During the winter, changes in the weather can affect the skin. Skin can become imbalanced: it can turn dry (lacking in oil/sebum), dehydrated (lacking in water), blemished, chapped, irritated, or undergo other skin conditions.
Here are a few ingredients that may be helpful in alleviating many winter skin care issues. They are some of my favorite ingredients to use and formulate with, since they are very rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and help with a wide range of conditions. They can also be used year round (depending on skin type).
Blueberry seed oil is an amazing carrier oil. Like all of the berry seed oils, it is rich in antioxidants and brimming with nutrients, including vitamin E and the carotenoids. It is a light, fast absorbing oil. I like using it on my facial skin, because it makes my skin glow. I recommend mixing it with other carrier oils for best results (the berry seed oils are potent). Apply a few drops to damp skin (oils/butters plus waters equals moisturizer).
Cold pressed, virgin, organic, unrefined coconut oil is a very emollient heavy oil, perfect for the body skin (all skin types), or facial skin on the dry or blemished side. (Refined, solvent extracted coconut oil is thought to clog the pores, however, cold pressed, virgin, unrefined coconut oil is helpful for blemishes). I like using coconut oil on my body (apply to damp skin). It is also fabulous as a warm hair oil treatment.
Oatmeal is very soothing since it has anti-inflammatory properties. It is perfect for irritated and chapped skin. It is super gentle and also can mildly exfoliate the skin (its ability to exfoliate depends on how you prepare it). Use masks and scrubs made with oatmeal, make a cleanser with it, or add oatmeal to the bath water!
Meadowfoam oil is a light, nutrient rich carrier oil. It is a boon for winter skin, since it helps the skin retain moisture. Perfect for all skin types, including dry, dehydration, oily, combination, and balanced skin. Be sure to buy from vendors that use or offer cold pressed, unrefined meadowfoam oil, since many companies use solvent extracted, refined meadowfoam oil (which is stripped of its vitamins).
Shea butter is a thick, rich creamy butter from Africa that is rich in antioxidants (such as vitamin E), and very emollient. It helps the skin retain moisture. There are two varieties, the common west shea butter, and also rare east shea butter (which is also called Nilotica shea butter). I love the richness of west shea, but I also love using east shea butter because it is easier to spread, and also has less of a scent (unrefined west shea butter has a distinct scent). I use shea butter on my body, face, and also eye area. Apply a very small amount of shea butter to damp skin. Dry and dehydrated skin types can probably use it on their face, but people with oily facial skin may want to use it only around their eye area or on their body. A few people with oily skin can use it all over their face though. Be sure to buy shea butter that is cold pressed and unrefined (and organic if possible). Refined, solvent extracted shea butter is stripped of its nutrients and has a very different texture. Solvent extracted, refined shea is often extracted with hexane (though a couple companies make a cold pressed naturally refined shea that is filtered through clay that still retains many of its nutrients).
For information on how to change your routine during the winter months, please read my Eco Living article, “Eco Living: All Natural Autumn and Winter Skincare”:
My anb mall article on the properties of cranberry seed oil (another great oil for winter skin):
My Eco Living article on making a simple all natural oatmeal cleanser:
My article on water and oil ingredients, and defining all natural moisturizers:
Please visit Earth Alkemie: my all natural, eco-friendly, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup line.
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. She is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company.