The advent of autumn and winter brings with it such benefits; new colours, scents and skies make it such a pretty time.
Cosy fires, snuggly blankets and early nights can increase our sense of wellbeing and improve our need for ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘huuga’). There’s no straight translation for the word, but it basically means winter wellbeing.
However, cold winds, heating indoors, increased moisture outside, itchy fabrics and changeable conditions; all these things can impact your skin and increase irritation.
So how can you ‘hygge’ your body, as well as your mind? Let’s start by having a look at the rituals and products you use to take care of both your skin and soul.
The art to winter skin is like winter dressing – you need to think in layers.
Cell turnover decreases in winter, so you need to exfoliate more, not less, to avoid skin issues like Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin).
Buff from top-to-toe at least once a week, but be gentle. Salt scrubs with harsh chemicals can leave sensitive skin sore, not soothed, so a gently exfoliating oatmeal scrub soap like this one from Odylique is a good option.
Hydrate and Protect
Many people don’t realise that there is a difference between skin that is hydrated (has enough water) and moisturised (has a moisture barrier from the elements).
Often, using targeted creams can help to ensure your skin avoids that ‘tight’ feeling it can get in winter.
We like Logona Free Body Lotion for body care, and the equivalent moisturiser for face.
Odylique’s Ultra Rich balm is renowned for its ability to support the skin’s barrier and protect from cold wintry weather. Use sparingly on the face, over the top of your water-based cream.
Hot water in the form of a bath can be such a joy in colder weather. Nothing says selfcare quite like a good long soak in the tub, but traditional bath essences can be full of detergents which irritate the skin.
An alternative is to blend essential oils together and add a few drops, inhaling deeply to enjoy mood enhancement as well as body recovery.
Marjoram and Rose are especially warming and relaxing but look for high quality extracts which are both kinder to the planet, but also richer in the benefits of the plants themselves.
Cedarwood is a lovely choice for winter as well. If your skin is eczema prone, you might not be able to tolerate bathing even in softer waters. Instead, to get the benefit from essential oils, you can add a couple of drops to a dish of water and rest it on a radiator or add it to a steamer.
This is also great for easing signs of SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
Chilblains, where the skin is rapidly exposed to cold and then heat and becomes sore and chapped, are a bane through winter.
We recommend a solid barrier cream with recovery ingredients like calendula which is not only gentle and healing, but richly protective against the elements. This is also an idea for any areas of psoriasis or eczema which can really begin to itch through the winter.
Finally, make sure to carry a rich moisturiser and an organic/ vegan lip balm with you for hands and exposed areas like lips and noses, which can get red and cracked very quickly. It’s important to choose one with natural ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter, which last and are easily digestible.