We Tried It: Face Balms That Will Save Your Skin This Winter
Cold temperatures stand no match against these products
Balms, mousses, soufflés: three things we don’t typically plan to smear on our faces. But the latest trend in skincare is all about those buzzwords — and they’re just as rich, indulgent and delightful as they sound.
As someone with super-dry, redness-prone skin, I’m constantly searching for products that will keep my skin calm and hydrated not only at night, but throughout the day. And like clockwork, my skin needs a total refresh every day at 3:00 p.m. Upgrading my normal moisturizer to something heavier was a no-brainer, but these latest purported skin saviors promise to take hydration even beyond your wildest dreams. Did they deliver?
1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm
On the coldest of days, this balm is better than staying in bed with a tablet and Netflix (yes, it’s that good). It starts as a solid (like a big tub of lip balm) but melts down to apply smooth and somewhat greasy. When I applied it at night I woke up to super-hydrated skin in the morning and my usual redness was nearly gone. Then to try to up the “dewy factor” of my winter-beaten skin, I also slathered it on under my makeup — and was able to skip my daily afternoon re-moisturizing session.
The verdict: What seems like a heavy, potentially suffocating balm is exactly what I need in winter months; according to the packaging, which says “for dry to very dry skin types”, I’m the perfect candidate. But oily acne-prone skin types, beware: Though this is sure to cure dryness, the grease factor may be too much for your skin to handle.
2. Yes to Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Facial Soufflé Moisturizer
When I opened the tub, the scent instantly brought me to the tropical island that I wish I was on right now. The consistency was somewhere between a super-rich night cream and a solid coconut oil, but it dried to a soft, almost sticky texture — not greasy, exactly, but noticeable. I applied a thick layer before bed (and gave it huge bonus points for not destroying my pillowcase), then woke up hydrated and refreshed. I re-applied before my foundation, and my makeup not only set perfectly, but I didn’t feel dry or turn red at any point throughout the day.
The verdict: I’d use this again, but only during the day. It’s not quite rich enough to give me the crazy hydration that I crave in a night cream, but it’s perfect for a glowy-but-not-greasy base under foundation. And I’d certainly recommend it to my oily friends.
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3. Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter
As a cult follower of Josie Maran’s super hydrating products, this excited me the most. It looks and feels like your typical night cream — thick and creamy, and not solid like the others. But the best part is that after a few minutes of oiliness while it penetrates, it then rubs in entirely, leaving you without any greasiness left behind. Applied at night, my skin was glowy in the morning but without any delectable leftover product. My redness disappeared, and my skin wasn’t dry or tight at all. And under makeup, my skin was hydrated all day with the exception of one mid-day re-application.
The verdict: While this didn’t quite leave me with my ideal level of dewiness during the day, this is the perfect winter night cream for the person who has no desire to feel like a greasy mess before bed — and for those with oily skin.
Would you try a face balm? What are your winter skin tricks? Tell us below!