Ladies, Winter is coming. Is your skin ready? Every year around the middle of October, I notice a shift in my skin. The August humidity is long gone and the lightweight products I’ve been using to reduce shine and minimize pores start to make my skin feel tight. I usually wake up one morning and the skin on my cheeks is noticeably dull, rough and maybe a little red. That’s when I know it’s time to swap my summer products out for my winter stash. I usually start browsing for the latest and greatest new things to try in September, but I always have my tried and true favorites already stocked up and ready for the switch too. If you’re feeling a little behind, don’t worry. I’ve got a bunch of great natural skin care suggestions (every item has an EWG toxicity score or 1 or 2). I hope after reading this, you know what you need to do NOW to prepare your skin type for a harsh winter.
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Oily, Combination, & Acne Prone Skin
Oily, combination and acne prone skin types have it tough in the winter. Your skin gets congested and shiny really quick if you use any products that are too heavy or rich. But between less environmental humidity in the cold air outside and being inside, where the air is likely even drier due to artificial heating, your skin is really paying the price. The products you normally use in the summer to keep the grease at bay are just too drying for the winter. Before you know it, your skin will be out of balance and actually start working overtime to produce more oil because that’s it’s job!
Did you know that your skin plays an important role in your immunity? It’s true because your skin’s barrier function protects you from microorganisms and pathogens. So when it gets out of balance, you’re more susceptible to sickness and your immune system tells your skin to make more oil as a barrier to keep the bad stuff out. If you have oily skin, you need to switch to products that don’t strip skin or disrupt the skin’s mantle.
For cleanser, I recommend Acure’s Facial Cleansing Gel for Oily/Combo Skin. It removes makeup, purifies and cleans skin without drying in one step. The special formulation is meant to help your skin maintain it’s acid mantle to keep skin balanced and healthy with food grade ingredients that are 100% vegan, gluten and cruelty free, plus free from paraben, sulfate, silicone, phthalate and synthetic fragrances. Follow that with the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner. It has all natural ingredients with antiseptic properties chosen for blemished and troubled skin to exfoliate and brighten gently, but without drying and leaving you with a matte finish.
Finish off your skin care routine with Blissoma’s Flawless – Equalizing Anti-Blemish Oil Serum. Don’t let the term “oil” scare you away! Putting the right oils on your face actually helps balance your skin so it stops producing so much oil. Everything Blissoma makes is verified vegan and cruelty-free. This formulation is specifically formulated for oily and acneic skin. The ingredients include: Hemp seed oil, which has a comedogenic rating of zero, so it will not clog pores, but also helps skin maintain it’s barrier, Organic Tamanu oil, which has proven antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and skin rebuilding properties to help you heal current breakouts and prevent new ones from forming, Watermelon seed oil, which actually mixes with the sebum on your skin to help dissolve any excess oil produced, and Blackberry, Cranberry and Sacha Inchi oil to help with anti-aging. When you buy it directly from their site, they offer a rewards program towards free products and free shipping with newsletter sign up. As with any skin routine change, you can expect an adjustment period while your skin tries to balance itself. Give it at least three weeks of steady use before you give up and you will not be disappointed. During that adjustment, you can blot any excess oil with these oil absorbing blotting papers for a mid-day fix.
Dry, Sensitive & Mature Skin Types
Believe it or not ladies, I think this skin type has it a bit easier in the winter months, myself included. Dryness is always the main concern, but because we don’t have acne issues to deal with, we can load up on the moisture all we want (and maybe even still need more). I usually have trouble going in to colder months with increased redness because of the dryness in the atmosphere and added central heating. That redness is caused by inflammation when my skin’s protective barriers are not replenished on the daily and my skin is left to battle all the environmental hazards out there. So overall, our goal is not that different from other skin types, we just need a lot more hydration to do it.
For cleanser, I honestly suggest some sort of oil cleansing at night. Oil dissolves oil, so oil cleansing will gently dissolve the makeup, dirt and sebum on your skin and replenish your natural lipid barrier with clean oils, without stripping or irritating already dry skin. I make my own and have for three years, and now I’m even making it for you too. But if that thought intimidates you, I suggest One Love Organic’s Vitamin B Cleansing Oil. It has ingredients like papain, a fruit enzyme that helps to soften and cleanse, and a natural vitamin B complex to detoxify and tone. You rub a pump onto your face then add warm water. The water and oil will turn into a creamy milk-like emulsion and dissolve makeup, dirt and sebum. You can then just rinse, but I prefer to steam it off with a soft washcloth run under really hot water, which is rung out and placed on the face for 30 seconds. Then I wipe off any excess oil and repeat the steam if necessary. The washcloth gives an extremely gentle daily exfoliation.
In the morning, oil cleansing is too heavy under makeup. I use Acure Organics Unscented Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes, which are fast and easy if you haven’t yet had coffee, won’t strip your skin and they are biodegradable. If you oil cleanse and use the washcloth, you probably won’t need a toner as a mild exfoliant. But if you want one to reduce and tighten pores, I suggest using Acure Organics Facial Toner Balancing Rose plus Red Tea. It moisturizes with vegetable glycerin while still balancing skin and building up the skin’s natural barrier system.
Follow this with Blissoma’s Restore Oil Serum as your moisturizer. I know you’re thinking “more oil?” YES. If you don’t change anything else, treat your skin to this healing oil serum for winter. It has made the single biggest impact in my skin’s redness and dry patches. It has too much goodness to even talk about here, so go check it out on Blissoma’s site. If this oil is too heavy for you in the daytime under makeup (it isn’t for me if I wait about 10 minutes), you can sub this oil in the morning for Blissoma’s Pure Sensitive Skin Soothing Complex. It works beautifully under makeup and helps fight inflammation and dryness too.
- One Love Organic’s Vitamin B Cleansing Oil 2. Acure Organics Cleansing Towelettes 3. Acure Organics Facial Toner 4. Blissoma Restore Healing Oil 5. Blissoma Pure Soothing Moisturizer
Alright ladies, I’ve spilled the beans on how to make some seasonal skin care switches for pampering your skin type through winter, no matter what your skin type. I even made sure all the items were perfectly natural and green so no harsh ingredients will throw anyone’s skin off. There are no excuses for dry, red or chapped skin this season. What’s your secret to keeping your skin healthy and beautiful all winter?