It’s the time of year when social gatherings, richer foods, and ‘end of year’ to-do lists can leave us feeling overwhelmed and congested; and dry, itchy skin and a lack of radiance are common winter skin concerns. However making a few simple tweaks to your routine can help to ease tensions in mind and body, and revitalise skin for the festive season and beyond.
Over time and particularly during the drier winter months, skin tends to produce diminishing amounts of natural skin oils and it needs more hydration and moisture to retain its suppleness.
Add nourishing emollients to seal skin surface to prevent water from escaping (such as plant oils) and hydrators to absorb water from the atmosphere (such as hyaluronic acid) for a plump, smooth skin. Our Serenity Salve is abundant in both, as it combines a hyper-hydrating olive complex, hyaluronic acid and seed oils to reduce trans-epidermal water loss, and nurture and repair skin’s barrier.
Topically, switch up the routine from light textures, or abrasive formulas and stripping ingredients such as glycolic acids which may feel squeaky clean nonetheless tend to lead to overactive sebum or expose the skin’s barrier to inflammations.
Instead, look for purifying and masking products that are high in iron content that stimulate the oxygenation of the skin. When skin lacks oxygen (due to prolonged time indoors), it results in dullness and dry or oily patchiness. Often bubbling or in the case of our 3-minute express mask, the Purity Paste, the sensation is of indulgent creamy texture, tingling and refreshing feeling on skin, to deliver oxygen directly in to the pores and increase cell metabolism, meaning skin can shed dead cells faster and renew more easily - without drying out or compromising skin’s barrier.
Use on face and body, 2-3 times a week, ideally in the evenings before bed time. Finish by adding a few drops of Merry-Berry Plump concentrate oil with Serenity Salve, and preferably apply on clean and slightly damp skin to lock in the moisture.
Top tip: this is a good time to take extra care and massage products into skin, be it masks or creams, as well applied products tend not to clog pores and are more effective.
My Adriatic skin glow tip
Growing wild in remote regions and away from pollution, Croatians swear by St. John's wort oil as their first aid for any skin type - and it’s particularly good to treat scars and discolouration caused by acne and pimples, as these tend to leave longer term marks and compromise skin’s barrier.
This tried and tested remedy - which most keep in their kitchen pantry - is easy to apply regularly as part of skincare routine to prolong the ageless skin glow.
- 2 dcl of fresh St. John's wort oil
- 1 teaspoon of rosemary
- 30 drops of essential oil of your choice, or opt for berry seed oils as they are full of antioxidants (as in our Merry-Berry Plump)
First, pour St. John's wort oil, preferably in a glass jar, and then add other oils. Mix all oils well. Apply this nature’s remedy on affected areas - on face and body. Gently massage in circular motion to improve lymphatic drainage and blood circulation too.
Festive diet tip
Orange and tangerine peels target the Spleen and Stomach meridians, making them ideal to help with indigestion and bloating, and congested skin. This lack of movement in the digestive system is referred to as food stagnation in Chinese Medicine. The excess food is disrupting the proper flow of qi and hindering the digestive process. Try this zesty tea recipe to improve digestion and get the qi flowing again.
- Boil water. Add fresh or dried fruit peels (use any zesty fruits, oranges or clementines etc) and spices e.g. cinnamon or cardamom.
- Let it boil for 2-3 minutes until the colour of the water changes. Then remove from heat.
- Cover and let the tea steep for 2 minutes. Then add some fresh orange juice.
- Add honey or any other sweetener.
- Strain, and serve.
Winter is a perfect time to recharge the immune system and join a slower movement, including lower impact exercise such as stretching classes, slower eating, reading and relaxing. Detoxing the mind and body from daily stressors is as beneficial to our skin and overall wellbeing.
My home-bliss tip: Instead of burning scented candles, try humidifiers (I love adding the Croatian cypress oil which also reminds me of the pure coastal air) in your space to balance the heated home air, drier winter skin and sinuses.
Happy Holidays season from us at Saint Iris!