Winter skin care can be a challenge especially for those of us who already have sensitive skin. It is seems harder to stay hydrated and to keep dry skin at bay. Because of the cold temperatures and snow, I have been using electric heat in the house and the car. Unfortunately the heated air really dries out my skin. It doesn’t help that it’s kidding season on our farm (the time when baby goats are born) which means going to the barn in windy, cold weather to check on our goats at all hours of the night. We don’t want any babies freezing to death and sometimes our mamma goats need a little help delivering their kids. Needless to say, all this results in less sleep and more stress. Unfortunately it is also taking a toll on my poor, sensitive skin! Recently I noticed tiny dry lines around my eyes and lips and even a few breakouts. Yikes! Not cool at all. To remedy the situation, I looked to the experts for some practical, inexpensive ways to improve the look and feel of my skin during winter months. Besides drinking lots of water and using handmade, goat milk skin care products made with all natural ingredients there are a few things I found that have really improved my winter skin care routine.
Don’t get me wrong, I am totally thankful we have central heat and air but running the heater dries out the inside of my nose along with giving me cracked lips and dry skin. To make matters worse, the dry air began causing me uncomfortable, sleepless nights. So I did some research and found a few DIY room humidifiers. I discovered lots of easy tips online like getting a few house plants, setting bowls of water around, and misting the curtains. But the best thing I started doing lately is heating up a pot of water, pouring it into a bowl, adding a few drops of tea tree oil and leaning over the steaming bowl of water with a towel covering my head and the bowl. The tea tree oil infused steam works wonders on my skin and brings much needed moisture to the inside of my nose. It is so easy and makes a huge difference.
I am a huge fan of exfoliating. I’ve found it to be the one thing that has improved the look and feel of my skin the most. Exfoliating is even more important for winter skin care because your skin cells are turning over faster and need to be removed in a gentle fashion. The lactic acid in goat milk is perfect for this because to binds to water and won’t further dry out your skin as it exfoliates. This is just one of the many benefits of using goat milk skin care products. But even with using goat milk soap and lotion, sometimes my skin needs a little extra exfoliation. I can usually tell it is time to use my facial brush if when I apply my goat milk lotion it feels like it is sitting on top of my skin rather than quickly absorbing. In these rare instances I reach for my brush! If you’ve never used a facial brush before, you are in for a treat. Although it is tempting to get the brush sudsy with soap and water, DO NOT DO IT! Instead, thoroughly wash your skin with an all-natural cleanser or handmade soap and pat it dry. Then take your brush and using it dry, gently exfoliate by lightly brushing your skin in a small circular motion. Afterwards, apply a high quality, all natural lotion.
OK so it is easier said than done, but according to the experts reducing stress really does improve the health of your skin because stressors can cause breakouts. My favorite stress reducer (besides drinking wine which is not recommended for healthy skin) is controlled deep breathing. This technique involves focusing your attention on your breathing. Each deep breath brings energizing oxygen into your body witch is a natural stress reducer. Also, by focusing on your breath, you take your mind off your worries and forget about your to do list for a few minutes. This mental shift helps me get grounded and regain perspective. The extra oxygen and mental reset is relaxing and doesn’t dehydrate me like a couple glasses of wine tends to do!
I’ll be honest, I really haven’t tested to see if eating dark chocolate and fresh berries has improved my winter skin care but what I do know is that I’m loving every bite! I’m pretty sure all these yummy treats are least lowering my stress level. But seriously, experts say the antioxidants found in blueberries, cherries, and dark chocolate (just to name a few of the super foods I’ve “studied”) have healing effects on damaged skin cells. Other recommended foods for winter skin care include foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids like wild salmon, avocado, and walnuts. Oh, and of course goat milk yogurt is on the list as well!
So, don’t let winter get the best of your skin’s health! Just remember winter skin care is more than cleansing and moisturizing. Make sure you are taking measures to reduce stress, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, properly exfoliating and eating delicious super foods!