Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
It was 80 degrees last week and now it’s 50. In other words, I’m sick. People say New York has it all, and that’s true, including the kind of sudden and drastic shifts in the weather that result in a hacking cough. Though I don’t enjoy feeling miserable, I seize illness as an opportunity to watch movies and drink NyQuil. Wednesday evening, I put on sweatpants, watched Disobedience (I liked it!), chugged some Quil around 9 p.m. and slept like a baby. Sure, I nearly hacked up a lung, but it was a relaxing night.
Now that we’ve established I love being sick (JK! Kind of!), let’s get to the real problem caused by sudden changes in the weather: dry skin. After a summer of plump, supple, tan skin (not to brag!), mine has suddenly turned into pale, flaky sandpaper. The other night, my cuticle started bleeding for no reason at all, except that it was cold and dry and my right hand is a little bitch that starts wearing a winter coat as soon as the temperature drops below 70 degrees. That’s right, I have a tiny little winter coat for my right hand or, in other words, a glove (I may be delirious from all these cold meds).
Of course, this isn’t my first go-around with dry patches and cracked hands. Aside from three miserable years boiling in Atlanta, I’ve lived in the Northeast my whole life, so like self-esteem and finding the right hair products, dry skin is something I’ve struggled for as long as I can remember. I was a ski racer growing up, so I’ve always spent a lot of time outside in the winter, and in fact still believe the best way to prevent seasonal illnesses like cold and flu is to exert oneself in the cold, or at least that’s what I tell myself when I bike around New York in freezing cold weather.
Exercising in the cold may or may not prevent illness, but it’ll definitely suck all the moisture out of your skin, and once you step foot in a heated building, it’ll be over for you, bitch. Fortunately, there are products for this shit. A couple of years ago, I bought hyaluronic acid from recently-beleaguered skincare brand Deciem. Though hyaluronic acid is in most creams, their serum is highly concentrated and honestly works. On super dry days and nights, I put it on under my moisturizer.
One other cold weather product I can’t live without is La Roche-Posay’s Toleraine Soothing Protective Moisturizer. It’s a mouthful, but it works. It’s a thick, simple cream with only a handful of ingredients that moisturizes skin without blocking pores. It’s also French, which means it’ll slowly transform your face into Marion Cotillard’s.
In the summer, I use Supergoop!’s City Sunscreen Serum as my daily moisturizer. It has SPF 30 in it and is the perfect consistency to wear when it’s warm out. In the winter, I use my Supergoop! (exclamation point theirs, I promise) as an actual serum, layering it under my La Roche-Posay cream, which I usually mix with a few drops of Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint to even out my skin tone. With that thick mask of moisture, I’m ready to step onto the cold, dry world without shedding my skin flake by flake.
I used my winter regimen for the first time since spring yesterday, but who knows what I’ll do today. This time of year is perhaps the most difficult of all when it comes to keeping your skin plump and fresh because temperatures will inevitably rise again, then drop again, and I think the fluctuations are what dry skin out more than pure cold. Still, I think it’s officially time to break out my beloved humidifier, which will help with both my illness and dry skin. Some people associate the sound of rustling leaves with fall, but for me it’s the sound of moisture bubbling up into my bedroom air because I. am. VAIN. And extremely prone to sinus infections.
Welcome to fall, people! Enjoy the fresh apples, the warm sweaters and the spectacular foliage — but remember to do whatever you have to do to stay moist!
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares that I love this fancy french cream. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, moisturizer or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!