Seasonal Skincare - Winter
It was originally published in the 6.4 Winter edition of Aromatika Magazine. I am grateful for the opportunity to get to write this article. The topic itself could fill numerous books, so here I only wanted to highlite a few of my recommendations.
Nature and with it everything is in constant flux and cycle. Our body respond to these changes - the weather, the humidity, the sun shine, our surroundings and every other environmental impact. So just like seasonal eating, seasonal skincare is important too. Together with our whole body, our skin is adapting to the changes of our environment, so for the health of our skin our skincare routine should reflect these changes too. Living in harmony with nature is always easier and healthier for our body. We are not surprised when we are craving warm, richer foods during Winter, so don't be stunned when our skin is doing the same and screaming for more nourishing, richer products and ingredients.
During Winter and the colder months everything slows down, and its true for our whole human body. The freezing wind, the cold weather outside and the heating season are all leaving their marks on our skin. It producing less sebum anyway that adds on to the dryness of our skin. It can be especially visible on our hands, where the skin is thiner. Usually we try water rich products because we need to hydrate and how else than with water. The needs of our skin is much more complicated. These water rich products are absorbed easily, that feels good as no-one likes greasiness. But this dry upper layer do need to be nourished with oils too.
As you can see the first line of defence during Winter are the products rich in plant oils and butters. For a start use these products at night so you can give them plenty of time to absorb. During the day it worth to switch to a richer moisturiser and body lotion (or those who are experienced and brave, get out the oil serums and body oils and use them generously). Of course, don't trow away any of your existing products. Just simply give them a boost with a few drops of oil serum or body oil. These have added skin nourishing benefits.
An other example that we should reuse in our skincare routine is layering. It is a useful tool in Winter's fashion trend, as well as its skincare. Here the three basic step are a face mist or an essence, a serum and finally a deeply nourishing moisturiser. It worth to have a face mist handy all day long, especially against the dryness in the office. As it can be used both misting our face and environment to humidify the air and charge up our mood.
Its worth to complement above with exfoliation. But be gentle, and think of the whole body too. So I would recommend a gentle enzymatic exfoliation or scrubs, with this focus more on the areas that tend to be dryer like the elbows, knees, heels etc. Most of the natural scrubs and polishes include plant oils and butters, so we can kill two birds with one stone: exfoliation and nourishment.
Most importantly, it is important to listen to our body (and the weather, of course), so we can adjust our skincare routine accordingly.
The three component groups that can help and worth looking for it on the ingredients list:
- NATURAL PLANT OILS AND BUTTERS: these oils and butter, like shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, almond oil etc., are rich in fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins, so they can nourish the skin on many levels.
- HUMECTANTS (HONEY, PLANT GLYCERIN) AND HYALURONIC ACID: these can help with the moisturisation and hydration of the skin. Together with oils they complement each other nicely. As a semipermanent membrane, the skin actually loves to pull moisture into and hold it in the outer layer and this instance the best friend for your skin is water-soluble molecules.
The honey is nature's own humectant, attracts and retains moisture. Even just a quick home-made mask can make a difference.
The plant glycerin has been used for decades as basic for most moisturisers and body lotions.
The hyaluronic acid was discovered in the seventies. It is produced naturally by the skin and one of the most important components of the dermis. The concentration of this essential molecule decreases with age. Skincare with hyaluronic acid applied daily keeps the skin soft and hydrated.
- BEESWAX AND OTHER NATURAL PLANT WAXES: they create a thin, water-proof layer on the skin, that has numerous benefits, but I would not recommend it on your face where it is especially important that your skin can breath. But they can be brilliant caring for your feet, hands and lips. With its waterproofing qualities it can prevent your skin to loose moisture and get dry.
We can agree that being connected to the seasons is not only good for us, but can help getting to know the world around us and appreciate its gifts more.
All photographs: Szendeff Lőrinc