Thirst Quenchers: 5 picks to fight dry skin and hair

tips for dry skin and hair

So I thought I knew what dry winter skin and hair felt like. Ehh, not so much. The cold temps on the east coast have really proven what dry skin and hair feels (and looks) like. It’s been a constant battle to keep my skin — especially on my legs, for some odd reason — from drying out. And the ends of my hair? I’d almost given up on them. Almost. I’ve been experimenting with some different products to see what works in this weather, and have found a few promising solutions. And, as it happens, I was really inspired by Nichole’s post on things that are drying out your skin, so I decided I’d share my favorite products as of late (I’m guessing if she and I are battling dryness, we’re not the only ones!). Here’s what I’ve been using recently:

1. Weleda Skin Food. I know I’ve discussed this miracle cream before, but I can’t stop and won’t stop. I use it year round at night as my evening cream, but in the winter, I’ll sometimes dab a little bit on the extra dry spots on my face. It’s also great on hands. This stuff is SUPER thick — like, spackle, almost — but I swear by it. It leaves your skin wonderfully moisturized. I wake up in the mornings with smooth, supple skin that never feels taut or dry. I even got Joe using it!

2. Borage Therapy Dry Skin Lotion. I used to find this at the Whole Foods by me in SF, though I’m having a harder time with it here in NY. However, this body lotion is great in winter — it works on a cellular level, and seems to dramatically change the texture of dry skin. Use it for a week, and you’ll see incredible results. Not completely natural, but if you’re desperate (as I sometimes can be with winter skin), it really works. Until I find some or order it, I’ve been layering Tata Harper’s body oil with another lotion; it works well, but it’s still a constant battle.

3. Bumble + Bumble Quenching Complex. Okay y’all. So I’d tried everything on the ends of my hair. Oil treatments, conditioning treatments, not washing my hair, brushing more to distribute natural oils. Nothing was working. So I broke down and bought a (not natural) salon hair treatment. It is literally the only thing that has kept my hair moisturized, especially if I blow it out at home (which is usually only once a week). I use a quarter sized dollop of this and run it through my ends, then either let it air dry or blow dry. It actually seems to weigh my thick, very wavy hair down a little more, and keeps the ends from looking completely fried. Highly recommended if you have thick, dry hair like me!

4. Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation. I’m a huge proponent of using a cream based foundation in winter. Even if you’re not a foundation person (I’m not), powder always makes me extra dry. A cream foundation (and for that matter, concealer or blush too) blends so much better, and if you get a natural one like this, there are lots of oils in the base that will help moisturize and protect your skin throughout the day! This one is another good option if you want super light coverage, and just want to dot on some color.

5. Tata Harper Be True Lip Treatment. I keep a tube of this lip treatment on my nightstand, and every evening before hopping into bed, I slather this all over my lips. It’s 100% non-toxic and natural, with too many organic oils to count — and I wake up in the morning with soft, chap-free lips.

So now I wanna know — what do you swear by to battle dry skin and hair in the winter months?


Image Credits: Isabel Membrado via Flickr; Tec Petaja; print by Jason Brooks


Leave a Comment


  1. 12.19.13

    I’ve been trying to find a realy great (at least mostly) natural/clean body moisturizer for months! Kiehls creme de corps is the only thing that has worked for me in the past but I’ve been trying to find something paraben free/less toxic with not much success. Will definitely be looking at WF for the Borage Therapy!

    • 12.19.13
      Victoria McGinley said:

      Hi Elle! Yes, Borage is a good option…the ONLY downer is that some of the variants of their lotion have methylparaben. :( Look for the children’s variety, which doesn’t appear to have it!

  2. 12.19.13
    jillian said:

    great post! dry skin in the winter is the worst. xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  3. 12.19.13
    Maria said:

    Try John Masters Organics Lip Calm. They sell it at most Whole Foods locations in NYC. Also, for hair, the John Masters Organics bourbon vanilla & tangerine hair texturizer works wonders. You should use it sparingly. I rub just a ting bit into my hair around my face before blow drying it and then over the ends once I’ve finished blow drying. Keeps my hair soft and smooth. The lavender and avocado intensive conditioner is also great. You’d think I’d just bought John Masters Organics stock, eh? I just love the brand :)

  4. 12.19.13
    Tori said:

    I could buy Eucerin by the vat! I use soooo much of it in the winter! And my legs get really dry too, which is weird because I’m always wearing tights or pants, not a lot of cold air/skin contact.

  5. 12.19.13
    Crystalin said:

    I’m going to have to try the Weleda Skin Food, my skin is so dry right now!

  6. 12.19.13

    try rubbing coconut oil on your hair! it’s super nourishing and adds a healthy shine. also, i swear by aveeno products — soothing, odorless and relatively inexpensive.

  7. 12.19.13
    Ginet said:

    Don’t forget to exfoliate!

  8. 12.19.13

    i am definitely intrigued by the skin food…think i may have to give that a shot. i hear you on the dry legs…scaly skin is the worst!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  9. 12.19.13
    Virginia said:

    Try Fresh’s Seaberry Moisturizing Facial Oil and Terax’s Crema Daily Conditioner– as a survivor of Midwestern winters, this has come in VERY handy!

  10. 12.19.13

    I am SO glad I am not alone in this!! Ok, so questions. With the Weleda Skin Food, are you using it all over your face or just on the really dry areas? I was nervous to put it on my face since it says it’s mostly for hands, elbows, feet, etc.

    Have you tried other products from the Weleda line?

    I just bought some Tata Harper goodies this week after trying the sample starter kit! Her products are a breath of fresh air. Literally, they smell so clean and fresh. And, I really did notice more hydration. TATA FTW! I am really excited about your upcoming series with her.

    And thanks for the sweet mention! x

    • 12.19.13
      Victoria McGinley said:

      Yes, at night, I slather it allll over my face. Do it a little bit before bed so it has some time to soak in (like 5-10 minutes is fine…I often apply it and then read for a little while). It will certainly not leave you matte though, which is why if I use it during the day, I just use a little bit on the face.

  11. 12.19.13
    Nina said:

    Needed this…just felt my elbows and…yeah…Also love tata harper. Always worth the money.

  12. 12.20.13

    I’m going to order that face cream tonight! My face is just ridiculous at this time of year. I do well with Mario Badescu’s Control Cream underneath my moisturizer at night but I’m learning that it’s important to switch it up every once in awhile.

  13. 12.27.13
    Ailee said:

    I am ordering the Bumble & Bumble Quenching Complex now – my hair texture is just like yours!

  14. 1.1.14
    Rose said:

    I’ve been hearing about skin food for a while—and most people seem on opposite ends of the spectrum, some LOVE it and some HATE it. I have yet to purchase and take the plunge! I did switch to using coconut oil as a body lotion this past summer, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that it’s working well for me in the winter, too (I have super dry skin and have been battling eczema since I was 12).

  15. 1.6.14

    Nice list! That Weleda lotion looks like a must try since my skin tends to get parched in this winter weather.
    Off-topic question, what program or plugin do you use to create the image-maps on your site? Or do you have a link to any video tutorials on what you use to create them?

    • 1.6.14
      Victoria McGinley said:

      Hi Sasha — thanks for your comment! I actually write the image maps myself in HTML!