Five Products to Keep Your Skin Glowing This Winter
By Tori Silman
Tried and tested, these five products prove to keep your skin healthy—even during Canada’s frigid winters.
With the joys of the holidays coming around, I can’t help but dread the onset of cold weather. Holiday beverages, cozy sweaters, and romanticized interpretations of falling snow, yes - but with that comes dry air, flakiness and you guessed it, acne. As someone who has always struggled with acne-prone, sensitive skin, this time of year is my nightmare. It’s taken a bit of time and product testing to find some solutions to this problem, but first, I want to inform you of my particular situation.
My skin has always been a struggle. At a makeup counter, ‘Sensitive’ is one of the most frequently used words to describe my visage, always followed by ‘acne-prone.’ Since high school I’ve struggled with acne, whether it be from fluctuating hormones, food and beverages, what I use on my skin, the unavoidable stress of life, or, you guessed it, these cold Canadian winters. For so long I didn’t invest in ways to help my skin, often using any face wash that was on sale. It never helped, and I would resort to covering it all up with cheap, pore-clogging foundations in hopes it would one day disappear.
It never did.
It wasn’t until my twenties when I decided to take charge of my skin. I was tired of feeling self-conscious and unhappy with my appearance, and I knew a big part of it had to do with my skin. I stopped drinking sugary beverages and included more water in my life, and though this may have helped a bit, I knew I needed to delve deeper into my skincare routine to come up with a solution. After experimenting with various brands—many of which have worked for friends and family—I realized chemicals and additives were going to be too harsh for my skin (even baby oil gives me horrendous breakouts - hi, mineral oil!). It was at this point I decided to take a different route: natural products.
I have tried and tested a plethora of natural products over the past four years, many of which have left me disappointed. It took me a while, but I finally came across some more affordable choices better suited to my cold Canadian life. Though my skin may not be perfect (and if it never is, who cares ), I can assure you these products will blow you away without completely emptying your wallet. Thanks for trusting me, friends!
Founded by Priscilla Tsai, Cocokind is a California-based company, advocating for natural, ethical, and organic skin care. Prior to this summer when the company struck a deal Shoppers Drug Mart and expanded into Canada, I stumbled upon their Organic Cleansing Oil in the natural aisle of Winners (shout-out to one of the best beauty sections in the game—it’s my first stop every time I shop there). In my obsession to find the most natural products possible, I was impressed with the ingredients list and decided to give it a try. This was my first step into the world of Cocokind.
Having been hunting for literal years for an all-natural cleanser that made my skin feel healthy, I was extremely happy to find this product. The cleansing oil is a blend of coconut oil, virgin avocado oil, tea tree oil, and lavender oil—all organic and all incredibly soothing. With its blend of coconut and avocado oils, the cleanser doesn’t dry out your skin, especially in these cold winter months when the heat is cranked to the max. I’ve been using it for almost a year, and my skin has never been softer and healthier.
Cocokind’s Chia Seed Oil has also been a great friend to me. Having been in a committed relationship with rosehip oil for a long time, I was difficult for me to take the leap in transitioning to a new moisturizer. Honestly, along with my experience with the brand, it was the price tag that got me (compared to the $50 I used to spend on rosehip). The moisturizer is made up of only chia seed oil and chamomile flowers to bring you utter relaxation every time you apply it. It can be used any time, but especially when applied right after showering... this oil will keep your skin moisturized from morning to night.
As this product is not available in stores in Canada yet (though you can purchase it online on cocokind.com), I made a point on my trip to Fort Lauderdale this summer to stop by Whole Foods and pick up the Chlorophyll Mask. Made up of organic spirulina powder, organic wheatgrass powder, organic chlorella powder, and organic ylang ylang oil, the mask is incredibly soothing and smoothing for any skin type. It comes in powder form, giving you the freedom to create a heavier or lighter mask, whether you use water or facial oil, depending on your skincare goals. I tend to apply a heavier mask with water, specifically targeting problem areas (including the one I’m wearing as I write this). I have found many masks to have a drying effect on my skin, but in six months I’ve been using the Chlorophyll mask, I have only been able to say good things. Since it’s safe to use multiple times a week, I have been applying it consistently as the temperatures have dropped to keep up with any breakouts.
Spahket is a Toronto-based company, founded by Hilda Crick-McDermott. Having used natural products since her son was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, Hilda developed a line of luxurious natural products for everyday use. I originally found Hilda’s products when I came across a Spahket booth at York University in between classes. Hilda was there selling her products to students at discounted prices, with her mica tinted Lip Balm Rejuvenation in Red Tinge on for 2-for-1. Another student was interested, so we decided to go halfsies. I’ve been addicted since.
This tinted lip balm not only rescues my lips during the winter, but it also dresses them up for day and night. It isn’t too red, but it can always be applied more heavily to create a darker, more dramatic look. The kicker is that it is made with only six all-natural ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, peppermint essential oil, hemp oil, and calendula oil. If you’re looking for something without colour, the line also offers untinted balms with flavours such as peppermint, vanilla, natural, coco francis, neem cream, and honey lips. Luckily you don’t have to drop by York to find Spahket products—you can visit Hilda in the path underneath Toronto’s Royal York Hotel.
I can’t say I’m great with makeup. I don’t wear it too often because it tends to clog my pores. When I do breakout, however, it’s nice to know I have a concealer waiting for me to block out the redness. Having finally tossed the drying (and admittedly cheap) concealer I had been using all summer, I decided to invest in something of higher value. Being a student, I realistically couldn’t afford much, but with the help of a cosmetic expert I came across Benefit’s Boi-Ing Airbrush Concealer.
Though this could never be considered an all-natural concealer, it has successfully passed my skin-irritation test. It’s an incredibly creamy concealer, keeping my skin’s moisture levels high all day long. It also doesn’t go on too heavy which helps with avoiding the caking look, and, along with this, doesn’t clog my pores the way other concealers do. Just a couple spot applications and I’m ready to go. I purchased it heading into the winter season and haven’t had a dry-skin day once.
Well, that’s it! These companies all offer a wide array of other products I haven’t touched upon, but I urge you to check them out. Whether you check out these products for yourself, or pick them up for a loved one this holiday season, I promise you won’t be disappointed. My problematic, acne-prone, sensitive skin gives them the stamp of approval—whether it be 25 degrees, or -25 degrees.
All my love, Tori