Fall has transitioned to winter and my skin has been feeling that familiar dryness and sensitivity that comes with the season. Chapped hands and lips, itchy dryness on my legs and even my eyeballs feel scratchy. Dryness is uncomfortable and is the result of a variety of factors, such as less moisture in the atmosphere, the use of indoor heaters, my love for long, hot showers to beat the chill, and my tendency to drink less water in colder months. During this transition period when my skin feels like it's rebelling, I pull out my tried and true heavy hitters to restore harmony to my skin.
Nothing says winter skin care to me like a good face and body balm, and lucky for me, balms are our specialty here at Zoe Organics. Our customers must know it too, because when the weather changes, we begin shipping them out as fast as we make them.
Happy, moisturized skin is possible in the Winter, so read on to discover my list of favorite (waterless) winter skin products, how I use them, and why they are so effective.
Gone are the days when "face" and "oil" cause anxiety. The older I get, the more generously I use oils and waterless products on my face. In fact, I rarely feel like the skin on my face is happy unless it has soaked up a quality face oil or serum. To cleanse my face during Winter, I'm more inclined to use a gentle oil cleanser over a gel or soap because it feels less drying and more gentle. If you've followed us for a while, you know that we love to use Zoe Organics Belly Oil on our faces too. If you take a look at the ingredients list you will know why. It is full of potent, organic cold pressed oils like pumpkin seed, grape seed, rose hip and tamanu. I love oils like jojoba and argan because they mimic our skin’s natural sebum and feel so natural on the skin instead of heavy and greasy.
For the next level of moisture and protection, I use Zoe Organics Cream. Zoe Organics Cream is a waterless product is made from organic shea butter and beautiful unrefined oils of rose hip, avocado and soothing calendula extract. I think of this Cream as a rich conditioner for both face and body. A very small amount is adequate for most, and it can be applied to damp skin. Always rub product between clean hands to warm to an oil before applying. Then cup each side of your face with your hands and press the product into your skin. If you aren’t used to using waterless products on your face and body, it may take a bit of getting used to, but you will soon appreciate the benefits! I use it alone, or in combination with a face oil. It can be used in several different ways depending on the other products used or the desired level of moisture.
1. Use alone: take a pea sized amount, warming between your hands until it becomes an oil and then gently press it into your skin.
2. Use with a face oil: take a pea sized amount and blend with a few drops of our Belly Oil or your favorite face oil. Gently massage into your skin.
3. Use as a spot treatment on dry spots; cheeks, eye area, etc.
For chapped cheeks, mouths and lips (think windburn, ice and snow), Everything Balm is my go-to. Five amazing organic ingredients – shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and lavender oil – work together to provide a seriously nourishing and restorative combination. The oils and wax give it staying power to create a protective barrier on your skin against the elements. The product comes packaged in a functional, easy-to-apply large balm tube. Even your kids can apply it themselves!
Again, I love a nutrient-rich organic oil. As soon as I step out of the shower, I slather it on. Have you tried massaging a body oil onto damp skin? It's amazing and creates an emulsification similar to lotion, but way better. My skin drinks it up, and by the time I get dressed there is no oily residue. I can’t stress enough the importance of a quality oil. If you are just beginning to use oils as part of your skincare routine, you may experiment with jojoba, apricot or coconut. Or, get fancy with Zoe Organics Body Oil or Belly Oil.
A body butter, like our Cream, will provide a nice conditioning treatment and a light barrier on the skin and seal in the moisture. Try layering over a body oil at night. This is particularly beneficial for eczema, psoriasis or very dry skin. Again, you can adjust the amount you use, and by applying a small amount to damp skin you can avoid the “greasy” feeling. Keep in mind, though, the temporary greasy feeling is sure better than the itching, burning and redness that comes with dry skin.
Hands and feet:
I keep Dr. Shannon's Organic Skin Balm close at all times. I place a small amount on the back of one of my hands and then rub the backs of my hands together. At night, I slather it on my feet before bed. I also apply this to my lips and love the staying power.
You may be curious what the difference is between a product like our waterless Cream or Dr. Shannon's Skin Balm and a conventional lotion like Aveno or Cetaphil, or a barrier balm like Vaseline. The simple answer is that the ingredients in our products are free of pesticides, synthetic or artificial materials. We are firm believers in the power of plants to restore and heal our bodies. Our bottles and jars are filled to the brim with concentrated, nutritious organic plant materials that have not been diluted or adulterated - in other words, they aren't junk food, but health food, for your skin.
I've shared my topical skin care tips, but no amount of butter or balm will remedy skin that isn't being hydrated from the inside! If you have trouble drinking enough water like I do, consider finding a water vessel that will be most functional for your lifestyle. I've found that it makes a difference for me, so I stick with the bottles I drink the most from. I also add fresh lemon, make herbal sun tea, or add fresh mint or fruit to make drinking my water more tasty. As a general rule, drink half your weight in ounces of water per day.