Winter can be brutal on our skin. The cold, the wind, the changes from outdoor to indoor temperatures. They can all dry your skin out and just generally confuse your skin and body causing breakouts, eczema, chapped skin and all sorts of other skin problems. Here is my natural Winter Skincare. How I look after my skin through Winter using natural & planet friendly products.
Of course some of these skin conditions aren’t just confined to the cold weather months. But if you are someone who struggles with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis you will know Winter or just a change in season can make it worse and cause you flare ups. So I hope this post can help you too.
A bit about your skin
Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. It is also the most sensitive, your first contact with the World, and your first line of defence. Your skin picks up on hot and cold temperatures, senses and repels foreign bodies, protects your tissue and muscles, provides a waterproof barrier, helps you manage your internal temperature, and so much more.
It renews itself daily, and can even repair itself. Did you know that scar tissue is actually stronger than your skin before it was damaged?
But your skin isn’t perfect. It prefers consistency, so takes a while to adjust to any changes in your immediate environment. Each season and the changes they bring can cause some kind of flare up or complication with your skin. But for most people Winter can often be the worst.
Protection is not the only function of your skin. It is also one of your body’s main ways to eliminate toxins, it can breathe(!) – it is able to exchange small amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide with the air it’s in contact with. It can also absorb tiny molecules into your body too. Such as essential oils. AND it makes vitamin D from the sunlight.
What Winter does to your skin
The biggest problem winter causes your skin is dryness. In Autumn / Winter the humidity levels drop. This means the air your skin comes into contact with is drier and literally sucks the moisture from your skin. This can cause dry flaky skin, especially if you are prone to dry skin already.
The lower the temperatures drop the more they can make your skin feel raw and irritated. Your skin can feel tight and uncomfortable, seasonal changes can even cause you more spots and inflammation than usual. Add to that switching between indoor and outdoor temperatures and it’s no wonder you skin can end up dry, tight and easily irritated.
Of course not all skin problems are caused by the weather. The food you eat, inflammation in your body, problems with your circulation, immune system, or your body’s elimination process can all cause skin problems.
As we’ve said, your skin likes consistency so any weather changes are going to cause it a bit of a shock. I think the key is to get in front of the weather and start changing up your skincare routine to compensate…
so if you know your skin tends to get dry and flaky by November, start using a thicker moisturiser and incorporating an oil into your skincare routine a week or two before.
We will cover some more tips and other ideas to keep your skin healthy below, not just products but holistic ways that are incorporated into natural Winter skincare that help too. Let’s get into it.
Winter Skincare & How I look after my skin using Natural products
If you aren’t prepared Winter can cause you problems, but do not despair! There is plenty you can do to keep your skin happy and healthy:
The number one thing your skin is lacking during Winter is moisture. This means you not only need to drink more water, but also switch up the moisturisers you use.
Whereas in summer your skin will tend to hold onto its natural oil, and a lighter moisturiser is better, in Winter a thicker moisturiser or balm, and an oil combined is a good way to go.
At the moment I use a Jason vitamin E facial moisturiser — made from all natural products and eco friendly. Jason are a brand I would recommend you check out if you haven’t heard of them already.
I also use a sweet almond oil on an evening and also as well as my moisturiser on a morning if I feel like my skin needs it. Sweet Almond oil is a little thicker than than regular almond oil but still absorbs just as nicely.
For body moisturiser you can use a sesame seed oil, this is the most comparable with your body in Ayurvedic terms, and is easily absorbed. But you can choose an almond or other oil instead if you prefer.
Apply your oil straight after a bath or shower while your skin is still wet. Massage the oil in using circular motions working from your arms and feet up towards your heart. Once you have applied oil everywhere leave for a few minutes, then pat yourself dry.
.Exfoliate (but not too often)
Exfoliating is a great way for removing dead skin cells, but be careful not to do it too often. Over exfoliating can remove your skins natural oils and damage skin more than help it. Stick to a natural exfoliate, you can try this diy recipe here: 3 DIY Face Masks
This recipe is a good option as the coconut oil will also moisturise your skin as you exfoliate.
Exfoliate once a week or once a fortnight to start and see how your skin reacts. Don’t forget you can exfoliate your whole body to improve skin quality and moisture. Exfoliating also makes your skin wonderfully smooth.
.Get some Sunlight
In Winter we cover up more, less of our skin is exposed to the sunlight and this means we get less vitamin D than in the summer months. Vitamin D is needed by your body to keep your skin healthy (as well as the rest of your body).
Try getting out in the daytime for at least an hour. Turn your face to the sun and soak up as much daylight as you can.
Sunlight not only helps your skin but lifts your spirits and improves your mood. Emotions and stress can all contribute to problems with your skin.
.Up the Omegas
As well as oils on your skin your body needs to absorb and use healthy fats from the inside too. Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3’s, are needed for healthy cells and to reduce inflammation. A lack of them is very common nowadays and can cause inflammation anywhere in your body — from asthma to joint pain!
Fish oils are a good source of omega-3, but if like me you prefer a plant based option taking a hemp oil or flax supplement is a good way to get your omega-3’s and improve your skin health. Of course including hemp seeds, walnuts or flax seeds in your diet work just as well.
Your lips are just important as the rest of your skin, and can become chapped, flakey and sore when exposed to consistent cold weather. Not only that, but when they are sore you are more prone to repeatedly lick them, exasperating the problem instead of helping.
Using a natural lipbalm, or even making your own, and applying it regularly when you leave the house will protect your lips from exposure from the elements before you go outside. Of course eating, drinking etc. means you will want to re-apply your lipbalm throughout the day to keep your lips protected.
I currently use a ‘Burts Bees’ lipbalm at the moment, but have also used in the past a homemade lip balm using coconut oil, bees wax, and essential oils. The most beneficial oils for helping your lips are those such as Peru balsam, Chamomile, lavender, sandalwood, rosewood & violet. These are all oils that offer relief for sensitive and dry skin.
Benzoin, patchouli, and again sandalwood, and Peru balsam relieve chapped, cracked skin.
You can also use the coconut oil and sugar scrub I linked above to gently exfoliate your lips and remove dry, chapped skin.
Cold water or cool water to wash your face and hands is better for your skin, especially during the cold months. Hot water can actually dry out your skin, which is the last thing you want when the weather is drying your skin out already.
.Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
I will keep repeating it, but food really is the simplest form of medicine. If you are eating the right things of course!
When it comes to natural Winter skincare & How I look after my skin all year eating seasonally is probably my number one tip! Mother Nature is very clever. What grows in that season is also what your body needs & contains the vitamins & minerals etc. to keep you healthy in that season.
Plants, leafy greens, fruits & vegetables are full of the vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients and key ingredients that your body needs to do everything. But in this instance specifically to keep your skin healthy, to create new skin cells, and to give you plump, glowing moisture full skin.
Eating foods out of these food categories such as processed food, refined sugar, alcohol, takeouts and any foods that contain manufactured ingredients, chemicals, E-numbers and all that nasty stuff that is toxic to your body. That is when breakouts, dull congested skin, greasy skin and complications such as psoriosis and rashes are more likely to occur.
Rosehip syrup was a game-changer for me this year. Unfortunately I only made one batch, but that batch lasted me over 4 months. Rosehips are a natural & high source of Vitamin C. They also contain the relevant nutrients that help your body to absorb and use that Vitamin C.
Your body needs Vitamin C for many things including a healthy immune system and healthy skin. Rosehips are known for helping to relieve skin issues such as acne and breakouts. But I noticed that not only were my spots a lot less frequent, by skin was brighter and healthier while I was taking the rosehip syrup.
Needless to say this year I will be making at least 2 batches! If you would like to make your own syrup you can check out my simple (and refined sugar free) 3 ingredient rosehip syrup recipe.
Add a spoonful of syrup to your porridge, yoghurt, or smoothie. Whatever you have for breakfast. A spoonful a day is all you need. I would say Rosehip syrup has become my new essential for natural Winter Skincare & looking after my skin through Winter.
As well as the other essential oils previously mentioned Geranium oil is a wonderful oil for Winter. It has many properties and benefits. Amongst them are a number that are beneficial for your skin:
It is anti inflammatory, antiseptic, helps balance your hormones, enhances circulation and encourages new skin cell growth. It also eliminates dead skin cells & is known as a skin brightening essential oil because of this.
Add a couple of drops of geranium oil to your daily face oil or moisturiser morning and night and watch how quickly you see the benefits.
While all of these things are good for your skin I don’t recommend trying them all at once. Apart from the fact that you could overload your skin and cause more harm than good, you won’t be able to tell which of the steps are actually making a difference.
Try doing just one or two new things at a time and asses your skin after a few weeks. If you feel they have made improvements, great! If not, try something else.Not everyone’s skin is the same so not everyone will see the same results.
And don’t get frustrated when you don’t see immediate results. It takes time. Especially when you are opting for natural, kinder, and more gentle methods of skincare. They work, they may just take a little longer.
These methods are working with your body’s natural rhythms rather than forcing a change like a chemical skin product would.
If you are unsure or already have an underlying skin condition seek help before trying anything new. Speak to a dermatologist or skincare professional.