Winter Skin Blues….

As the season changes yet again in the next few weeks, so will your skin.  Your skin is the first thing to come into contact with the weather around you (assuming you haven’t used the nose warmer your Grandmother made you last Christmas) and will undoubtedly show the effects of the season.  It’s pretty obvious in the summer when we all have to be aware of our time in the sun, but what about our time in the wind and cold?  What about the time in our homes and the dry air?   It’s no coincidence that our skin dries out and becomes cracked or chapped in the winter time.  So what do you do about it?

There are certain oils that have wonderful effects on your skin.   Grapeseed oil is a wonderful simple oil that greatly nourishes the skin and doesn’t leave it feeling very greasy.  It’s anti-oxident properties are hailed to help fight free radicals in the skin, helping you maintain a young and natural glow.  It is a wonderful carrier oil and is the first oil of choice in my office.  I can mix any blend of essential oils with it and change the focus of it’s desired effects.  Adding Tea Tree essential oil will create a more astringent effect helping fight any acne or other bacterial skin issues, while adding Geranium essential oil will facilitate a more healing effect and aid in faster skin repair.  The options are limitless!   Other oils can be added to your carrier oil, to make a blend incorporating many benefits.

Jojoba Oil is a wonderful oil to add to any skincare lotion or oil.  It mimics human sebum and so aids in skin repair in ways most other oils can’t.  It also naturally fights bacteria and fungus and so it can be added with the purpose of adding extra immune protection.

Sweet Almond Oil is high in protein, other vitamins and minerals.  It’s excellent for all skin types and conditions the skin, keeping it supple and soft.  It has a sweet subtle smell that mixes well with other essential oils.  It’s also one of my favorites for lip butter!

Apricot Kernel Oil is rich in fatty acids and helps keep the skin full of moisture and relieves the effects of Eczema and Psoriasis.  It’s texture is similar to Sweet Almond oil and so blends very nicely to compliment any skin care lotion or oil blend.

Jason Organics also makes a fragrance free lotion (and other products) that you can add any essential oils to, creating a blend that is truly all your own.  These can be found at most Health Food Stores, such as our local Mother Earth Natural Foods or in the organic section of your local grocery store (Go Wegmans!).   Essential oils can help in keeping the skin soft, moisturized and help in the healing of other conditions.  A great list of them and their related suggestions of use can be found here at Nature’s Gift website.  When blending lotions with other oils and essential oils, always have a separate container to accommodate your blend and start with small measurements.  Lotions will thin out when adding other oils and need to be shaken well to ensure a good consistency.   Keeping your old pump bottles comes in handy for these projects!   Adding just a few teaspoons of oil to a cup of lotion is a good start.  Essential oils are best blended first in a small glass bowl (to avoid any mistakes or adding too much of something i.e. stink bombs!),  then added to the lotion/oil.   Again, shake well to mix your blend completely.  Do your best to use lotions that are originally scent free, basic in nature and ingredients.  Avoid petroleum based products whenever you can!

Remember to apply lotion or oil in the evening before bed, as this can be the best time to allow the properties within your skin care to go to work for you.  If you have particularly cracked or chapped hands or feet, applying a generous amount of lotion or oil and then adding a layer of cotton socks or gloves can greatly help your skin heal faster and lock in the moisture (and also protect you and your bed from waking up a mess!).

I hope this has helped some of you, and I’m always making new balms, salves and lip butter so please feel free to ask for any recipes!  Stay warm and keep your skin soft!

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