Maine winters are hard on skin. My hands and face especially struggle against the cold winter and hot stove. I’m a careless stove-tender, and my fingers are singed often. I also seem to have slow circulation so my skin is definitely not at it’s best in the slow, sluggish months of January and February.
But this is the year of renewal and my skin is a part of that process. Our skin is a huge and neglected part of our health, and this year, I’m renewing my body as well as my mind and soul. So I’m trying to take some extra time for skincare and detoxification.
Winter skincare is not the same as summer skincare, though, at least not in snowy Maine! In my mid-thirties, with skin that easily falls in the ‘weathered’ category, winter is a time for deep nourishment: gentle oils, long soaks, creamy scrubs, and lots of water.
Water is the key for healthy skin in winter or summer. Lots of water. Drinking water on a regular basis is one of the most healing choices we can make in regard to skincare, and while I love water, I tend to neglect it in the winter. Coffee, tea, steamers, and mulled wine are all so much more appealing when it’s 4 degrees outside and all the stoves burning away cozily. But plain, fresh water is essential.
Plain, fresh water with slices of orange and clusters of pomegranate seeds is an exciting option though. Or water with a sprig of rosemary or spruce; water with a squeeze of grapefruit juice; or lemon-ginger water to start the morning off right. There are a lot of ways to remain our bodies that water is a delicious indulgence as well as an absolute necessity! I’m trying to keep that in mind as I drink pint after pint of it.
I love body brushing, it wakes up my skin and gets my circulation going again. It also scrubs away dead skins and nourishes the healthy skin underneath. If your body has been feeling dull and stagnate, try it out! Just brush dry skin each morning with a stiff, but soft bristled brush. Not your face, that needs a smaller, softer brush or a gentle scrub.
Body brushing takes on about 5-15 minutes and it helps so much. Most people brush before they bathe each day, but since I don’t bath everyday, I just rub down with a clean towel afterwards to clear away any remaining dead skin or dirt.
All the Oils
Because winter is such a dry season, cleansing and moisturizing with soothing oils and soft butters is so helpful. I love shea butter in the winter. It’s such a soothing, softening addition to any bodycare recipe. I’ll blend a little bit with raw honey and apple cider vinegar for a creamy face wash or warm it on the stove with olive oil and beeswax for a gentle, kid-friendly salve.
Especially after a long bath with milk, honey, hot water, and a handful of oatmeal (put it in a muslin tea bag if you want to avoid a mess), massaging in some shea and olive oil is a reviving experience.
Give it a try! And please, let me know your winter-skincare tips and tricks!