Get the winter skin glowing !
Our skin is confronted with a combination of cold, often windy outdoor weather paired with the drying effects of circulated indoor heat. Not only that, but during cold weather it is often harder to stay on top of water intake.
During the winter we may find ourselves going hours without drinking any water. Coffee yes, good old fashioned H2O…not so much. The result? The perfect recipe for dry, dehydrated, lackluster looking skin.
So how do we get the skin plumped back up with moisture and glowing again?
1. Hydrate from the inside out
While your first instinct may be to reach for a thicker moisturizer (while praying for a little miracle…) it is important to focus on internal hydration first and foremost. Our skin cells draw moisture and nutrients from within our body. Not a fan of plain water? Try making your own “spa” water with fresh fruit such as cucumber, citrus or berries, or even herbs such as basil, mint, lemon balm or rosemary.
Aside from water, we can also benefit from ingesting more healthy fats during the winter. Skin hydration is a continuous dance between water and oil. Oils will actually help lock in moisture (water), preventing dehydration, softening fine lines and wrinkles, and giving the skin a glow from the inside out. Pay special attention to superfoods rich with omega 3 fatty acids, which are amazing for the skin (and brain too!)
Here are a few awesome plant-based fat sources to nourish you inside and out:
- Hemp Seeds (also high in protein)
- Chia Seeds (a great source of omega 3)
- Raw Nut Butters
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Cold Pressed Oils such as Olive, Hemp, Coconut and Avocado
- Superfood Algae: Spirulina, Chlorella.
- Grass fed butter
- Ghee (clarified butter)
- Salmon and other oily fish
- Krill and fish oil
2. Stop, drop, and exfoliate
Our skin is in a constant state of renewal. Fresh, young skin cells move upwards to the surface before eventually becoming the outer most layer of our skin. In order for our topical products to do their job, we need to first exfoliate that layer of dead skin which functions as a barrier. Stay away from scrubs as they often contain abrasive particles that may damage or irritate the skin. For the body, a dry skin brush is a wonderful, affordable option, and as a bonus, it also helps detox the body by stimulating the lymphatic system.
Winter is actually an ideal time to use more intensive exfoliation products, or exfoliate more often, due to the lack of UVB rays from the sun (the rays that cause sunburn). However, UVA rays are present all year round – even if overcast – and these are responsible for deeper sun damage and the breakdown of our collagen (think UVA – ‘A’ for aging). Be mindful and make sure your skin is protected with a natural, mineral-based sunscreen, and get plenty of antioxidants – both internally and topically.
3. Use a targeted, concentrated serum
To plump up skin cells quickly, water-binding serums, or gels, can do wonders.
Seal in the moisture with a more emollient, oil-based serum containing nutrient rich plant oils like sea buckthorn, rosehip seed oil, hemp oil, baobab oil, and/or argan oil. These oils are naturally rich with antioxidants such as Vitamins A and C, which are highly anti-aging, protect against free radicals, help improve skin tone.
4. Upgrade to a richer moisterizer
A richer moisturizer during cold, dry weather can feel like a comforting blanket over the skin – helping to create a barrier of protection from the elements and seal in moisture. If you have particularly dry skin, look for the “Ultra Rich” – this one is richer and can be doubled up as a day cream during the winter for those that need the extra moisture.
5. Apply a hydrating mask
If winter weather leaves you wanting to hibernate, embrace it and enjoy some indoor self care rituals that will both sooth and hydrate the skin. A hydrating facial mask offers the skin a deeper drink of moisture, and can be a wonderful step directly after exfoliating when the skin is prepped and primed to soak up that moisture like a sponge. It may not be as good as a facial at your favorite spa, but you may be surprised how good your skin can look and feel after exfoliating and masking.
6. Use a Humidifier and/or adapt a house plant
Have you ever traveled somewhere tropical and noticed how glowy and dewy your skin looks? This is because the humidity in the air is actually binding with your skin’s own natural oils to keep things plump and hydrated. While indoor heat is an obvious blessing this time of year, it can also zap the moisture out of your skin like no one’s business. A cool mist-style humidifier can do wonders for balancing ambient humidity levels, which in turn will help keep your skin from becoming parched. Give your bedroom a spa like atmosphere by using a humidifier along with an essential oil diffuser. Living plants will also help restore humidity to the air, not to mention help purify toxins, deliver fresh oxygen, and add natural beauty to your space.
7. Get a holistic facial
The holistic facial treatments revive both body and mind, allowing you to deeply relax, recharge, and see visible improvements to your skin.
If you think that facials are nothing but an hour (and money) wasted in the salon, think again! Because your skin is missing out on something that’s good for it. Even if you do not have blemishes, hyper pigmentation, severe acne, or any other problems, your face needs to be pampered by a trained professional to keep it healthy and free of skin issues.
By following a few healthy lifestyle tips and adjusting your habits a bit, hydrated, glowing skin can be yours to experience all year round.