only use moisturizing soaps like Dove. She also suggested he try Aveeno lotions. This is also another lotion that has knock-offs available, and we have bought the drug-store versions before from CVS and Walgreens. They also work well.
When I only had 2 and 3 children, I ran a home daycare. One of the families I provided care for had a baby, and they showed up after the holidays with a new diaper ointment. It was their favorite, and they couldn't find it locally, so they'd stocked up when visiting family. It was Flander's Buttocks Ointment. It was strange to me, because it was tan instead of white. It had a mixture of Peruvian balsam and the zinc oxide so many ointments use. Shortly after that, I discovered that our local drug store was carrying it. I always wondered if it was because that family asked for it. We started buying it for our babies, too. Eventually, we couldn't find it anymore, and were back to the standard brands. After Steve's sister had a baby, she and her husband were raving about their butt paste and how well it worked. We just kind of ignored them, figuring diaper ointments were all the same (except the Flanders we couldn't find anymore.) Then they used the ointment when visiting us once and I saw that same tan color I had been missing. I grabbed their tube and saw that it too had Peruvian balsam and zinc oxide. Boudreaux's Butt Paste, available at Wal-mart. Whew! We were back in business with our favorite diaper ointment, though a new version of it. Boudreaux's Butt Paste actually has a bit more zinc oxide in it than the Flanders had. It is still our favorite diaper ointment, because it heals really well, wipes off easily, and doesn't have a heavy smell.
Those are just a few of my favorite skin care products. We don't usually buy expensive name-brand products, and I do not spend much money on cosmetics. There may be some other great products I haven't tried because the cost was too high. But these work for me.
(I am not affiliated with any of these companies, and receive no reimbursement for these recommendations.)
To read other Works For Me Wednesday tips, go to We Are That Family blog.