Claire’s Skincare Favorites

Product details at bottom. 

Ok, disclaimer: I have really dry skin. Like, extremely. I’m not very prone to breakouts, which sounds great, but it’s only because my skin is so dry! So for all of you with a similar skin type (or people who find their skin suffering in the winter with all the dry, cold air), here is my list of favorite skincare products to help keep your skin soft, glowy, and moisturized –even in the middle of winter.


Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash:

Some of you probably remember this one from childhood. It was a staple in our house when we were little. But this multipurpose baby wash has a few tricks up its sleeve…even for grown ups! Believe it or not, this is the best makeup remover I’ve ever used. It holds its own against even the most expensive pro makeup removers, for a fraction of the price. It even removes waterproof mascara! It’s also hypoallergenic and extra gentle –it’s designed for use on delicate newborn skin. I’ve recommended this to a few friends who have sensitive skin, and it’s quickly become a must-have for them too. I use it to remove makeup at the end of the day or whenever I want to wash my face. Add a little to a washcloth or whatever you use to wash your face, or just lather up with your hands.

St. Ives Apricot Fresh Skin Scrub:

This inexpensive face scrub has been the recipient of several awards and is well loved by pretty much anyone who uses it. Also, it smells like heaven! I use it once a week in the shower (it’s easier to wash the exfoliants away that way). I initially tried it after hearing about its awards and inexpensive price. I also liked that it uses crushed walnut shells as an exfoliant –the plastic microbeads found in some exfoliants are harmful to the environment. The first time I tried it, I was hooked. There was a noticeable difference in the way my skin felt to the touch. It was super soft! But the real proof came when my aunt, who was visiting from out of town, asked what I was using on my skin, saying it looked really soft and glowy! Even my mom noticed (and is now also a loyal user). This scrub is a godsend any time of the year, but especially in the winter, when dead skin cells can make the surface of your skin look a little dull because of the harsh air.

up&up Oil Free Facial Moisturizer:

Yup, good old Target! This facial moisturizer gives you incredible bang for your buck. I apply it every morning before makeup and after showers (and of course after exfoliating with my St. Ives scrub). It moisturizes well, but isn’t too heavy. I also find it helps my makeup blend a little better. Dry skin can make makeup look flaky! If you haven’t found a good face moisturizer you like yet, give this one a try.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Suncreen, broad spectrum SPF 45:

Guys, I use an ultraviolet light at work to sterilize stuff. It turns plastic so brittle you can put your finger through it accidentally. It turns styrofoam weak and yellow. Imagine what it does to your skin. Many skin cancers are preventable with good sun care…not to mention wrinkles! I know, I know, I’m not your mom. Lecture over! I love the way this sunscreen feels on my skin. When they say sheer, they mean it! It feels like face moisturizer, nothing more. It never feels greasy and can be worn daily under makeup or bare faced. I’ve been using this since I was a kid, when my mom was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma as a direct result of too much sun exposure. It’s always been my favorite brand of sunscreen. In the summer, I carry a mini bottle with me in my purse at all times…I burn really easily so it’s good to carry backup, but also I just really like its scent.

Nivea Original Daily Moisture body lotion:

I bought this lotion in desperation to use on my legs. If I’m not constantly slathering heavy duty lotion on them, they look like they’re covered in alligator scales. Not a good look. I’ve tried a lot of different lotions over the years. Most just weren’t up to the task and lasted only a few hours, if they made any impact at all. Some did the job, but were so thick and greasy that I felt gross and was worried about my bedsheets. I even tried some fancy medicated lotion but hated the way it smelled. So on one of my Target trips, I grabbed a bottle of this. My grandma has been a Nivea devotee since I was little, and I figured if it was good enough for Grandma, it’s good enough for me. I seriously cannot emphasize how amazing this lotion turned out to be. I put some on, went about my day, and went to bed. The next day when I woke up, my skin was still soft and moisturized. Not an alligator scale in sight. I couldn’t believe it. This stuff is deceptively sheer and non-greasy for the punch it packs. A few weeks ago I took it with me on a weekend trip to Chicago, and that night I got a text from my boyfriend…wanting to know “where that really good Nivea stuff went.” Apparently he likes to put it on his elbows. Go figure.

Nivea Milk and Honey Lip Care: 

After the success I had with the body lotion, I decided to give Nivea’s lip balm a try. This was a big deal for me, because I’m allergic to most lip care products (and hives on your lips are not a good look). I’m happy to report that I’m not allergic to this one, and that I absolutely love it. I’ve also since tried their Mint and Minerals lip balm and their Moisture balm, and I liked those too. Currently I’ve got one in my coat pocket, my car, and my purse (also, this is the only lip balm I’ve ever managed to use up entirely before losing the tube).

Extra virgin olive oil:

This one is about as simple as it gets. My hands are my biggest culprit for dry skin. If I don’t take care of them in the winter, they actually crack and bleed. So about once a week, I pour myself a little bowl of EVOO and basically slather it all over my hands. Then I just sit for a while and wait (usually while watching Sex and the City reruns). If my skin is really in bad shape, I’ll wrap my hands in a hot, damp towel to help them absorb the oil. Then I just wash it away and put on some lotion. It helps keep my skin moisturized, but it also keeps my cuticles and nails from drying out too.

Johnson’s Baby Lotion:

Here it is. My absolute favorite. I go nowhere without my baby lotion. It is, hands down (no pun intended), the best hand lotion I have ever used. Nothing beats it. This is a pretty thick lotion and leaves my hands feeling deeply moisturized, like after you get a manicure, but it leaves no greasy film. I can apply it without fear of those gross smudges on my phone screen from putting on hand lotion. I’ve tried many a hand lotion over the years –again, because of that lovely cracking and bleeding thing my fingers do in the winter –but nothing comes close to this one. I work in a hospital and the hand soap in the bathrooms basically removes the top layer of your skin (or so it feels like), so I apply this lotion immediately after washing my hands every time. I left it at home once and it was a bad, bad day.