The winter months bring colder, drier weather that can be tough on our bodies and especially our skin. Thankfully, we can take a hint from Mother Nature and call on certain plant allies to make a huge difference for our skin health this season. Support your skin's health and radiance with these 3 key ingredients...
If mushrooms aren't already a part of your internal and external wellness practice, you're missing out!
You see, mushrooms are adaptogens, meaning they work intelligently within the body to hone in on areas of weakness and damage and offer their support. Sweet, isn't it?
They're also incredibly anti-inflammatory. This matters because inflammation in the body is the primary cause of premature aging and the source of common skin woes like discoloration, loss of elasticity, redness and breakouts. When our cells are busy "putting out the fires" of inflammation, they're unable to work on regenerative processes that improve skin tone and texture. Mushrooms soothe inflammation and reinvigorate cells so skin can function optimally, resulting in a healthier, brighter and clearer complexion over time.
Mushrooms also have key nutrients for skin health like B vitamins, antioxidants and kojic acid. Kojic acid, in particular, has an anti-tyrosinase effect, helping to lighten discoloration from past damage.
This time of year, try sipping on antioxidant-rich Chaga Mushroom tea, with a little lemon and honey to boost your immune system. Add Shiitakes to your stir fries, and see what other mushrooms you might find at your local farmer's market.
To boost your skin topically, try these three mushroom-imbued tonics: The Immortelle Mushroom Mylk (use 2x daily), The Honey + Bamboo Facial Scrub (2-3x weekly), and the The Botanical Toning Mist (use as often as desired).
A key ingredient in your favorite cozy cup of chai is also an amazing ally for the skin this time of year. From the same family as Ginger, Cardamom offers gentle warming benefits, both when taken internally or applied topically. This warming stimulates microcirculation, bringing fresh blood and nutrients to the skin, while cleansing and detoxing from the inside out.
A key ingredient in our Cardamom Cream Cleanser, this herb is helpful year-round but especially in the cold winter months when our tissues can become stagnant from lack of movement. The daily gentle circulation encouraged by this herb supports supple, rosy skin and imparts strong antibacterial and anti-oxidant properties.
#3: Cold-Pressed Oils
I once visited Norway, where it was typical for families to keep a bottle of fish oil on the dining room table and take a swig from it every morning. My host explained that these oils were rich in fatty acids, supporting the body in cold climates. They help regulate body temperature, nourish the hormonal system, brain and eyes, and keep skin hydrated and supple.
Depending on your dietary preferences and tastes, fish oil may or may not be for you. And despite the nutrient profile, it certainly isn't something most folks want to apply topically (pee-yew!). Thankfully we can turn to plant-based oils to protect and nourish our skin, because omega fatty acids deserve as much of a place on our skin as they do in our bodies.
These topical oils are especially important in the winter to avoid Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), which is a fancy term for "moisture that evaporates from your skin into the dry environment around you." When you apply the right cold-pressed oil as a final step in your skincare routine, it seals in moisture, making TEWL much slower.
If your skin feels parched this time of year, increase your water intake and lock in the moisture with a non-comedogenic facial oil. Our Calm + Replenish Facial Oil is an excellent choice since it is made with cold-pressed Kukui Nut Oil and infused with skin-soothing herbs. We love that it wears feather-light on the skin, without a greasy residue.
Internally, adding high-quality cod liver oil or a botanical alternative like flax seed or hemp seed oil will support tissues from the inside out, and over time make a noticeable difference in the suppleness of your skin.
What are your favorite ways to nourish your skin in the Winter? Let us know in the comments.