There’s this awful part of my personality that sometimes makes it difficult for me to empathize with people who live through experiences different from my own. I call it grumpy grandma syndrome because that’s how I usually sound. My little brother can’t find some information online necessary for his report? Hmph, when I was his age I had to cross my fingers that the CD-ROM for Encyclopedia Britannica wasn’t scratched or I would have to go the library and use the Dewey Decimal System. Tired? Drink coffee and keep it moving. Oh, your stomach hurts? They sell medicine for that.
I know I’m terrible.
So it serves me right that when winter turns into spring (and as summer turns into fall), my normally Teflon-tough skin becomes sensitized and irritated (I guess this is what the sensitive skin folks are always talking about). I’m lucky if I can squeeze in a random exfoliating wash, but for the most part the intense treatments that fill my typical cleansing routine are dropped faster than Myspace in 2005.
A few key adjustments carry me over the changing weather threshold. Salicylic and alpha hydroxy acid cleansers are replaced with mild formulas. Mario Badescu’s Keratoplast Cream Soap and Caudalie’s Gentle Cleanser remove dirt with a gentle hand, and Bliss’ Triple Oxygen Foam cleans with the added power of vitamin C and aloe for a refreshing and soothing wash. My friend Kristin swears by Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash and Simple Face Wipes, the only wipes she says, that won’t cause a breakout. For a luxurious deviation: La Mer the Cleansing Foam.
Moisturizers, both day and night are laid on thick. Murad’s Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisturizer is the most hydrating moisturizer I’ve tried in a while, and Dermalogica’s Barrier Repair heals my dry skin and irritated nose. CeraVe facial moisturizers (AM and PM formulas) soothe skin cost-effectively, averaging $12 per bottle.
I bury clay masks in the nether corners of my cabinet and draw hydrating treatments into the light. Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Mask locks in moisture thanks in part to its paper mold (that looks kind of like a Guy Fawkes disguise). Also mixed into the routine is Bliss’ Triple Oxygen Mask that brightens and restores my skin gently.
I’ll probably continue this scaled-back approach to skincare for the next few weeks until the weather and my skin meet at an agreeable equilibrium once more. Maybe I’ll learn to be more empathetic by then.