Hello! Did everyone survive the storm? We had the coziest weekend you could possibly ask for, with a few trips outdoors for Maeby to have a quick romp in the snow. Oh, you want to see a picture? Of course, my dears.
Could she be any cuter? She just loves it. But you know who didn't love it? My skin! I'm telling you, this time of year it is so dry out, that it seems that no matter what I do my skin turns on me eventually. I have a humidifier and I'm constantly moisturizing, exfoliating, and masking, but every so often I feel my skin getting flaky and hard. It's just an inevitable part of the season. Specifically, my hands turn into craggy monsters that look like I've been doing hard labor for my entire life. Lotion and oils just aren't cutting it anymore. So let's talk about balms.
I love balms because they combine all the goodness of essential oils with smooth, moisture-rich shea butter or beeswax. A lot of lotions that have shea butter also have alcohol and a million other mysterious ingredients that can actually be drying agents. That's why a lotion just isnt' enough these days. You have to go straight to the source -- meaning balms.
Last year, I was all about Burt's Bees Hand Salve, it's made of sweet almond oil, beeswax, eucalyptus oil, and rosemary leaf oil, to name a few ingredients. What it doesn't have is anything drying or synthetic, meaning that this salve is super hydrating, smells delicious, and gives your dry hands plenty of moisture. Since it has a beeswax base, it is a bit greasier than other balms, so I recommend putting it on before you step out into the cold and getting some gloves on. That way it can deeply permeate all the layers of your skin, giving you maximum benefits.
A few months ago I was trolling my local GreenMarket and stumbled upon Kadidja's stand, and her hand balm. I have been obsessed ever since. Her balm is made of pure, organic shea butter and lavender, and it has been a godsend this winter. It's thick and luxurious, and is absorbed relatively quickly so it's less greasy than most other balms. The fact that it's not oily also means that it's great for any dry patches on a baby's cheeks or booty, or anywhere you may need it! I love the gentle buttery lavender smell, it's lasted me a long time despite near constant use, and it's the number one reason my hands don't look like I'm an 80 year-old farmer. I also love that Kadidja is a neighborhood vendor and I'm supporting a small, local business.
When on the lookout for a balm, make sure that the ingredients are organic and natural, because if there's anything in them that is synthetic, you better believe in the long run they'll actually be more drying. That's how they get you hooked!
A couple other great balms:
Do you have any hand-saving balms that you love? Glossier's Balm Dot Com has been the saving grace for my elbows and lips, but it's too small a container to be using on my hands. I love it even though in general I try to avoid petrolatum. Remember that your beloved Vaseline and Aquaphor have petrolatum and alcohol and other weird stuff in them, as convenient as they are to pick up at the store, it's just not great for your skin. Is it terrible? Nah, but if you have the chance, why not just keep it natural! I promise your skin will be able to tell the difference.