Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The $30 Skin Fix Kit

I left North Dakota and flew back to Pennsylvania last weekend, apparently dragging the super-cold negative degree weather and horrendous wind chills with me. Sorry, guys! But I come bearing peace offerings. This is my cheap, mostly accessible, drugstore skin fix kit for those dealing with winter woes: dry skin, cracked lips, and that's-what-I-get-for-wearing-a-scarf-around-my-face-for-three-days zits.

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, $8.99 -- I'm not generally prone to zits, but when I do get them, it's in the most obnoxious, painful places, and they take forever to die. It's especially problematic when you decide to walk a mile to the grocery store in -25 degree weather: yes, that scarf you've wrapped your entire face in will keep out the cold, but it'll also make your face sweat. And that means horrible pimples at the corners of your lips, around the edges of your nose, and along your jaw. The only thing that dries my zits up and doesn't completely eat my face is this 10% benzoyl peroxide cream. I use the tiniest dab on my zits immediately after showering and moisturizing. It can be drying, though, so you'll need...

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, $3.50 -- "Wait a minute, Renee," you're all probably saying. "I get that this stuff is great for my dry hands, feet, and elbows...but now you want me to smear it on my face?!" Well...yes. I do have a friend who smears this product all over her face before bed every night, but he has driest skin upon this Earth. For most people, a dab'll do ya, and only when and where it's absolutely needed. The dry air means a dry nose, so I've been abusing the tissues. This has kept my nostrils and upper lip from chapping like crazy. Even if you don't want to put the Norwegian Formula cream on your face, you should definitely try it for your body. It's a dream!

Neosporin, $4.95 -- My much-abused but barely-used tube of Neosporin was mostly used for my paper cuts and sore ankle, and I never would've thought to put it on my face, well, I'd gotten a paper cut there. (Which, ow.) Then I watched Karima's skin care video and realized, hey, she's totally right, it's meant to kill bacteria regardless of where it is. So if I'm in the shower and one of my icky zits pops, I'll just dab a bit of this on. It definitely prevents further breakouts, and it also seems to help my skin heal faster, meaning I have fewer red spots after-the-fact.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin, $10.99 -- This is the one product that can be difficult to find. Advertised as a soothing cream for breastfeeding mothers with cracked nipples, you'd think it'd be easy to find. Without getting too graphic, many of my lady friends who breastfed their kids complained about sore nipples, so you'd think stores would keep this handy for such a common complaint. Nope! I can only find it in one standing grocery store; if it wasn't there, I'd have to order tubes on Amazon. It also tastes a bit wonky and can be a pain to squeeze out (I rub the tube between my palms for a full minute to soften the ointment up). Still, it's worth it: this is the ultimate cure for cracked lips, ashy elbows, and any other dry skin woes. If you want to carry some product with you, but find the purple "nipple cream" tube embarassing, just depot some; I squirted some in to a cleaned-out Benefit jar for my sister to use on her lips.

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