Winter Skin Care — Have You Made the Transition?
By Joni Keim
Your skin, as well as your body, responds to the cyclical pattern of the seasons, just as nature does. Because your skin is affected by environmental and temperature changes, seasonal considerations should be a part of your skin care program. The products you use and how you use them may need to be adjusted for the colder months. Whatever changes you make, make them your daily winter skin care routine until the season changes again. The skin responds well to regular practices.
Winter conditions vary, depending on where you live. They can be extreme with cold, wind, rain, and snow, or there may just be a drop in the temperature. Either way, colder weather can cause your skin to become drier, chapped, or irritated. Small capillaries in the skin can be damaged, showing up as red, spidery lines. Oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin may produce less oil, so your skin is less protected and won’t retain moisture as well. Dry artificially-heated, indoor air dehydrates the skin and the sinuses. Most skin is affected to some degree by the wintry elements and conditions, but sensitive, dry, and aging/mature skin types are particularly vulnerable.
Winter Skin Care Means Moisturizing and So Much More…
Though weather conditions cannot be avoided, your winter skin care program can help counteract how your skin reacts. During the winter months, use gentle cleansers and toners. If you are in the habit of cleansing twice a day, your skin may benefit from cleansing only once. (Simply skip using a cleanser in the morning, but rinse well and follow with the rest of your routine.) Moisturize thoroughly and as needed. If you are going to be directly exposed to the wind, snow, or extreme cold, use a heavier, richer moisturizer.
For extra protection, you can add a drop or two of jojoba or other nutritive plant oil to your moisturizer before you apply it. You can also add a drop of a rejuvenating essential oil, such as Lavender, Geranium, Carrot Seed, Frankincense, Helichrysum, or Rose. e3’s Skin Care Blend is a soothing blend of essential oils to help protect and condition your skin. (Mix the essential oil well in the moisturizer in the palm of your hand before applying.) Wearing a sunscreen in the winter is still necessary, because UV damage is a risk all year round.
Additional treatments may include a protective eye area treatment and a lip balm. Avoid licking your lips and breathing through your mouth, as both can cause chapping. You can still exfoliate your skin, gently, unless it has become irritated from the winter conditions. Whenever your hands are exposed to water, pat them dry, apply hand cream, and re-apply as often as needed. Wear warm gloves to protect the skin on your hands.
When you are outdoors, protect your skin with warm clothing, including hats, scarves, and gloves. Take fewer or shorter baths or showers (not too hot) and moisturize your entire body afterward to help keep your skin in good condition. Use humidifiers in artificially-heated rooms to put moisture back in the air to protect both your skin and sinuses. Some humidifiers allow for the use of essential oils. Some favorite winter-time aromas that also support the respiratory system include Pine, Eucalyptus Radiata, Cypress, and Lavender Spike.
Eating the right foods during the winter can help balance and protect your skin. More protein (animal and plant) can be beneficial, as well as getting good quality fats, such as olive oil, avocados, or ghee. Enjoy seasonal vegetables and fruits and choose moist, grounding, hearty, and warming foods, such as soups and stews. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and warm, herbal teas.
Did we share some winter skin care tips you hadn’t thought of before? You can find additional skin care recommendations, along with special recommendations in my book, Natural Skin Care: Alternative and Traditional Techniques, which is available in e3’s online store. If you’re interested in creating your own essential oil skin care blend, download e3’s guide, The Art & Science of Blending Essential Oils.