One of the perks of living in Brooklyn is that we get four complete and distinct seasons, though mostly milder versions, nearly every year. Lovely as that is, it does mean that we need to take care all year round, paying attention to our homes, our wardrobes, our diet and our skin care rituals in order to gently nudge them towards what is most appropriate in consideration of the environment.
As the steam heat kicks on in these old NYC buildings, you may find yourself more dehydrated on the surface of your skin. Our Holistic Skin Care Specialists have compiled this list of general guidelines in response to the most common concerns we hear every year.
General Guidelines for Late Fall/Winter Health & Beauty
Remember, when the air is dry, the dryness you feel on your skin is usually dehydration.
Though you may think “feeling dry” means that you need more OIL in your Moisture Duo the best way to remedy the situation is more MINERAL MIST. In the morning, use an extra spray of Mist (6 instead of 5) to your Nourish & Replenish Oil (3 drops) in your palm before massaging into your face. Count out 3 drops of oil and spray the mist directly into it in your palm. Confused? Stop by our shop during open hours or make an appointment to see a Holistic Skin Care Specialist or a consultation or a facial.
Protect from the Bitter Cold
If-and-only-if you are going into bitter cold weather conditions, apply a few drops of NO EVIL as added protection for cheeks, nose, and other areas most susceptible to environmental irritation after you've applied your Moisture Duo. Otherwise it is best to allow the skin to get used to the changing weather patterns and take care of itself. This may not actually “work” in this capacity if your skin is experiencing barrier damage (in which case, make an appointment for an Integrative Therapy for Barrier Repair).
Exfoliate regularly with Sow Your Wild Oats. It is especially effective in the cool months to mix up 1 tsp Sow Your Wild Oats + 1 tsp hot water and allow to set before massaging into your face. If you have congestion (and have not already oil cleansed that night) add 4 drops of NO EVIL or Cow Fart Juice to the Sow Your Wild Oats before applying to the skin. Always, always remember to remove with a warm, wet washcloth. If you tend towards reactivity, Integrity Biome Mask is another great option.
Steam Cleaning once a week with the Herbal Facial Steamer is the most effective way to remove and prevent blackheads and does wonders for dehydrated skin. Apply a few drops of NO EVIL, Nourish & Replenish, Cow Fart Juice or Seeds of Change before you steam. Used in this way, it is an intensive oil cleansing–so, be sure to remove the oil with a washcloth once you're done. Our Herbal Infusion Teas (such as the Stress Bump Tea) can also be used for this or to make a compression with a hot towel to remove the oil. Take care, boiling water and steam can burn you.
If you're not ready to fully plunge into Supportive Skincare, Edith Rose Cream is a simple and lovely traditional rose distillate-based cream that can be used in the morning as a moisturizer or over one of our Mineral Mists to rehydrate the skin and prevent sensitization. Most of the time, we don’t recommend moisturizing before bed, but this would also work if you feel like you need it. Do not use any of our lotions or creams OVER oil that has not been emulsified with more Mineral Mist than oil. It just doesn’t work that way!
Healthy skin that is ready to kick it up a notch post-summer has many options. Seeds of Change renewal oil and Vita-C 10 Day Wild Berry Treatment both offer antioxidant boosts while Pumpkin Enzyme Peel uses enzymes to remove dead skin and brighten the visage.
Regular Functional Facials are recommended to keep you on track and boost the skin’s ability to function. If you have a history of dehydration, a Level 1 can be helpful to clear out pores that have trapped cycles of dehydration in them, so that your skin is smooth once more and product can penetrate better and be more effective. Added services (Level 2 or 3) are available make extractions easier, to improve the results of phototherapy, or simply for that special glow.
If you have started off the fall and winter in a “control cycle” and find that you are adding more and more lotions, creams, and oil but not getting any moister, you may be a candidate for our Integrated Therapy for Barrier Repair and our gentle, but effective Clearing Serum.
In addition to being a great beauty booster for those upcoming family photos, Healing Phototherapy is a gentle transformative modality that can benefit sensitive and irritable skin as well as defensive line-related conditions.
- In the morning, be sure to include your lips, as well as the area around and behind your ears, when applying your Moisture Duo.
- If you have open cracks or a cold sore, use 1 drop of Cow Fart Juice to reduce the risk of infection and prevent lingering red marks.
- Apply Bumble Balm, Honey Balm, or Hint of Tint before going out into the cold to protect against windburn and chapped lips.
- For Cellular Communication Issues (super-patchy, irritable, and flakey skin), Mist up to 5-6 pumps of Instant Alchemy Mineral Mist directly into your Massage in a Bottle, or Organic Infused Coconut Oil and apply to the skin for enhanced moisture absorption. If you are low in magnesium, it may tingle a little. This is not harmful and though may feel uncomfortable, it is helpful! If it does feel too uncomfortable, use less Instant Alchemy and slowly increase the proportions of the mist.
- Apply Vitality Body Lotion immediately after you have turned off the shower while your skin is still wet in order to increase spread and absorption.
Avoid excessively hot showers which cause trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) and dehydrated skin. If you don’t want to give up hot showers, protect your skin by applying Massage in a Bottle or Infused Coconut Oil over your dry patches before you get in and either NO EVIL or Sow Your Wild Oats + NO EVIL to your face before getting into the shower. Cold water rinse your feet for up to a minute to invigorate your immune system.
- Avoid dry, chapped hands and hang nails by washing with Clean & Green Hand Soap which effectively cleans and disperses dirt and germs without drying the skin or compromising the integrity of the skin’s defensive line.
- While you are nourishing or moisturizing your face, be sure to massage some into your cuticles.
- Wear gloves while washing the dishes in hot water and pay attention to the ingredients in your dish soap.
- Use silk glove liners to keep your hands cozy when you go outside.
Health & Home Care
- Anti-Yucky Spray isn’t just for toilet-room smells and refreshing the air! Spray onto a cloth and wipe down your toys, door knobs and toilet seats. Also safe and effective to spray directly onto hands when soap and water are not available.
- Despite our best efforts, there will come a time when you’ve been exposed to a virus and want a little more immune protection…or when you feel it coming on: We offer an Elderberry Syrup Kit to teach you how to make this effective herbal remedy at home. Follow the directions and just add honey.
- Stuffy? Steam with our Herbal Facial Steamer (it has all kinds of antimicrobial properties) or even by adding a few drops of the Happy Vapors Essential Oil to some steamy water and building a tent. Rub Happy Vapors Chest Rub onto the chest, the bottoms of the feet or under the nose to complete the process of herbal relief.
- Help your body DEAL WITH winter stress instead of having it show up as “bumps” on your face. Brain stressed from all night studying? Stress Bumps for Forehead Tea. Tummy stressed from all those goodies you’ve been eating? Stress Bumps for Cheeks Tea. Adrenals stressed from too much family? Stress Bumps for Chin Tea.
- Limiting exposure to endocrine disruptors? Remember the polyester and vinyl are just two of many fabrics and materials made from petroleum. Though they may be warm and keep you dry, anyone who is concerned about over-exposure may want to layer natural materials against their skin for warmth.
- Place a humidifier in your bedroom or compact desktop version at work.
- Houseplants help to clear the air and give you happy greens in the winter months. Check out Gowanus Nursery around the corner from our Columbia Street/Red Hook shop for an amazing selection of indoor plants.
- Eat ample amounts of abundant, non-inflammatory fats to lubricate from the inside out.
- Think seasonally: now is not the time to go raw. Cook your veggies with a little acid (vinegar is nice) to break apart the cell walls and help you get more minerals out of your food and into your body.
- Enjoy ample amounts of Inner Strength Tea for organ strength. Wonderful plant-based sources of calcium, iron and antioxidants.
- Need someone to work out a self-care plan that’s right for you and help you reach your goals? Confused by all the contradicting information you keep running into? Schedule a Functional Self-Care Consultation.