This time of the year is harsh on any skin type. The dryness inside, the frigid windy and/or snowy weather outside, takes its toll! As a mother and doula, I've seen my share of skin woes, on myself, my own family and clients and their families. So, I've compiled my Top 7 skin care tips to help get your body through until spring. These really are suitable and helpful for the whole family - both me and partner use all of these tips and my children use most of them.
1. Find the perfect hand and body wash.
I have 2 favourite hand and body soaps. My first love was Dr Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap. This has become a very popular soap, for good reasons. You don't need much of it, you can use it on your entire body, it comes in large sizes AND you can use it to make your own home cleaners. I love the Mint and Eucalyptus scents for winter (so fresh and reviving!). And I absolutely adore the Baby Unscented soap. Because this is an oil based soap it won't dry you out, but will keep your skin hydrated. And to top this off, all the ingredients are ethically sourced.
My second love is Everyone 3-In-1 Soap (sorry Dr. Bronner's! I still love you and use you!). I actually love everything about these soaps. They smell divine, they don't dry out your skin, they come in large bottles with a pump, you don't need to use much AND they make amazing bubbles! It's a very gentle soap that is also ethically sourced and comes in a recycled bottle.
2. Keep your lips hydrated.
I find I can go through lip balms so quickly. I also have found it hard to find a scent/type that I wanted to return to over and over again. Until I found the Badger brand's lip balm. I originally bought this right before having my twins. I needed a new lip balm and knew that hospitals are notoriously dry, so was desperate for a good one before giving birth. My favourite are the Cocoa Butter Lip Balms. Honestly, these are heavenly! They feel rich and creamy, smell delicious, contain really high quality and non-toxic ingredients, rehydrate and last on your lips for a long time.
3. Keep the moisture up.
The dryness, inside your home, can easily go unnoticed. But you are going to want to keep it in check, especially when you've got a new baby, and children, in your home. It's so hard for them to feel comfortable and sleep well, when they've been used to the cosy womb. It's also so hard for children of all ages to sleep well in dryness and with congestion. A humidity meter and a humidifier are an absolute MUST for keeping this under control. They really can do wonders!
I love keeping track of the humidity and temperature in my home - my personality loves to keep things on track! My favourite is the Therma Pro Humidity Mointor. It tracks your temperature and humidity, giving you a high and low for the day, as well as the current reading. It also tells you if the temperature or humidity is considered high or low. Note: an ideal temperature is between 16-21℃ and the humidity should be around 50%.
The world of humidifiers is vast! Wow! When we started looking, when I was still pregnant, I could not believe the options out there. We've gone through a few models and I'm very happy with the one we've settled on because it offers so many functions and has a LARGE vat. It's called The Heaven Fresh Cool and Warm Humidifier, and as the name states, it offers a cool and warm mist option. It also has an aroma option, which I am a huge fan of. My only qualm with this humidifier is the blue light and the noise. I cannot get to sleep with ANY form of light or sound. A thick piece of tape over the screen helps and so does the timer option. I'll often fill the room with mist before I sleep and set the timer to turn it on when I'm already asleep.
4. Get some scents going.
Diffusers are essentially a smaller humidifier that have an option for scents. They also offer other health properties, which you can find more about HERE. I personally, am mainly a fan of filling my house with warming and cleansing scents. Saje is my favourite place for sourcing oils. They are a Canadian company, that produce high quality products, in absolutely beautiful packaging. The employees are also extremely helpful, friendly and knowledgeable, in explaining the value and properties of each item. From my experience, they are also amazing at pointing you in the right direction, based on your personal needs. My favourites right now are the blends from Saje's Good Health collection. The Immune and Tranquility are exactly what I've needed through the start of this holiday season!
5. Re-hydrate with oils.
I love using oils. I love them because they are economical, healthy, pure and can be used for so many purposes. I have a range of oils that I like to have on hand. Each oil has its own specific health and healing properties, as well as scent. So you'll need to try out a few to see what suits your skin the best. My go tos are:
Avocado Oil. An oil filled with fats and proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals, making it wonderful for consumption and for your skin. The best avocado oil, that I use externally, is Now Foods Avocado Oil.
Sweet Almond Oil. An oil rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, almond oil can be used as a cleanser and also to rejuvenate and hydrate dry skin. The best is that it won't clog your pores. It is also amazing to use in a homemade salad dressing. Now Foods Sweet Almond Oil is by far the best.
Coconut Oil. Oh I ADORE coconut oil! I use it for cooking, baking, as a spread on toast and on my own and my family's skin. Check out this post HERE on 20 ways to use coconut oil. We were huge fans of Nutiva Coconut Oil and while we still do love this brand, we're currently trying Organic Veda Virgin Coconut Oil. It is really lovely stuff.
Rosehip Seed Oil. This is another oil rich in fatty acids. It helps repair and nourish skin, is a natural source of vitamin C (an anti ageing antioxidant) and can also be used as a cleanser. Check out Now Foods Rosehip Seed Oil.
- Rosewater. This is not an oil, but is usually sold as a spray. It blends easily into your skin and is so sweet and refreshing. It can act as a cleanser, and can help ease the redness and inflammation associated with eczema and dermatitis. The Heritage Store Rose Petal Rosewater is divine!
Oils are also great to use in combination with a body brush. Brushing is amazing in the winter. It helps get your blood flowing and keep your skin looking amazing, but keeping the shedding of old skin in check. I like this one from Joyous Health, as well as this circular one. You can also source any of these oils and brushes at Noah's Natural Foods or The Big Carrot, in Toronto. Or any other health food store.
6. Get healthy from the inside out.
My top foods for winter (of course mixed amongst a balance of other foods!) are:
- Lemon water and honey and teas EVERY - SINGLE - DAY
- Soups and Stews
I am a mega, mega fan of Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health. She is a wealth of knowledge and creates the most mouth watering, scrumptious and easy to make recipes. She talks about all of these wonderful foods in her first book and her newest book Joyous Detox (it comes out soon! I pre-ordered it months ago and am greatly anticipating it!).
7. Make your scalp tingle.
I've gone through a lot of shampoos. I am a huge fan of sourcing a good quality shampoo, that uses natural based ingredients - for my own health and the health of our planet. My current favourite is Aveda's Rosemary and Mint Shampoo. It really does make my scalp tingle and fills up the bathroom with an amazing scent. I combine it with their scalp oil. You can leave it on for how ever long you have before you wash your hair. The best I've found is leaving it over night. I used to do this with coconut oil, but find that Aveda's oils don't leave residue marks on pillow cases and their much easier to fully wash out.
I hope these 7 Tips help your skin thrive through the winter. Remember, all skin types are different and react in various ways to ingredients. So, not all of these products will be the best for you and your family. However, all of the brands I've included have so many options that I'm sure you'll find what works for you.
💝 Wishing you, and your skin,
and a very healthy and happy holiday season!🌲