For so many years I just accepted that Fall and Winter were bad times for my skin and, well, me. Dry air combined with increased sugar and coffee consumption (yep) and a hefty dose of seasonal stress created the perfect storm for my sensitive skin and extra sensitive self.
Peeling and flaky dry skin around my nose and eyebrows was usually the first seasonal woe to set in. Then the uncomfortable dry and tight feeling on my cheeks and forehead, and finally a dull cast to my entire complexion as the months wore on. And that was just what was visible from the outside. Inside I was wound up yet constantly exhausted. Feeling a bit like a hamster on a treadmill while navigating the Holidays and then crashing into a seasonal depressive hole by February (my most dreaded month of the year!).
As I’ve learned to weather the "wintry mix", 4 steps have become essential elements in my Fall and Winter skincare ritual. I use them every day to keep my skin and self happy and radiant and I'm excited to share them with you!
This is the first thing I do when I step in front of the mirror in the morning. Before I brush my teeth, and before I turn on the taps. Grounding is how I step out of whatever chaos I’ve landed my brain into already that morning, and back into a calm and centered present moment. It’s so good!
To ground myself I close my eyes (you could also lower or soften your gaze if that’s more comfortable) and tune into my body. First I do a quick body scan, starting by bringing my awareness to my feet, then gradually moving upwards through each muscle and bone, just noticing they feel. Then I take 2-3 deep breaths and consciously relax any tension I might feel in my body with each exhale. Finally I check in with myself to see how I’m feeling that day and what I might need to let go of or bring in to have my best day.
I’ve made a quick video to walk you through the process if you’d like to give it a try!
2. Goat’s Milk Soap Mask
Yes, I know that this sounds bonkers, but trust me here. I love to lather up with our Activated Charcoal bar and then leave my suds mask on while I brush my teeth. Then I gently massage with a soft face muslin or bamboo washcloth before I rinse my face with warm water.
I do this once a day or a few times a week, as needed. Our bar soap is incredibly rich in alpha hydroxy acids (from the goat’s milk) and using it as a mask in this way helps to gently chemically exfoliate while hydrating, sloughing off dead and dull cells, and revealing fresh and glowy skin.
3. Boosted Moisturizer
My face can’t live without our Goat’s Milk Moisturizer. It’s the product that finally stopped the peeling around my nose and eyebrows and my skin has never looked better, but in the winter I want something a little richer. Luckily this doesn’t have to mean giving up my favorite cream. I just give my moisturizer a little boost! I add a few drops of Elasticity Serum or a small dab of Botanical Butter to my twice daily serving of moisturizer - I do this in the palm of my hand right before applying. The moisturizer easily blends with the added oils, becoming a richer cream and giving an additional boost of hydration along with all of the moisturizer’s benefits.
4. Herbal Infusions
We all know the #1 tenet of good skin: STAY HYDRATED ...but y’all, I struggle to stay hydrated in the winter. It's cold and drinking water is just, meh. Herbal infusions not only boost my liquid intake each day, they’re also deeply nourishing drinks, rich in bioavailable minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and micronutrients that help me glow from the inside out.
My dear friend Lyle introduced me to “Long Herbal Infusions” and the Herbalist Susun Weed during my first pregnancy over 6 years ago and I fell in love with them for both their simplicity and their noticeable benefits.
Long infusions are like tea in that they are made by infusing hot water with herbs, but differ in that the herb infuses for 8 hours (or overnight) and generally you make a single herb infusion. My favorites are nettle and oatstraw.
When I drink them every day or even just a few times a week I notice that my I have more energy, less cravings for sweets and coffee, I sleep better, and my skin is clearer and more vibrant. In addition to all of this, they’re an inexpensive way to enjoy herbs. When you buy in bulk (I like to use Mountain Rose Herbs for what we don’t grow ourselves) it will cost about $1 per quart of infusion. Mountain Rose Herbs has a great tutorial for making infusions here.
I hope that perhaps one or all of these tips will help you shine a little brighter this season. Sending you all the best!