Pamper Me

Winter Skin Care (for real people)

Well now. Ma Nature has apparently remembered that it’s supposed to be winter, and is working overtime to catch up. It is cold, dry, and windy…which makes for chapped, dry, and itchy skin.

We all know the traditional advice offered: Drink plenty of water, use a thick lotion, take lukewarm showers, blah, blah, blah.

Yeah – that’s not happening here. Water? That just makes me cold from the inside out. Give me a hot coffee/tea/cocoa…whatever. Just make it hot. Lotion? Let’s be honest…who has the time every.single.morning to put on lotion and wait for it to soak in? Not to mention being naked and losing all that precious, precious body heat while you wait. Lukewarm showers? Ummm…NO. I will revel in a hot, steamy shower and enjoy the temporary feeling of being warm. It’s winter, people. I’m cold!

So what does a (freezing, busy, impatient) girl do?

She figures out how to make real life work for her. The keys to great winter skin are actually quite simple. Hydrate, exfoliate, and seal in moisture. The trick is being able to do that easily and quickly.

Let’s start with hydration. There’s no way around it…you have to drink water in some form for great skin. Fortunately, tea, coffee, and lemon/lime/orange water can be had as hot beverages, are quick and easy to make, and will both help keep you warm and give your skin the moisture it needs. Pro tip – a large insulated mug makes it easy to keep warm beverages at your side for sipping through the day and help make sure you drink enough. Just go easy on the caffeinated varieties. Too much caffeine has the potential to dehydrate you. Not what we’re going for.

Exfoliating and sealing in moisture can be a little trickier. Life is busy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for a leisurely morning routine. It’s get clean, get dressed, and get on with the day. There’s no time to exfoliate with a scrub that leaves behind an unpleasantly heavy layer of oil, which then needs to be soaped off, which results in drying out your skin, which means you need to put on lotion. It’s vicious cycle that takes a lot of time. I, and I imagine most of you, wind up skipping it and just deal with itchy skin. Fortunately, (and here comes a shameless product plug – but hey, it really is great!) I make a sugar scrub that combines those three steps into one. (you don’t have to use mine, but make sure to use an emulsified version of a scrub.) So now I can step out of the shower with clean, exfoliated, and lotioned skin in the same amount of time it took to use plain soap. My dry, itchy skin is gone, I’m not adding time to my morning routine, and – bonus! – I feel like I’ve indulged in a mini spa. Good for the skin and the soul.

Now, that’s not to say that you never need to use an extra moisturizer. You should still use a body butter once or twice a week during the winter. Apply a generous amount before bed to help soothe and nourish any chapped hands or cracked heels – or in my case, dragon-like shins. It’ll work its magic overnight and you’ll have soft, supple skin when you wake up.

And that’s it. Great winter skin doesn’t have to be time consuming or hard. Carry around an insulated mug of some warm, water based beverage, use an emulsified scrub in the shower, and use a rich body butter once or twice a week before bed.

What do you do to help combat winter skin? Any amazing tips or tricks? Share them in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clear the (indoor) Air With These Fall Essential Oil Blends

October is here. I know this because a) my son has already brought two viruses home from school, b) the weather yesterday started out sunny and 70 and ended rainy and 30, and c) the air in my home has gotten stagnate because it’s been too cold to open the windows.

It’s time to fire up the diffusers.

I love to diffuse essential oils through the colder months. They clear stale odors out of the air, can improve a bad mood, or help set the stage for guests. They allow for endless variation, and are much better for you than the synthetic fragrance oils found in most candles and air fresheners.

As promised in this post, I’m sharing three of my go-to blends with you. They are written in single use, drop in and go quantities. If you have a particularly small room, you may want to cut the quantity in half. Happy diffusing!

Sickness & Health

  • 3 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil

My favorite blend to use when one of us is sick. It helps to clear the air, and can make breathing through stuffy noses seem a bit easier.

Holiday Party

  • 4 drops mandarin essential oil
  • 4 drops clove bud essential oil
  • 2 drops sweet orange essential oil

Reminiscent of old fashioned orange pomanders, this is a wonderfully uplifting and relaxing blend.

Rainy Day

  • 6 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil

Bright, happy, and calming, this blend makes gray, rainy days feel like a cozy retreat.

 

 

 

Peel-off Charcoal Mask Breakdown and a Cutomizable DIY Alternative

By now you’ve all heard of the ‘latest and greatest’ beauty hack – the peel off charcoal mask. With claims that it detoxifies, removes blackheads, and de-gunks (that there is a sciencey word) pores, it is indeed tempting.

Until you watch the videos of people wincing and yelling in pain as they remove them.

Yeah. Skincare shouldn’t hurt.

So what is really going on with these things? Do they work? Are they good for your skin or harmful? (more…)

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coconut Scrub Recipe

Wow the weather has turned cold! I don’t know about you, but when it gets cold, my skin gets D.R.Y – think lizard skin. And itchy? Hoo mama, I’d say so! This is the time of year when I start to use massive quantities of body polish. The sugar feels soooooo good as it removes that dry flaky skin – like a gently scratchy massage – and the oils help to seal in moisture. One of the first that I ever made, and still return to several times a year, is a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coconut scrub.

(more…)