Fall and Winter Skin Care
Natural Skin Care Tips for Fall and Winter
Autumn is the time of year we come home to ourselves, reflect on the season’s harvest of our lives. As the leaves turn, grasses and flowering plants contract, wither and drop their fruits so we too become a little drier, our bodies’ conserve energy, require more and deeper rest. Root vegetables are abundant, with their substantial nourishment to replenish us from a summer of long sunny days and expansive activities. Our royal mantle – our skin – changes too, reflecting the flow of vital energy within, it’s function adapts to the season of interiorization and conservation. Seasonal transition can be accompanied by noticeable changes such as dry or red patches, blotchy skin, breakouts, retained sebum.
To promote inner harmony and clear skin, the time of the autumnal equinox is a traditional time to adjust our dietary intake and pursue some form of internal cleansing with herbs, juicing, or modified fasting. Eliminating all sugar, wheat, dairy and fried foods for 2 or 3 weeks is very helpful for decongesting and cleansing your system and will noticeably increase your energy and sense of clarity. Drinking burdock (Arctium lappa) tea, an alternative liver support, is noted for promoting clear skin. I have found Healthy Skin Tonic or Burdock-Red Root Compound very effective for general support of organs of elimination and lymphatic system cleansing. Taking elder flower (Sambucus nigra) tea helps support the skin’s elimination functions, helpful in preventing or eliminating papules, milia and retained sebum in the fall when we generally perspire less and there is contraction of the tissues. Keeping well hydrated internally and humidifying room air will help prevent the tendency to develop chapped skin and dry, uncomfortable nasal passages. Do keep exercising to keep your system from feeling sluggish - Tai chi or qigong are wonderful for staying energized and fit in the dark months.
As fall turns into winter, we need to adjust our skin care regime to protect against colder and drier air. A richer day moisturizer such as Neroli Cream or Rose Cream, with a periodic application of a precious seed oil skin serum underneath, will keep your skin nourished, soft and supple. The pure lanolin, shea butter, oils and herb extracts in the wide variety of Martina Gebhardt Face creams are unparalleled for their ability to nourish, protect and enliven delicate facial skin. And do rotate your moisturizer! Just as we need to rotate our food diet in order to be well nourished and to avoid developing sensitivities, it is wise to rotate our moisturizer to keep your skin responsive. Otherwise, our skin becomes used to the same active ingredients and may become less vital and active. Do routinely exfoliate with a natural facial peeling to assist your skin in eliminating and sloughing off dead cell congestion. Use regularly masks - both cleansing Black Mud Pure and one of the creamy conditioning facial masques, or seed oil capsules, will promote your skin’s health – as well as give you the pleasure of a mini–spa treatment!
For body care, start dry skin brushing, if you don’t already perform this regular lymphatic system stimulus that promotes whole body health. Instead of regularly applying a body moisturizer, use one of Martina Gebhardt’s body andmassaging oils while your skin is still damp from a shower or bath. Massaging these vitamin- and essential fatty acid rich preparations into your skin deeply moisturizes and strengthens it.
Fall and winter is a time when there is more of a tendency to become congested with less activity and heavier foods. There needs to be a balance of foods that promote warmth, alkalinity, and contract versus those which cool, acidify, and expand. Focus on root and cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens such as collards, walnuts, avocados, miso–based soups, tofu, free-range chicken and wild-caught fish, and whole grains. Use organic ghee, coconut and extra virgin olive oil. Recall that fall and winter are part of the rhythmic cycle of the year, necessary to our physical and emotional well–being as to the natural world surrounding us. The season of interiorization has it’s gifts: creative rest while the promise of spring percolates within.