Do you notice how your skin changes throughout the seasons? Or maybe depending on your environment, whether it's hot, dry, humid, cold, windy, city, or rural? For some, travel itself triggers changes in skin condition. For others, it's the quality of sleep, products you use, whether you have hard or soft water.
The number one question I get from people though is what to do about dry skin. More and more, we're realizing that oils are generally really great for skin. But what if all the oils, creams, and serums you're using to moisturize aren't working? What if there are some areas that are dry or flaky but some areas are oily? And what about chapped lips?
While for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Fall and Winter mean getting to bundle up in scarves, warm hats, (sometimes) cute boots, copious amounts of hot tea and cocoa, and cozy winter-wear, it also tends to be the time when most folks get dry, itchy, flaky, dehydrated skin.
So what can ya do?
Well, first thing's first. Dehydrated and dry skin are two different things. Dry skin needs oil, whereas dehydrated skin is lacking water. That means you can actually have oily AND dehydrated skin and appear or feel dry!
So here's the thing. Your skin needs both water and oil to maintain healthy moisture. Many times, we try putting on heavy face creams or facial oils when your skin might really need hydration (aka water). Other times, it needs lipids (or oils) to seal in moisture and protect it from external dry conditions. No matter which you may be, there are some easy ways to rehydrate and moisturize for happy winter skin.
Here are some of my favorite tips and products:
Skin needs hydration no matter what skin type you have. One of the best ways to hydrate your skin is with toners or hydrosols. Mist your face after cleansing and before moisturizing as well as throughout the day with something like the Rose Petal Hydrosol or Ceres Replenishing Tonic, which has aloe vera for extra hydration and skin repair.
One step in our skincare rituals we often skip is exfoliation. There are many reasons to exfoliate, but one of the top ones is so your skin can better absorb hydration and moisture from the fabulous skincare products you're using. I recommend the Soma Hydrating Mask. It's incredibly gentle for those of us with sensitive skin PLUS it contains tons of Vitamin C which helps promote the production of collagen.*
Another underrated tool is a facial steam. Doing regular herbal facial steams help to clear, cleanse, and stimulate dry, dull skin and, similar to exfoliation, steaming opens up pores for your skin to more readily absorb leave-on products. You can make your own with a blend of lavender, chamomile, rose, and calendula.
Sometimes people think if their skin is dry, they shouldn't cleanse. I was once one of those people! But a good cleanser doesn't just function to remove oil. It stimulates lymphatic movement, sweeps away dirt, debris, and environmental pollutants, and sloughs off dead skin cells. Plus, if you're using the right cleanser, it makes your skin feel good! Try out our Sanctum Cleansing Milk or Vesper Cleansing Oil, both of which are balancing for all skin types.
Ok ok, yes you also need to moisturize. Oils offer protective and emollient (i.e. softening) properties and can reduce transepidermal water loss improving barrier integrity. They help protect your skin! They also help lock in all the good stuff that's in your toners, serums, and creams. Different oils have different properties so some may be better for damaged skin while others are brilliant for balancing oil production. This is why we have a variety of options for facial oils and creams.
One area it seems most of us struggle with at some point are with chapped lips. The skin on our lips is generally thinner than the rest of our face and reveals its own information. According to face mapping, the lips can tell of stress, hormone imbalances, mineral deficiency, and dehydration among other things.
While it may help to use a balm or even a serum on them (I'm a big fan of Sirenis Cleansing Balm as a lip balm), it's not always about what you put on your skin. Often, dry or dehydrated skin is a sign that you need more moisture and hydration internally. I know it sounds trite, but you need to drink water. Most of us are chronically dehydrated and our organs, including our skin, need hydration to feel their best.
If you drink a ton of water and aren't seeing a difference, blood-building and moistening herbs like Marshmallow root, Rosehips, Amla, Shatavari, Cinnamon, Rose, and Licorice root can help rehydrate your tissues from within giving your skin healthy texture, color, and moisture. Especially if you notice your lips or tongue are pale and dry, add some teas with a couple of these herbs to your daily rituals and see how it helps!
If you're not sure which products are best for you, send us a message and let us help you pick out some skincare rituals to suit your needs.