7 Healthy Winter Skin Essentials

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There’s a chill in the air. Do ya feel it? The northwest has been #blessed with some BEAUTIFUL sunny fall days all through September and October. I recently spent some time in cold, windy and gorgeous Colorado with some NTP friends and got a glimpse of the blustery winter headed our way.

We made a point to hike through the Rocky Mountain National Park and battled through wind and cold and drier than dry air. My skin took a beating! Bright sunshine reflected against snowy mountains and bone chilling wind zapped the moisture right out of my face and hands. Being NTPs, we warmed up after our hike with steaming cups of bone broth and a nourishing meal. When we got home, I showered the mountain off my body, threw on some moisturizer and crawled into bed.

While the constant rain and cold hasn’t quite hit the Northwest yet, the change in the new November air is already starting to affect my skin. In year's past, I've battled the dryness with loads of Carmex, and intense moisturizers, but those don't have the safest ingredients. I could talk your ear off about the hormone disrupting problems associated with parabens, phthalates and fragrance in most conventional products, but the annoying and most immediate side effect was that I always felt like my skin became dependent on some product or another and couldn't regulate moisture on its own. Sound at all familiar?

As I continue to move towards cleaning up my personal care regimen, I'm also working on some preventative measures to keep my skin healthy throughout the colder months. This year, I'm spending more time than ever outside, as I coach Portland Outdoor Fitness, so I'm taking extra precautions to avoid my yearly dose of chapped lips and dry cracked skin with a little preventative nutrition and a few key products. 

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Water

I know, so simple it's silly right? But in the winter, we may not notice how thirsty we are without the cue from hot summer days. Staying hydrated is key for healthy skin and joints, as well as keeping your energy up during gray days. Carry a water bottle with you and aim to drink ½ your body weight in ounces each day. Add a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon for bonus minerals and electrolytes! Too cold for water? Mix it up with herbal tea! 

Healthy Fat 

Make sure your diet has plenty of healthy fats from coconut oil, butter, olive oil, avocado and fatty fish like salmon, and sardines. Every cell of your body has a lipid bilayer (or a layer of fats) that control what passes in and out of your cell and maintains the structural integrity, fluidity and buoyancy of the cells. Healthy fats also control your inflammatory response. Skin irritation like sun/wind burn, or more extreme cases like eczema or rosacea is an inflammatory response. Fats rich in omega-3s trigger an anti-inflammatory response, healing and protecting your skin. 

Collagen

It was no surprise that our Denver windburned lips were soothed by bone broth. Bone broth is loaded with nourishing fats and gut healing collagen. Collagen rich foods benefit hair, skin, joints and gut health! You can use bone broth in your stews and soups, or sip it all on it's own! Don't love broth? Try a grassfed collagen supplement, like Vital Proteins or Great Lakes collagen peptides. I add collagen peptides to my coffee or tea each morning. It's tasteless and adds good body to my morning brew. 

And now for a few of my favorite products to nourish my skin

Protective Lip Balm

Finding a good lip balm can be tricky! In general, you want to avoid ingredients like petroleum, fragrance and parfum in your lip balms. Not only do we absorb most of what is put on our skin, we eat a surprising amount of lip products. Check out the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database for the safety rating of most lip balms. 

My favorites include Primally Pure Lip Balm, Portland Bee Balm, and for more intense moisture: Beautycounter Lip Conditioner in Calendula.

Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer

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Countermatch moisturizer saved me in Colorado, where my delicate gingery skin was subjected to the dry and cold climate. The entire Countermatch collection is unique because it uses a bio-mimicking technology to adjust hydration levels of your skin throughout the day, based on what your unique bod needs! #bioindividuality #SCIENCE #magic.

Think about that for a second... it adjusts based on what YOU need. WHAT?! Truth. That means it adjusts with my cycle, too. My skin changes throughout my cycle, due to hormone fluctuations, so its nice to have a moisturizer that can go with the flow. (Unintentional pun, but I'm leaving it.) It's free from synthetic moisturizers or silicones/plastics. It goes on super light and smells a little like almond. 

Citrus Mimosa Body Butter

For those days when I need something a little more intense, my go-to is the Citrus Mimosa Body Butter! It's creamy, smooth and never sticky or greasy.  A little goes a long way with this rich body butter. Lightly scented with citrus oils and peppermint, this nourishing lotion is free from perfume, fragrance and other common allergens and endocrine disrupters. *Note: Husband especially loves it for his tattoos!

Charcoal Cleansing Bar

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The charcoal cleansing bar has become a staple in my nightly routine (I actually have a nightly routine now...). The activated charcoal  pulls impurities out of the skin-- things you may be exposed to daily with little control like environmental pollutants etc-- while the green tea and coconut oil soothe and soften. I especially like the charcoal bar because it never dries my skin out, it's gentle enough to use on my face, limits waste from packaging and a single bar lasts approximately six months. Win-win-win-win.


Do you have a winter skin care routine? Tell me all about it!