Winter has returned to Minnesota, with sub-zero windchills and frost on the porch windows. We got lulled into a false sense of optimism by a January thaw complete with rain and patches of green grass peeking through the snow cover.
But mid-winter in the Northland is brutal, with temperatures down to the -40s, strong winds and air so cold and dry it can snatch your breath away. It leaves normally healthy skin raw and hair charged with static, standing on end. Makes you want to hibernate until Spring!
What’s a girl to do? Or anyone for that matter?
First and foremost, nourish your skin and hair from the inside out. Eat foods rich in healthy fats and collagen (bone broth, avocado, bacon, ghee, coconut milk and coconut oil). Avoid dehydration by consuming adequate fluids. I am a huge Tea Lover and always have a tea pot on the warmer when there is snow on the ground.
As tempting as they are, avoid hot baths and showers. Hot water depletes the skin of oils and moisture, making it more vulnerable to dermatitis. Less frequent bathing can also be helpful. To prevent hair static, skip the blow dryer and apply a touch of coconut oil to tame the frizzies and fly-aways.
Reexamine the products you use to clean up and care for your body. Harsh detergents not only dry your skin and hair, but many contain chemicals that contribute to toxic burden. Be sure to read every product label and especially avoid sodium laurel sulfates (SLS), parabens, formeldahydes such as quatermium, and other synthetic compounds. We should avoid these always, but especially when we are under stress. See Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep guide for product safety ratings. Minimize the number of commercial products you use and either make your own or eliminate their use altogether. I like the California Baby Shampoo, Conditioner and Calendula Cream for gluten-free, safe personal care products. Magnesium Oil makes a great spray-on deoderant that doubles as an essential mineral supplement.
A very effective and safe option for cleansing and moisturizing is coconut oil. It can be used on face, body and hair for cleansing, moisturizing and detoxification (oil pulling). Just rub a small amount between your hands to melt it, and apply anywhere you need moisturizing or protection. It is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.
Although coconut oil works really well, my FAVORITE lip balm on the planet is RALLYE Balm by Red Apple Lipstick. I use it on my lips, under my eyes and on my cuticles. It’s gluten-free, paraben-free and all-around fabulous – as are all of their lip and eye products!
[In the photo above, I am wearing Crush On Me lipstick and Metropolis lip gloss to protect me from these harsh winter winds. And just for fun – TutuCute, Buttercream and Iced Mocha on the eyes, with Espresso applied wet as liner.]
Liz Wolfe of Cave Girl Eats just released her new Skintervention Guide with expert guidance to achieving Paleo perfect skin. I highly recommend it! She discusses the same points outlined here, but in far greater detail. (Of course! I only have so much space in a blog post.) She reviews nutrition, digestion and face/body care routines and products.
A key practice I had temporarily given up for convenience is the oil cleansing method, but will be mixing a new batch tonight. This cold, dry air is just too much for my skin to compensate. So back to the basics I go. Hmm…I am seeing a pattern here…sugar detox, skin care change, decluttering…
Time to once again Simplify My Life. More on that in an upcoming post!