I am offering these natural winter skin care tips both to prevent damage to the skin and to help the body to heal quickly and easily if you’ve already experienced irritation from the cold.
This time of year is transitioning into KAPHA time, which in Ayurveda represents the cold and moist element. It is actually less drying than the VATA time (late fall/early winter), yet it is winter and it is cold :)
How do we protect our skin from the harsh cold and fluctuating moisture?
Here are 4 winter skin care tips to start with:
1) Use deeply moisturizing, heavy oils and do some “deep conditioning” at night. I really like argan oil nowadays, with its high levels of vitamin e and squalene, it is downright silky! Another good choice is extra virgin olive oil. When you apply oils make sure to put them on damp skin. Also lie on your back for about 5 minutes in bed to allow the oil to really soak in. You may also need to re-moisturize midday if your skin is dry. I like 100% Pure’s green tea set and will spray my face with the toner and then apply a thin coat of the lotion. This works wonders!
2) Embrace the cold. This is about using those wonderful adaptive strategies that our delightful bodies have. Go OUTSIDE several times per week for shorter periods of time (like under an hour). Being properly clothed is important though, especially protect the kidneys and the neck (both places where heat can “escape”) with warm fabrics. Going outside in the cold keeps our wondrous adaptive bodies in line with the elements. Too much indoor heat actually makes us more susceptible to cold and less tolerant of it. Then the skin will really get bongo when you do go out!
3) Heavier butters and waxes can create a protective layer on the skin if you are doing outdoor activities. Sure, you might be kind of glossy, but your skin will be literally buffered from the wind. Shea butter is a great one to consider or a balm or salve made from healing herbs like calendula or comfrey. All of those are great to PROTECT when going out into the cold and also to SOOTHE cracked, dry and otherwise damaged skin!
4) Not counter to number 2, though it may seem that way…drink nourishing, warming beverages. HOW will this help the skin you ask? Nourished skin is healthy skin and healthy skin can withstand harsh environmental conditions much better.
Some of my personal favorites this winter:
- Chai made with warming spices cinnamon, ginger and cardamom
- Carob latte made with carob powder, coconut milk and honey
- Herbal teas featuring comforting herbs like evergreen needles, spices, rosehips, rosemary, and mints.
How do you protect your skin in the winter? Please share your tips!
Upper photo credit & enhanced by me