Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Do You Have Dry Winter Skin?

Well, I hope you're not suffering as much as the lady on the right, but I do bear a vague resemblance to her, at the moment, every time I venture out into the icy weather! Fortunately, unlike the brazen lady in the portrait, I always wear a coat, when going out, in winter, so only my face is affected.

I had no problem with my skin, until I was 13 years old. Quite suddenly, I developed spots and plenty of them. I worked my way through many products, before I finally realised that my skin was sensitive, as well as prone to spots. Any medical treatment for spots was generally too harsh for my skin and I was in my late teens, before my Doctor was finally able to prescribe something, which actually helped my condition.

After a lot of trial and error, I found some skin care products which suited me, but a couple of years later, the range was discontinued and I was forced to go through the whole frustrating process, of finding some suitable alternatives all over again. This pattern has been repeated throughout my life and it has caused a lot of expense at times.

My skin improved gradually, until my late twenties, when I became pregnant. Once more, I developed a lot of unsightly spots, but, after switching to Elizabeth Arden products, the condition of my skin improved considerably. Fortunately, many years passed by, before part of the range I used was discontinued and then, after floundering for a while, I found that I could use some of the Boots No 7 range, instead. I'm rarely sure exactly what causes my skin to react, of course, but, for anyone who seems to suffer in a similar way, I have compiled a list, below, of the products I can use, which seem to suit my sensitive skin:

Cleanser - Boots No 7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Cleanser, normal/dry skin.

Moisturiser - Elizabeth Arden Daily Moisture. (It's great but it costs more than I want to pay, even when I buy it from Superdrug.)

Moisturiser for cold weather - Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex. (Even more expensive, but good.)

Foundation, face powder, eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick - Boots No 7. (I couldn't wear the mascara or lipstick every day, however and the lipstick does make my lips a bit dry!)

Lip balm - Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.

Deodorant - Vaseline Intensive Care (not the one with aloe vera) and Sanex dermo sensitive.

Shower Cream- Sanex dermo sensitive lactoserum for sensitive skin. (Not the others in the range.)

Hand and body lotion - Vaseline Intensive Care. (Not the one with aloe vera.)

Mouthwash - Dentyl.

I've suffered so many reactions to different cosmetics, in the past, that, for the last few years, I have sometimes turned to natural treatments instead. I've tried out various treatments recommended in magazine articles, or books and a few of these, which have proved effective for me are detailed below:

A tablespoon of honey, mixed with 2 of olive oil has proved a lovely moisturiser for
my neck. I brush it on with a soft brush, leave it for anything from 10 to 30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. I have also used it on my decollete and face. I have never left it on my face for longer than 10 minutes, however and always avoid the delicate area under my eyes. I also find that the mixture is wonderful for dry hands, when massaged in and left for 10 minutes. This treatment shouldn't be used more than once a week.

A mixture of honey and yogurt makes a good face mask for my skin. I use half a carton of plain unsweetened yogurt and mix in 2 teaspoons of honey. I leave it on for 5 minutes, then rinse off with cold water.

I sometimes use a banana face mask for sore, dry, winter skin, which nothing else will soothe. The mask consists of a mashed banana mixed up with a teaspoon of honey and a little cream. I apply it to my face and leave it for about 10 minutes, before rinsing off with warm water.

An avocado mashed with a banana and 1 tablespoon of thick cream has proved an effective dry skin relief, on occasions, for my lower legs. I usually leave it on for about 10 minutes.

If you fancy trying any of the treatments mentioned above, for yourself, don't forget to bear in mind that my skin is mature, as well as sensitive. It would probably be best if you don't test out any of them the day before going out somewhere special, just in case they don't work for you. I know what it's like to wake up covered in spots on the day you're supposed to be going to a wedding or some other big event. I'm sure I hardly need to mention, either, that these treatments can be a little messy and are best applied in the bathroom! Don't forget to let anyone else in the house know, that you don't want to be disturbed for at least half an hour!

Do you have sensitive skin? Have you discovered a product range, which suits you? The products I currently use are bound to be discontinued eventually, so I would be grateful of any suggestions of others I could try, particularly if they are cheap! Do you have any favourite 'beauty' tips, you would like to share?

Note to Grumpy Old Ken: I do apologise for publishing such a girlie post, but it covers a subject, which is very close to my heart, particularly in winter. Please let me know how you get on with the banana mask!


auntiegwen said...

My skin is awful, I have spots on my chin that should belong to a 14 year old and wrinkles around my eyes and one particular feck off crease from nose to L side of mouth.

If you have any tips that work for greasy teenage skin and dry old lady skin on the same feckin face please let me know x

ps I usually use Liz Earle cleanse and polish but I've ran out

Jennysmith said...

wonderful post my dear. I'm really with you on vaseline particularly. What do you think of E45? That seems to be the only thing that works on my hands.

Have wanted to try No.7 and you've given me that final push.

Great treatments you've listed there. Will try most of those. The only one i really know is for hands - a mixture of vaseline and olive oil and then putting on disposable gloves or just clingfilm for 10 minutes or so. Or you can apply it before you put on rubbers gloves for washing up!


Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

Well, apart from being relieved you bear no resemblance to the rather red lady in the picture - ! - this was a very interesting subject for a post.

I have never, luckily, suffered from the spots, althugh my two boys, bless them, did, thankfully over it now. But dry, sensitive skin is the bane of my life.

Especially hands. I buy a hand lotion on line from a web site called http://www.allergybestbuys.com/
they sell all sorts for sensitive skin, and are very professional and efficient with delivery/puchasing etc.

The hand lotion is particularly good for sensitive skin, it is called Gloves In a Bottle, and is very soothing and all their products are for allergy sufferers. May be worth taking a look on there perhaps?

Letty ;0)))))))))

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

As my comment was so proving long, I decided to comment twice, otherwise I would have written the equivalent of a loooooooooooong blog post!

The other stuff I use on my face is very good, Boots and Sainsburys sell it, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Ultimate Moisture Day cream and night cream. This seems to be fairly allergy free, but as you will know, it takes a lot of experimenting before you find the right product. I use "Simple" cleansing lotion, and sometimes a night cream which came out tops in a recent survey of both expensive and inexpensive facial creams, from ALDI. Their Siana range.

I have loads more suggestions, you know my email (on the dog blog profile) if you want to email me anytime, that would be great!

Youngest Son, had the same problem, sensitive skin and spots, so I have been through it with him too!

Sorry to be so long winded, also now I am hungry because your skin soothing recipes have made me so!!!!! mmmmmm!

Letty ;0)))))))))))))))))))))))

Working mum said...

I have had allergic reactions to some products, notably Clarins, so now I tend to use Clinique. I quite like Nivea products, too.

I find deodorant really difficult though - very agressive reactions to most - can't use sprays or roll ons. Pure and Simple stick was great, but now, as you pointed out, I have trouble finding it, so I'm trying Dove stick. OK so far, I think, noone has backed away from me!

Maggie May said...

I do have dry winter skin if I don't smooth in oodles of E45. It is one of the few things that doesn't cause me to come out in an itchy rash. I used to use Boots Cucumber moisturiser, then they stuck in some sun lotion that caused my skin to fare up.I find I am best if I use DOVE soap but if I use the body wash that causes me to itch.
I can use any lip salve.
Most deodorants and baby talc.
Any make up is fine but I don't wear it every day.

Suburbia said...

avocado mashed with a banana......I used to feed this to my daughter when she was a baby!

My hands are very dry right now. I generally have to 'sit it out' and wait for the weather to go away (and remember my marigolds)

Mean Mom said...

auntiegwen - Believe it, or not, my nose and forehead, still seem slightly greasy, at times, even at 55. I still have the odd spot, too. I would never have expected it. I must have a very odd mixture of hormones. You, too, from the sound of it. I haven't heard of Liz Earle. Is that as expensive as Elizabeth Arden? It sounds as if it might be.

Jen - Thanks! I bought E45 for my son, when he had eczema as a youngster. It dawned upon me that it might be the answer for me, but it wasn't, unfortunately. Even the lip balm skins my lips. There's just no rhyme or reason, it seems.

I was amazed when I found out that I could use most of the No 7 range. (Not the moisturiser.) It was quite cheap, when I first started using it. Some of my friends also switched to it, after that Protect and Perfect became the new miracle cream. It hasn't caused any problems for them, so I hope it works for you. Prices are creeping up, though. Protect and Perfect is particularly expensive. Clingfilm over hand mixture! Of course! Never thought of that!

Letty - 2 of my lads also suffered from spots. It's even more difficult to find a treatment for boys.

That website sounds very interesting, thanks. I'm definitely going to have a look at that.

I have wondered about Norwegian Formula, before. I thought that the Simple range would definitely suit me. How could it not? But it didn't. Why, for heaven's sake? There's supposed to be hardly anything in it.

Yes, I know what you mean. Everything is a risk. Sometimes it can take 10 days or so, before I experience a reaction.

Working mum - Yes, I've tried Clarins and it didn't suit me. I once allowed the Clinique rep to use some products on me, and I had some spots, 2 hours later, by the time I got home. Unbelievable!

Deodorants are a real problem aren't they? They often make me itch under my arms, or make my skin sore. Occasionally, I have found one which doesn't cause a reaction, but then, it isn't effective! What good is that? I worry that the 2 I can use will stop working, for me. A lot of people seem to be doing well with Dove products, which I have never tried.

Maggie May - I was surprised to find out that I couldn't use E45. My son, who had eczema and still has to be careful, is fine with it. It's so annoying when they change the formula for products. The last large jar of Vaseline I bought seems different. I don't understand what's going on. I could swear that they've changed something. It seems much thinner and looks more like lip gloss, when I put it on my lips.

Suburbia - But did she suffer from dry skin? ;0)

If you have dry hands, why not give the olive oil and honey a try. Otherwise, buy a pair of cotton gloves, put on lashings of an effective hand cream and sleep in the gloves overnight, or for as long as you can. I bought my cotton gloves from a camera shop. I think photographers use them for developing and stuff. I have also seen handcream and cotton gloves sold in sets in department stores, such as Debenhams. There's also the internet, of course.

Mean Mom said...

Letty - Forgot to say, I will email tomorrow.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Don't have sensitive skin so can't help I'm afraid. I'm going to try a couple of your tips on here though! Ta hen.

Mean Mom said...

MOB - You are SO lucky!

Anonymous said...

My skin can be sensitive, dry and spotty. Nice.
I have found that the best products for me are cheap and cheerful, Boots aqueous cream as a cleanser (under £3!), E45 as moisturiser, Neotrogena 6 hour protection lip balm - brilliant.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I went through the usual teenage spots and tried many products until I finally settled on using Boots cucumber wipes (this being a more recent addition to the routine)to take off any make-up, wash my face thoroughly with Wrights Coal Tar soap, splash with cold water and let my face almost dry before I use Boots Cucumber moisturiser. I use Boots No 7 make-up. Works for me. My mother and her sisters (all in their 80's) have wonderful skin - I'm not quite in their league. A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Me again - should have added my skin not too sensitive though do have a problem from time to time. Also use Vaseline on lips. A

The Queen Team said...

I came across your blog and wanted to write to say that our company, Queen, specialises in products for sensitive skin. That's all we do, the company is 82 years old and never changes its formulations (very classic - some might say old-school - products). No perfume, as few ingredients as possible and simple formulations. We are always very pleased to send samples to people so they can try before they buy. I enjoyed your post and am pleased to have found your blog. I am not trying to advertise but of course respect it might look like that!

The Vintage Kitten said...

I too am sensitive to certain products. I was more sensitive to things when I was younger, although some things still bring on an allergic reaction. I used to love Camay soap but it brought me out in a terrible rash, but I have been thinking of trying it again as my skin is less sensitive these days. It was at its worst when I was 19 and a dental nurse. The chemicals made my hands look like they had been burnt and I had to go to hospital for tests. Apparantely Im allergic to a long list of things including sellotape and knives and forks!!! Nickel is a trigger for me too. Sometimes my perfume itches me (Chanel 19) and other times it doesnt so I think alot of it is probably my hormones too. I once had a small spot I wanted rid of quickly and used TCP, Oh my god within a couple of hours I looked like the singing detective, my whole face erupted into a hideous mess. Recently I bought fairy washing up liquid that had Aloe Vera in it and my hands started itching but plain old fairy is fine. And I just stick with Fairy soap in the bathroom. X P.S. Great comment about the dog in the bag....I dont think I will go that far with Pippin though LOL! X

Rose said...

Although there are many things about my skin I would like to change--the wrinkles and strange new places called "age spots," I believe--I've been fortunate never to have sensitive skin. I do get very dry skin in the winter and go through bottles and bottles of lotion. Eucerin works well for me for any place other than my face.

I like all your natural remedies, though; I'm going to have to try some of them, especially the honey and olive oil.

aims said...

Thanks MM!

Living on the dry prairie means it's nothing but 'dry' here. The winter only makes it worse!

I've watched The Man who has very sensitive skin develop huge red patches overnight when it gets just a bit dryer. I feel terrible for him because they look awful and must hurt at times.

These 'natural' treatments might just do the trick.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Me again, again - just to say there is an award for you at my blog. A x

Mean Mom said...

Mud - I've used Aqueous as a moisturiser, before now, but not as a cleanser. My mother also used Neutrogena lip balm, so I tried it, but that one fetches the skin off my lips, too. Can't understand this problem with lip balms.

Strawberry - Boots seem to be doing well in the skin product department, at the moment. I might try some of that cucumber moisturiser. If it doesn't suit my face, I can use it up on my body, because that doesn't seem to be sensitive to lotions, only shower gel.

Thanks so much for giving me the award. You are spoiling me. It's great!

The Queen Team - Thanks for that information. I will call by and have a look. Sounds interesting.

The Vintage Kitten - Oh, dear - allergic to knives and forks. Well, there's always fingers, I suppose! You have some really interesting allergies!

I'm not the only one who has a problem with aloe vera, then!

It's a relief that people seem to finally understand that spots can be caused by hormones. I used to get fed up of people telling me that I ate too many chips and too much chocolate, when I knew that I didn't!

I'm quite relieved, I think, that you're not getting a doggy bag for Pippin. ;0)

Mean Mom said...

Rose - You are lucky to have never had sensitive skin. I haven't heard of Eucerin. I seem to have a couple of age spots, too. What on earth can you do about those? Nothing, I suspect. ;0(

Grumpy Old Ken said...

My wife enjoyed your blog. She says you don't need all these preparations. She says too you don't half look like greta Garbo.

Robin said...

I don't have sensitive skin, but my hands get dry and cracked in the winter. I find the best thing I can do is use Neosporin when the skin actual cracks.

Also for some reason this post made me hungry.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I use natural olive soap in a bar shape to wash my face with warm water and a washcloth. I also use it to wash my hair, because I have eczema on my head. This works very well and leaves my face and hair very clean and soft and doesn´t hurt my head.

Mean Mom said...

Grumpy Old Ken - You got yourself out of that one very well! I'm glad that your wife enjoyed my post. I do bear an odd resemblance to Greta Garbo, you're right, but, fortunately, I'm not quite as dead. ;0)

Robin - Oooh! That sounds painful. I haven't heard of Neosporin.

The Finely Tuned Woman - That sounds interesting. My middle son has had problems with a rash in his hair, for the last few months. Our GP thought that it might be eczema related. He gave him some sort of steroid treatment for it. I suspect that we don't have olive soap over here. I shall search on the internet. You never know.

Liz said...

I was writing about herbal skin treatments last week: I wish I had read your post then!

How horrid to suffer so much with your skin.