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A winter body regimen is more important than a summer one, in my view. This is the time of year when my skin gets dry, flaky and itchy from being swaddled in winter woollies. So I up the ante with a body regimen that emphasizes exfoliation and rich hydration (in cleansing as well as moisturizing).
I like to start the right way with a shower gel that cleanses without being drying, and I am alternating between Mukti Bath & Shower Gel and Max Green Alchemy’s Skin Rescue Shower Gelee ($15 in the shop). I really love using the body scrub from Me & The Girls ($32/8oz in the shop), which is amazingly full of shea and cupuacu butters and avocado oil that it actually hydrates and nourishes whilst exfoliating.
Once out of the shower, it’s straight on with the body lotion. I have just started testing a new one that I am already convinced will be a winner. It is CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion ($36). I will have a full review for you all after Thanksgiving. But for now I will say that it promises to help dry and irritated skin and it does just that. I put it to the challenge on dry shins (my legs seem to be rebelling against entombment in knee-high winter boots) and a rare post-shaving rash. It did a stellar job on both with its “repair complex” of turmeric, mushroom and alpha-bisabolol (the active ingredient in chamomile).
I do still regularly use Prana’s Attar Fluff & Gold Body Whip 24K ($40 in the shop). This butter rich (mango, apricot, shea and cocoa bean) moisturizer has gold in it as well. It has a pronounced fruity (mango maybe) smell that I like, but does seem to be an acquired taste. My other go-to is Juice Beauty’s Firming Body Lotion ($18 in the shop), which hydrates without being greasy. It has the Matrixyl peptide and antioxidant tea and borage.
For neck and décolleté, I make a rare concession to using a serum with retinol a couple of times a week at night to help take down some sun damage. I alternate between Prana’s Reverse A ($48 in the shop) and Osmosis Replenish ($44 in the shop) – both are 2012 Five Best with retinol winners. I have not done as good a job reversing signs of aging on neck as I have with my face, so lately I’ve been going for some heavy guns. I’ve mostly been using Chella’s Master Protocol 7 ($135 in the shop), which is a very good serum for firming and smoothing. I have also recently been experimenting with a brand that is new to me called Brad.
To prevent my nails drying out and becoming ridged, I regularly oil them with Kahina’s Argan Oil ($82 in the shop), or a dab of Kahina ‘s Serum ($90 in the shop) or Sevani’s. I know that seems extravagant, but they only need a dab, the oils make a phenomenal difference and a refuse to ever have nail ridges. For hands, I use Biao’s Rejuvenating Night Crème ($25 in the shop), with its complex of honeysuckle flower, xanthium sibiricum fruit and cyperus rotundus root. I love the way my hands look soft and plump.
For those oft-ignored parts – feet, elbows and knees – I love Emily’s recommendation of Retrospect Feet, Knees, & Elbows ($38), which as she said sort of says it all. Retrospect formulates with keratin and its signature ingredient is prominent here, along with moisturizing urea and olive oil.
I am particularly preoccupied with my knees and I do use glycolic exfoliators to help minimize wrinkles, such as Lather’s 10-Minute Brightening Mask ($28 in the shop). I fully accept that's eccentric to put a face mask on one's knees, but it does help . But what about knee sagging? Well, after some fits and starts and with a bit of encouragement from the bleachers of the TIA community, I have been experimenting with the ultrasound mode of the Ultra Renew ($89 in the shop). Ultrasonic is the best face firmer I have found so far, but what of knees. Well, there is no doubt that in my case the Ultra Renew is getting a run for its money. But with regular use for the past month or so I am seeing a little more firming of the skin around my knee (I am doing the right knee only to see if I can make a comparison). Now, I should say, that I do mean a little (not a lot), but enough to encourage me to stick with the program.