Skincare: The Winter Edit
Here on the beauty blogosphere, skin is an utmost concern. When I did my research on the discourse of beauty found in beauty blogs, I was surprised to see that the most frequent lexical token to appear over, and over, and over again, was skin. For the bloggers I analyzed (the top 5 most popular U.K blogs), an emphasis on skin as flawless, radiant, and never too made up, was heavily placed. The look of the skin is more important than the look of a product, or of any other facial features, and therefore adds to a rhetoric of beauty associated with having an impeccable canvas. A skin’s healthiness, so perceived by its glow, is therefore at the core of the definition of beauty we have come to craft.
We are all affected by this ideal of beauty. Blemishes are covered-up and treated, dry skin appeased and revived, greasy skin blotted down and mattified, etc. “Combination skin,” “dry skin,” “problem skin” or “aggravated skin” resurfaced in the corpus I gathered, the implicature being that such conditions are problematic. Winter (harsh, cold, and dry) is therefore a great cause for concern when it comes to the condition of our skin.
Just because I like to critique our discourses of beauty does not mean I am not guilty of partaking in and employing them. Though I like to fight current ideals of beauty, I'm still, unfortunately, subject to them. And I, too, thus strive hard to have good skin. I mean, I run a freaking beauty blog for heaven's sake: I'm a coquette, I indulge in the things that make me feel pretty, and I will try to eschew the effects of winter like the plague. So, here's my addition to the discourse of skin, and of the "saviors" that I've been reaching for since the harsher season has set upon us, even though half of me is cringing writing this up.
1. The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil. Vitamin E has basic antioxidant properties that supposedly can block free radicals from the body and help reduce wrinkles. Most importantly for this particular season, however, vitamin E is anti-inflammatory, calming and hydrating sensitive skin. I like to use this in lieu of my moisturizer at night and find it incredibly hydrating. I particularly like to apply it to the corners of my nose (where I get the most dry) and any flakiness is gone by the morning. Because Vitamin E can be a bit heavy for skin though, sometimes causing breakouts, so I only use it a couple times a week.
2. Avene Soothing Moisture Mask. I might have questioned the efficiency or utility of masks, but this one truly does appease, and if anything, feels like a dream to apply. When my skin feels tight, this is what I grab, generously applying the cream-formula to my face and letting it soak in as long as possible. No need for a timer, you can leave this all night (or all day) on your face, though it's definitely too "greasy" looking to wear out. This does wonders on dehydrated skin, which is exactly what I suffer from in the winter.
3. Glossier Balm Dotcom Universal Skin Salve. Even though this has petrolatum (which I mentioned in a past article of mine is usually an ingredient to avoid in lip balms), this is one of the very few lip balms I've used that truly moisturizes my lips instead of aggravating them. I even choose this over the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm, which I find too thick to really help my lips repair and hydrate (I do like to apply coconut oil straight to my lips though and then lock it in the Nuxe, which really helps it stay put!).
4. Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream. I never realized how amazing this simple, straight-forward eye-cream is until winter hit and my under-eye area was shriveling up like dry river. It feels so rich and creamy but absorbs extremely quickly, and every night I apply it I almost want to give out one big sigh of relief. Next time I'm in France, I'm stocking up on these.
5. Caudalie Night Infusion Cream. Never would I have purchased a $70+ face cream. That's utterly ridiculous. My grandma, however, was very taken by a sales lady at the Caudalie counter and nearly-purchased their entire line, only to realize a few days later that she was allergic to grapevine in beauty products. I was therefore more than eager to take them off her hands. I try to use this sparingly and perceive it more as a treat. Very rich, divinely scented (but not too much), this cream gives skin exactly what its name implies: an infusion of moisture. Make sure to patch-test first though!