Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

by Paris B on · 34 comments

in Cleanser,Makeup Remover,Mask,Moisturiser,Product Reviews,Serum,Skincare,Sunscreen,Tips,Toner/Lotion,Travel,Treatment

skincare cold weather Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

When I recently went away on vacation, it was to a country in the Northern Hemisphere which had just broken through a particularly long winter, and Spring was just in the air. That wasn’t quite what the weather report for Prague told me when I checked before I left. I had reports of weather in the teens and wide ranges of temperature of 25° – 6°C … in one day! I wasn’t upset – no sirree! It meant I could drag out my boots and tights and coats! Whee! icon biggrin Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

But as I packed my cosmetic pouch, I knew I had to make a bit of allowance for this sort of temperatures and weather. Coming from the tropics, I’m used to  warm and importantly, humid weather for most of the day, everyday. Light textured products like gels or gel creams are preferable for comfort. But from experience, I knew that weather in Europe was not only colder, it was also drier and creams generally work better there.

So when I packed my pouch, I made sure I bore this in mind. I thought I’d share what I packed, because I’ve had people ask me before this what they should pack for a holiday to a colder climate, and also because I know many of you will travel at some point and may wonder if you should compensate for your skincare or if you can carry your own icon smile Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

If you are going away for an extended time, I’d suggest you make allowances for your skincare after you arrive, so I wouldn’t bring too much. If you are just going on vacation then here’s what I packed which may give you an idea of where to start.

You may notice that my focus is on hydration. I consciously allowed for more hydrating products because I knew that cold air on cheeks has a tendency to dry skin out. Nevermind how wonderful it feels, or how you go “Ooh, my cheeks look so red and rosy from the cold!” Its not all good for the skin so I made allowances.

skincare cold weather2 Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

  1. Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase : I had a sample bottle of this and taking it with me has reminded me just how much my skin likes it. I still don’t like the scent which reminds me of jasmine flowers (I don’t like jasmine scents) but I forgave it because my skin loved the gentle oil-liquid blend and loved how well it absorbed into my skin and kept it hydrated. I have an old review here. I may have to purchase this once I streamline my skincare routine a little more.
  2. Eve Lom Cleanser : This was perfect as an all in one makeup remover, end of day face cleanser. A reader told me that it works better in Europe where their water is harder than our water here in Malaysia. She was right. I didn’t have to carry a separate makeup remover, and my skin was clean and exfoliated and hydrated and all round lovely! The in depth review can be found here.
  3. Dior Capture Totale Creme de Nuit Haute Regeneration: I carried the full sized tub because this has been my night cream for the past 2 months. I picked this one up because my skin was looking awful and I needed something different and perhaps, drastic. I remembered how well this cream worked for me once before to restore the condition of my skin so I sucked it up and bought it. It has turned my skin around again and I am in love with it once more so I carry it wherever I go now! Its very thick so I like mixing in a few drops of oil which is where the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery concentrate comes in.
  4. Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask : I remembered how this mask works very well on parched skin and I previously bought a Clarins skincare set that came with generous sized samples. So I took this with me. I used the Cream Mask every alternate night, applying a thick layer on my skin, allowing it to absorb, and then I’d tissue off the excess. I did not wash my face, to maximise the effect, and just layered on the rest of my skincare. It helped my skin stay supple and hydrated even as I exposed it to the harsh Spring sun (surprisingly harsh!) and cold winds. You can read an old review here.
  5. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream : Ahhh this one is something I discovered years and years ago! I love carrying a tube with me when I travel to colder climes because this works wonderfully for me to ease the dry bits of skin. I use it as a lip balm, hand cream and to soothe dry patches anywhere on my face or body. It works a treat although it does smell. I don’t mean smell fragrant, I mean smell icon biggrin Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics I like it though and I realised I have never blogged about it. Perhaps I should eh? This is an iconic product!
  6. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate : I really have nothing more to say about this one than I already have here, here and here! I may not use it everyday now because I’m using something else but I always have a bottle on standby. It serves to hydrate my skin and soothe my senses thanks to the lovely lavender scent. In this case, I use it blended with a thick rich night cream and also as an additional layer of moisture for my skin. Goes almost everywhere with me too!
  7. Melvita Floral Water : I had a little travel sized spray bottle from a Melvita sampler set I bought a while ago, so it came in handy for misting my skin just before my skincare goes on. Better than a toner for added moisture.
  8. Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion: This was my sunscreen for the trip and I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t work half as well as the Shiseido one does so I know I cannot depend on this if I expect to be out in the sun. I actually came home with a light tan. Odd, I know! But it wasn’t drying at least so that’s a consolation. Full review here.
  9. Clarins Hydraquench Cream for Normal to Dry skin: This was a sample tube given to me by a friend and my first time trying it. I have to say, I was very impressed. My skin loved the gentle texture and it kept my skin well hydrated. I used it in the day as a day cream, and my skin was very comfortable! Definitely one I’m going to consider purchasing when my present hydrating moisturiser hits the bottom of the tub (which will happen because I’ve been a very very good girl! icon biggrin Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics )

That was it!

skincare cold weather clarins Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

I love how this Clarins Hydraquench trio worked so well together! If you have normal to dry skin or if you feel like your skin needs that boost of hydration, I highly recommend using these. I tried two of them a while ago and I remember being duly impressed but now that my skin is turning dry (age, damn you!) I have a new-found appreciation for them. Definitely ones I’ll be looking to, to purchase full sizes of!

skincare cold weather3 Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

These too worked very well especially for the colder evenings. My skin adores the Dior Capture Totale night cream and I swear its repaired and restored my skin to a level which makes me very very happy. Money well spent! The Eight Hour Cream prevented my lips from chapping, and my cuticles from drying out. All that cold air outside and hot showers aren’t good for your skin health. It actually dries it out more!

With this skincare routine, I ended up not breaking out while on vacation (which is a first!) and despite the cold, dry air my face didn’t feel dry nor look dry, my lips did not chap and my hands did not dry out too much. A first for me! icon biggrin Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

If you live where there’s Spring and Winter, it would be interesting to hear from you if any of these have helped your skin?

If you come from the tropics and plan to go somewhere cold this year, do remember to up the hydrating products, and where possible, do a hydrating mask every other day. Your skin will thank you for it and you’ll glow in your holiday photos! icon smile Packing skincare for a cold Spring/Winter climate when you come from the tropics

Paris B

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[ 34 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Sunny May 16, 2013 at 9:07 am

Hey Paris, it’s great to see your picks! I’d say hydration and a good dry oil will get you very far in a drier/colder climate! That and a good cleansing balm, and you’re all set! I do the opposite, and I think more in terms of SPF and oil-control. However I still love a good dry oil!


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hiya Sunny! I think you’re right about the cleansing balm. Its so much less drying and stripping than an oil which is perfect for cool/dry weather! I can understand why the Eve Lom is so popular now :) I personally don’t like dry oil, preferring to stick to oily oils (hehe) but I do think an oil is great to give skin the moisture barrier it needs to protect against the elements. Also, SPF! I think so many people tend to forget about sunscreen when its cold!


Phing May 16, 2013 at 9:37 am

I totally agree that you do have to customise your skincare depending on the weather. Being here in the land down under made me realise that cream textured moisturisers (it’s so thick, it almost felt like a balm!), worked pretty well in protecting my skin against the harsh winds and cold weather (something I would never imagine myself using in the hot tropical weather). Having said that, I concur with you that maintaining a hydrating skincare regime is equally important. And dont forget your SPF !


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

Hi Phing, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this especially since you live there :D Here, where its hot you just want something light and cool on skin just like clothes I guess :) And yes, SPF! So many people tend to think, oh, there’s so little sun I can get away without sunscreen. Nothing could be further from the truth!


Tracy May 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

I gotta get another bottle of that Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery stuff! I remember my skin really liked it. Love your picks! The Eve Lom Cleanser is on my list to try, but at the moment my skin really likes the Shiseido cleansers a lot. BUT now I’m going to read your review of that Dior Cream LOL! I think I might have to try that soon!


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

I think the Kiehl’s MRC is great! But I also like the new Estee Lauder Nutritious oil so if you can get a sample of that, do try it. I think its great stuff too! :D I can’t handle Shiseido cleansers because they are too drying on my skin :( Which ones are you using? Oh and my Dior cream review is a bit old, but damn! I swear my skin looks years younger. :P


Applegal May 16, 2013 at 11:11 am

I found out the hard way too, that gel or lighter moisturisers suitable for our climate don’t work in colder and drier climates. I find that Kiehl’s moisturiser is a bit too oily for me here, but I’m betting that it will be just right when I go overseas!


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

Which Kiehl’s moisturiser, Applegal? I find their creams a little thick but quite perfect for colder places so pack that in your travel bag!


Applegal May 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

The Ultra Facial cream one. I was recommended it at the store because my skin looked dry, and because I was entitled to something worth RM100, I took that. After using it for a while, my facialist said I developed a lot of blackheads and attributed it to my oily moisturiser :P Oh well. I liked the sample I got, but I didn’t know it would give me blackheads! But will definitely bring it with me overseas!


Paris B May 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Ahhh that one is much much too thick for tropical weather, even for my skin. I tested a sample in winter and its lovely but here in the tropics? Fail big time >.<


Siti May 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Dear Paris,
Thank you for the tips! I am going away for a vacation to the northern hemisphere too. This is so useful for travellers out there.


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

Hi Siti, am glad the tips were helpful for you! They won’t be applicable in summer of course, when it is quite hot generally, but having some good hydration products will be helpful :)


Firn May 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Ahhh, if only you posted this a week ago! I recently returned from the States (intense sun but cold wind). However, layering skincare even in a drier climate doesn’t work for me. I used my SKII mask-in lotion as a toner and used a richer cream for the daytime but I ended up with a small rash. :(

I did wear a hat when I was outdoors since my skin doesn’t like being overloaded with sunscreen. I didn’t notice myself getting more tanned, although one of my co-workers just commented on that today. :(


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

Oh oops! I actually think that this intense sun + cold wind combo kills our skin. It could also be the air, pollution etc :) Sorry to hear you ended up with a rash and like you, I didn’t realise I had a tan until I got home and I was all “whhaaaatt??”


Adeline May 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm

When I travel I always bring my regular skincare but I make sure I have sufficient hydrating products! My night skincare is usually just fine due to the serums I use (EL ANR/ Lancôme / Kiehl’s MRC) but for daytime I make sure I bring along an extra hydrating serum – I love the Clarins hydra quench! I also make sure I bring along a deep cleansing mask / exfoliator / hydrating mask / sleeping pack. A hydrating mist is always nice too – I love the Kiehl’s Acai one! Lip balm before bed is also a must :)


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

Good idea on the sleeping pack! I usually bring one along but this time, wanted to see how the Clarins mask performed and its great :D Oh and definitely lip balm. I rarely use lip balm here in Malaysia but I keep finding myself reaching for one in the cold air that really dries out the lips! The 8 Hour Cream helped me tons :)


lisa May 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Lip balm is a absolute must for me in colder climate coz the air is too dry. Currently, i’m in love with Metholatum’s Lip Fondue which is a three in one product (lip mask, lip essence, lip balm). It’s highly moisturizing and lasting. Personally love the scent too and it looks good when applied compared to other lip balms out there.
I’ve tried the 8 hour cream too. It works well but i just can’t take the scent. It smell of kerosene + herbs. I really tried my best to ‘accept’ the scent but i just can’t. Gave it up to a friend after going though half a tub of it.


Paris B May 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Lol at your description of the scent of the 8 hour cream. Pretty spot on. Definitely an acquired smell and when I recently smelled it again after a while, it took me quite by surprise too. Thankfully, I don’t mind it. I haven’t come across the Lip Fondue but I will look out for it because the name is so cute! Made me think of steamboat hotpot :D


Mrs Top Monkey May 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Moving to Scotland in the dead of winter AND when I was pregnant meant that my skin was constantly itchy if I didn’t slather it in cream. I found that none of the high-end creams worked for me… maybe because the cold + stretching of my skin was too much for them.
The only thing that worked in the end was Nivea Creme, the one in the blue tin. Cheap, did the job and multi-tasking. You can use it as a body cream, face cream, mask, lip balm, hair conditioner, hand cream… bargain!


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:36 am

Eh, Nivea is good stuff! No, seriously. Plus as you said, its cheap. But for the face, I’m not too sure coz I did find it quite heavy. But then, I’m not living in Scotland in the dead of winter so you’re the best judge of that! :D


Jess May 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Oh I haven’t used the Eve Lom cleasner is so long! You’ve just reminded me how much I love it hehe


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:37 am

I think its good for colder weather but here, less so especially also because we don’t have hot water running in our taps! :D


Victoria May 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Thanks for the post. Will definitely come in handy if I travel to a country with a colder climate in the future. I really like your picks and I bought Kiehl’s MRC and Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask due to your recommendation and love them :-) Would the Clarins Hydraquench Cream for Normal to Dry Skin be suitable for someone with combination skin?


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

Hi Victoria, am glad you have liked the Kiehl’s and Clarins that I like too! The Hydraquench cream would be too heavy for combination skin but there is a Cream Gel version for normal-combination skin and a lotion too for normal/combination/oily skin so you could consider those instead :)


sher88 May 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Definitely gotta bring heavier creams if u were to travel to a colder place. I was in Korea last month and ppl were saying, it’s warmer now. Not so cold. Temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius. So I packed my usual skin care. Upon touchdown, it was soooo cold!! Temperature range was note even 7 degrees! Super super dry weather, the skin on my nose was sooo dry and it was peeling everyday ???? lesson learnt.


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:41 am

Ooh did you have a great time in Korea? :) I have learnt not to trust the online weather forecast or even people living there because the world’s weather these days is nuts! My weather forecast for Prague too showed 25 degrees and it was for 2 days. After that, it was in the teens and below 10. Goodness! Thankfully, I brought warm clothing :D My nose felt like it was about to drop off some days!


xin May 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

thankfully and less thankfully, my skin is dehydrated all year round…so I only have to bring facial oil wherever I go :D but I always pack 2 sheet masks along , nice to be used after a cold day or a sunny day!


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

Haha so your skincare would be perfect! ;) But it actually gets worse if you have dehydrated skin and then go somewhere dry. So definitely bring your oils and good idea about the sheet masks too!


Ika Roseworn May 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

My cold+dry weather staples:
Thicker moisturiser.
Sunscreen (of course!)
Lip Balm in the form or Carmex (not available in M’sia – boo! So I stock up when I am abroad).
Petroleum Jelly. Not by Vaseline because that one is greasy as hell. I use from Johnson&Johnson, also not available here, I get my tubs from the Middle East. Not greasy. Cheap. And keeps my skin moisturised I swear by this one! Not body creams. Not baby oil. But J&J Petroleum Jelly!


Paris B May 17, 2013 at 10:43 am

Thanks for sharing your picks, Ika! :) I usually use the Lucas Papaw Ointment or EA 8 Hour Cream for my lips in cold/dry weather mainly because I just don’t like conventional lipbalm. Weird right? LOL I didn’t know J&J did petroleum jelly too!


Michelle Beh May 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Thanks for the sharing post! I ll bear in mind next time if I go to colder climate country for trip ! :)


Paris B May 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Most welcome, Michelle! I’m sure it’ll come in handy some day :)


Kathia May 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Glad to hear Eve Lom’s cleanser worked for you while on holiday! I just got home to London after spending 2 weeks in KL. I’ve had to do the opposite of this and Clarins featured heavily in my tropicalised routine too! I got the Hydraquench gel moisturiser which isn’t available in the UK (anymore) and bought a Eucerin cleansing milk for sunscreen removal. I was reminded of how difficult it is to balance hydration despite the humid weather. The heat really dehydrates, although in a different way to dry air. I also had to pack super heavy moisturiser and rose hip oil for the flight to avoid dehydration related breakouts which I would get on long haul flights.


Paris B May 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hi Kathia, I think you were the one who told me that it works better in hard water! You were right! I think Clarins is really good for both cold and warm weather. Am definitely planning to look more into it. I always try to take care of my skin in the air (cabin air is horribly dry!) but I always end up watching too many movies or sleeping too much LOL! I did once put on a sleeping mask and that was nice!


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