Tag Archives: dry skin



As you already know, I suffer from eczema on my eyelids during the winter. The cold winter air brings on small patches of dry, flaky, red skin around my eyes which is annoying to say the least.

However, a few weekends ago, my eyelids freaked out and I woke up three days in a row with extremely swollen, red and dry eyelids. They were painful and no matter what I tried, I just could not get them to look or feel any better.

On the Sunday, I had had enough, as I had woken up with my eyelids more swollen, red and painful than ever. After a quick visit to the doctor, I learned that I have peri-orbital eczema, which can only be healed with a Protopic ointment. As I stated before, NEVER use hydrocortisone on your eyelids for irritations of any kind–it will thin the already delicate and thin skin!

For the past few days, Elizabeth Arden’s 8-hour cream and Avene’s Thermal Spring Water have been life-savers (other than my Protopic ointment). I didn’t wear a stitch of makeup on my eyes for a few days after the outbreak, but I gently cleansed my eyelids with a cooling mist (very nice on my burning, sensitive skin) of Avene’s spray and quick pat down with a cotton pad. After applying the ointment, I would slather on the 8-hour cream for hydration and protection from the elements. I plan on applying the 8-hour cream for the rest of winter to protect my eyelids from the wind on my walk to and from work (it is also gives a pretty, glossy sheen).

The 8-hour cream is my new favourite all-in-one product; it soothes and protects your skin throughout the winter months.  You can apply it anywhere really–as a lipbalm, moisturizer on your face or hands, on your eyebrows as a defining gel, on your eyelids for a glossy, peachy look, or mixed in with eyeshadow for a wet look. Even after my eyelids have recovered, I plan on mixing this convertible product with my eyeshadow for a smudgy, lived-in, smoky look.

Avene’s spray will also be very handy for hot summer days when my face needs refreshing (or has been burnt from the sun) and on planes when my when my skin is feeling parched from the dry cabin air.


Again, I’ve got a light, medium and heavy option for moisturizers. I also have one hydrating serum, Hydraluron, which I’ve already reviewed before.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion
Now, this is my summer moisturizer, but I have dry skin, so it would work perfectly for oily-skinned gals out there who need some protection, but don’t want to smother their face with a thick cream.

Clarins HydraQuench Cream for Normal to Dry Skin
This is really my holy grail moisturizer, and has been for two years now. I keep coming back to it. It’s the perfect thickness, has a pretty smell, and is like spreading on a fluffy layer of moisture onto your skin. My skin soaks this stuff up, and it never ever leaves me greasy or oily. If my skin is a bit dryer, I’ll sometimes smooth on a bit of oil first. Also, it creates a great base for makeup.

Vichy ProEven Eye Cream
Creates a great base for makeup and you only need a tiny amount to hydrate your eyes and protect the delicate skin from the cold.

Estée Lauder Advanced Time Zone Night
Now, this is the most buttery and thick cream I have ever use. This is meant for aging and mature,  and severely dehydrated skin. Will replenish even the driest of faces.

Estée Lauder Advanced Time Zone Eye Cream
Much like the face cream, it is an intensely thick cream that will inject moisture into the delicate eye area.

If you’re looking for hydration, but really like your moisturizer/are afraid of changing it, Hydraluron could be the product for you. It’s a thin, gel-like serum that is applied under your moisturizer. It works with hyaluronic acid to hydrate the deeper layers of the skin. I’ve written about it’s wonders before on VP.

Associated posts: 

Facial Oils



I LOVE FACIAL OILS because they all have different weights and ingredients making them perfect for any skin type. They can add an extra-hydrating oomph to all faces, making them a great product for surviving winter without a dry, dehydrated or chapped face. At night, I love to use them on their own, or under a moisturizer, and during the day, I sometimes will blend a drop or two into my moisturizer before application if my skin is feeling parched.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, don’t be scared! Oils are for you too. You just need to make sure you pick the right one. I have dry/dehydrated, acne-prone skin (a winning combo), and none of these oils aggravate my pimples.

I have three different face oils here for you–all with different weights and viscosity. I pick and choose which one to apply every night depending on how my face is feeling, or what I think it might need.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
I’m not completely sure if this is supposed to be classified as an “oil”, but it has a lightweight, silky texture, and an oil-like feel. I think that it is meant to be used as a serum under a moisturizer, but on days when my skin doesn’t seem parched, and I just need light hydration, this is perfect. It has a pretty smell as well and doesn’t feel oily on the face.

Hydrating ingredients: squalane, lavender oil and evening primrose oil

Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil
This oil can be used every night on it’s own, under moisturizer, or for oilier skins, every 2 or 3 nights. Like all of Aurelia’s products, it is beautifully scented with neroli, lavender, mandarin and more. Perfect for pumping up a moisturizer, whether during the day or night. Wake up to brighter, hydrated skin.

Hydrating ingredients: kalahari oil, mongongo oil, kigelia, baobab and hibiscus

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil
I bought this oil when it felt like no matter what I did, I could not get my forehead to not look crepe-y, tight, dry and dehydrated. This oil is so incredibly hydrating, you only need a drop or two to quench your thirsty skin. I definitely would only use this at night. Despite being extremely hydrating, it did not break me out. If you are concerned about it being too heavy on your oily, acnaic skin, I recommend the Blue Lotus facial treatment oil instead, it is made for oilier skin.

Hydrating ingredients: hazelnut oil, rosewood oil, patchouli oil, blue orchid oil


I DUNNO BOUT YOU, but my skin freaked right out as soon as it got cold in November. The super dry heating got turned on in full force at my office, the air in my apartment lost it’s moisture and the whatever life/normalness was remaining in my skin was essentially sucked out of my face by the cold winds on my commute (I walk 20 mins to and from the office).

So! With the change in seasons, comes a change in your skincare. Gels are traded in for creams, lotions for oils, etc. etc. Don’t worry though, I’ve got all bases covered–from milks all the way to balm.

You’re not going to want to make any drastic changes, but if you’ve noticed that your face is dryer than usual, you might want to switch to something a bit more hydrating and less stripping, either full-time for the winter, or part-time. (Also, if you are using foaming cleansers, I beg you to give those up full-time. They are bad news bears for your face).

So! I’ve got four cleansers here for you. If you don’t already use one, it’s a good idea to incorporate the use of a washcloth with milks, creams and balms to properly remove the product from the skin.

Lancôme Galatée Confort
This is a really nice, thick milk/cream hybrid that effectively removes makeup. However! You need to use this with a washcloth to properly remove it. I also wouldn’t recommend it for acne-prone skin of any kind (it does contain mineral oil). Overall, it has a lovely smell, works, and is great for a morning or second cleanse.

Clinique Comforting Cream Cleanser & Aurelia Miracle Cream Cleanser
I’ve included two creams here for you–they are different enough to warrant this, I promise you. They come in at quite different price points, and one is fragranced (Aurelia)–deliciously I might add, and the other is unfragranced (Clinique). They are both great at cleansing the skin, and once again, I would recommend a wash cloth for proper removal. The Clinique is better at removing eye make up for sure, but I would still both use them as morning or second cleanses.

If you’re worried about ingredients, Aurelia is definitely more natural and uses essential oils to create a really beautiful cleanser (as you know, I am obsessed with all their products). However, if you’re on a budget, the Clinique works perfectly well.

Clinique Take the Day Off
As you know, I am a huge fan of balm cleansers, and really any good one with good ingredients will do. I haven’t yet reviewed TTDO, so this is why I’m including it here (here are some other balms I love). TTDO is another gold-star product from Clinique–no mineral oil here so it’s suitable for all skin types, and it removes makeup in a flash, really, anything and everything. Plus, it’s the most affordable balm that I’ve been able to find that won’t irritate acne-prone skin and doesn’t contain parabens. Win!


THE WEATHER OUTSIDE HAS BECOME PRETTY FRIGHTFUL, and yes, the fire is so delightful. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter, but there is a time and place for me to be outside in the snow–usually excessively bundled up wearing waterproof mascara. If I look back at Christmas’ past, it’s safe to say I’ve spent many days of my holidays pampering myself. I mean, I never usually have time to try out new DIY masks or give my nails the attention they need. So why not now, when there’s no way in hell I’m leaving the house?! I present to you a few of my favourite tricks for the at-home spa day.

For your dry, rough feet: What a great foot to start on (ya…)! This one is super weird and kind of uncomfortable at first but the results are actually astonishing. So wash your feet, get in there with the pumice stone if you fancy to, cut your nails if need be, then get ready for the softest feet ever. You’ll need two grocery bags (the plastic ones) and your favourite lotion. Literally apply a ton of lotion to each foot, like more than you could ever rub in. Disperse it onto your entire foot, making sure that there is still plenty of extra lotion in need of being rubbed in, then put each foot into a grocery bag. Tie the handles up around your ankles, and leave for as long as possible (a few hours will do wonders). It feels gross at first, but when you reveal your baby-soft feet at the end, you will never try anything else.

For your brittle hair: There’s no rhyme or reason for this one. The best thing you can do for your hair is to deeply cleanse and hydrate! Oils–be it EVOO, coconut oil, avocado oil, anything you’ve got on hand really, just apply it straight to the ends of your hair (not the roots!!). Again, the longer you leave it, the better, really. When it’s time to wash it out, double-shampoo to get rid of any build-up (Amanda’s got a great trick for this), then rinse with some apple-cider vinegar for some serious shine. And now that you’ve paid some special (albeit well-earned) attention to your mane, let it dry naturally for heavens sake!!

For your skin: I don’t know if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, but MASKS, MASKS, MASKS! If you’ve got the time, why not? Give your face a good cleanse, steam it before your rinse, then apply your favourite mask OR make one of your own– turmeric is a great ingredient if you’ve got acne, yogurt and honey are great for dry skin. You can do a few different masks if you play your cards right– don’t do more than one that contains a strong acidic ingredient (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid), and stick to one clay mask (completely getting rid of the oils of your skin will never end nicely, expect only more oil than in the first place). Once you’ve masked to your hearts content, throw on a heavy moisturizer and don’t even think of going near your makeup bag.

For your body: If you’re so inclined, take a bath! I love baths! And I love making little bath concoctions to add to the water for some moisture and other skin-beautifying benefits–milk, oats, epson salts, honey, beauty oils (as I said, virgin coconut oil, avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil are my favourites), baking soda, powdered ginger, even tea! Now once you’ve soaked and you’re all pruned, scrub! Honey and sugar is one of my favourites–make it so that you have a nice thick paste. Scrub everywhere, slather on some lotion, then throw on your robe and get ready to fall asleep.

For your albeit rough nails: Cut and file your nails to perfection, then grab some of your homemade scrub and go at it, getting right in-between your fingers and at the cuticles. Rinse, then put on your best cream. Grab some polish remover, clean off your nails from any extra oils, then polish them. Don’t fool yourself, everyone loves their nails done but no one has the time for the up-keep… until now! Might as well!

Happy spa-day!

–Anna Raponi


I’d like to make sure that everyone has seen the film Kicking and Screaming before I start, firstly because it’s hilarious and secondly so that you understand the title of this post.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk hemp. This stuff smells like old people, and it has a bit of a questionable rep on the screen (I’m just thinking of Dwight’s teen neighbour who steals his hemp to smoke it). All jokes aside, you’ve got to get your hands on this plant, or rather some products containing it. Specifically hand cream. My hands are gnarly at this time of year–the cold air, the constant hand washing (for work, I don’t have OCD…at least I don’t think), and my naturally rough cuticles (I also rarely get manicures because I can’t wear polish very often). So, I need some serious help to say the least.
I remember my mom going through tubes of this super thick salve as a kid, and mother knows best, right? I picked up a tube of my own and it has literally been my saviour–I use some every night before bed, that way all the oils can fully soak in without driving me crazy. As I said before, the smell is unpleasant but doesn’t last, and it’s quite greasy at first (it dries nicely), but this is totally why it’s so effective! Little did I know that this lifesaver came in the more concentrated form of an oil, which I was also lucky enough to get my hands on. You can use this stuff solo or mix in with your hand protector. This oil is also great for really dry areas that need intense repair and hydration, like your elbows and knees. When all else fails, this line from The Body Shop is my go-to hand rehab.
–Anna Raponi


What are you supposed to do when you get the frizzies at the top of your head, and your roots feel dry? Everyone knows you’re only supposed to put conditioner on your ends, so how are you supposed to help the roots get smooth and healthy again?

Kiehl’s Magic Elixir not only hydrates those poor frizzies, but also your scalp. With winter coming, your scalp takes a beating (from the heating, ha!…and from the cold), often getting dry and itchy. Applied directly to the scalp with it’s handy nozzle, the aromatic, rosemary-fragranced oil will hydrate your hair and scalp once massaged it. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes before washing out. Since oils work with oil, it won’t overhydrate your scalp, but will balance it, making it great for those with oily scalps as well.

If you want healthy hair, you’ve gotta start at the roots, which means that the soil (your scalp) that’s feeding your stems (hair strands) better be healthy, right?