Winter can take a toll on our skin. Hot baths or showers, indoor heating, even comfort foods can affect our complexion and leave our skin itchy, rough and dry.
Now that we are ready to take off some layers, what can we do to show off soft, glowy, healthy-looking skin?
Dry brushing is wonderful for exfoliating dry winter skin. It helps detoxify your body by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph drainage.
Dry brushing unclogs pores by exfoliating dead skin cells. It also stimulates your nervous system, which makes you feel invigorated.
Dry brushing is something you can — and should — be doing daily. Your skin should be dry, so the best time is in the shower before you turn on the water. Do not wet your brush.
Smooth your hands & feet
I don’t know about you, but I feel like my hands never get enough TLC. By contrast, my feet actually look better after the winter because, living in Southern California, I am not in sandals or flip flops all day... But most of us live in colder climates.
Nighttime is the best time to treat your hands and feet. First, exfoliate to remove dry skin (salt or sugar scrubs are great). Next, smooth liberally a moisturizing balm all over your feet and hands. Then, put on socks and gloves to wear for an hour or even overnight. You won’t believe how smooth and soft your hands and feet will be after only one treatment.
Here are a few tips on how to massage your feet for extra benefits: Gently rub a nourishing balm such as our Ultimate Care Foot Balm into the skin and nails, and massage the whole foot, the toes, the arch and the heel. If you prefer a deeper massage use your knuckles to press harder especially on the sole of the feet. Don’t forget to gently pull your toes back and forth, and apart to stretch them.
For your hands: Use a pea-size amount of nourishing balm, such as our Dream Body Balm. Warm it up between your palms to liquefy, then apply it all over your hands. Make sure to thoroughly massage your cuticles, your fingers, your entire hands, even your wrists and forearms.
I generally do my feet first, then wash my hands and massage my hands next, that way I can put on my cotton gloves last and I’m all done! And by the way, I only keep my cotton socks and gloves on for an hour or so… I just don’t like wearing them all night long. But if I did, they would be even softer!
Gently exfoliate your face AND lips
Your lips are possibly the part of your body most affected by winter, so don’t forget to treat them right. I personally try to combine lip and face exfoliation by using a sugar scrub in the shower (our Petal Face & Lip Polish is super simple yet amazingly effective and delicious):
I scoop out some of the product into my hand, and start exfoliating in a gentle circular motion on my face, lips and neck. I love the delicate scent of the rose and geranium blended with the sugar and honey…
The moisture of the shower helps the sugar crystals melt as I exfoliate, so I cannot overdo it. I rinse the remaining sugar off. The coconut oil leaves a thin film that prevents my skin from drying until I am ready to apply a moisturizer.
After the shower, I gently pat my face and neck dry and immediately apply a serum (like Eclat or Repair). Voilà! Soft as a petal!
Keep dehydration at bay
I know, we’ve all heard it a million times, but it’s really important: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Set a drinking water goal that you can keep up with. Remember, you have a ton of options: Room temperature water (hydrates you fastest), lemon water, herbal teas (hot or cold), and here and there a drink that satisfies your taste buds like coconut water, kombucha, kefir water, iced tea with a tiny bit of raw sugar or honey, etc… Also, make a habit of carrying a water bottle everywhere you go, especially at work, as it acts as a physical reminder to stay hydrated.
Get some fresh air!
When you’re not as covered up and are spending more time outside, breathing fresh air, your pores open up and your skin breathes better, which means that your skin is detoxing, and that you are less likely to experience acne breakouts, skin imperfections and irritations. Instead, you get that beautiful, fresh glow that makes you look like you spent a day in the spa.
Get plenty of sleep
The daylight-saving time change forces us to spring forward. Waking up bright and alert is not as easy, and it often takes a while for our bodies to adjust. I have been feeling groggy in the morning since the time changed on March 10, and have not been able to fall asleep early enough… So my skin is showing some signs of stress.
Light suppresses the secretion of sleep-inducing melatonin. So it is important to expose yourself to the light during the waking hours as much as possible, and conversely, not expose yourself to bright light when it is dark outside. And that includes staring at computer screens late in the day (something for me to remember as I often work late). The best way to get enough shuteye is to work backwards from the time you need to get up and set your bedtime. Setting aside time to get the sleep you need is really important. Once you’ve set a bedtime, stick with it so that it becomes part of your routine.