Skincare Practices for Winter: A Beauty Reset
If you've been in my treatment room or had a conversation surrounding skincare with me, you probably already know that a lot of my philosophies are rooted in Ayurveda.
In simple terms, Ayurveda means the "science of life". Ayurveda believes that true beauty is composed of three vital elements: a well-nourished body, a balanced mind, and a peaceful spirit.
Here's my attempt to dumb it down further for you:
Within the practice of Ayurveda all matter is believed to be made up of five elements: Earth, Fire Water, Air and Ether. These elements manifest in the body as three basic principles, called your DOSHA; Vata (Ether + Air), Pita (Fire + Water) and Kapha (Earth + Water). According to Ayurveda, any imbalance in the body, skin, or mind is created from an imbalance to your Dosha.
If you want to learn your DOSHA, check out this quiz: (fyi: you'll have to enter your email, but it's free to take the quiz).
In other words, outer beauty is a reflection of one’s inner health and wellbeing. Following a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress are the cornerstones of a holistic, long-term beauty regimen. This is one of the reasons why I wrote my e-book- WHOLE SKIN APPROACH. To help you understand that beauty is more than the products you use. It's the rituals you keep, the mindset you adopt, the food you eat, the choices you make every day.
Here in New England we've been having a pretty mild winter. I'm a little worried that March will give us a big wake up call!
Anyway....with the sun farther away and the fact that we're spending more time indoors, our skin can appear dry and dull so the focus of winter skincare is hydration and nourishment. I would love to share a few of my favorite skincare rituals and practices for wintertime with you:
1.) When it's cold outside, we tend to take hotter showers. The problem is the hot water evaporates quickly and drys out our skin. First, try to take limit your time in a hot shower. Try using a body cleansing oil (make you own, see my recipe below) before you hop into the shower. Allow the oil to be your cleanser instead of using a bar soap that has a high PH and strips your skin of natural oils. Same goes for your face. Also, avoid using and face products that contain alcohol.
DIY Cleansing Body Oil:
1 Tbs of sweet almond oil
1 Tbs castor oil
3 Tbs of avocado oil
3 drops of favorite essential oil ( I like to use orange in the morning and lavender for a bath at nighttime).
2.) Don't forget to hydrate your LIPS. Use natural lip moisturizers with ingredients like coconut oils, shea butter, vitamin E, beeswax and organic essential oils. Stay way from anything with fragrance, mineral oils, petrolatum as these are toxic for the skin and body.
3.) Steam your face with a hydrating mask or cleanser. I LOVE this one by Botnia. I'll slather it all over my face and neck and do an herbal steam bath with dried herbs ---usually rose petals.
4.) Exfoliate dry skin (but, please NOT TOO MUCH) Done correctly, exfoliation will remove dead dull skin cells and reveal glowing skin. If you have a sensitive skin type or the condition called rosacea, you might want to skip the exfoliation until the inflammation is healed.
5.) Get a winer facial. Whether you choose to pamper yourself with a DIY spa day or go for one outside of the house, take time for this self-care. Having a spa day or even and hour at home can help to reduce cortisol, boost oxytocin, and give you a moment to reset and be your best self. For an at-home winter facial, try this 5-step, aromatic ritual by one of my beloved brands, LILFOX: 1.) Cleanse, Toner, Exfoliate, Mask, Hydrate. Light a candle and soak in a salt bath while you mask for a relaxing hour at home!
6.) Eat seasonally. This is especially important if you're struggling with hormonal imbalances. Some of my favorite winter foods are listed below:
Quinoa + Oats
Apples + Pears
Dark, leafy Greens
Beets, Leeks and Mushrooms (or, any root vegetables)
Hemp seeds ( I always add these to my smoothies) + walnuts
Salmon, Bison or Pork
Beans and Peas
Black Pepper, Fennel, Garlic or Ginger
Dates and maple syrup
7.) Lastly, don't forget about quality movement. This time of year is not for vigorous activity. Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy the healing benefits of stretching at home, long walks in nature (so important to get a least 15-30 minutes of sunshine daily to keep Vitamin D levels up) or taking a yoga class.
We're in the home stretch now.....Spring will be here before we know it. And, always remember:
"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness" ~ John Steinbeck.
Will you give any of these rituals a try? I'd love to hear if you do!