Fall has transitioned to winter and my skin has been feeling that familiar dryness and sensitivity that comes with the season. We've been running the heater and pulling out the down jackets and boots, while I have also been pulling out my usual winter oils, butters and balms. Nothing says winter to me like a good face and body balm, and here at ZO HQ we are shipping them as fast as we make them to our beloved customers. So in the spirit of the season, here is my list of favorite (waterless) winter skin products, how I use them and why they are so effective.


The older I get, the more generously I use oils on my face. In fact, I rarely feel like the skin on my face is happy unless I use a beautiful face oil or serum. Winter is no exception. I know this sounds strange, but my favorite face oil is Zoe Organics Belly Oil. If you take a look at the ingredients list you will know why. I love oils like jojoba and argan because they mimic our skin’s natural sebum. If you are a little freaked out by the word “oil” with “face,” try using just a few drops as soon as you get out of the shower (or even in the shower). When the skin is warm and damp the oil goes on easily and evenly. Just use a few drops and very gently massage into skin on face and neck.

At night, I use something more intense, like Zoe Organics Cream. This waterless product is made from organic shea butter and beautiful unrefined oils of rose hip, avocado and soothing calendula. I think of this Cream as a rich conditioner for both face and body.  Again, a very small amount is adequate for most, and you can also apply to damp skin. Always rub product between clean hands to warm to an oil before applying. Then cup each side of your face with your hands and press the product into your skin. If you aren’t used to using waterless products on your face and body, it may take a bit of getting used to, but you will soon appreciate the benefits! 

For chapped cheeks, mouths and lips (think windburn and snow…), I’m all about Everything Balm. Six amazing organic ingredients – shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, beeswax, lavender oil and vanilla extract – work together to provide a seriously nourishing and restorative combination. The product comes packaged in an easy to apply large balm tube. Even your kids can apply it themselves! 


Again, I love a nutrient-rich organic oil. As soon as I step out of the shower, I slather it on. Have you tried massaging a body oil onto damp skin? Its amazing and creates an emulsification similar to lotion, but way better. My skin drinks it up, and by the time I get dressed there is no oily residue. I can’t stress enough the importance of a quality oil. If you are just beginning to use oils as part of your skincare routine, you may experiment with jojoba, apricot or coconut. Or, get fancy with Zoe Organics Belly Oil which doubles as a scar- and stretch mark-buster with rosehip seed, tamanu and pumpkin seed oils.

A body butter, like our Belly Butter or Cream, will provide a nice barrier on the skin and seal in the moisture. Try layering over your body oil at night. This is particularly beneficial for eczema, psoriasis or very dry skin. Again, you can adjust the amount you use, and by applying a small amount to damp skin you can avoid the “greasy” feeling. Keep in mind, though, the temporary greasy feeling is sure better than the itching, burning and redness that comes with dry skin.

Hands and feet:

I keep Dr. Shannon's Organic Skin Balm close at all times. I place a small amount on the back of one of my hands and then rub the backs of my hands together. At night, I slather it on my feet before bed. I also apply this to my lips and love the staying power. 

I’ve written before about my lack of love for conventional lotions. For one, they are made of up to 80% water and require less desirable ingredients to be stable. I realize the feel of oils are difficult to get used to if you are accustomed to slathering on a lightweight lotion. However, you just aren’t going to reap the same benefits from an undiluted, nutrient dense product. Also, keep in mind that you can easily use 8-12 oz of lotion in the time you would use a 2 oz jar of concentrated body butter or oil (you simply don't need to use as much to get better results!). 

As a side note, no amount of topical moisturizer is going to take the place of staying hydrated on the inside. Don’t skimp on your water intake. As a general rule, drink half your weight in ounces of water per day. Add some lemon!

Enjoy this winter and have fun experimenting with some new products! Do you have favorites? I’d love to hear about them!



Winter, and Why We Love Waterless Products