We are all getting excited for spring to come, the snow to melt, and the days to feel longer again. The reality is, winter isn't over just yet, and right about now our skin is really starting to feel the effects of this dry season. So, to help get us through this last exhausting stretch of winter, I went to the experts at Province Apothecary for their advice on winter skincare. I couldn't be more thrilled to share this inside info- from a team of knowledgeable, holistic skin experts, who are continuously gathering knowledge and inspiration from their clients, the weather and the seasons- with you.
1. HYDRATE YOURSELF INTERNALLY.
Every cell in our body requires the right amount of healthy fats to function properly. When our body is given the raw materials to heal itself, we will see the results reflected in the mirror. It won’t happen overnight- but your skin will become plumped up with essential fatty acids that aid in hydration, anti-aging and rejuvenating the overall appearance of your skin. Fortunately, what you’re doing for your skin will benefit your entire body, from the inside out. Flax oil is a great option as it also provides anti-inflammatory benefits that work miracles on sensitive skin or any condition similar to eczema, psoriasis, acne, dehydration or signs of aging. Fish oils are rich in omega-3 essential oils that make the skin look younger, fresher and joints feel better!
2. EXFOLIATE YOUR FACE EVERY 3 DAYS.
A lot of our clients are expressing concerns with exfoliating during the cold, dry winter months. Especially clients with sensitive skin types mention irritation and inflammation occurring within the skin. The issue is not whether you should exfoliate- it’s the type of exfoliator you’re using. As long as you are using an appropriate exfoliator for your skin type, it’s extremely beneficial to exfoliate your face every 3 days. When using a gentle + hydrating exfoliating treatment, you will improve moisture levels within the skin, slough away flakiness, impart a natural youthful glow, and allow other skincare products to work more efficiently. We recommend our Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator, perfect for all skin types. It contains hydrating ingredients such as oats (which retain moisture levels within the skin cells), lentils, flax (high in anti-inflammatory benefits), lavender flowers, and green tea leaf (invigorating and brightening). We suggest using our exfoliator in the shower (morning or night) and massaging it into your face for 1-3 minutes. The massage will increase circulation and improve the benefits of the exfoliation.
3. SCRUB + MOISTURIZE YOUR BODY EVERYDAY.
Sometimes we focus so much on taking care of our face, that we forget about the rest of our bodies- especially in the winter months when we are covered up! But taking care of your entire skin organ during the whole year will maintain a soft, supple feel and healthy glow. Scrub away that dead skin build up and gently remove toxins from the body. A great DIY body scrub can easily be achieved with ingredients from your kitchen pantry. Mix 1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar with 1⁄2 cup olive oil- add in some fresh coffee grinds for an invigorating and awakening morning scrub. Follow up with a whole body moisturizer- we suggest hemp, avocado, flax, sunflower and/ or olive oil. Trust us- you’ll soon want to remove all those extra layers and show off your glowing hydrated skin!
4. LAYER YOUR FACE SERUM UNDER A MOISTURIZER.
Layering skin care products will add an extra barrier to protect your skin against the outside environmental elements. It’s essential in increasing and maintaining hydration levels within the skin cells. Sometimes one just isn’t enough- we recommend using a potent + pure face serum underneath your favourite face moisturizer. Serums are packed full of antioxidants that protect the skin against free radical damage, therefore preventing the signs of aging. Moisturizers maintain the hydration levels within the skin and impart a supple, soft feel.
5. TURN ON YOUR HUMIDIFIER.
Our skin cells naturally lose moisture during the dry winter months. When it’s dry enough, the moisture on our top surface layer of skin will evaporate into the air. Adding humidity to your air will in turn infuse your skin with moisture, soothing dry cracked skin, healing sore acne blemishes, and calming irritated skin conditions. Cold air humidifiers don’t harbour bacteria as quickly as hot air, but it’s still recommended to replace the water daily, and keep it wherever you spend most of your time throughout the day. I like to have one on beside my bed at night time- the soothing white noise is appreciated by some and not by others, so you decide where is best for your home.
6. TREAT YOURSELF TO A WEEKLY DIY FACE MASK.
We already have a lot of amazing ingredients in our homes that we can use to create our own DIY face masks. Depending on your combination, it may be pretty tasty too! The basis for a face mask is simple. You want to use dry and wet ingredients in whatever amounts will produce a creamy, smooth paste. My favourite DIY face masks for the winter months include: flesh of an avocado, plain yogurt, natural honey, oatmeal, pureed fresh fruit (or frozen from fresh, then thawed) and lemon juice.
7. AVOID PETROLEUM BASED PRODUCTS.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all been told that petroleum based products will heal our skin and maintain exceptional hydration levels. The reality is that they do neither. Petroleum is a by-product of the oil industry. It’s an extremely inexpensive ingredient that provides the appearance immediate “results” but in the long term it’s thick texture will clog pores and seal in dirt and impurities. Instead, opt for lip and face balms with natural ingredients such as beeswax. Beeswax provides protection, hydration and healing qualities- all very important during the dry winter months. Prevent frost bite, flakiness, and dehydration with this superior ingredient. Best of all, it’s completely natural and can be locally sourced. We use this potent ingredient in our face, body + lip balms: Hydrating Rescue Body Balm, Protecting + Restoring Face Balm, Repairing + Conditioning Lip Balm and Healing Eczema Balm.
Advice from: Julie Clark and Cassandra Bradshaw, Holistic Aestheticians, Province Apothecary
Photo credit: relaxedhairhealth.blogspot.ca