NATURAL INGREDIENTS FOR WINTER SKIN CARE
Autumn is at its peak, and winter is well underway. As the temperatures drop and the weather conditions worsen, your skin may bear the brunt of this change with excessive dryness, redness, itchiness, and irritation. The cooling cleansers, lightweight serums, and non-greasy moisturizers that worked in your summer routine may not be able to withstand the cold days and long nights of winter. As your wardrobe changes with the autumn and winter months, so should your skin care essentials. Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, and Raw Materials possess moisturizing and soothing properties that alleviate dryness, replenish moisture in the skin's barrier, and protect it from the winter's harsh elements. Continue reading to discover the best natural ingredients for winter skin care, and how you can use them to keep your skin looking beautiful all season long.
WHY DOES OUR SKIN NEED SPECIFIC INGREDIENTS FOR THE WINTER?
Each season, Mother Nature exhibits environmental characteristics that are unique to that time of the year. Naturally, as the climate changes from humid summer days to crisp and cool autumn, we trade our light breathable clothes for heavier layers. These changes also bring different fruits and vegetables into season, so the cool and refreshing salad we enjoyed in the summer may become a hearty soup in the blistering cold months. Since our skin is directly impacted by the environment, it deserves the same special attention and shift in routine. The cold air of winter is drier than that of the summer, and the harsh winds and freezing temperatures wick moisture from the skin, causing dryness, redness, and irritation. Hands and lips are also more prone to chapping.
The outdoors are not the only conditions that can wreak havoc the skin. Inside of the home, everything from a high thermostat, warming up by the fireplace, and bathing in hot water can also deplete the skin of moisture. Therefore, it is essential to adapt to the dramatic change in the weather and to treat our skin with nourishing, natural ingredients. This does not have to result in an entirely new skin care routine, but the addition of moisturizing Carrier Oils, Essential Oils, and Raw Materials can replenish extremely dry skin, soothe irritation, and protect the skin from the harsh elements of winter.
THE BEST CARRIER OILS FOR HEALTHY WINTER SKIN
Avocado Carrier Oil - Rich in Vitamin E and Omega-3 Fatty Acids such as Oleic Acid, this rich carrier oil is a powerful occlusive that is suitable for dry skin. Avocado Oil is fast absorbing and locks in moisture, protecting the skin from any moisture loss due to wind and harsh winter weather. Avocado's anti-inflammatory properties keeps chapped skin soft and smooth, while its ability to promote skin cell regeneration can support a more supple complexion for mature skin types.
Argan Carrier Oil - Native to Morocco, the sacred Argan Oil has been a staple in Moroccan beauty and cuisine for centuries. Unlike heavier carrier oils, Argan possesses smaller molecules that penetrate the skin easier while delivering moisture into extra dry skin. This golden oil is beneficial to many skin types, due to its Fatty Acid profile. Constituents such as Linoleic Acid exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe acne-prone skin. Meanwhile, Oleic and Palmitic Acids are responsible for Argan's emollient activity that replenishes dry and mature skin types.
Jojoba Carrier Oil - Known for possessing a chemical profile that closely resembles the sebum of human skin, Jojoba Oil exhibits cleansing and moisturizing properties that draw out impurities and balance oil production while locking in moisture. Since this oil has a waxy consistency that is characteristic to sebum, Jojoba can penetrate below the skin's surface and promote skin repair in the deeper layers. Especially beneficial for dry and mature skin types, Jojoba Oil contains antioxidants such as Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Sea Buckthorn Carrier Oil - What better way to protect your skin in the wintertime than with this exotic emollient? Sea Buckthorn Oil is rich in Vitamins and Fatty Acids that soothe inflamed skin and replenish dryness related to aging and harsh weather conditions. Palmitoleic Acid protects the skin against environmental stressors while promoting skin cell turnover and restoring hydration. Sea Buckthorn Oil's Vitamin A content promotes sebum production in dry areas, while balancing it in oily skin types. The antioxidant activity in Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative stress, while Vitamin K supports skin elasticity and existing collagen in the body.
Rosehip Carrier Oil - Known for its ability to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks, Rosehip Oil can stimulate the natural oil production in chronically dry skin. Rosehip is classified as a "dry oil" meaning it absorbs easily into the skin without leaving an oily residue. Possessing Vitamin A, Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9 Fatty Acids, this emollient soothes dryness and inflammation while also reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and exhibiting cleansing properties that remove impurities.
Evening Primrose Carrier Oil - Rich in Linoleic Acid, Evening Primrose Oil is excellent for repairing and protecting the skin's barrier. When applied topically, Evening Primrose is believed to soothe and moisturize while preserving elasticity in the skin. This oil's Linoleic Acid content is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties that relieves redness and irritation as well as eczema and acne. Constituents such as Oleic Acid, Stearic Acid, and Palmitic Acid contribute to Primrose Oil's emollient properties that soften the skin and preserve moisture during the colder months.
ESSENTIAL OILS TO SUPPORT HEALTHY SKIN DURING THE WINTER
Tea Tree Essential Oil - Known for treating oily and acne-prone skin, Tea Tree Oil's soothing and anti-inflammatory properties can also treat dry and itchy skin during the winter. Simply add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil into a moisturizer or carrier oil and apply it to the affected areas for relief.
Lavender Essential Oil - The calming Lavender Oil works wonders on dry and inflamed skin by balancing the skin's moisture barrier. Lavender promotes oil production in especially dry areas, while its anti-inflammatory properties soothe redness and itchiness.
Patchouli Essential Oil - Patchouli Oil is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage eczema, acne, dermatitis, and extra dry skin. Its moisturizing and soothing qualities makes it an excellent choice for supporting the skin's moisture barrier in the colder months.
RAW MATERIALS FOR WINTER SKIN CARE
Shea Butter - Known as "Mother Nature's Conditioner", Shea Butter is a powerful moisturizing and softening agent. Rich in Fatty Acids and Polyphenols, this luxurious emollient restores moisture in extra dry skin due to its Stearic Acid and Palmitic Acid content. Constituents such as Oleic Acid exhibits antioxidant activity to protect the skin from harsh environmental elements such as wind and freezing temperatures. For mature skin types, Shea Butter's Linoleic Acid content can slow the look of premature aging, promote moisture retention, and exhibit re-fattening activity to strengthen and protect the skin during the winter. Apply Shea Butter after washing hands to prevent chapping and dryness.
Aloe Vera Gel - Soothing Aloe Vera Gel is a versatile raw material that can treat an array of skin conditions and promote a healthy complexion. It possesses natural moisturizing properties that absorb quickly into the skin and replenishes dryness and flakiness. Known for its cooling effect, Aloe Vera Gel is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that can calm itchiness, redness, and rashes while being safe enough for sensitive skin types.
MORE WINTER SKIN CARE TIPS
- Apply SPF Everyday - Although time spent outdoors in the sunshine is significantly limited during the winter, SPF is still an important step during the colder months. The sun's harmful rays are present year-round and can reflect off snow, increasing UV exposure. Apply a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin from premature aging, sunburn, and skin cancer.
- Take showers in lukewarm water - It may be tempting to take a steaming hot shower on extra cold days. However, excessively hot water can dry out the skin even more. Instead, opt for lukewarm water.
- Wash your hands in cooler water - Washing your hands in hot water may temporarily warm up your fingers, but can lead to dryness, redness, scaly skin, and even flareups for those suffering from eczema.
- Choose gentle, fragrance-free cleansers - Harsh cleansers with soap, detergents, and fragrances can strip the skin of its natural oils, as well as irritate skin that is suffering from dryness during the winter. So choose a moisturizing cleanser that is gentle and free of fragrance and detergent for an effective clean that does not trigger any sensitivities.
- Keep the thermostat to cool and comfortable temperatures - It may seem counterintuitive to keep the thermostat on the lower side during the winter. However, high central heat can make the air in your home even drier, which can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Try a temperature between 68 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for a cool yet comfortable setting that won't dry out your skin.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR NATURAL INGREDIENTS
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, these natural ingredients are for external use only. They should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with essential and carrier oils, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or another generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime-size amount of the specified oil to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours suggests that the oil is safe to use.
The topical application of most carrier oils is generally known to be safe with responsible use, but irritations, allergies, rashes, and other side effects are possible. In the chance of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
Essential or carrier oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.
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