It’s that time of year again. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it is going to be positively nasty outside for the next few months The holidays are over and it’s back to the grind. If you’re anything like me, you struggle with keeping your skin looking it’s best in the winter months. Harsh weather conditions, less sunshine, and less-than-ideal eating habits can lead to dry, dehydrated, and stressed out skin. I often find that it takes a lot more work to make my skin look presentable at this time of year. I have super dry skin with eczema breakouts, so if I don’t take really good care of myself things can get really ugly really fast. After lots of practice over a number of harsh Canadian winters, here are my top tips for winter skincare and how to get glowing skin!
Work from the Inside Out
By now, you guys know that I’m a big advocate of a holistic approach to wellness and beauty. That means if you really want glowing skin, you have to work from the inside out. This tip can be the most challenging for a lot of people, but it will make the biggest difference in the long run. Focus on eating lots of wholesome foods, reduce your sugar intake, and stay super hydrated.
Remember that your skin is mostly moisturized from the inside, so if you’re not drinking water it is going to show. If you’re not a huge water drinker, try having lots of herbal teas or adding some frozen fruit or citrus to your water can make it a little more palatable. Aim to drink about 2.5-3 litres of water a day, if you can handle it. You can also reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol you’re drinking, since these will dehydrate you and leave your skin looking dull and discoloured.
Another great option to help het glowing skin is to do some kind of exercise at least 3-4 times per week. Try to make sure you break a sweat – this is incredible for improving circulation and helping to detoxify skin. I love going to hot yoga, a spin class or anything else that will really gets my blood pumping.
Many mainstream skincare products contain alcohol, toxic ingredients, and nasty additives that will do more damage to your skin than good. Being diligent with the ingredient list in your products can really help de-stress your skin. This is particularly important if you have eczema, psoriasis, sensitive skin or are prone to redness. Look for products with ingredients that you can understand, and be wary of anything that sounds questionable. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, the Environmental Working Group has a great database that you can use to search your products to see how toxic they are. I love to use this before buying anything new.
I recently started making my own products. This is more work, but I have found I can tailor the product to exactly what I want. It is also a little less expensive than buying lots of specialized natural skincare products. If you are having trouble finding something that works for your specific skincare needs, try looking up how to make a lotion or beauty balm yourself. It isn’t as tricky as you would think and I have found it has really helped me get my glowing skin back in the winter months!
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!
For me, the easiest way to get glowing skin is by being extra diligent with regular exfoliation. This may require you to re-prioritize your morning and evening routines, but it is so worth it.
For my face, I like to use gentle, natural exfoliants that contain fruit enzymes a few times a week. This both helps reduce the flaky factor, and also evens my skin tone and reduces fine lines and prevents acne breakouts. If I’m looking for something a little stronger, I will use a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water and gently massage that into my skin. Be careful not to scrub too much, though. Over-exfoliating can lead to damaging skin more than helping it. Finally, if I’m really looking to splurge, I will get a microdermabrasion oxygen facial at a local skincare clinic.
For my body, I like using a natural hemp exfoliating glove in the shower. It is really gentle, but does a great job of keeping my dry skin at bay. If I have a little extra time, I also love dry brushing. This is amazing for exfoliation and also helps clear out your lymphatic system. Believe it or not, this makes it great for detoxification, improving circulation and even reducing cellulite.
After living in all kinds of winter climates I have become a bit of a connoisseur of moisturizers. In general, I find that the best products for glowing skin are those that are natural, simple and contain quality ingredients.
For my face, I use a few different products. I recently discovered this amazing serum from Pure Ananda, an all-natural, cruelty-free Canadian company (not sponsored, just in love!). It contains hyaluronic acid, which makes it perfect for plumping skin and hydrating rough patches. Pure hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its weight in moisture, so its perfect for getting glowing skin.
As I mentioned above, I have also started making my own moisturizer. I was getting a lot of milia (little white bumps) on my face, which a facialist suggested may have been caused by the moisturizer I was using. I did a little research, and put together this combination of aloe vera gel, argan oil, hemp seed oil and vitamin e. Within two weeks, the milia was gone and my skin was glowing! I also have been using a bit of tea tree oil, which leaves my skin acne-free and looking healthy. The trick to making your blend is figuring out your skin type, and then determining the balance of oleic acid and linoleic acid that will work best for you.
For my body, I love using anything with lots of shea butter or coconut oil. This body butter is packed with lots of natural oils and leaves my skin feeling so moisturized. For tricky areas like hands, feet and lips, I love using pure oils like coconut oil, argan oil or castor oil. In particular, castor oil has been working really well for healing my cracking, ultra dry or damaged skin. It does wonders on my broken up hands if I am having an eczema outbreak or have been neglecting my routine.
Well there you have it! What do you guys do to get glowing skin in the winter? If you have any other tips or suggestions, let me know in the comments below!
Lots of love,