Preventing the winter skin blues

As much as we love the change of seasons and all the variety we are honoured to experience in North America, our skin can feel challenged by Mother Nature at this time of year. Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, can be a wonderful resource to help us figure out our fragile skin in the winter months. The word Ayurveda translates to the “Science and Knowledge of Life”, and according to this ancient body of wisdom, all aspects of human beings and life are made up of, and affected by, the 5 elements of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Even the seasons have their own unique combination of the elements and this time of year from late fall to early spring is known as Vata Season. Vata season is comprised of a combination of Space and Air, and the qualities associated with these elements are dry, cold, rough, and light. According to Ayurveda, these qualities are then reflected in our emotional body, our spiritual body and our physical body. The manifestation of the wind in the air may show up as scattered thoughts, inability to focus, intense creativity, feeling ungrounded etc. Physically speaking, we experience drier skin, rough patches, lack of hydration on all levels.

Ayurveda recommends following the rhythms of Nature and balancing ourselves with warm grounding foods and spices, like root vegetables and cinnamon and turmeric—think nourishing, easy to digest meals and cozy teas.

While you are enveloping yourself in a warm snuggly blanket, sipping your turmeric cashew milk latte, here are a few helpful hints to keep your beautiful skin soft and supple through the winter months:

  • try not to over dry your skin after a warm (not hot) bath or shower—let your body oil or lotion sink right into damp skin.
  • increase your warm liquids to promote hydration from the inside out—think warm lemon water and herbal teas, rather than icy drinks and cold smoothies
  • bump up your skin care routine to include a richer moisturizer, especially at night. Our skin is working extra hard overnight to repair, regenerate, renew and replenish, so give it a boost with a nutrient-rich night cream and be sure to include a serum. We recommend our Nourishing Cream and Hyaluronic 2 in 1 serum for the ultimate in hydration and comfort.
  • avoid using skin care products on your face and body that contain stripping alcohols and sulfates that compromise our protective skin barrier and start the cycle of needing more hydration, then stripping, then needing more hydration. Plus if you are prone to breakouts, these harsh ingredients leave you susceptible to bacteria.
    incorporate massage and take the time to work in products with the warmth of your fingers, either in your morning skin care routine, or in the evening. Self care and relaxation go a long way to keep us grounded and nurtured.
  • go to a spa and treat yourself to a professional facial. Your spa therapist will have tools to deeply hydrate your thirsty skin and provide decadent layers of moisture to quench your winter skin.
  • eat organic foods when possible and avoid processed foods that make our livers work harder. Your skin is your largest organ of elimination and toxins in your body will show up on your face.
  • think gentle—avoid aggressive treatments and harsh peels or chemicals. Exfoliation is always important, but take it down a notch in the cold dry winter. If you use a physical “scrub” type of exfoliant, use a bit less and add more water or toner to make it less abrasive. Use gentle circular motions and avoid truly scrubbing your sweet face.
  • increase your ingestion of avocados and flaxseed oil to lubricate your skin from the inside out! Sweet potatoes are an excellent skin food and a root veggie (helpful for grounding), so throw them into your meals whenever you can!
  • it is essential to use an spf throughout the entire year. The UV index can be high in winter with strong sun and reflection from snow. The sun’s rays damage our elastin and cause hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin texture. Protect, protect, protect!! Our Moisturizing Cream SPF 20 is a wonderful answer to preventing sun damage any time of year!
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