Winter can wreak complete havoc on our skin. From the harsh winds to the drying heat blowing through our home, there never seems to be enough moisturizer to keep skin from cracking, flaking, or chapping.
One of the most effective ways to restore moisture into your skin (or hair) is through oils. But don't worry, you won't come out looking like a piece of Saran wrap in the end.
There's an effective oil for every skin, need, and purpose. Here are six good ones to try for your everyday needs ...
Heal damaged skin
These days, it's easy to get bumps, bruises, and scars, but it's not always so easy to heal them. Bio Oil ($9) became known as the go-to product for healing scars (even the Red Cross Children's Hospital uses it to heal burn scars), but its PurCellin Oil composition makes it ideal for use on ailments like uneven skin tone, massage oil, and even a hair serum. Plus the 2-oz. bottle will easily make it through airport security.
To most people, the idea of cleansing with oil sounds completely absurd, especially if you have oily skin. While it may be absurd, cleansing with oil can actually dissolve the oil, makeup, and dirt that has built up on your face throughout the day and restore your skin's natural balance. Additionally, cleansing oils can remove dirt that clogs pores or blackheads, keeping skin clearer over time. Try MAC's Cleanse Off Oil ($24), formulated with olive fruit, evening primrose, and jojoba seed oil.
To use cleansing oil properly, dispense a small amount into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and massage into your face to break up the makeup and dirt on your skin. After applying the oil, lightly wet your hands and continue to massage into your skin -- this will cause the oil to foam. Once you have broken up the makeup, rinse off. Some people feel the need to use a second cleanser afterwards, but it's not necessary.
Using oil right after the shower is one of the easiest (and most efficient) ways to restore moisture to your skin. While your skin is still wet, pour a small handful into your palms and massage the oil into your skin. Let it soak in for 60 seconds and towel off as normal. Your skin will feel hydrated without being greasy and you can get dressed to go about your day immediately.
If you're feeling cautious about trying body oils, check out Weleda's Body Oil Essentials Kit ($15), featuring six types of Weleda's popular oils in 0.34-fl-oz travel-friendly bottles.
Protecting your skin from nighttime enemies -- aka your heater -- is as crucial as providing it with the tools to heal itself. If your skin is feeling especially damaged, try infusing moisture with an oil especially designed for the face. If you need an extra dose of moisture during the day, try mixing a drop or two in with your moisturizer or foundation.
Darphin's Orange Blossom Aromatic Care Oil ($80) is a great example of a facial oil packed with essential nutrients. It uses Orange Blossom, Lemon, Carrot, Chamomile, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Bilberry, and Cranberry essential oils mixed with Jojoba, Sesame, Sunflower, and Carthame oils.
If you're on the go, look for portable solutions, like Tata Harper's Replenishing Nutrient Complex ($45). Inside this 0.34-fl-oz. rollerball is a powerful light concentrate packed with ingredients grown right on Tata's Vermont farm.
Keep cuticles super-moisturized to avoid chapped hands. Carol's Daughter's Lemon & Jojoba Cuticle Oil ($10) smells like delicious lemon cookies and moisturizes better than a paraffin treatment. Apply one drop to each finger while you're on the computer or watching TV -- and don't forget your toes!
What's your favorite way to stay hydrated in the winter? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Image via miss cleopatra/Flickr