It is one month until spring but no matter your locale it’s been a harsh season. The polar vortex has not been a pleasant event. Have you noticed your face in the mirror? Your hair? Have you looked at the skin on your body? All lacking the dewy, soft, brilliance of the warmer months. Spring is on its way. Let’s get this winter ravaged body anointed and ready to shine.
Did you know cold air is dry air? Humidity is lower, we are wearing more clothes, drinking less water and before you know it your face, hair, and body are extremely dry & itchy. As the temperature drops, your face and body skin becomes dry and bumpy, while your hair is lackluster, both lacking vitality and most importantly, TLC.
They say if you look better, you feel better and I am inclined to agree! So think in terms of Self Care for Spring Preparedness to help to make the rest of the winter a bit brighter. Here is my daily personal care checklist. This changes slightly come spring and summer where I won’t need to steam or moisturize as often.All my products whether I make or buy them- are organic, local or intentionally crafted with love outside the local zone. One thing is for certain they all make my heart sing.
Exfoliation is removing dry/dead skin cells on the skin’s surface and is one of the most important steps in your skincare routine. You can exfoliate both face and body. Exfoliation helps a multitude of skin issues, but most importantly it also increases blood circulation, which helps you to achieve healthy, radiant skin. You can use a wash cloth, loofah, or make a face, body, foot or hand scrub, dry brushing and hot towel scrubbing. When exfoliating, don’t forget your feet, passing a foot file over your soles and heels, when you are in the shower will blow your mind. Heal those Heels! A little TLC goes a long way
The Skin is the largest organ in the body, and responsible for a fourth of the body’s daily detoxification. Making it one of the most important elimination organs. Toxicity can gather beneath the skin’s surface from daily use of improper pH levels in personal care and antiperspirants, as well as, synthetic clothing. Any of these factors can contribute to a variety of skin issues. Dry skin brushing is very energizing and an excellent way to start the day.
Using a long handled body brush,
1. Begin with your feet and brush vigorously in circular motions.
2. Continue brushing up your legs.
3. Proceed to your hands and arms.
4. Brush your entire back and abdomen area, shoulders and neck.
5. Use circular counter-clockwise strokes on the abdomen.
6. Use light pressure on the breasts and any other sensitive areas.
Brush upwards on the back and down from the neck. Better yet, have a friend, spouse or family member brush your back 😉
HOT TOWEL SCRUB/DRY SHAMPOO FOR HAIR(I know not everyone is going to love this idea but instead of a shower that uses way more water, isn’t eco-friendly and dries out our skin- Try hot towel scrubbing and dry shampoo.)
Body scrubbing can be done before or after your bath or shower, or anytime during the day. All you need is a sink with hot water and a medium-sized cotton washcloth. For the maximum effect, scrub your body twice a day: once in the morning and once again in the evening. Scrub for two to 20 minutes, depending on the amount of time you have. The process of the hot towel scrub has a deeper physical, mental, and emotional effect when done at the sink as opposed to the shower.
**Reduces muscle tension
**Re-energizes in the morning and deeply relaxes at night
**Opens the pores to release stored toxins
**Softens deposits of hard fat below the skin and prepares them for discharge
**Allows excess fat, mucus, cellulite, and toxins to actively discharge to the surface rather than to accumulate around deeper vital organs
**Relieves stress through meditative action of rubbing the skin
**Calms the mind
**Activates the lymphatic system, especially when scrubbing the underarms and groin
**Easy massage and deep self-care
**Can be a sacred moment, especially if done with candlelight and a drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender
**Creates a profound and loving relationship with the body, especially parts not often shown care, and especially for a person with body image problems
**Spreads energy through the chakras
Dry shampoos come in spray or powder form, and not only soak up oil, freshen hair, are water-free, and can buy you some time in the morning ;). Most people shampoo daily, however, through the winter, consider only 1-2 times a week. Shampoo removes natural oils that keep our hair and scalp healthy. Leave the heated air appliances (dryers, curling/flat irons) alone. Condition, wrap, towel and air dry to prevent damage.
An easy method of steam inhalation is to boil filtered water and then pour the steaming water into a large bowl. Essential oils can be added, if desired. Next, a towel is placed over the head, while leaning over the bowl, inhaling deeply for approximately 15 minutes. Humidifiers also provide a gentle form of steam inhalation.
Respiratory Benefits Dry air passages are moistened, and mucus is loosened/eliminated easier by coughing or blowing the nose. The moist air also alleviates difficulty breathing, throat irritation and inflammation.
Natural Expectorant This helps to relax muscles, thereby relieving coughing. Inhaling steam is also necessary for preventing excessive drying of the mucous membranes.
Improved Circulation may provide relief from headaches/migraines. The rise in temperature can also strengthen the immune system by stimulating the circulation of germ fighting white blood cells.
Reduce Stress When blood vessels dilate, blood flow is increased, promoting relaxation. Further stress reduction can be achieved by using specific essential oils.
Pore Cleansing & Rejuvenation Steam softens debris and opens pores so sebum can flow naturally and remove impurities. Steam also loosens the dead skin cells facilitating easy removal, allowing new cells to emerge. Resulting in a youthful, radiant glow.
EXTRA, EXTRA MOISTURIZING
I use coconut oil from head to toe, for all my moisturizing needs but in the winter I add shea or cocoa butter on top of the coconut oil to make sure I stay silky smooth all day long.
The same way I dry brush, I moisturize from the feet up. When I get to the any joints the motion is rounded and as I move to the muscles, the stroke is long like a caress.
Don’t skip the hands and feet! Use tepid water and small amount of mild soap for hand washing. It’s much less drying. To encourage fast healing of cracks and splits- apply aloe vera gel to hands, g faceX detox your body naturallyX lymphatic system cleansfeet and heels daily. An amazing treat is a paraffin dip. Heats the hands and feet nicely while allowing for extra penetration of lotions and creams. Also eases pain from arthritis. Once you have finished moisturizing, you put on a pair cotton socks and/or cotton “moisturizing” gloves to allow oil/cream to penetrate.
SUPER CHARGE with SUPER FOODS
A healthy diet focusing on whole, local, organic foods, is your key in assisting your body to detox naturally and supply essential nutrients your skin needs. The dry brushing technique mentioned above will only magnify its benefits. Certain foods are particularly effective at promoting beautiful, clear, healthy skin.
Animal-based omega-3 fats: usually found in fish in abundance
Increase Fruits/Vegetables: Ideally fresh, organic, and locally grown. Fresh vegetable juice is also amazing for your skin, as are carotenoids, which give red, orange, and yellow fruits their color, and also occur in green vegetables. Studies have proven that eating foods with these deeply colored pigments can give you a healthier glow then getting a tan.
Fermented Vegetables: are the same vegetables we usually eat but are converted by bacteria into superfoods. Fermented vegetables help promote the growth of friendly gut bacteria and aid in digestion, supercharging immunity.
Antioxidants: have been found to offer effective protection against sun damage when taken as a daily supplement. Some sunscreens are also starting to use powerful antioxidants as an ingredient to protect your skin from sun damage. Vitamin C has long been used to amplify the effects of sunscreen.
Zinc: Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and may also help control some of the hormones that create acne. Zinc is also required for proper immune system function, as well as for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell. Foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs
Dehydration lowers the immune and makes cough, cold and flu worse. Drinking more water will help to detoxify and energize the body. Water helps move impurities and waste through our bodies, keeping us healthy and our immune system strong. Remembering this is especially important during the winter months when we can be less active and easily exposed to germs.
Drinking more water will keep you from gaining extra weight. Often times, our brains mistake thirst for hunger, causing us to snack. If you have just eaten a meal but still like you need something, try a glass of water. Consuming plenty of water each day also helps our bodies digest the food we eat more easily.
The number one cause of daytime fatigue is dehydration? If you need a caffeine bump by noon, you just may be dehydrated. Without water, our body functions slows and uses extra energy. You will feel, look and think better if you increase your water intake.
Our skin, like our bodies, can become dehydrated and it can have a sallow, crepey appearance that can be corrected/prevented. Lackluster skin can be even more dismaying in the winter. The harsh conditions can wreak havoc on our skin and the heated air in our homes can dry and further muddy our complexions. If we don’t drink enough water, impurities can’t leave our body so we are prone to breakout. These impurities have to find an exit- via the pores! Adding more water(with lemon for supercharged effects) in to your routine now will help you have clearer, healthier skin for life.
I am beyond honored to be part of the natural news family, I just gushed over for my first blog post and had so much to share this round. If you would like more information on any of the tips I have shared in this post, please leave a comment below and I will respond with a post. If you would like to see posts regarding specific topics, please let me know 😉 Please stay tuned for more recipes, tips and healthful hints!
Amaritday is the owner/founder of Sacred Connections Health & Life Arts www.amaritday.com
Sharing what I love, helping people get informed is what I live to do. There is so much to feel, hear, learn, love, see, smell, taste and do and I am here to guide you. – Amaritday
Information learned as a Student & Graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition