Are you suffering from the woes of winter skin? Is your skin dry, tight and itchy?
Ever wonder why cold weather makes skin so dry, and what can you do to keep your skin glowing while sipping tea by the fire this season? Here are all those answers and some great product suggestions for dry, oily and combination skin types.
Why Winter Makes Skin So Dry
Winter is the season when nature rests. Plants go to sleep and animals hibernate. Our bodies are naturally in tune with the seasons, and in winter a lot of our functions slow down, too. For example, have you noticed how much more slowly your hair grows in winter, compared to the summer?
Our circulation, our oil glands, and our cell turnover switch into low gear, which results in less production of our skin’s own natural moisturizer.
In addition to dealing with “sleepy skin,” the environment seems dead set against our dreams of a rosy-cheeked winter glow. The hydration that our bodies supply to our skin is continuously moving from the deep layers of our skin, up toward the outer layers in an effort to keep our skin supple. This hydration then evaporates off the skin’s surface, and does so much more rapidly in winter, with the Sahara dryness of indoor heat and chilly gusts outside. It seems like a cycle that’s hard to stop. Don’t worry, there’s hope!
3 Steps to Wake Up Winter Skin
1. Keep up with exfoliation. My clients often avoid this step in the colder months, thinking that it may make them even more dry. Only skip this step if your skin is seriously chapped, raw or inflamed.
Exfoliation removes the dead flaky skin, allowing our moisturizer to penetrate down deep, rather than getting all caught up in the dry skin. We need to remove the debris to receive the moisturizing benefits of our products.
A gentle scrub will also increase circulation. It’s like exercise for your skin; it gets everything moving, stimulating healthy oil production and detoxification.
Try: Antipodes’ Reincarnation Exfoliant, a gentle citrus scrub with jojoba beads, for the body.
Then follow with their Organic Lavender & Clary Sage Body Oil [buy it here]. For a blissful evening ritual, use this scrub in a shower or bath before slipping into soft PJs, then curl up with some chamomile tea and a good book or feel-good movie, and you’ll sleep like a baby.
2. Mist away! Use a hydrating spritz toner or hydrosol after cleansing and anytime you need a lift. Damp skin absorbs moisturizer much more effectively, which is one of the reasons we use toner before applying serums and moisturizer. My clients also love keeping one of these at their desk to refresh whenever they feel dry, or in combination with a few deep breaths when the day gets rough.
Try: Shea Terra Organics Rose Water Ester-C Collagen Regeneration Facial Mist Rose is a natural emollient; it attracts moisture out of the air. Mist three or more pumps, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths–instant mood lift, and your skin will feel quenched and refreshed!
3. Moisturize. Give your skin some extra love and nourishment! If your skin is getting extra sensitive, or even rashy, chances are that it just needs more moisture to protect it.
Suggestions for Classic Dry Skin Types
Those of you with dry skin will need to use an oil or an extra rich moisturizer, as the tiny pores of dry skin hardly produce any oil as it is.
Try: Shea Terra Organics Baobab Face & Body Oil for some deeply nourishing omega action. Mix three to six drops with equal parts water and massage it into your skin. Really massage it! This helps it to absorb into the deeper layers of your skin, stimulates circulation, and it’s a great opportunity to give your face some TLC.
Spend extra time massaging on the temples and between the brows to soothe stress.
Suggestions for combination skin types
>> >> Read our In the Spotlight interview with Dr. Alkaitis himself!
Suggestions for Oily Skin Types
You’ll experience some relief in the winter, as their usually over-active skin calms down, however you will still need extra hydration.
Without adding moisture, you run the risk of the surface of your skin drying and tightening, keeping oil trapped in the pores below.
Try: Antipodes’ Hosanna Hydrating Serum. This light-weight herbal elixir is an excellent boost for your oily skin routine. Use it in addition to your usual moisturizer.
Extra Tips on Helping Your Skin Through Winter
In addition to high-quality skin care products, it helps to “winterize” your environment and your diet. Use a humidifier in your bedroom, drink plenty of water or hot herbal teas, eat omega-rich foods like almonds, and don’t hesitate to get a professional facial treatment if your skin is in need. The in-depth attention of a professional skin care treatment will thoroughly address your skin’s needs, and give you some much-needed pampering, too!