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ALL-NATURAL AUTUMN AND WINTER SKINCARE

With the onset of colder weather, skin tends to get drier, dehydrated and easily irritated. Skin may produce less sebum and lose more moisture in the fall and winter due to changes in the weather and also the drying nature of heaters.  During the autumn and winter you may need to adjust your skin care routine. Here are a few quick natural skin care tips to keep your skin looking its best during the colder months.

Change Your Cleanser
If your regular spring and summer cleansers are leaving your skin feeling dry and tight, you may want to change your cleanser to products that are more emollient and that do not strip away too much sebum from the skin. Some people with normal to oily skin types may prefer to keep using soap and detergent-based cleansers that cleanse without over drying.  If you choose to use bar and liquid soaps make sure they are real soaps, superfatted (contain extra oils and butters), and still contain glycerin. If you decide to use detergent based liquid cleansers, make sure they are made with mild detergents like decylpolyglucoside or coco polyglucose, which most people find non-drying. Try a bar soap, liquid soap cleanser or liquid detergent cleanser made with ingredients like shea butter, coconut milk or goats milk. However, many people with normal to oily skin types may find soap- and detergent-based cleansers to be too drying during this time of the year, and may prefer using non-soap and non-detergent cleansers such as gel cleansers, which are rich in emollient or hydrating ingredients but are not drying like many soaps and detergents can be (be sure to read ingredient lists carefully since some gel cleansers are detergent based). 

People with dry, dehydrated or combination skin types may want to give the above suggestions a try; if soaps and detergents are too drying for your skin, try using a soap-free or detergent-free cleanser like cleansing oils (oil cleansing method), cold cream or lotion type cleansers, oatmeal or saponin rich herbs like soap nuts. These products and ingredients are also great for people with normal to oily skin types that find soap and detergent based cleansers too drying in the colder months.

Use A Mask
Use a hydrating mask at least once a week to soften and add moisture and nutrients to the skin.

Exfoliate
If your skin looks flakey and dull be sure to exfoliate your skin at least one to three times a week. Don’t exfoliate daily (your skin may look better initially but long term over-exfoliation can severely damage your skin and may make certain conditions worse, such as redness, thread veins, acne, etc). Try gentle natural exfoliants like certain fruits (such as strawberries), sugar (some types of sugar are not vegan) or oatmeal. Many people also like using microfiber.

Hydrate
If your skin feels dehydrated, dry or irritated, try using products that increase moisture. Aloe and hydrosols hydrate the skin, and some hydrosols also calm irritated skin or help with either excessive dryness (lack of oil) or over abundant oiliness. Try lavender or chamomile hydrosols to hydrate and soothe. Lavender also balances dryness and oiliness. Aloe and hydrosols can be used to tone and set mineral makeup, and may be used throughout the day. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water; at least 8 to 10 eight ounce glasses a day to hydrate from the inside out!
 
Change Your Moisturizer, Oils, Or Serums
If your current moisturizer isn’t working for you, switch to one that has slightly richer (but fast absorbing) oils and butters which help the skin better retain moisture. Skin needs both water/water rich ingredients and oils or butters to be healthy. These ingredients mimic the skin’s natural moisturizing and oily secretions (sweat and sebum). Creams contain greater amounts of oils and butter than lotions, while lotions contain more water/water rich ingredients.

Some people may prefer to use carrier oils, oil based serums (combinations of carrier oils and oil soluble ingredients like essential oils), butters, or balms/salves to seal in moisture. These products should be applied (sparingly) to damp skin since oils and butters do not hydrate the skin by themselves (they do not contain any water or water rich ingredients) but rather they work by holding moisture to the skin. Dampen skin with hydrosols, aloe, toner, distilled or spring water, or water based serums (which are made with water rich and water soluble ingredients).

Be sure to use cold or expeller pressed, unrefined oils and butters whenever possible since they contain more vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients than highly refined oils and butters. Shea butter is good for most skin types and forms a breathable, non-greasy, non-pore clogging barrier on the skin. Meadowfoam oil (which is very light and fast absorbing) may help the skin retain moisture.

 

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