Instead of Christmas presents each year, my parents decided it would be far more memorable to give each of their children a trip of their choice. Unlike my siblings, who are all burdened by children and spouses, I remain husband-less (not by choice), and am therefore the easiest candidate to bring to Europe. So each year, my parents and I enjoy a month-long trip in a different European country. This year, we chose the Czech Republic – more specifically, Prague.
In December, the temperature in Prague in December is below freezing. There's also a bitter wind and a sunless sky. Have I learned my lesson each year when I find myself packing parkas instead of swimsuits? Nope.
I love Europe, and I don’t think there are many places better suited to spend an authentic Christmas. With that being said, my skin does not agree with Europe. The cold, dry air is so taxing that my skin almost blisters and begins to flake off. As someone who cares more about their skin than their overall health and well being (I wouldn’t recommend living like that), I am disturbed deeply. However, I decided to come prepared this year.
Here is my list of winter travel essentials:
I decided to bring along this cleanser. Enriched with apple seeds (which contain monounsaturated fatty acids – great for the skin), this cleanser foams into a nice, silky lather. It removes makeup residue, extra oils, and all other sorts of impurities from the day. The apple seed oil helps restore any moisture lost during cleansing and melts away any dead skin. As an added bonus, it smells likes apples. Yummy! After cleansing, my face never feels tight or rough as it does with other deep cleansers. It feels supple and ready to soak in my next hydrating step.
I use this serum right after washing my face because it is the easiest and most effective time for it to sink in. Made with organic Jeju green tea leaves & seeds, it deeply hydrates your skin while creating a moisture barrier, keeping your skin hydrated longer. It’s rich in amino acids and minerals. Furthermore, it doesn’t leave an aggressive oily residue to “prove” how hydrating it is. It simply melts into your skin and leaves you feeling refreshed. I absolutely love it!
My favorite thing about this moisturizer is the look on people’s faces when I pull it out. “I’m sorry, snail what?” Snail Extract! And 92% of it, at that! Despite the suspicious glances I receive, this product is a favorite among millions of people. It hydrates your skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines, acne, and scarring. Also, it’s unscented (there is no earthy, dirty snail smell – I know you were wondering), very translucent in color, and insanely lightweight. It’s almost gel-like in texture, disappearing into my skin faster than anything else I’ve ever used. The first time I used it was at a friend’s house, and I remember sitting in front of her mirror piling on one layer after another. I could have kept going for hours! I would definitely recommend applying more than one layer if you’re extra dry. In Europe, I applied at least three layers every night and morning!
To be honest, I don't have much luck with eye creams and never really thought they worked, However, I had a different experience with this one. It’s a collagen booster so it’s formulated to improve elasticity, minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and keep the delicate under eye skin hydrated. I haven’t used it long enough to notice any dramatic difference under my eyes. But, its hydrating effects keep me reaching for it night after night. The texture is almost gel-like, similar to the snail repair cream, but more translucent. Every time I open it, I genuinely want to eat it. I don’t know what that means about me personally, but I love the experience of putting it under my eyes and even over my eyelids. It helped eradicate the dry patches around my eyes. I never wake up with that crusty, my-eyes-haven’t-opened-in-ten-years sort of sensation. It was a fantastic addition for my travel skincare kit in Europe.