The cold winter climate experienced throughout these seemingly painful months can wreak havoc on your delicate skin. From extreme dryness, peeling, cracking and in worse cases flare-ups resulting in redness and inflammation. Thankfully though, there are a number of ways to preserve your delicate features!
#1 Elizabeth Grant Cleanser
First, eliminate alcohol-based toners and heavy foaming cleansers. The strong astringent properties found in these products strip your face of its vital oils, robbing your skin of its natural defenses against the cold, dry air. Instead, opt for a milky cleanser and a hydrating toner which will wipe off debris without compromising the oils on your skin. For this season, my skin has been particularly fond of Elizabeth Grant‘s skin hydrating duo–
BIOCOLLASIS™ COMPLEX CELL VITALITY CLEANSING MILK— this milky cleanser contains a multitude of nourishing ingredients for your skin while leaving the naturally derived oils on your face intact. From Japanese Green Tea, Cucumber, Chamomile, Red Clover, Wild Yam, and Sage extracts to Aloe Vera, Jojoba, and pure Olive Oil–your skin will be oozing with suppleness. Not to mention this special complex called Torricelumn™–specific ONLY to Elizabeth Grant, it is a ‘superior moisturizing compound, clinically tested to boost hydration, plumping the appearance of the skin making it look firmer and smoother’. And that it does–my face is LOVING me right now!
BIOCOLLASIS™ COMPLEX CELL VITALITY RADIANCE TONER–to continue our skin nourishment is the perfectly mild, skin-balancing toner. This paired partner also contains loads of goodness with the difference being Bio-engineered Marine stem cells (you actually see immediate improvement with this), Witch Hazel (reducing redness and maintaining a clear complexion), and Sodium Hyaluronate (a precious protein holding up to 1000 times its weight in moisture!).
#2 Exfoliate Regularly
Second, you’ll want to exfoliate regularly–approx. 3 times a week. In the winter months our skin tends to dull out fairly quickly and this is caused by a build-up of dead skin cells which will appear dry and flaky. Therefore, it’s important to slough it of in order to reveal the fresher cells beneath. For face, I’ve always loved my Clarisonic. For body, a nice scrub will do the trick. There are a some great ones on the market or you can even make your own natural version with a only few simple ingredients!
Make Your Own Body Scrub
- An Exfoliant (sea salt, epsom salt, brown sugar, or even coffee grains–the caffeic acid found in coffee will also combat cellulite!)
- A Carrier Oil (you have a very wide range of options here, if you are just going for what you have at home then olive oil will do the trick)
- Add some honey to thicken the mix (it also absorbs impurities and helps to retain moisture)
- Essential Oils (optional–if you want to incorporate your favorite scent); Lavender is a great skin healing agent!
- Mix 2 parts oil to 1 part exfoliant and add your essential oils as desired (no more than 12 drops per 1 ounce of product since essential oils are extremely concentrated).
- Put your batch in a container and use a spoon to scoop out a portion for each use
- Since you aren’t using a preservative, avoid letting water splash into the mix and throw away after 2 weeks
- Give yourself a rub down (circular motion is best) 3 times a week and enjoy your smooth skin!
#3 Water is your Friend
Next, you’ll want to stay hydrated. This not only means drinking plenty of water but also avoiding dehydrating foods such as those high in sugar and sodium. Water is key to moisture-rich skin, while even facilitating the removal of toxins that are a culprit of acne eruptions. Not to mention you will age slower, since hydrated skin is less prone to wrinkling.
#4 Go for a Natural Product
Further, it is essential to avoid harsh soaps and body washes. This means avoid products that contain synthetic ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, parabens, petroleum, artificial fragrances and colors, etc. Basically, the more natural the better since products containing these additives will only dry out and irritate your skin further. For a body wash (as well as butters, scrubs, and lotions) I came across a beautiful line called Love Fresh that is formulated without all these harmful additions, leaving only the purest ingredients to do their work. Not to mention they smell wonderful.
Next, increase your intake of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) aka the “good fat”. This can be done by consuming more extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil–not heated, by eating more avocado, walnuts, almonds, salmon or other coldwater fish, or by simply taking a fish oil supplement. What this will do for your skin cells is allow them to hold more moisture by increasing the health of your cell membranes. EFAs are not only great for skin, but play a vital role in the maintenance of healthy hair and nails.
#6 Invest in a Humidifier
Moreover, it is important to invest in a humidifier. Since you will have the heat cranked up indoors an unfortunate consequence of this is the drying quality it brings. This will ultimately affect your skin and contribute to its dryness–your skin needs 30% humidity to stay moisturized and is commonly exposed to only 10% under furnace heat. A humidifier will offset this balance, restoring the moisture in the air and thereby, allowing your skin (and you) to breathe better. You can also get fancy and add a few drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil to keep your sinuses clear.
#7 Use Oils over Lotions
Last, you’ll want to go for oils rather than lotions. Lotions consist of mostly water, whereas oils contain only the purest form of hydration–especially if applied straight out of the shower to enhance their absorption. For face though, you’ll want to stick with oils that are non-clogging. For example, avocado, evening primrose, and almond oils are great.
What kinds of tips or tricks do you have for the winter months? 🙂