Winter is the time of stillness and rest; a deep, peaceful sigh of repose.
Our skin never rests, but it does have four rhythmical, seasonal shifts. It is constantly changing and adapting us to our environment. Seasonal changes bring much activity to the organ of the skin, and our entire body participates in this activity. Our largest organ, and the only one we can see, the skin allows us to get a glimpse into the inner state of our health.
I imagine anyone who has spent a winter in the polar regions can tell you about the importance of protecting exposed skin. But protecting your skin in winter no matter what your latitude, is just as important as protecting it in the summer months. The trick is knowing what works with the skin, and what works against it.
It’s no surprise that cold temperatures and icy winds combined with snow and low humidity can cause havoc to exposed skin. Rashes, rosacea, and broken capillaries on the face are often caused by the temperature extremes common during in winter months. The skin’s tiny capillaries are constantly expanding and contracting as the skin ‘inhales and exhales’ working to adapt us to our internal and external environment.
The skin has the innate capacity to heal itself. It is an exceptionally simple, yet complex system that maintains a bacteria inhibiting acidity (normal facial skin pH is slightly acid at 4.5-5.5), the acid mantle, that is made up of sebum and sweat and works to ‘lubricate’ the surface of the skin. In the extremes of winter without this lubricating substance, the skin loses its inherent ability to protect and defend. So, butters and nutritive oils, along with hydration are both effective and important. Since the skin is made up of oil (sebum) and fluids/water (sweat), replacing them on the skin in the form of shea butters and distilled hydrosols replicate the skin’s own moisturizing activity.
Despite the winter’s freezing temperatures, it is possible to create a skin care routine that will encourage the skin to not only survive, but to thrive throughout the icy cold of the winter months!
Here are a few important steps to employ that will help protect the skin’s delicate surface, and allow your skin to thrive during winter months.
1/ Cleanse. Always wash with a pH balanced cleanser and cleanse the skin with warm water. Never too hot or too cold! Temperature extremes exacerbate dry skin, rosacea and rashes, and broken capillaries.
2/ Sensitive skin or acne? Don’t exfoliate using harsh acid peels during the winter months. Instead use Clay Masks mixed with spring water which will work wonders by increasing oxygenation and blood circulation to the skin, while drawing out metabolic toxins and impurities from tiny dermal pores. Clay is exceptionally effective at smoothing and softening the skin’s surface without disturbing the acid mantle and the skin’s critical microbiome.
3/ Remove all makeup at night. If the bedroom is heated, use a humidifier. On your face, use a combination of moisturizer that contains shea butter and spray with a HydroSoul. Mix into the skin to replicate the skin’s own moisturizing strategy. This combination will not clog pores of the skin. The culprits to look out for that are mineral oils and petroleum products.
4/ For deeply penetrating moisture I look for products that feature organic, cold pressed oils and butters, and wild-crafted and sustainably grown whenever possible.
5/ Here are some of my favorite and most effective ingredients that I love and reach for during the cold months of winter:
Shea Butter | Prickly Pear Oil | Rosehip Oil | Grapeseed Oil | Babassu Butter
Sea Buckthorn Oil | Cold Pressed Carrot Seed Oil | Squalane | Marula
Tamanu Oil – Light Moisture Replenishing Fluid | MuruMuru Butter | Sunflower
Balms, Serums, Creams or Lotions made with any of the ingredients listed above allow the skin to survive winter, and glow with vibrancy during the depth of the darkest days.
Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in
It’s quiet, but the roots are