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Stillness and quiet are words we often associate with the winter months. Our skin’s activity naturally mirrors these qualities of the winter season, and as a result, will appear paler, lack a little lustre and may feel more exposed to the elements, or suffer redness and dryness.
During the winter months, our body prioritises keeping the internal organs warm. With less circulation reaching the skin’s surface there is a decrease in the nutrients delivered to the skin. Subsequently, cellular activity slows down and the skin’s natural oil production is reduced. On top of this, life’s stresses and demands and external factors like central heating or air conditioning, and increased intake of warm caffeine drinks, can put a greater strain on the already quietened skin’s processes.
The good news is that winter skin does not need to appear lifeless nor feel vulnerable, with the right care, it can look radiant and vital.
While the fallen autumn leaves protect the winter soil and keep it warm, and we reach for additional layers of clothing, so we can give our skin more protection and warmth. Move away from light summertime lotions and gels and instead apply nourishing creams and protective oils.
Start with revisiting your cleansing routine. You might find that your present cleanser no longer meets your skin’s needs during the cooler months. Cleansing is an area so often compromised and neglected yet it is the most fundamental step in achieving healthy, radiant skin.
A useful tip to activate your skin’s micro-circulation is to incorporate alternate warm and cool facial rinsing as part of your cleansing ritual. The warmth stimulates blood flow, increasing the delivery of nutrients, while the cool activates lymphatic activity responsible for removing waste substances after cellular activity.
Just as you may take careful consideration with your choice of compost and biodynamic preparations, when switching over to your winter cleanser, be sure to reach for certified natural or organic skincare and avoid harsh detergents like SLS and SLES, common foaming ingredients added to cleansers. These tend to dry the skin and can cause sensitivities and irritation. The nasty side-effects can also often be more than skin deep, some synthetic chemical preservatives found in skincare like parabens, phthalates, and triclosan are all proven ‘hormone disruptors’ and so should certainly be avoided.
For winter, I particularly love Weleda’s deeply cleansing Skin Food Cleansing Balm. This balm also replenishes the skin’s oils thanks to the organically grown sunflower seed oil. Sunflower oil is rich in oleic acid and penetrates the skin’s epidermis (outermost layer) to moisturise, calm and soothe the skin. Not forgetting the special warming, regenerative quality of the oil. This of course is thanks to the plant’s love for the sun and how cleverly the sunshine is captured through its movement and spiral seed arrangement.
The Skin Food Cleansing Balm also carries the four signature ingredients found in Weleda’s Skin Food Face & Body Range: regenerating Calendula, soothing Chamomile, stimulating Rosemary and smoothing Viola tricolor. It really is a joy seeing fields of vibrant calendula and fragrant chamomile growing in Weleda’s biodynamic gardens in summer.
For early morning walks or winter gardening activities consider applying a little facial oil, like Weleda’s Sensitive Facial Oil with almond, to provide soothing protection to cheeks.
Alternatively, for dull skin in need of energising, try Weleda’s Facial Firming Oil, packed with the antioxidant and cell regenerative power of pomegranate seed oil grown organically for Weleda in Turkey. Simply add a drop to your day and night cream. I also recommend incorporating a few, mindful massage movements as a weekly self-care ritual. To do this:
- Spread a little oil across the inside of both hands and place hands on either side of the face, beginning at your forehead. With relaxed hands, glide outwards with a sweeping motion from the centre of your face. Be sure not to pull and drag the skin. Move down the face, sweeping across your cheeks, chin and jawline. Remember to include your neck and décolletage.
2. Return to the forehead and this time with a press and release action with your hands, move across your forehead, again working from the centre outwards. Continue down the rest of the face. I describe this movement as ‘sunset & sunrise’ as it is wonderfully activating, bringing warmth and vitality to the skin.
When refreshing your seasonal skin care routine, follow the less is more principle. This is not about applying loads of lotions and potions with lots of movements but rather a focused, purposeful approach, choosing only what you need and applying it consciously.
Here is to a healthy, nourished and comfortable winter skin!
Elizabeth King Weleda Skincare Expert
Weleda has been connecting people with nature since 1921 and today is the world’s No. 1 producer of certified natural skincare and healthcare. In the UK, their 13-acre medicinal herb garden is based in Derbyshire is cared for biodynamically and Demeter certified.
Why not celebrate 100 years of biodynamics in 2024 by treating yourself to some of Weleda’s wonderful products?
To explore the full range of Weleda skincare and body care visit https://www.weleda.co.uk/