How's your January going?
How's your skin doing I mean?
I get so many questions about skincare - the definite top two are: what products are good for oily/acne prone skin, and what products are good for dry skin?
Well, the answer is that there is no one magic product that will suddenly change your skin. Like, never ever. If a brand tries to tell you that this one thing that they make will transform your skin, they lyin' and, we all know this deep down, right? But still it's nice to hold out hope for that one miracle product... I get it.
My point is that it's not about the products, it's about your routine. Get yourself a consistent routine that you can stick to, and you will see your skin transform for the better over time. Not as exciting as a miracle product promise, I know, but much more effective. :)
The following tips are good for all skin types, and they're things that I personally do every day year round, but they're especially important in the winter to keep that dry, itchy, tight, flakiness out of your life.
So here are my tips to enhance your winter skincare routine:
1. Daily Gentle Exfoliation.
For the face, I recommend using the exfoliating powder cleanser at night (rinse it off just before it dries completely to keep the clay from further drying your skin) and a quick oil cleanse in the morning. A gentle polish (don't scrub too hard) once daily is really all you need to keep the flakes away. If you're consistent with it, you don't have to have crazy intense exfoliating sessions. You'll want to follow with toner and moisturizer right away but more on that later...
For the body, I can't say enough good things about dry brushing. Here's the deal: I don't make body scrubs because a) they're messy and difficult to ship and b) they feel like such an EVENT that I can't be bothered to incorporate them into a regular routine. It's so much easier to just quickly brush my body every day while I wait for the shower water to warm up, and it really keeps my skin soft and flake free. If you want to do a full on salt scrub and make a whole self care night of it that's great, but daily maintenance that's quick and easy is what's going to be most effective because you'll actually do it! (Trust me, it's addicting!)
2. Think: Water, then Oil, then Butter
So, let's get (kind of) technical for just a second. To have dry skin as your skin "type" means that your skin is lacking in oil because it has fewer oil glands than "normal" skin. To have dehydrated skin means that your skin is lacking in water. So if you think you have "dry skin" you could totally be right, or, your skin could just be dehydrated, which is a temporary condition that everyone experiences from time to time depending on their internal hydration levels and environmental factors, (like dry winter air!)
But whether your skin is actually "dry" or just dehydrated, here's a simple hack that will work to keep all skin-types feeling more moisturized and glow-y year round.
For the face, this means that after cleansing, I use my toning mist (with a cotton ball, to make sure my pores are clean,) then follow with a generous mist of hydrosol (you can use any - they are all hydrating because they are all literally plant waters,) then immediately apply my facial oil (or any of the seasonal serums - I typically recommend the summer serum for oily skin types and the winter serum for dry skin types, but they're all good for everyone) to lock in that hydration. Then, to protect my skin from the elements, I add a thicker moisturizer like beauty butter (at night) or facial balm (for day) to seal in all that goodness.
Side note, I sometimes get resistance from "oily" skin types about using my thicker, shea based moisturizers. I get it - it feels kind of scary and wrong at first (I have oily/combination skin too) but your skin does adjust, they should not clog your pores, and they're actually quite balancing. Actually I should say that I used to have oily skin, but now it's just like, fine - not to mention flake free during the winter!
In fact, I take it a step further in the mornings: after my facial oil, (I'm using the original currently) I apply a layer of facial balm, then I add facewhip on top of that! It sounds crazy, but my skin loves it. I highly suggest giving it a shot if you're struggling with dryness this winter!
The point is, you're adding water AND moisture from oil to your skin which covers all your bases. The hydrosol step might seem a little extra but it does make a difference, and following it with oil keeps the water from just evaporating off right away.
In the mornings I typically just use body oil because it's much faster, but at night I love to take my big bottle of ylang ylang all over oil right into the shower with me to moisturize my skin (and enjoy the relaxing, stress-relieving aromatherapy benefits) before I even turn off that glorious warm water, then I pat dry and apply my cedarwood body butter. Add a little Be Calm perfume and you'll sleep like a big soft baby! My favorite thing about my body butter is that I can still feel it comforting my skin when I wake up in the morning. I realize that might sound weird, but it feels amazing.
3. Keep lip balm handy
People also often ask me which of my lip balms is the most effective. The answer is that they all are, if you remember to apply them!
The original and mint lip balms are coconut oil based and have a higher wax content, so they're a little more slippery/glossy.
Where as the matcha and lavender latte lip balms are shea based and more rich/ creamy.
It's just a matter of figuring out which texture you prefer. I find that they're all equally effective!
I apply lip balm every night right before I go to sleep, no exceptions. In fact, its one of those situations where I can't go to sleep if I don't do it. So instead of rolling out of bed and going back down the hall to my bathroom, I just keep one on my nightstand too. There's one in my purse, one on my desk... because isn't it the worst feeling to be without anything to put on your lips? (HOW WEIRD IS THAT BY THE WAY?)
And for those of you who are bummed about discontinuing the tubes, I'm sorry, but kind of not because I'm saving so much time by not making two sizes, also you can still apply the jar directly to your lips without touching with your fingers when you're on the go. Just twist off the cap and rub it directly on!
Oh - and the same rules apply for your hands. Keep moisturizer handy and use it, especially after washing your hands, and they'll be in much better shape!
I keep a second jar of beauty butter on my nightstand just for my hands (yes, I'm very fancy and luxurious) so I can apply it right before bed, and it really helps. The healing lotion stick stays in my bag and on my desk, and I try to remember to use it but it's not easy to reapply a million times a day when you work with your hands - hence the jar on my nightstand.
4. Don't forget about your scalp!
Just like with your face and body, avoiding a dry, flaky, itchy scalp is a matter of regular maintenance and a consistent routine. Keep in mind that if you have severe dandruff/itchiness you could have a fungal overgrowth or some type of contact dermatitis which needs to be treated differently - if you're not sure what's going on ask your doctor!
But for normal scalps that are dryer than usual, regular exfoliation and extra moisture can make all the difference if you remember to do it!
Regular exfoliation means simply washing your hair. And brushing your hair daily with a natural bristle brush (and/or use a gemstone hair brush if you want to get fancy) will help stimulate your scalp and keep it healthy. I avoid plastic and metal bristle brushes like the plague because static is the worst - I use a bamboo paddle brush that I got from natural grocers, and this sisal brush and my hair stays static free all winter long!
(You know I also never heat style my hair which probably makes a big difference on the static front too...)
And one thing I'm trying to get in the habit of doing is applying a small amount of hair tonic to my scalp every day. It's super lightweight so I don't have to worry about over-doing it and looking greasy, and it really feels great. I either do it in the mornings when I pull my hair up before washing my face, or at night before brushing with my jade comb. We're talking 1-2 drops, massaged directly into my scalp. No hairline dryness for me, thank you!
Hair oil is great too - but I can't use it every day because my hair is so fine. I mostly save it for moisturizing treatments before washing my hair, which is also great for scalp dryness of course!
Are you team oil or tonic? Hair oil is one of my top selling products while tonic is newer, so I'm curious to know which one you guys prefer!
And that's all I've got for now - let me know if you have any questions for me, and good luck with your winter skin!