Yep, I know it’s ironic that I’m about to give you ‘beauty’ advice after spending a year hiking, camping and looking exceptionally bedraggled. Yet the one thing I did get right was how to beat dry skin, especially during winter. And as we’re coming into that season again (and I haven’t written a blog post for ages!) I’m going to share my magic trick with you…
Apologies for the narcissistic photos, but when I’m writing about combating dry skin, I need to show photos of my face! None have been edited.
My Secret Weapon against Winter Weather
In the past when I was winter hiking, my face was so dry I looked like I’d had a fight with sandpaper and lost. The wind and rain hammered me so much that even moisturisers aimed at climbers, or expensive ones for women and of course cheapo creams (I wasn’t fussy) failed to work. That was until I discovered something very cheap, widely available and something that works wonders against harsh, winter weather.
My secret weapon is… Vaseline. Yep, the stuff you rub on your lips! I know that Vaseline on the face might well have you shuddering. But it’ll transform even the scaliest Tyrannosaurus Rex skin to a soft, baby-faced human. And it’s great when you’re out on the hills in cold, wet, windy, and generally crap winter weather.
I know it works because I used Vaseline on the face and hands for about 10 months, hiking 3,500 miles, in weather that was sometimes kind, and at other times diabolical.
So How Does Vaseline on the Face Work against the Elements?
Sun, snow, wind, wet – I slapped Vaseline on my face to combat it all in winter!
Putting Vaseline on the face acts as a barrier against wind, rain and grime. Its properties, so I’ve read, are too large to go into your pores, so it sits on the outside, not letting anything in and locking moisture inside.
“But it’s made from petrol!” Yes, triple-refined petroleum, not the stuff you shove in your car engine (so don’t be rubbing petrol into your face next time you fill up). Vaseline says it’s non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores, and apparently the supermodel Tyra Banks swears by it. Yet maybe she was paid to endorse it, whereas I am not!
What about Vaseline on the Face for Combination Skin?
Unfortunately, I have the tendency to break out in spots like a dalmatian at the very thought of changing my moisturiser or suncream. I can’t use cleanser, toner or any make up on my face for the same reason, so it was a gamble smothering Vaseline on. Faced with dry skin, though, I took a chance and, oh my God, it worked!
I came about it by accident really as I didn’t have anything else to use other than suncream. So I started rubbing Vaseline on the face, just at night in the summer, then in winter during the day when I thought the sun had been kidnapped.
Vaseline on the Face Gives a Glowing Complexion
And ya know what? Everyone I met commented on my glowing complexion. OK, so that might have been because my eyes looked exhausted, my hair needed washing and my clothes looked like I had fallen in a cesspool, so people couldn’t give me a visual compliment on anything else! But even I noticed how good my skin was when I came across a mirror, which was about once every 5 days.
I continued putting Vaseline on the face for three months afterwards, too, and then changed to jojoba oil then Bio-oil which both made me look like an acne-riddled 16-year-old. Ugh. So now I’m back to good ol’ Vaseline.
Stop Using Facial Wash and Cleansers
This is going to be easier for guys or gals who don’t wear (much) make up. Use just one thing on your face to clean it: water. Uh huh. Water. It won’t dry your skin like all those facial products do. I discovered this, again by accident, when hiking the Cape Wrath Trail and I didn’t have anything to wash my face with. So I just used stream water. Despite my diet consisting of no fruit or veg (that I can remember), my skin was super clear at the end of the hike. I used the same trick when I was back in London, using baby oil to remove my mascara (that’s all I wear make-up wise and nothing when I’m hiking), and opting for facial foam once a week. The benefits were amazing – my skin was much clearer than it had been and not dry. Hoorah! And that’s all I’ve used for the past two-and-a-half years.
Which Type of Vaseline on the Face is Best?
I use the green pot of Vaseline with aloe vera in it because the plant extract moisturises, soothes the skin and is good for fighting spots, too. I’ve also used the cocoa butter one when I couldn’t find the green tin and didn’t notice any difference, but then I didn’t have a mirror to check!
What are your Opinions?
If you decide to try it out, leave your feedback in the comments below. I am not a dermatologist or a skin expert, I’m simply sharing what has worked really well on my own skin when out hiking. If you’re unsure, do a test patch on your face first for several days, and if it seems OK, you can pop it on all over.
Everyone’s skin is different, but I know mine is not the beautifully clear, smooth (and photoshopped) skin in adverts. And Vaseline on the face worked for me, so it might work for you, too.
I have not been endorsed by Vaseline for this post, but I think I should be!
Jane Batchelor hiked 3,500 miles through Britain for an entire year.
To find out more about her journey, click here.