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2/16/2012
Weathering the Winter
Weathering the Winter

When the last of the fall leaves are no longer crunching under our feet and winter’s chilly frost has set in, the world can feel dry and lifeless, and unfortunately, our skin can too. Dry, itchy skin is a common complaint during the colder months, and it’s no wonder. The lack of moisture in the air means less moisture in our skin, and for many people, the resulting problems can be severe, with symptoms like flaking, cracking and eczema appearing at winter’s first frost. Fortunately, there are ways of hydrating and revitalizing that will help you spring into the next season with healthy, soft and supple skin.

Try Simple Solutions

Dr. Alan Dattner, a holistic dermatologist who practices in New York, is well-versed in winter skin ailments. His clients come to him seeking natural remedies to ease their itching. He offers simple solutions to keep skin healthy and hydrated, like taking short, warm baths or showers instead of hot. A long, hot soak may be blissful after a day of sledding and snow angels, but it’s not so heavenly for our skin. Too much time in the tub can deplete our skin’s natural, protective oils, which it needs to be healthy.

Another of Dr. Dattner’s simple solutions is to protect your face from the elements when you’re taking part in outdoor activities. A cream like Weleda’s new Calendula Weather Protection Cream will help prevent the unpleasant side effects harsh weather has on the skin. Made with natural ingredients like pure beeswax and sweet almond oil, it provides a breathable protective layer and is ideal for the whole family.

And it’s not just the cold air outside that can sap moisture from our skin. Overheated indoor air is also a culprit. Using a humidifier in your room will add moisture back into the air and help alleviate some of the radiator’s drying effects.

Moisturize. Then Moisturize Some More

Throughout the winter, make sure you moisturize often and use products made with natural ingredients that help skin effectively retain moisture. Patricia Pol, Weleda’s holistic skin-care expert and esthetician, says to look for products with nourishing plant, nut and seed oils — these ingredients protect your skin from dryness without clogging pores or inhibiting its ability to breathe. Natural oils, like those from almonds, pomegranate and sesame, penetrate deeply into the skin, helping improve its health while maintaining moisture and elasticity.

Pol also recommends using Weleda Cold Cream, a nutrient-rich balm that protects skin from the elements and deeply moisturizes. It’s rich in the essential fatty acids found in sweet almond oil to support and maintain the skin’s
protective lipid barrier.

If you use Weleda’s facial lotions, like Wild Rose or Iris, you may want to switch to the richer facial day creams during the winter, suggests Pol. They provide the extra protection and moisture the skin needs in the winter. Here’s another tip: Apply a few drops of the Almond Soothing Facial Oil to your favorite Weleda cream or lotion at night for an added moisture boost. Massage it into your skin to increase circulation and create a rosy glow.

Show Your Body Some Love

Our face is not the only part of our body that faces the winter head on. The skin on our hands is constantly exposed and can easily become dry. For a quick fix, Pol suggests applying Skin Food in the evenings as needed to your hands and feet and sealing it in with cotton gloves and socks overnight. You’ll wake up to supersoft skin in the morning. Stash a travel-size Skin Food in your handbag for touch ups throughout the day.

As for the rest of your body, Pol recommends applying 100-percent natural body oils right after you shower, when the skin is still damp. “The water that remains on your skin becomes a delivery system that allows the oil to deeply penetrate,” she says, adding that plant oils are like a blanket for your skin during the winter. “They are rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids, which the body can’t produce itself but requires for good health.”

Remember that just as you adapt your wardrobe for the winter, pulling out your mittens and winter coat for warmth and protection, you should do the same for your skin. With extra care and the use of nourishing products made with natural ingredients, you — and your skin — can weather the winter well. Gloria Dawson

Make a Calendula Mask

For an extra amount of skin-calming nourishment and moisture, try a Calendula Weather Protection Cream mask. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Start with clean, patted dry skin.
  2. Add a thick layer of the new Weleda Calendula Weather Protection Cream to face, avoiding eyes but don’t forget your lips!
  3. Leave on for 20 minutes or more.
  4. Apply a warm wet towel to your face and gently rub it off. Your skin will be left glowing, plump and soft.

Try this 4-Step Hydrating Facial Massage

When combined with nourishing plant oils, the gentle touches of a facial massage can help restore moisture to dry skin, increase circulation and elasticity and promote relaxation. At least once a week or as needed, apply a few drops of Weleda’s Almond Soothing Facial Oil to the palm of your hands and follow these steps to leave your skin with a beautiful natural glow.

Step One
Stimulate blood circulation

Place your hands on your face and gently pat, moving outwards to where your earlobes touch the face.

Step two
Pamper and relax

Lay the fingertips of both hands on your temples and slowly move your fingers in circles from the front to the back, consciously balancing your movements with your breath to support relaxation.

Step Three
Balance and calm

Make gentle outward stroking motions with your fingertips from one side of your forehead to the other and alternate with placing your hands crossways on your forehead and sliding them away.

Step Four
Relax the eye muscles and firm tension wrinkles

With your ring fingers, trace gentle circles around your eyes, starting at the bridge of your nose, moving across your eyebrows and around below to the corners of your nose and back again.