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The Product: Jenna Hipp Essential Nail & Hand Cream, $26.99 (for three, four ounce tubes)
Why: With all of the bottle and sippy cup washing I do these days, my hands are pretty dry and scaly. I know I should wear gloves during the washing process, but it’s just one more thing to do and think about. Lazy excuse, I know.
I am, however, very good about applying a luxurious hand cream before bed. It’s a ritual I look forward to. But, many of the creams that sound amazing in the tube, are a bit too fragrant for nighttime wear. For me anyway. I have a very sensitive sniffer. To the point where certain fragrances will keep me up at night.
That’s why I was thrilled to try the Jenna Hipp Essential Nail & Hand Cream. Not only are the tubes adorable and nightstand-worthy, but they contain no artificial fragrances (the natural fragrance it does contain is practically nonexistent), no parabens, phthalates, dyes, and a few other icky ingredients. Jenna Hipp is known as the celebrity green nail stylist, after all.
What it does contain is 20 percent shea butter along with other essential oils and hydrating ingredients. The best part? You can buy this at Costco. Yup. Shocking, right? I love nothing better than being able to stock up on luxe beauty products while filling my cart with a year’s worth of toilet paper, paper towels and trash bags — it’s the little things that make busy moms happy.
Why: It’s the end of a long, long (did I mention, it’s been long?) New York winter, and I was desperate for a cream, lotion, serum, kitchen recipe — anything really — to bring my skin back to life without pounds of blush, bronzer and illuminator. When I met with Joanna Vargas, esthetician and owner of her eponymous salon and skin care line a few weeks ago, I saw a ray of smooth-skinned hope — her amazing serums.
Vargas explained how important nutrition is to making your skin glow (she gives out her green juice recipe to all her clients — check it out below). But since most of us don’t drink those yummy and nutrient-packed green juices every day like we should, she incorporated nourishing and organic ingredients into her skincare products. The prices are high, but IMO, totally worth the splurge.
The Joanna Vargas Daily Serum, $85 (above), is like a multi-vitamin for the skin. It contains galactoarabinan, a naturally derived ingredient from the larch tree that intensifies cell turnover, along with magnesium, postassium and zinc which supports a healthy lymphatic system to process nutrients better and carry away waste more effectively. Plus, it’s full of antioxidants and a high dose of hyaluronic acid to create a lasting moisture shield on skin.
The Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum, $100 is an ambitious mix of argan oil (for anti-aging and hydration), neroli oil (to boost circulation), olive oil (to detox skin and reduce inflammation), rosehip Oil (to accelerate cell production and aid in rejuvenation), and finally, jojoba oil (to moisturize). It absorbs quicker than you would imagine and has a nice, earthy-floral scent. If you had to choose only one, I would go with this one since it’s so, well, rejuvenating.
In the last few weeks, these have transformed my skin, making it smoother, glowy-er and more hydrated. These products work all year round and on all skin types — they are so ultra-moisturizing, they are especially nice for older skin.
For glowing skin from the inside out, try Joanna’s Green Juice Recipe:
“I love an all greens juice with romaine, celery, cucumber, spinach, parsley, kale and apple with a dash of lemon and ginger,” says Vargas. “A green juice instantly hydrates the skin while encouraging lymphatic drainage, so you are de-puffed and glowing!” Toss the following into a juicer:
- 1 green apple
- 2 handfuls romaine
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 handful parsley
- 1 handful kale
- 3 stalks celery
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
Drink up and enjoy!
Any nursing mother knows how essential nipple cream is during the first few weeks of breast feeding — cracked, bleeding nipples anyone? And so, with the birth of my son Ian, my obsession with lanolin began. Since it’s natural and safe to be ingested, it’s typically the ingredient of choice for new moms. Once I learned how amazing it was, I used my trusted nipple balm on everything — cuts, dry skin, inside my kids’ nose in the winter and of course on my lips. But taking out a big ol’ tube of nipple balm at the dinner table is kind of awkward. That’s where Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips, $15, comes into the picture. 100% medical grade lanolin, it’s an amazing lip healer, but it’s also a makeup-bag essential for fixing up dry patches or as an intense eye cream. A makeup artist recently dabbed it on my dry nose and forehead to smooth my skin under my makeup. The tube will last you ages and you too can discover the wonder that is nipple balm — for lips!
For more of our dry lip favorites, click here.
I first discovered calendula when my son had diaper rash that just wouldn’t. Go. Away. I tried all the bum creams, ointments and pastes I could get my hands on but nothing really worked till some guru-mom suggested California Baby Calendula Cream, $13. Within one day, his diaper rash was cleared. If it ever comes back, just a touch of calendula will take care of it. If it can do that to Ian’s sensitive baby tush, imagine what it can do to your dry skin. With properties that reduce inflammation and soothe irritation, it can calm almost any skin flare up — especially when it’s exposed to harsh winter weather. If this sounds good to you too, here are a few other incredible calendula products to check out:
My legs are dry. Really dry. But as of late, it’s too hot and humid to slather on sticky lotion so I’m turning to my old standby: body oil. Now, I know what you’re thinking because it’s what my sister said: “That’s worse than lotion, all greasy and stick-to-your-clothes-y.” But hear me out: Oils are amazing at protecting the skin’s lipid barrier and they prevent moisture from evaporating from your skin. If you apply body oil in the shower while you’re still damp, it absorbs best and it doesn’t sit on top of your skin (but be careful since it can make the shower ultra-slippery). By the time you’re ready to get dressed, you will be dry and perfectly moisturized. My one word of caution (okay, the second, if you count the slipping), don’t use body oil if you’re going out in the sun or you could fry yourself — literally. Okay, now that I got that over with, I’ll get to the good stuff. Here are my top body oil picks:
Classic: Neutrogena Body Oil, Light Sesame Formula, $10
This is my old stand-by (and really everyone else’s) because it works wonders on tricky dry spots like knees and elbows. Sesame seed oil softens skin and holds in moisture. This body oil also comes in a fragrance free variety, which totally sold me.
Beach-y: Bobbi Brown Beach Body Oil, $30
If summer-luxe is what you’re after, this is the oil for you. With a sensual sheen and Bobbi Brown’s Beach Fragrance, it screams glamorous summer afternoons — totally decadent. This blend contains essential oils (olive, sesame, avocado and jojoba) along with Vitamins E and C to nourish skin.
Natural: Burt’s Bees Lemon and Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil, $8
This 100% natural blend uses lemon oil, vitamin E (obvs), and sweet almond oil to balance and moisturize your skin. The summery, lemon scent is perfect on it’s own, but also makes any other fragrance even better.
Scented: Body Shop Beautifying Oils, $14
Available in ten fragrances, ranging from olive oil to strawberry, this lightweight blend of nut oils is super hydrating and leaves a slightly shimmery finish.
After a day at the beach, this is the perfect product to replenish skin and give you a gorgeous glow. Plant oils and vitamin E nourish and repair skin, while golden particles give you a healthy, glam-beach-babe sheen that subtly hides imperfections and makes skin look luminous. You can even ruffle through your hair for a bit of volume and shine.
What say you? Body lotion or body oil?
– Carrie Stern Kleiner
The Product: Lather Ugandan Shea Butter, $17 (1.8 oz)
Why: This unscented shea and vitamin E “butter” came in quite handy during a quick business trip I took last week. Because it’s solid, I could keep it in my carry-on bag and not have to pull it out while going through security. Very convenient. But, the main reason why I had to travel with this is because I needed something deeply moisturizing to slather on my growing belly — yup, I’m pregnant. I’ve been using body oils to keep my skin supple while at home — and to hopefully help prevent stretch marks — but I couldn’t travel with the large bottle of liquid and even if I could have, oils are risky to pack. One spill can leave the rest of your toiletries, or worse, your clothes a total mess.
When you first scoop out this butter, you’ll be surprised at how hard it seems. I didn’t think it would spread easily enough to cover an entire area like my stomach. But, once you warm up the product by rubbing it between your fingers, it somewhat melts and allows you to easily glide it over any spots that need extra moisture. Feet, knees, elbows and hands are what this is commonly used for, but I love how soft and hydrated it left my midsection. Although I won’t be traveling for a while, I will continue to use this.
What product are you obsessed with right now? Tell us about it by commenting on this post.
The Product: Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion, $9.27
Why: I recently got some fabulous dry skin advice from NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Arielle Kauvar when I interviewed her for a story I was writing for Makeup.com. The 10 tips I shared about dry skin included this one:
“Tip 1: Look for quality moisturizers. They should contain ‘humectants (ingredients that draw water in like glycerin, hyaluronic acid) and emollients which are oils and lipids (like mineral oil, shea butter and ceramides) that seal the moisture in and help keep a protective barrier on the surface of the skin,’ says Kauvar. Try Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.”
Because I was having a dry skin moment myself, I immediately ran to Target and picked up a bottle of the recommended Aveeno body lotion. And, within a few uses, my itchy dry skin was no longer an annoyance. The best part? Because my back was so dry and itchy, I convinced my husband that he had to massage it onto my back nightly — it was a very sneaky (albeit necessary) way to get a mini massage out of him.
If you want to see the other nine tips I shared on Makeup.com check out Fast Help For Dry Skin.
Did you miss the Problem Solver of the Week #22? See it here.