Winter-skin savours

Dermalogica's Super Rich Repair, $100 (50 mL).
As I get older and hopefully wiser, I have accepted the fact that our frigid winters call for practical boots and a good coat: February seems so much more bearable when you’re warm. (Despite my more earnest efforts, pretty high heels and bare legs just don’t cut it in -20 degree weather.)

My shearling and lug-soled boots aside, there’s also the issue of the flaking and peeling and irritated, dry winter skin. I am blessed with pretty good genes when it comes to my complexion, but I have to think my devotion to vast quantities of moisturizers helps in the hydration department.

Lush and luxe: My long-time go-to winter cream is Dermalogica Super Rich Repair. It is ultra-thick, but my skin sucks it up – I wear it morning and night. In fact, I’ve invariably just applied some and then layered my foundation over top, when someone comments that my skin looks especially dewy and lovely. It moisturizes, calms redness and makes my skin feel fresh and plump – like I really am drinking eight glasses of water a day and abstaining in the after-work alcohol department. But it’s expensive: $100 for a 50 mL container.

Budget-leaning: If your budget balks at that, Vichy’s Aqualia Mineral Balm is my close second at $34 for 50 mL. It’s a thick cream that also hydrates, soothes and is a great barrier for harsh winds and cold. And like the Dermalogica, it contains no artificial fragrance or colour. It’s slightly more oily when you slather it on, but I don’t mind that effect. It’s a balm after all, while the Dermalogica one is more a cream.

Bargain bet: It was a very talented makeup artist that renewed my interest in the old-school classic Nivea Creme. (It’s a staple in her makeup bag, and when I see how beautiful her skin is, I’m convinced that Nivea should be on my vanity, too.) With a texture somewhere between the Vichy balm and Dermalogica lotion, it’s rich and well-suited to February’s dry indoor air and tough-on-the-skin winds and cold. It also works wonders on dry cuticles and sandpapery heels. And you can’t beat the price: $8 for a terrific, retro-looking 100 mL tub.

If you want more of the science behind the products, check out the respective websites – Dermalogica , Nivea and Vichy – then wrap yourself up in your puffy coat and enjoy your February.