Cold winters tend to run many of us ragged, both mentally and physically. If you’re especially located in a place where it snows a lot (with there’s little sunlight), it can totally dampen your mood…well, at least that’s what it does to me. My 4th and final winter in Chicago tore me up to the point where I just had enough. “I can’t do it,” I told one of my friends. “I’m finally tired of being here. Once I finish my thesis, I’m going somewhere else.” That somewhere else was Seoul.

This is my second winter here in Seoul, and to me, it’s worse than the last one was. The city has just emerged from a terrible cold snap: we’re talking wind chills well below 0. Not only did it throw me off mentally–during the coldest week I sacrificed gym time to warm up from 8 hours of being stuck in my frigid classroom–but it also just wrecked havoc on my skin. So I turned to my skincare guru for help…

“So,” my mom started, “What about Creme de Corps?”

Kiehl’s has been a mainstay in my family for 30 years, mind you, and as much as I like Kiehl’s, I’ve always hated Creme de Corps: it just laid too thickly on my skin, like I was wearing an extra, albeit gummy, set of clothes. Try again.

“Well,” she continued, “They have another formula under the Creme de Corp line. I’ll send some to you, and you can see what you think.”

A week later, my heroes arrived.

The first was the Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Lightweight Body Lotion. From the first swipe against my skin, I fell in love with it immediately. It’s definitely as light-weight as they say, almost too much so, but I loved how silky my skin felt after it absorbed the lotion. It’s perfect to just rub into some freshly-washed skin.

The my next “hero” was one that was totally unexpected, and also from the same line: their Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter. I’m not a body butter fan, never have been, but curiosity got the best of me with this one and I decided to layer it on top of the body lotion…you know, just to experiment and see the results. Let me tell you: the results were magical.

It doesn’t feel like any body butter I’ve used. Kiehl’s took the word “whipped” literally: when I scooped a bit of it up with my finger, it felt (and looked!) light yet rich. I patted and rubbed in a decent amount on my legs, and afterwards my skin felt like it would be impenetrable to the cold air looking to turn my epidermis to ash. The best part was: it wasn’t too thick! I’ve briefly talked about my long-standing relationship with Kiehl’s Intensive Moisturizer Treatment here, but one thing I’ve never done with it is apply it to my whole body; it just way too thick for that. This one-two combination perfectly balances being light-weight and substantially moisturizing my body, which is especially important during the wintertime. Either product might also be nice to use on its own when it gets warmer, but hey, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

For now, here’s to my winter hero products!

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