Winter glow is possible. Here’s how I got my skin to behave in Paris

Crocodiles and me have one thing in common, dry-as-a-bone kinda skin. That scaly, wrung-out skin is not an easy one to battle with. Yet, I struggled with it every year especially in the winters. And every year, I would just take it easy, apply a thick moisturiser that feels like I added another layer onto my skin and call it a day. In the beginning of 2019, I was in Paris and I managed to carry a few essentials with me, carefully-curated of course, to create the ideal face of my dreams. The homework and research paid off, because I had spectacularly glowing skin sans filters. I’ll admit, the non-polluted air and the weather in Europe did add to my efforts, but 99% of the time, I’m happy to admit that it was my efforts. Self-pat on the back but also, brilliant products. If there’s one thing I learnt this year, it’s not only about using the right ingredients, but mixing and matching ones that really work. An added plus, never going by hype – hyped products are just never living up to my expectations. I do think that some products in this mix were just average – and they worked alongside the others but that’s about it. Here’s what I did use to get the right results and carpe-d the diem with:

Makeup Remover: Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water

2019 was the year for micellar waters so I started off with the Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water that was all over Instagram for being a budget-friendly option to Bioderma. Truth be told, it’s just a-okay. It removed makeup, but also did not work with strong, waterproof mascaras – took a lot of cotton pads to get the job done and there were still some remnants of racoon. On the other hand, I also did carry the very popular Lancôme Bi-facil make-up remover, I picked up a mini version alongside some much-needed Lancôme mascaras (Yes, Definicils) at duty-free. Lancome, honestly, is one of my most loved labels for beauty. Their Juicy tubes were really good, the Lancôme Paris Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation is my holy-grail too. But this popular 5-star rated remover didn’t really work – I much preferred the Garnier version.

Toner: MUJI Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Toning Water/Toner

This one is one underrated product – its light, no smell, no fuss, nothing dramatic but boy, it does soften the skin, prep it and add a bit of smoothness to rough, dry skin. Definitely a winner. The fact that it uses natural water from Japan Kamaishi prefecture is enough for me. Plus, it contains natural grapefruit extracts too.

Exfoliant: Pixi Glow Tonic

This one’s a classic and as you already know, I would use it sparingly. The good thing about Pixi is the way the products just work oh-so-effectively and you have results from the very first use. I usually never carry new products on travel – what if they react? But this one’s just helped change the texture of my skin. Also, I have not tested it in India, the humid weather etc included, so my review on that is still pending.

Glow-getter: The Ordinary Vitamin C

The Ordinary Vitamin C was introduced to me by my friend Sameera Reddy and this girl knows all about skincare and every ingredient on earth. In fact, she introduced me to a few gems I’m yet to jump on: Fresh, NARS and her trusted Baby Sukari from Drunk Elephant. In all honesty, she gave me an extra vitamin C she had and I sailed on with it. The good thing about Vitamin C is how effective it can be in such a small time – the skin literally acts like it’s hiding a 1000-watt-bulb inside it. The Ordinary products are a class apart and so affordable – I loved their AHA-BHA exfoliant and it’s a must-have on days I need a pick-me-up. But their Vitamin C is great – has a slight metallic taste to it, very oddly smelling but it does the job.

Moisturiser 1: Neutrogena Hydro Boost

Okay, let’s talk about this holy grail moisturiser that was mighty good for travel. I have a history of leaving stuff in hotel rooms – I literally lost my Clinique Moisture Surge a good 3 times so Neutrogena was a great alternative to carry around. Also, best time to test it out. I’m happy to report that it meets the demands of my skin head on and is great on all counts. It hydrates, gives you smoother skin and mostly, keeps it non-greasy and not too dry. Will I choose it over Moisture Surge? Maybe not. But will I buy it again? Yes, it’s a fail-safe option. Plus, it makes for a great primer too. Also, hyaluronic acid = #candonowrong.

Moisturiser 2: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

Perhaps the best thing I bought in Paris hands down. This best seller body and face cream just changed the way I saw French skincare. And that is, they come with big results and effective solutions. Its nourishing, creamy and is multi-purpose. It can be again used as a moisturiser, primer, a mask and even a cleanser – now that’s something. It contains many active ingredients that come with benefits: shea butter, beeswax, soy proteins and aloe vera. Now, my skin became ultra soft and smooth, even-toned and so nourished. Hands down, best thing. 

Sunscreen: Dr.Sheths Basic Brightening Daily Sunscreen

It’s a formula like no other. I’m always looking for sunscreens that sink in and not leave a white cast. And ones that instantly feel like they belong in your skin – so effortlessly layered on. Dr Sheths for me was a revelation – I am using their eye cream ( I’m still on the fence on that one) but the sunscreen wins my love immediately. It worked so well in Paris and my face was always glowing. It contains sunflower extracts that are good in repairing damaged skin and it has a slight edge on pigmentation as well. For me, this was the star of the show.

The final layer: Facial oils 

I’m happy to tell you that I discovered facial oils on this trip. And two of them were used regularly:

RAS Luxury Oils had a Skin-clearing Face Elixir that was in a travel size and boy, that was a great one to carry around.

The second one was the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir that I bought at Galleries Layfayette Sephora. Both added a good glow and made my skin shine. 

Now, that’s my story of how to get glowing skin on a winter holiday. This year am following through with another routine but I look back at this one in Paris and I’m glad I was regimented.