Skin Care

By Dianne Stannish

As far as fashion goes, I love the winter – fishing out my favorite shawly, ballerina-wrap scarf from the back of the closet, replacing last year’s socks with even more snuggly ones, and in a word, boots. But as the season lumbers on, I have to admit the thrill of layering upon layering starts to wear a bit thin. According to my calendar, bundling up ceases to be romantic, and begins to feel like a monumental drag, right around February 1. By the first of March, most women are already wistfully sliding their itty-bitty clothes toward the front of their closets, counting down the days. While the weather outside may yet be more on the cruel than kind side, it does seem that the sooner you visualize and expect the sweetness and ease of Spring, the faster it shows up. So whether you are simply looking forward to sunnier days, or you have been cursing the cold since November, here are a few of my favorite all-season products to smooth the transition and transport you directly to spring – a few weeks early (and not a moment too soon!).

Scenario 1: It is eight degrees outside, and you are walking home, an array of gear and grocery bags methodically balanced on your body. You thrust yourself through the front door of the apartment, which requires a little extra effort, as your legs are literally stuck to the inside of your frozen pants.

Knee-jerk Response: “I hate the day. I hate the cold. Warm weather has abandoned me, never to return.”

Strategy: Close door. Drop stuff on couch. Pet cat. Head immediately for bathroom, thinking to self: Of course there will be hot water. There is always hot water.

Treat: Soothe and detoxify skin with Aveda All-Sensitive Cleanser. Lightly formulated with rosewater, and no synthetic fragrance or color, this soap-free lotion is as effective in the summer as it is gentle in the winter. As an all-the-way sensitive girl, I can personally testify – it also doubles as a delicate shaving cream.

Scenario 2: It is 6:45 a.m. on your day off, and you have just woken up. Your plan is to leave your phone at home, head to an early yoga class, and spend the afternoon enjoying the city.

Knee-jerk Response: “No. This is the coldest day of my entire life. I shall hide under the covers until the sun is bright enough to heat my room, then bolt for coffee.”

Strategy: Be brave. Turn childish blanket away. With utter confidence, slink gingerly to bathroom, repeating to self: Shower. Shower. Sexy, springlike shower.

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Treat: Roses are red, violet is you. Begin softening your soon-to-be-exposed arms and legs with Violetta di Parma Body and Hair Shower Gel. Its pretty floral fragrance lasts for several hours on skin as a light perfume (one of the best-smelling bath products I’ve ever tried). This mild cleanser is also a sweet shampoo – use it now to visualize/scentualize a new season; in your future travels, tote it around for en route spring cleaning.

Scenario 3: It’s Saturday night. You are dressed for romance, meeting a fabulous date for dinner at 9:00. But you are feeling rather less than glowing. The train station actually feels colder than standing in direct wind. You walk back up the steps to find taxi after taxi mocking you as they speed by. The time is 8:15. The current temperature: eight degrees.

Knee-jerk Response: “This is the coldest night of my entire life. The weather is evil. Cabbies are evil. The world is conspiring against me.”

Strategy: Relax. Duck into a small, trusted café. Slip into ladies room. Wash hands with warm water, saying to self: When I step onto Sixth, a friendly cab awaits me.

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Treat: For refreshed skin and a calmer state of mind, apply a tiny dollop of Guinot Crà«me Pure Equilibre/Pure Balance Cream to center of palm. (My trick is to add 2 drops of water for even lighter moisture.) Rub palms together, and pat cream onto face, right over makeup or on bare cheeks. The healing properties of lavender oil in this cream will balance skin, whether winter-irritated or heat-stressed. Renewed and aromified – girl, you could catch two cabs at the same time.

Scenario 4: You’ve stayed up all night catching up on work, and this is one of those quiet nights when you could easily reward yourself with a little tlc. But you’re exhausted. And that bed is looking awfully inviting…

Knee-jerk Reaction: “No energy. Too cold. How I hate the evil winter. Must call it a night.”

Strategy: Wake up just enough to open bottle of wine. Sit upright, be still, and breathe for a minute (while your wine does). Then, find delicious read. Locate bathtub. As tub fills, sip wine luxuriously.

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Treat: Sleep Well Tripled-milled soap by The Thymes. This beauty bar is blended with the same herbal oils (rose, chamomile, valerian) that help you sleep as herbal teas – but don’t worry, you won’t fall asleep in the tub.

The result: super-moisturized skin, sweet hibernation – and Spring just a few weeks away.

Originally published March 2004
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