Written by: Nicola Biggs
It’s really not your fault. Your hands are getting itchy, and your lips getting parched. Your cuticles are peeling and your cheeks are sporting that dull, chapped “winter” layer of skin. (Welcome to the next few months…)
Unfortunately, our wool clothes make the skin even more itchy and irritated. Steaming showers and baths, though helpful for the moment, dehydrate our skin further. And I’m not even going to get started on what forced air heating in our homes, offices and cars, does to our skin.
Are we going to get rid of our hand knit scarves and cowls, tights and fashionable wool underwear? Abandon our candlelit baths and showers? Turn down the heat till our bones ache for warmth and comfort? Never. But we could be a tad more clever about how we use them. There are choices we can make throughout our day to make the cold weather a bit easier on our delicate skin.
• turn the heat down to a moderate level (so you still may need to wear socks and long sleeves).
• put soft natural fibers like cotton under your wool.
• and absolutely use a humidifier whenever you can – in the family room, bedroom and the office, if appropriate.
1. Exfoliate (but not too much… it can sensitize the skin)
Be gentle. Though I could tell you to leave that protective top layer of skin that is screaming to come off, it would be hypocritical, because we all still do it ourselves. It is very important, however, to make sure to MOISTURIZE and PROTECT the sensitive layers beneath afterwards. Those plump, beautiful skin cells below are delicate and need extra protection from the elements.
Eminence Organics: Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant: buffs away dead skin cells, without being overly abrasive; removes impurities and shrinks pores thereby improving the texture, brightness and appearance of skin.
Dry Brushes – with regular use, these maintain skin softness, and provide many other internal benefits as well: They activate the removal of waste via our lymphatic system (by stimulating the flow of lymph fluid), and increase circulation and oxygenation, thereby reducing cellulite. Overall, they can be quite invigorating, providing sensations of “newness” and “brightness” to your body’s skin.
(We love brushes by P.Jentschura & Merben.)
#2. Deep Cleansing
This one step can keep your skin looking refreshed and sparkling. Below are a few trusted options that we do ourselves, regularly:
Hot Mask: Eminence 8 Greens Phyto – This mask intensely brings circulation to the skin on the face and neck. By increasing blood flow, which helps oxygenate the layers of skin, it creates an otherwise difficult to achieve, natural dewy glow (and don’t worry – the redness from the heat will fade). We have a number of hot masks, but this one is particularly hydrating.
Purifying Rose Clay Mask: This DIY staff-inspired recipe was crafted by some staff mates while away in the mountains, with a little wine and a lot of fun. We LOVE this recipe, but careful – the red clay stains towels if using one to remove the mask. See recipe below.
#3. Moisturize & Protect to “lock it in”…
You want to keep your skin well hydrated, nourished and protected throughout the day. Working deep within the skins layers, these items re-establish a barrier, and help lock in moisture.
Pure & Simple: Vit. C Serum – brightening to the skin and good for hyperpigmentation, this is high in anti-oxidants and great for healing and repairing the skin. Unlike most gel Vit. C serums, this one is particularly moisturizing because of its creamy consistency.
Odacite Pure Elements – These drops add an extra boost for dehydrated, dry and devitalized skin. Odacite’s enhanced oils help protect the skin, while giving a customized boost to your cream.) Just add a few drops of any Odacite oil to your favourite winter moisturizer. (For those with breakouts, or oily skin, try Cell Energy.
#4. Glitter & Glisten:
It may be cold outside and we are bundled up, but sometimes a shoulder peeks out here, or a décolleté is exposed there… so why not let it glow?
For healthy – looking skin, use one of these to generate a shimmer:
For the face:
Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronze – adds sun-kissed radiance and glow
RMS Luminizer – a silvery shimmer for the eyes & cheekbones
For the body: (both of these subtly glisten like micro-diamonds)
Jane Iredale- Golden Shimmer Face & Body Lotion
Eminence- Blueberry Body Shimmer
A glow is never complete without the sparkle of jewelry - no explanation needed here We are over the moon for our newest line of jewelry, Eliasz & Ella.}
Purifying Rose Clay Mask (for Deep Cleansing…see above)
Base Clay Mixture:
(enough for multiple masks – mix ahead and store in a jar)
2 part White Kaolin Clay
1 part Rhassoul Clay
1 part Red Clay
(for starters, you can measure 1 part = 1 Tb. Later you can make batches as large as you like - i.e. 1 part = 1 cup)
For an Individual Mask:
2 tsp. Base Clay Mixture
¼ tsp. Dr. Hauschka Rejuvenating Mask or Moisturizing Day Cream
Moor Lavender or Rose: soothing, harmonizing and protective
Sage: cleansing – great for oily skin
1 ½ tsp. “Liquid”: Water or Hydrosol of choice
1-2 drops of Essential Oil of choice
Here are some of our favourite essential oils for the skin:
Sandalwood - all types, esp. dry & acneic or inflamed
Rose -all, esp. sensitive
Frankincense -dry, aging
Lavender -all types
Neroli -all, esp. dry & aging
Rose Geranium - all, esp. acneic, itchy & eczema
With Q-tip or fingertip, mix together Dr. Hauschka cream/mask, Dr. Hauschka Bath Essence, “Liquid” and Base Clay Mixture. Keep mixing until the mask is the consistency of yogurt. If the mask seems too thick, add more “Liquid” drop by drop; if too runny, sprinkle in more clay. When the mask is clump free, mix in essential oil drops.
Cleanse face with your favourite cleanser. Hold a warm cloth over your face, heating it multiple times & compressing the cloth to the skin until your face has a warmed glow. Apply mask with fingertips or brush. Allow to remain on the face for 5-10 minutes. Spritz hydrosol over the mask to keep it moist; letting it dry completely can dehydrate the skin.
When done, gently remove the mask with an old or dark cloth (since the mask stains) or rinse thoroughly with warm water before using a cloth. Splash face with cool water to freshen the skin. Tone and moisturize as you wish.
Stop by Kolya Naturals in Edmonton to learn more about these items.