Originally published in Body Sense, Autumn/Winter 2009. Copyright 2009. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
Winter and all its drying effects are upon us. While your esthetician can help guide the way through this challenging season, these at-home cures can also help. Cleanse
Put away your foam and soap and stock up on cream cleansers. Cleansing creams, lotions, and milks are very effective cleansers and they do not contain the typical surfactant or detergent ingredients that most cleansing gels do, which can be too harsh on your skin. Tone
Put away your astringents and switch to a toner. Your skin needs to be soothed and balanced, not dried out further by an astringent.Moisturize
Choose heavier creams than you would in the summer months. Feel free to use your heavy eye cream around your lips and entire face. If your skin is itchy, the dry air is causing the moisture in the top layer of your skin to evaporate quickly. Slather those areas with extra moisture until you feel relief. Never be afraid of using pure oils on your skin. A bottle of jojoba oil or olive oil is a great thing to have on hand. During the cold and flu season, you should wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and be certain to apply a heavy hand cream afterward. Exfoliate
Exfoliate twice a week to remove dead skin cells and allow your skin to absorb the extra moisture you use. Central heating systems play havoc on the sebum our skin normally produces. This makes our skin lose water that should be retained in the lower dermis. Exfoliate your skin with cream-based exfoliates with jojoba beads and your body will soak up the rich oils. Hydrate
For a simple in-home hydrotherapy treatment, start your day with a steamy shower. Just as you are finishing, switch the water to cold for about 15 seconds. Repeat the process for two minutes. This hydrotherapy technique will revitalize your skin by stimulating the flow of blood.Shower and Bathe
One of the greatest times to apply body oil or cream is right after a bath or shower, but did you know you can apply any oil, lotion, or cream while you are in the shower or bath? You can even use your quality hair conditioner all over your body for soft and supple skin. The heat and steam from the shower allows your skin to thoroughly absorb moisture. Once you bring your body oil, cream, or lotion into the shower, try shaving with them. The rich oils protect your skin and give your razor a perfect glide. You may never go back to shaving with soap or shaving cream. Kayla Fioravanti, is chief formulator, registered aromatherapist, and cofounder of Essential Wholesale and von Natur. For more information, visit www.essentiallabs.com.