5 Tips to Go Through Cold Winters
I first wanted to name this post How to stay a fresh tulip during winter but then it sounded too much of a romantic comedy and I was more aiming for a winter-kicking manual kind of post. If Christmas and New year parties kept our mind busy with bubbles and cakes, away from that definition of cold, 2017 started with a little reminder of what a freaking freezing weather is. Well, in Paris, at least. Getting closer to February, all those -0° coldest temperatures certainly are behind us now, but winter is still here. That means 1) you're brave if you go out without gloves, 2) it is totally OK to have a cup of hot chocolate after work, 3) temperatures might drop again anytime so, better be ready.
For my first post of the year, I'm sharing with you 5 little tips to keep warm during winter to spring, and take care of your body and mind in the simpliest way. Obvisouly there's nothing groundbreaking, some are even of very common sense – don't worry, no, it does not include the classic Put layers of clothes and cover your hands and face … I would sound like a mum and you would stop reading (but, this is still very important, I mean, gloves are cool friends). Here are my 5 let's-beat-that-freezing-winter tips!
_____1) Stick with a natural hydrating crème
Not only people with sensitive complexions have to face this problem during winter: the cold and biting wind make our skin dry, red and even sometimes itchy at the end of the day. Rather than applying tons of products before going to bed with that I'll-apply-more-to-get-more-results pretty wrong idea, stick with one cream that does the job. A natural, very hydrating one. Moisturazing lotions might work in the short-term, but quickly dry air will make it evaporate and it will lose its effects. Prefer a cream with only natural ingredients, you don't want to feed your skin some too chemical stuff at this time of the year, go for shea butter, almond or honey products (and it smells amazing, right?).
I personnaly use the Skin Milk Udder Cream from MooGoo that I got in a drugstore in Sydney a few years ago. This seems to be the official hydrating cream there, an Aussie version of our Cicabiafine in France, I guess? The Milk Udder Cream was at the very beginning a thick cream used in dairy farms on, you guessed by the name, cows' udders to make them soft and in good condition for milking. Then the cool people of MooGoo – they call themselves part of the herd but they are true cosmetic chemists – adapted it for humans by making it lighter and non greasy. From there they extended to a very large range of skincare products (serums, cleanser, shampoo...), medics to treat eczema, acne and other skin problems, baby and even pets friendly products.* Back to the cream, it smells amazingly good, a light and sweet almond milk scent, but the kind of smell that makes you go Oh right, that's very Australian - maybe I don't make any sense to you but I understand myself. I apply it onto my face every night right before going to bed, and on my hands when I come back from the outside (my hands get very dry because of work but it instantly make them soft). Sometimes there's a small sensation of burning but it only happens on hands when they are too cracked by the cold, so make sure to warm them up before by rinsing with lukewarm water.
* check more about their philosophy and products on their friendly MooGoo site.
_____2) Always carry lip balm and hand cream
If there's one thing I always carry in my bag, aside phone and cookies, it's definitely lip balm. I can't go a single day without applying it – when waking up, after eating, after shower, before sleep. That became a habit. Maybe is it a revenge to all these childhood days when every winter I had red marks all around my mouth? Probably. As much as it is important to hydrate your face, it is to keep your lips moisturized, especially in winter when it easily get cracked. My tips are to have at least two different lip balms nearby ; one ''classic'' that you can apply all year round, several times a day, and a more pharmaceutic one for winter. On daily I use either Mixa or Neutrogena lip balms, and for deeper moisturazing, I use the Soin des lèvres by Amilab which you can find in every french pharmacy. It's the most efficient to me during winter with its 4 in 1 formula – soothing, moisturazing, repairing and protecting – and smells extremely good, almond and a bergamot orange touch (no, I'm not an almond milk scent freak). I also like to have one in my coat pockets and another on my night table so I can always have one on hand anytime of the day, and I still believe it is not enough I should have one for every bag I use because I still manage to lost them somehow. Also if you have time at least once a week, exfoliate your lips to get rid of all the little dead skins from cracks and apply a big amount of balm right after.
The same tips go to handcreams. At home I use the udder cream I talked above, but you agree it's not very convenient to carry a 120g cream bottle around. Huh. Pretty much like lip balms, I always have a small handcream in a pocket of my bag that I bring out whenever I have a free moment – in between classes, in car on the way to the supermarket, when I sit in the train. I used to using ORBIS hand treatment cream (more of a colourless, odorless watery gelée) and it worked very well but, I needed something which works + leaves a sweet smell. I switched to some makeup brands handcreams where they had very floral, fruity scented products (I admit I love the apricot tart one from Etude House) but it is often lacking that treatment dimension. So all these perfumed creams are nice for spring and summer, but in winter, you should definitely get something really moisturazing and repairing. Since last year I've been using handcreams from L'Occitane ; they have the perfect balance between soothing and heavenly good smelling. My friends got me the green tea/seville orange one last year and recently the neroli/orchid one for Christmas and I just don't want them to be empty.
_____3) Eat and drink warm
I know some says ice creams in winter taste the best, but eating and drinking warm is necessary in winter to keep your body in good conditions. Of course, putting more layers of clothes will warm your body up, but hot food and beverage will heat you from the inside, and that's pretty what we need. It is important to have something warm for breakfast and dinner, because these are when the temperatures are the coldest throughout the day (and it helps waking up in the morning!). Start the day with a big cup of café au lait or black tea, and have a hot pot or gratin for dinner, or go for a veggie soup if you wish for a lighter one. There's also some little tricks like adding grounded cinnamon to your morning porridge or having spicy meals – choices get real with indian, thai or korean food. I absolutely love curry or beef stew with large bowl of rice, these are my winter favorites with Vietnamese pho on cold days (well, to be honest I eat them all year-round).
Also, it is important to get enough good fat during winter as it helps you brave the cold by regulating your body temperature. Ingredients that are buttery, oily and containing unsaturated fats (fish, avocado, nuts...) are prefered to animal fats but, sometimes it is ok to havefat melting cheese dishes!
_____4) Hot bath over shower
Did I ever tell you how crazy I am about bathrooms? I could litterally spend hours on Instagram looking at gorgeous inspiring bathtubs (like, quite as much as I look at doggies pictures)*. I just love how intimate and relaxing bathtimes are, and quite nothing is greater than a long, hot bath at the end of the day. It is even more true in winter. I know showers are nice too – instant hot water, time saving, water saving, yes. But if you have the time, even if it's only once a week, take a long hot bath. Having the heat on every part of your body homogeneously warms your body better than when just showering and floating in the water will relax your muscles. Add bubble bath bombs and use good bath products and you'll instantly forget the outside cold!
* my favorite being the one from The Apartment by THE LINE, gorgeous bathroom goal.
_____5) Relax and enjoy winter
My last tip is a little bit special but I thought it was an important thing to point out. Cold weather, gloomy sky, feeling lazy and unproductive, it's sometimes difficult to be fully motivated and cheerful during winter. I'm not quite sure how you exactly catch winter blues, but I believe these are big part of it (and maybe not enought peanut butter cup). This is why winter is very tricky, bad mood leads to body tiredness and vice versa. So sometimes the best thing to do is to lay back from work, from all these people complaining about the cold, and make yourself some special time to relax. It is fine to roll-up in warm blankets, put on a movie and drink lemony earl grey all afternoon long. It is. If you are more of a bubbly bunny, drag your family for a walk and enjoy what winter offers: it might be freezing outside, but we sometimes forget to appreciate the beautiful colors of winter. And a mug of hot chocolate is even more enjoyable back home.
I personnaly like to make and think about some new projects, it gives you something to look forward to. I've been redecorating my room and planning summer holidays and that really kept me busy from all these winter blues thoughts. Also buying new hauls on the net is a vitamin to me, it makes me really excited and cheers me up to go through winter. This kind of mind-rewarding tricks also work with cakes, I must admit. Meeting friends in a café, having good meals.
You just have to find small things that makes you happy to enjoy winter at its fullest. After all, that's a quarter of the year, so better spend it in the most cheerful way!
Happy New Year and may 2017 be filled with
lot of surprises, laugh, love and chocolate pies!
I'll try to be more creative this year and I have a new project in mind for this summer..
Thank you for your support, and kick the last weeks of winter left!!