The cold winter months bring fun, fireplace chats, and tons of ice skating but then the dry itchy skin can also prove to be as challenging as a major snowstorm.
The drier the air, the drier the skin so here are some fun, easy, and natural skincare tips I’ve used to maintain a healthy skincare routine that I know you will also love!
For Your Home
Consider having a cool air humidifier in your home to help your skin barrier stay hydrated. Moisture is important in the cooler months so also consider keeping the heat at a moderate temperature to avoid adding dryness in the air.
For your Gut
Gut health is everything when it comes to skin care so in addition to remaining well hydrated bump up your diet with foods rich in healthy fats such as walnuts, avocados, and olive oil.
For your Face
Without proper exfoliation, serums and creams won’t have a strong effect on your skin in the winter months. Consider using a light facial scrub prior to applying a hydrating serum or consider adding any of these essential oils into your skincare moisturizing routine:
Carrot Seed: It’s great to moisturize and hydrate the skin and is also helpful for skin that is irritated.
Sacred Frankincense: Not only does this oil create a nice even glow of your skin, the oil is known to reduce the appearance of blemishes and even skin tone.
Copaiba: This little gem provides a natural moisture to skin when added to moisturizer or in a dropper bottle with other skincare oils and applied to the face.
Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood: With a sweet and woodsy smell this essential oil is known to illuminate the appearance of skin for a younger, healthier appearance.
And now ya know! Skin care tips that can help you keep that glowing and moisturized appearance all winter long.
When I think back to my skincare routine in H.S. I could just cringe at the lack of knowledge I had about maintaining healthy skin.
I used to rely heavily on products that always seemed to dry my face out, leaving me on this constant hunt for moisturizers that would fix the trick.
After being diagnosed with Rosacea in 2017 I realized that healthy skin really starts within. So in addition to healing my gut (for tips on where to start that journey check out my blog on the benefits of MSM or the benefits of bone broth), increasing my water intake, I embraced a more holistic routine using essential oils to enhance my skincare routine.
Essential Oils & Skincare Routines
The concentrated aromatic liquid from various parts of plants, the naturally occurring constituents in essential oils have been used in cultures for centuries. Their natural properties have been shown to brighten, smooth, and moisturize the appearance of skin (which let’s get real is a woman’s dream)
4 Essential Oils for Your Fall Skin Care Routine
As the leaves change in fall so should our skincare routine. Here are 4 of my favorite oils to add to my skin care routine to keep me feeling pampered and pretty!
Geranium: this gentle oil is great for all skin types but really great for those with oily and dry skin. I love it to help smooth and even skin tone.
Frankincense: This oil has such a historical presence for healing as well as beautification and rejuvenation of the skin. It is a popular one for moisturizing and smoothing out the skins appearance.
Lavender: A daily skin care regime must have, lavender is not only known to provide a sense of calmness and relaxation but it is also a gentle oil to help nourish all skin types.
Manuka: You may be familiar with manuka honey but now we’re talking about Manuka essential oil. I’m not going to lie, I personally was extremely hesitant to use this in my skin care routine simply because I cannot stand the smell however this little gem did wonders for providing me with a bright, even, and fresh look!
How Should You Safely Use Essential Oils in Skin Care?
Since essential oils are highly concentrated it’s important to remember that everybody may respond differently and some individuals may be more sensitive than others. I always start with one drop in non toxic facial moisturizer and do a test patch first on the inner elbow just to see how my skin responds before using it on my face/neck. (**citrus oils or blends with citrus can be highly photosensitive)
Most importantly make sure you are using quality essential oils in which the company manages and distills on site and has their own farms so that the quality control and purity standards are tighter. There are too many brands on the shelves with tons of synthetic fillers in them which can be quite harmful.
Now go out there and strut that glowing, beautiful face of yours!
Growing up as a young black girl my idea of beauty revolved around long haired women with flawless skin! Little did I know that struggle to have that in my own life would be a long journey full of mistakes and trials galore.
Years of high stress, poor diet choices, and excessive medications for chronic allergies and sinus issues lead me to having massive gut problems and being diagnosed with Rosacea.
That was when my true quest for healing began and I learned about the benefits of MSM. This may not be the solution for everyone however the benefits are tremendous and worth a try!
What the heck is MSM?
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring compound which provides a natural source of sulfur. Sulfur plays a key role in daily cellular functions and is known to help reduce inflammation, help with gut lining, improve allergy relief, and help with joint pain, skin, and nail growth.
How does MSM work for Hair, Skin, Nails, and Allergies?
Hair and nails are made up of mostly keratin. According to this article “MSM may donate sulfur to keratin, which could help strengthen the bonds between keratin molecules in the hair and nails”.
For allergies MSM helps detox and eliminate free radicals as well as improve the cell permeability of the gut lining. MSM can also stabilize pH balance, preventing overproduction of stomach acids.
Skin and anti aging concerns are tremendous for many women and MSM enhances antioxidant usage by reducing free radicals which can accelerate the aging process. MSM also slows down the breakdown of collagen beneath the skin. Sounds like a win win right?
How did MSM change my life?
Honestly when I first started taking a recommended MSM and Wolfberry based capsule I didn’t see any changes (but I also wasn’t using it as directed). However after 4 months of consistently taking the capsules as designed, altering my eating habits, and taking a high quality probiotic not only did my nails grow like wildfire but my hair grew thicker and longer and my Rosacea fully cleared up!
Is MSM right for you?
MSM based supplementation can be phenomenal to add into your daily wellness routine and help with your hair, skin, nails, GI system, allergies and even joint health! It’s a great must have tool in your arsenal of holistic wellness tools that can provide you and your family amazing benefits including increased energy.
Working with the pediatric population, I see a LOT of children and infants with skin problems such as Eczema. While I don’t have personal experience with this I do have personal experience with Rosacea and I thought I'd share a variety of natural options I found that have worked very well. As always, I encourage you to have an in depth conversation with your physician to discuss all options and methods to address your concerns.
WHY I’M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT CREAMS…….
As much as it would be amazing to say there was a magic cream to make eczema go away, I have to make it clear that the underlying problem is not being addressed with a topical cream. I know, this may be a heartbreaking thing to read but hear me out, a cream can stop the immediate discomfort but won’t get to the root cause. I think you’re ready to kick this in the butt so let’s get down to biz.
This is why I’m a HUGE component of dietary and natural options. Eczema is complex, however attacking it from all angles will leave you with long lasting results and happy soothed skin!
Where my Foodies At??
I know it seems weird to talk about food when you’re wanting to know how to heal a skin issue but diet is often a big underlying concern with those dealing with eczema.
You may or may not have heard that the gut is highly connected to our overall immune state and it is! Add on exposure to medications, antibiotics, and inflammatory foods and this can create chaos for your skin.
One of the best things to help heal the gut is bone broth. A major key component to the GAPS diet (also known as the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” diet). For more info on the GAPS diet I highly suggest you grab this book and dive in! Bone broth is an amazing source of calcium and many other minerals, and it’s super easy to make. The overall health benefits are tremendous but other benefits include: digestive, joints, nervous system, and SKIN SUPPORT.
Remember I said it’s easy to make right? You can even make it in your Instant Pot!! (#winning). One fun trick I’ve found is to roast approximately 3 lbs bones • Carrots. • Celery • Onion • Garlic • Season with Salt and Pepper on a sheet pan for about 40 minutes in the oven before you cook it. If you use an Instant Pot you can top it with water and cook on manual for 2 hours. Are you more of a stock pot kinda person?....no problem, just slow simmer for about 8-10 hours and enjoy!
A somewhat controversial topic, the idea of probiotics being used to naturally support the gut and healing of atopic dermatitis is mixed. Many reviews claim there is not enough evidence however from personal experience there are tremendous benefits from using a high quality probiotic ¹ .
As our diets have moved heavily away from using fermentation processes that would help build a flourishing array of flora in the gut, supplementing with probiotics may be important more than we know. For many including myself, foods with probiotics in them was not effective (not to mentioned often filled with sugars). I’ve tried many varieties however the one I personally found most effective has 9 strains with 17 billion live active cultures and uses a delayed release capsule to ensure the cultures get straight to the intestines. Quality matters if we are going to support the GI system.
For those who do not find their condition gets worse in water, detox baths can be very healing to the body. While they help remove toxins from the body they can also make you tired so considering doing them before bed a couple times a week!
Bentonite Clay Bath
Take the epsom salts and mix a few drops if desired of essential oils and pour into the water. In a small glass jar mix the clay using a plastic spoon with a bit of water until the clumps are mostly dissolved. Add the clay mix to the bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.
COCONUT OIL/LAVENDER LOTION
If you do not have an allergy to coconut, applying a thin layer of coconut oil to the skin can be soothing and help stop the itch. I also find that good old lavender is not only great to calm and relax your mind but is also amazing to soothe the skin. If you find Coconut to be too drying you can always try another option as sometimes coconut oil has been known to strip the skin of moisture intensifying the itch for some.
There are many other tips and tricks to naturally address eczema and ditch the itch but you want to make sure you are focused on getting to the root of the cause. Consider seeking a consultation with an allergist and then create a good plan of attack to change your dietary and personal care products so that you can love the skin you’re in!