I have very sensitive skin, so when the harsh Winter weather hits… I like to be prepared. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been switching over to non-toxic products for my skin and makeup and have plenty of recommendations to share for Non-toxic Winter Skincare. Caring for your skin in the winter may require some extra patience and love as we are subjected to very dry extremes, from the freezing chill outside and all sorts of materials like wool scarves rubbing up on our faces and necks… to the dry heat at home, at work, and while you travel. Keeping a balanced diet rich in healthy fats, with some handy tricks like dry brushing and using products that moisturize without stripping your skin of the natural oils are what gets me through with fewer breakouts, redness, and dryness.
This is a great way to help your lymphatic system with detoxification. This can be done all year round, but here’s why it’s extra great for the winter:
We can get more sedentary in the winter. We’re home, cozy, trying to keep out of the cold and boom— our body isn’t detoxing as quickly. Your lymphatic system needs to be kept flowing (it’s essentially a system of fluid underneath the skin that flows throughout your body and it carries toxins to be filtered out). Keeping active is a great way to keep it moving and dry brushing directly helps it.
This ends up helping your skin because when your lymphs are clear, your skin will be clearer too! Also, the actual act of dry brushing the skin, while at first feels a little rough… it greatly smooths out your skin. To the point of you needing to moisturize less!
How to do this: Remove your clothes and on dry skin, before you hop in a shower, take the brush at your outermost extremities (hands or feet) and in long strokes towards your body, brush inward. All brush paths should lead to your heart/chest. Keep brushing for approx. 5-10 strokes per area as you feel comfortable, getting your arms, legs, stomach, frontside and back – all ending at your heart. Then you can jump in a warm/hot shower, do your thing, and end with cold water on your chest before you hop out! (The chest is where the lymphs “end” their journey, and dump what needs to be filtered through the thoracic cavity so your liver and kidneys can pick it up). This is why we end with the chest.
For dry skin that is THIRSTY, I find lotions simply don’t cut it in the dead of winter for me. I love to use body oil instead right after I pat off with a towel after a warm shower. This way it can lock in some of the moisture and I haven’t roughly dried my skin. I have been loving the Primally Pure Blue Tansi oil… it smells absolutely delicious and hydrates my skin LIKE WOAH. You’ll seriously feel like a goddess using this stuff and it lasts longer than a lotion for me. Whatever brand you use, make sure there are no parabens, using coconut oil will also be great… refer to the EWG safety list when looking for alternative products.
Essential Fatty Acids
This is less about topical and more about internal. You should always be mindful of your EFA intake, but if you want hydrated skin… definitely, don’t skimp out on your fish oil pills during the winter! You should also be getting plenty of healthful fats from your diet: coconut, avocado, olive oil, ghee, or grass-fed butter, animal fat, etc. and you can feel free to use the first 3 I mentioned topically as well.
Other worthy mentions:
Vitamin D – if you live with a true winter, you are not getting enough Vitamin D. Do not let a doctor blow that off on your blood labs! Vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin and it is crucial for so many things. One of the first ways I show a hormonal imbalance is, you guessed it, MY SKIN! Make sure you’re getting enough, try supplementing with 5,000 IUs/day of Vitamin D3. You will also need enough fats to conver the Vitamin D, so this all works harmoniously. One of my favorite brands >>
Probiotics – if your gut is out of whack, your skin will be too. Eating fermented foods, cultured yogurt, and taking probiotics are all great ways to ensure your microbiome is flourishing. If you have severe digestive issues like SIBO/IBS, these might be too strong for you so you should go slowly. Prescript Assist is usually a solid choice, take 1 pill if sensitive per day or 2 if you’re less-sensitive.
Epsom Salt Baths
ONE WORD: MAGNESIUM, as you may know, your skin absorbs everything you put on it. And many of us do not get enough magnesium, so our skin is a great vehicle for getting more of that good stuff in us! Why? Here are a few great reasons we should be soaking it in through a hot relaxing tub:
– Soothes pain and can clear up skin issues
– Relaxes the nervous system
– Eases muscle strain and joint pain
– Detoxes the body through the skin (toxins and heavy metals)
– Improves circulation and blood flow, preventing more stagnation in the body
How to do it: Add at least 2 cups of Epsom salt to a hot bath.
Add your favorite essential oils, flowers, and even herbs/citrus peels. Sit and soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes, you can also optionally just soak your feet. I love Primally Pure’s Flower Bath as an add-in for extra luxury.
Treat your skin with kindness!
Many of us with sensitive skin especially might have a tendency to redness, excess dry skin or dandruff, and breakouts. It might be tempting to over-exfoliate, but I’d caution against that as it can sometimes cause eczema. Use gentle, plain and non-toxic products that are not going to make it worse. Go easy on exfoliation masks, scratching, picking, poking and generally obsessing over it! Remember that often times, less is more. See more of my favorite products and DIY treatments below.
- Big Ol’ Bag of Epsom Salt
- Primally Pure Blue Tansi Oil
- Primally Pure Flower Bath
- Metagenics Omegagenics EPA-DHA (fish oil pills)
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