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I’m not sure if you guys are tired of hearing about my dry skin woes, but I’m back with even more complaining now that winter is in full swing and the dry air is really real. I’ve mentioned it before, but I have really dry and sensitive skin. Although Accutane cleared up my skin as a teen, a lot of the lipid production never came back when I stopped using the drug. Thus, I am missing a lot of the key components of hydration in the epidermis my skin. Because of this, I’ve been faced with the issue of relentlessly dry skin due to the fact traditional moisturizing products only hydrate in a superficial sense through the temporary addition of water and oil. Luckily, after extensive trial and error, I’ve come up with the holy grail of hydration for your face.

This routine can be broken down into two components: skin and lips. I don’t know about you, but if my lips are dry, I find it impossible to keep the skin region around my mouth hydrated too. I mean, it makes sense given that they’re connected.  Anyways, you’d be surprised at how much of a difference a good level of moisture in your lips can have on the overall hydration of your face. That’s why I’ve included the best, literally BEST EVER lip products in this post.

Handcrafted in Toronto and made from natural ingredients, the BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask hydrates lips like nothing I’ve tried before (Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is my second pick). It’s supposed to be a night mask, but I use it in the morning, evening and anytime throughout the day…. although that may be a bit excessive. It’s formulated to stay on for a really long time, so it definitely stays in place longer than other lip products on the market. I can’t speak highly enough about it, so try it and thank me later!

The second product is the BITE Beauty Agave Lip Balm. I know, same collection, but it’s just too good not to mention. This lip balm is really thick, so the perfect thing to protect your lips when you’re out and about this winter. I don’t know about you, but that Toronto wind totally destroys my lips after five minutes outside, so I always put this on before I go out the door. Hydration is great and all, but it’s also important to protect from drying in the first place. This product does just that.

Now let’s talk about skin. The following two Skinceuticals products virtually changed my life when it comes to helping my dryness. Both products are a gel formula and made without oils. For years I was loading my face up with creams and oils in an attempt to hydrate it. What I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t the oil or water that my face needed, but actually ceramides and fatty acids. By stopping adding oil to my skin, the sebum production balanced out and suddenly my face stopped flaking from dryness. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but less oil meant less dryness because lack of oil wasn’t the problem, so leaving that aspect alone made my face more balanced. Second, in switching from cream based products to gel ones, my skin was no longer being covered in a superficial layer of temporary hydration, so my pores weren’t getting clogged making redness and blotchiness significantly less.

The first product is the Skinceuticals Hydration B5 Gel. A combination of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), I use this serum every night before bed. My face starts to go a bit red if I use it morning and night because of sensitiviity from the active ingredients, but it’s recommended to be used twice a day if you have normal skin. HA is the natural lubricating element in our skin that decreases as we age. In addition to holding in skin’s moisture, it actually contains 1000 times it’s weight in water making it the number one way of feeding our skin with hydration. Secondly, Vitamin B5 is a “humectant” meaning that it attracts and retains water. This process stabilizes the skin’s barrier and reduces hydration loss. Basically, HA hydrates and Vitamin B5 keeps it that way for longer. These are the two ingredients you should be looking for in a moisturizing product.

The next product is the Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Masque. This product is recommended to be used two to three times weekly, but it’s a maximum of twice a week with my sensitive skin. This mask is basically a super dose of the above product dues to it’s 1% Hyaluronic Acid complex. This is an extremely active product, so it actually stings my face a bit and makes it red. The directions say to rub in excess product after fifteen minutes, but I wash it off due to sensitivity. Although it does irritate my face a bit, my face is more hydrated and happier than ever about twenty minutes after I was it off, so it’s worth it. This mask is a great way to supplement for all the moisture lost and skin imbalances caused by makeup wear.

That’s it my friends! Let me know if you try any of the above. I promise you’ll love these products! You can also shop them by clicking the images above.

Sidenote: The image below is my other skincare weapon. Having a humidifier will help you to wake up looking dewy during those dry Toronto winter months. I use and love the Rowenta Aqua Perfect Humidifier.