skin week

The French Lotion That Banished My Winter Ashiness

I’m never buying another winter moisturizer again. Photo: Courtesy of the retailer

A version of this story originally appeared on the Strategist U.S.

Growing up in a black family, my mother and sisters instilled in me that one should never leave the house ashy. Nowadays, my ritual consists of moisturizing immediately after showering or before I leave the house (whichever comes first). This winter, though, has left me ashier than ever. Newly a freelancer, I spend much of my time in my apartment near a radiator that’s always on full-blast. It’s given me itchy and flaky patches that my usual moisturizers — Philosophy’s Pure Grace and Vaseline’s Cocoa Radiant — were no match for.

I was about ready to slather myself in Eucerin (which I consider a last resort because it takes so long to dry), before I found a bottle of Avène’s TriXera Nutrition Nutri-Fluid Lotion in a cupboard — a remnant of my beauty-editor days. I tried it without any expectations, but it’s turned out to be a winter lifesaver. Like Eucerin, it goes on smooth, with no offensive smell, but unlike Eucerin, it’s milky rather than messy. I can go to bed immediately after putting it on without worrying it’ll ruin my sheets. It calms any itching I have on contact. And — most importantly — there’s no ash in sight even hours after I apply. That’s likely because unlike lighter lotions like Pure Grace and Vaseline, the Avène comes packed with moisturizing fatty acids and skin-barrier-strengthening ceramides (which the Cut called “a secret fountain of youth”).

The stuff left me so gobsmacked I posted about it on my Instagram Stories, calling it my winter BFF. Four friends DM’d me to sing its praises. Others told me they had just bought some for themselves. One even suggested I put it in on my face and store extra in travel bottles for the gym. It was great on my face, of course — it’s not greasy and my sunscreen layers perfectly right on top. The goop is a happy medium between the lightness of my old lotions and the ash-fighting moisture of Eucerin. I just bought myself a bigger bottle — and I’m never buying a different winter moisturizer again.

More Strategist-approved winter moisturizers

Photo: Greg Marino/©2015 Greg Marino, all rights reserved

A favourite of Rio’s, which she calls great “for super-dry and eczema-prone skin. I love this serum for days when my skin feels particularly flaky and itchy — all too common during these winter months. This essentially acts as a shot of hydration, giving your skin a nice boost of moisture on days when just your moisturizer isn’t enough.”

When contributor Tabatha Leggett moved to Finland, she had to change her skincare routine to adapt to the harsh winters. “All the Finnish people I talked to told me that the worst thing you can do in cold weather is to use a moisturiser with an oil or gel base, which is what I had been doing (I was using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel). Face oils don’t hydrate the skin, so you need a cream-based moisturiser instead. Luckily I didn’t need to look for long because everyone recommended the exact same product: Lumene’s Sisu Moisture Remedy.”

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The French Lotion That Banished My Winter Ashiness