Winter Skin Rituals: Nourishing with Naturopathica
Though we can almost see the light at the end of winter’s cold, dark tunnel, this is the time of year when our skin inevitably needs a boost in preparation for spring. With that in mind, we’ve been asking some of our favorite skincare experts to share their winter skin tips for a variety of seasonal challenges. This week, Naturopathica founder & CEO Barbara Close takes us through her most nourishing cold weather skin ritual.
“With two Healing Arts Centers & Spas in the northeast, we hear a lot about winter skin woes. Whipping winds, chilly air and overheated office buildings leave skin feeling irritated, and in need of some serious TLC. Most often at our spas, we’re treating dry, dull and sensitized skin from January through March.
You might be layering on moisturizers, but most clients don’t realize that dry skin really starts with your cleanser. In winter months, reevaluate how often you’re washing your face. If you’re used to twice daily, try once daily before bed. A morning rinse with water will keep your skin feeling smooth and soft.
Also, take a look at what’s inside the cleanser you’re choosing. Cleansers with harsh sulfates (detergents) and microcidal ingredients eliminate good bacteria from the skin and strip the lipid barrier, so the skin’s more likely to become dehydrated or irritated.
For radiant skin all winter long, here are some of my favorite tips:
1. Settle. I believe in beauty rituals not beauty regimens, so my nighttime routine actually begins in the kitchen preparing a cup of herbal tea. There’s something so beautiful and reflective about the sound of the tea kettle rumbling on the stove, the sight of steaming water unfurling into the cup—setting the herbs spinning—and the warmth of the cup while taking in the aromatic essences.
For winter skin concerns, I like to sip our skin tea filled with soothing and antioxidant-rich herbs like Calendula, Lemon Balm and White Peony.
2. Cleanse. Try the chamomile cleansing milk -- a light, cleansing lotion that gently removes impurities with German chamomile to help calm dry, sensitive skin. Gently apply a small amount of cleansing milk in your hands and massage it into moist skin; starting with your décolleté and continuing up the neck, chin, cheeks and forehead.
Enhance your cleanse with the facial cleansing brush to promote lymphatic drainage. Dip your brush in warm water and start to brush, repeating each of these steps 3 times:
• Beginning at the décolleté, brush up the chest and neck using light, short strokes and end at the lymph nodes below the ears.
• Beginning at the center of the jaw, brush up the jawline on the right side, followed by the left side.
• Using circular strokes, sweep from the tip of the nose out across the right and then left cheek.
• Using circular strokes, brush up the bridge of the nose, continuing onto the forehead to the temple area. Repeat on the opposite side.
Splash your face with warm water and massage the last of the cleanser into the skin. Make a warm compress by holding a towel like this one, under the hot water faucet, wring it dry and spritz with lavender honey balancing mist. Apply the warm compress to your face and inhale the relaxing plant essences, then use it to remove the excess cleanser.
3. Hydrate. Dry air sucks moisture out of the skin, so our skin often feels parched and tight in the winter. Treat your skin to a tall glass of hydration with ingredients like Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, a “super sponge” that draws water deep into the skin to help plump and fill the skin with lost moisture. For added benefit, I use with a jade roller over my face and décolleté to help with circulation and to de-puff the eye area. In winter months, I use with a moisturizer fortified with skin-healing herbs like our ultra-nourishing calendula essential hydrating cream.
4. Chill. Finish with aromatherapy to really relax. Our chill aromatic alchemy uses chamomile, lemon balm and neroli to transport you to dreamland. You’ll wake up feeling and looking fabulous!"