Our ancestors did not think of the solstices as the first day of the new season, but rather a center point. The winter solstice was called Midwinter. The summer solstice, Midsummer. They knew that nature does not live by a rigid calendar and that some years a season may come early, while other years it may come late.
The winter solstice is the longest night of the year, and every day that follows, the light slowly builds back up. From the winter solstice onward, we emerge back into the light. So while we may think of winter as a time of darkness, it is really the slow and steady return of the light. And thus, it becomes a time for us to shine the light on our lives, on where we’ve been, on where we’re going, on what we want. It’s not a time to act, but a time to clarify.
As for now, in mid-December, we are deep in the heart of the darkest time of year. The abundance of night is an invitation to rest, sleep, and dream. Winter is a gift given us by Mother Nature. It's an invitation to slow down, rest and repair. We need to carve out space in our lives for stillness, to lie fallow.
"To lie fallow is a gift. We don't really know how to do it. Rather we are done by it or undone by it. The moments we are allowed to be in that condition are times of gratitude....It is there that God makes each of us a fertile ground, a bearing soil." ~ From A Mystic Garden, by Gunilla Norris
The plants die back, centering their energy into their roots, where they sleep and dream. The animals grow still, find a safe place to rest, where they sleep and dream. Winter is a time for us to do the same.
The nature of winter asks us to do the opposite of what our modern world demands. While the modern world asks us to rush and exert ourselves with the pressures of the holiday season, Winter asks us to rest, to nourish, to tend to our nervous systems and find our center again.
Winter skin asks for similar care — Simplicity. Rest. Deep nourishment. The colder temperatures, and artificial heat can zap our skin of hydration, leaving us sensitive and depleted. The stress and over-indulgences of the holidays can create stress and inflammation. As winter drags on, lack of activity and sunshine can leave our skin dull and devitalized.
We have a few simple — yet vital — tips to help you give your skin the support it needs to thrive during this powerful season.
Read on to learn how.
Daily application of an Oil Serum and HydroSoul is foundational for creating skin that is properly moisturized and hydrated. This is the one step that should stay consistent all year long, day and night.
By applying a layer of plant oils and plant waters, we recreate the protective barrier the skin creates for itself, while simultaneously supporting the hydro/lipid balance and infusing the skin with a generous offering of nutrients and antioxidants.
You can always continue to use your favorites throughout the year, but if you’re skin is needing some extra care, these are our favorites for winter skin.
Argan Intensive Serum ~ Argan oil is rich in essential fatty acids. It has a beautiful balance of omegas, but is especially abundant in oleic acid (omega 9) — a key lipid that’s often deficient in dry skin. Hailing from the deserts of Morocco, argan is at home in the harshest and driest climates. Its diverse nutrient composition is ideal for skin that is irritated, dry, and compromised. Packed with vitamin E (a protective antioxidant), squalene (skin-softening), and phytosterols (support proper barrier function).
Argan Intensive Serum also features therapeutic & organic essential oils of sandalwood and frankincense. These two ancient and sacred oils work on persistent flakiness, chappiness, and any irritation that may be afoot, while also soothing, smoothing and harmonizing. Frankincense is distilled from the resin of a wild desert tree. When the tree is wounded it secretes a healing sap to bothrepair the damage done, and to protect against pathogens.
Rosehip Treatment Serum ~ Blue. This lightweight oil serum is packed with nutrients and antioxidant to brighten and illuminate dull and devitalized skin, while also soothing irritation and providing a deep calm for sensitive and reactive skin.
Lavender HydroSoul. This HydroSoul is the perfect ally for stressed, irritated, and deeply dehydrated skin. And ideal for anyone who might feel their nervous system is a little frayed.
Frankincense Facial Tonic HydroSoul softens, soothes and protects. It is a wonderful hydrating, and also softens the appearance of fine-lines and wrinkles.
The secret to retaining the beautiful moisture that is created by your daily ritual of Oil and HydroSoul application is to seal it inwith a category of ingredients that are occlusives in nature. Such ingredients prevent transepidermal water loss (the evaporation of water from our skin into our external environment) by creating a barrier between your skin and the rest of the world. This action can be a little tricky, because while you certainly want to be able to lock in moisture and hydration, you also want your skin to be able to breathe and your pores to remain unburdened. There are ingredients with occlusive properties to avoid (petroleum jelly, dimethicone, etc) and those to embrace (shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, etc). We, of course, depend on the latter. These ingredients not only lock in moisture but also provide deep nutrition.
Whipped Shea Butters. — Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf, Whipped Patchouli Vanilla Shea Butter, or Whipped Moroccan Argan Butter. These simple, rich butters are our number one choice for winter skin care. They nourish, protect, soften and soothe. They seal in moisture, while allowing the skin to breathe. These multi-functionalbutters can be used as a daily moisturizer (when paired with a HydroSoul), as a moisturizing mask, and even as a cleansing balm. If you do only one thing for your skin this winter, let it be a daily dose of Whipped Shea Butter.
True moisture can help pacify heat. So, again, here is another area where the twice daily application of Oil and HydroSoul can be a tremendous help.
This is where Lavender Facial Tonic HydroSoulshines. This transformative plant water is not just profoundly hydrating, it is also deeply soothing, calming and heat pacifying. Chappy, red, irritated skin all fall under the spell of Lavender HydroSoul.
Rosehip Treatment Serum ~ Blue infuses the skin with essential fatty acids, fat-soluble nutrients and a plethora of antioxidants. Where it truly begins to work its magic on red, hot, sensitive and irritated skin is through its deeply soothing, calming essential oils — german chamomile, immortelle, lavender, and carrot seed.
Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leafis often one of our first choices for hyperactive, hyper-irritated and wildly sensitive skin. It has a truly remarkable affinity with the nervous system and is especially appropriate for troubled skin that has been over-processed. It pacifies irritation and heat through its plethora of soothing and nourishing EFAs, and its naturally occurring lupeol, α-amyrin, and β-amyrin.
The deeper we get into winter the duller our skin may become.
An easy way to prevent dull skin is through regular movement of your body — whether that be walking, hiking, yoga, dance, or any other physical activity you might love — if you get your blood flowing, your skin will retain its vitality and luster. After that, if you’re still needing a boost of vitality — try these:
Green Tea Clay. This clay is the next best thing to getting outside and moving your body. Weekly, or even twice weekly, application gently awakens, exfoliates and encourages movement.
Rosehip Treatment Serum ~ Blue brings a remarkable glow to the skin. Rich in trans-retinoic acid and other antioxidants, it infuses the skin with the nutrients and brings it back to a state of luminous vitality. And of course — always pair it with a HydroSoul for best results.