November has rolled in and winter is about to whip around the corner.
That summer sun-kissed glow in the skin is giving way to what could soon like layers of dry birch bark peeling away, each week getting paler and paler. You can see the evidence of evaporating humidity everywhere. Even your hair begins to look like you rubbed it with a balloon for static (on purpose), before you tame it for the day.
Oh yes!… here comes the “dry season”. If you are using the same routine you did all summer or, worse, doing nothing at all, you are probably tempted to tear your misbehaving skin right off. Please don’t; that’s what we call “the wrong way to exfoliate”. You can’t decide what layers to put on and as soon as you do, the skin you covered starts itching while the skin uncovered begs for protection from the elements. It’s rhythm-less dance.
Welcome to Michigan. You’ll be doing this until March…if not April… or May.
The winter brings on the cold air and cold air just doesn’t hang on to moisture like warm air. Add to the season your own “seasoned” (aging) skin and you will get hit harder, as your body’s production of natural moisturizer reduces with age. I love being over 40, honestly, but I used to wonder if early mummification, involving the dressing of the whole body in gauze soaked in oils would help me face this every year.
As your Michigan skincare provider, I do have a few tips and secrets that just might let you love your winter and winter skin at the same time!
- Drink Wisely. It’s not just a “summer thing”. Your body needs just as much H2O, despite the lack of sweat. Hot tea (with lower caffeine) is made with water, so yes, that definitely counts and is likely more appealing that ice water on a cold day. I opt for green and rooibos (red) teas, as there are entire books written on the benefits of these two cancer battling superheroes. Taking them internally as well as putting them on your skin isn’t a bad plan. Many of our products contain one or both of them: Indira’s Rooibos Tea Cleanser and Green Tea Cleanser are great examples. Start your day with a mug of tea and a clean face.
- Humidify Your Environment. If your heating unit doesn’t have a built-in humidifier, invest in a small humidifier, at least big enough for the room you sleep in. Your skin, your hair, your lungs, and even your wood furniture will thank you for keeping the humidity around 50% in cold winter months. Don’t overdo it (anything above 60% tends to invite bacteria to grow where moisture settles) and keep cleaning out and refreshing water (bacteria loves stagnant water). In addition to raising house humidity, keeping a very small humidifying diffuser with a few drops of essential oil near your work station or bed also has endless benefit to mood and health. There are many on the market but I love my Green Air Spa Vapor+.
- Take Shorter Lukewarm Showers. Yes, I said lukewarm and I do mean 5-10 minutes short. Don’t whine. Believe it or not, long hot showers can strip the oils right out of the skin. If your skin is already dry, you are wiping out its last natural hope for defense against the dry air. If you are going to sit there and stomp your feet about it, go ahead and compromise by using “less hot” water but adhere strictly to the following.
- Choose Cleansers Carefully. Avoid perfumes, deodorants, soaps and stripping cleansers on the body and the face. Use a body scrub or wash that puts the moisture back while exfoliating. Indira’s Sugar Scrubs will shed away that top dry flaky layer, allowing your skin to be radiant, even when the weather is not, and infuse the skin with gentle oils that won’t clog. Spritzing the face and body with a hydrosol toner can also help give the skin one more gentle cleanse while balancing it’s Ph, before this next step. Indira’s Lavender Hydrosol and Indira’s Carrot Seed Hydrosol contain DMAE, a deep reaching and powerful age fighter that you want on your team.
- Moisturize Immediately but Intelligently. Applying an oil-based moisturizer on damp skin, in the first 3-5 minutes after your shower is crucial to sealing in the moisture on winter skin. Don’t wait for the cold draft to steal this moment away from you. Keep that bottle near the bath or shower stall, along with a towel to pat the skin gently dry, then moisturize right there, where the water droplets are still floating in the air. If the body oils tend to cause a slipping hazard, Indira’s Pure Shea is an oil that goes easy without dripping while providing a fast and effective first seal. Those with extra dry skin, top with products containing natural waxes and/or humectants. Humectants will suck what moisture they can from the environment around them while waxes will seal the moisture in and create a barrier against the dry winter air. Indira’s Shea based lotions have all of these lovely helpers. Apply these every time you change clothing to keep your skin’s forcefield of protection active.
- Protect Your Face. It’s out there, trying to make an impression, and you are exposing it to the most brutal of environments and expecting it not to crack. It’s very difficult to reflect confidence, strength, and candor when your face is so dry and damaged that it hurts to smile. Give the layers you put on your skin the same consideration as the layers you put on your body before heading out into the elements cold. It is, in fact, naked. Once you have cleansed and toned it (crucial step we often neglect), add a good moisture-holding serum like Indira’s Hyaluronic Serum or Indira’s Vitamin C Serum (which contains Hyaluronic), then a nutritive facial oil, such as our Carrot Seed Nutritive Facial Oil, followed by Indira’s Pomegranate Moisturizer or Carrot Root & Honey Moisturizer. Cover what you can with soft, breathable, but warm fabrics in the extreme cold and winds.
Don't forget that your skin is the largest and most reactive organ in your body. It is effected by everything you do and that should empower you. Every little thing really does make a difference. Work smarter, not harder, at protecting your skin; work each step into your routine and keep good, clean, natural skincare accessible.
Indira Skin Nutrition, LLC
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- Tags: aging skin, Carrot Seed, cleanse, humectant, humidify, Hyaluronic, hydrate, moisturize, natural, Nutraceutical, Powerful, protect, Serum, shea, shower, skin care, skin oils, skin tips, Vitamin C, weathered skin, winter