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Just Let Your Skin Glow

December 16, 2010

Is it February already? It seems as in an instant the once cool crisp Fall air has been replaced with dry, frigid cold temperatures that have me shivering in my bones. As a Winter Baby and self-proclaimed Winter lover, the colder months never seemed to phase me. I’ve almost always looked forward to staying home and snuggling under my comforters, only emerging out of necessity. This year, however, is different. This cold that has swept over the Midwest arrived prematurely on the heel of a perfect fall season. I dread leaving my apartment knowing of the cold waiting to interrupt any warm sensations I had within my body. And it is only fitting as the year winds down, I’m seeing my schedule fill with meetings, events, discussions, yoga classes, and this and that errands. With this week’s temperatures ranging from only 10 to 20 degrees, I’ve found myself layering on the skin moisturizers in an attempt to avoid dry caking skin. Dry, flaky lackluster skin occurs when the skin is not retaining it’s natural moisture. There are many reasons for this to happen including genetics, medical condition, weather, or nutritional intake. As the skin is the largest organ of your body, it is imperative that one take the best care of it as it acts as the first line of defense against the elements in the world, mainly the colder air. The skin’s outer layer, the epidermis, is thinner than a layer of Saran Wrap. Tightly woven epidermal cells form a sturdy barrier to hold moisture in as well as keep unwanted water out. On the surface, dead and compacted cells add toughness, a kind of see-through coat of armor. There are pigment-producing melanocytes [cells which produce melanin] to deflect skin’s No. 1 enemy–the sun. Its rays are especially damning to the skin’s middle layer, the dermis.  Because of all of this, protecting the skin is more than an issue of vanity, it’s about sustaining your outer shield.

Now, in the small name of vanity and a reflection to this past summer, I’ve found myself completely enamored by the sun kissed skin that glistens through the summer. I’m wise enough to know that what you eat and drink plays the biggest role in the appearance and condition of your skin, but that is a separate post. Here I will discuss what I use on my skin all year round to keep it glowing, youthful, and glistening even in the dead of winter. The base of my mixture is shea butter which I mix with grapeseed oil (infused with calendula and lavender herbs), sweet almond oil, and vitamin e oil. Here are some benefits of each. Try this mixture if you’re looking to stay moisturized this winter!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shea Butter: Shea butter is a fat extracted from the shea nut which nourishes the skin with Vitamins A, E and F.  Vitamins A and E help maintain the skin and keep it clear and healthy.  They are particularly helpful for sun damaged skin. They help prevent premature wrinkles and facial lines.  Vitamin F acts as a skin protector and rejuvenator.
  • Calendula: The calendula herb is extremely beneficial in a healthy skin care regimen. It soothes inflammation, controlling bleeding and healing damaged tissue and in cases (internally and externally) where the skin is broken. It stimulates the development of tissue. It has immune stimulant properties as well as an estrogenic effect.
  • Lavender: A soothing aromatheraputic herb with a strong aroma, lavender herbs primarily serve as a soothing agent. It also aids in the treatment of acne, eczema, and a healing bath for joint and muscle pain.
  • Grapeseed Oil: My absolute favorite oil to use topically on my skin, grapeseed oil is widely renowned for its powerful antioxidant properties that protect and nourish the skin. It protects the skin from premature aging, is effective in fighting acne and it can even shrink varicose veins. It also in fact aids in protecting the skin from sun damage and tightens and tones the skin’s overall appearance.
  • Sweet Almond Oil: Almonds are naturally a good source of vitamins and minerals. Sweet almond oil is is easily absorbable and serves as a great emollient, by lending a soft glowing beautiful touch to the skin. It balances the moisture in the body. In case of loss of moisture, it helps to restore it. It makes a great lubricant, thus aids in combating itching and inflammation. It is an excellent natural moisturizer that is suitable for all skin types.
  • Vitamin E: A powerhouse oil, vitamin E oil (in it’s purest form) is one of the strongest oils which help correct scars, sun burns, and dry skin patches. Vitamin E is most commonly found in anti-aging serums for it’s high antioxidant content. I love vitamin E because of the amounts of antioxidants and because it helps prevent water loss from the skin, thus making dry skin look dewy, radiant, and moisturized.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 1:13 pm

    Hey Chinye! I’m so glad you were able to find a cookie recipe on my blog! If you make them, definitely let me know how it turns out!

    I am completely with you about this crazy onset of early winter. I’m from the Midwest and live in NC now, but I swear the last few days have been making think I went to bed in NC and somehow woke up back in Illinois again! We’ve had record-breaking cold temperatures so I can only imagine what it’s like where you are! Thanks for sharing the moisturizers you use. I am absolutely obsessed with pure, unrefined shea butter and turn my nose up at a regular bottle of lotion since using it (lol!) but I haven’t tried any of the other moisturizers you mentioned. You’ve given me a new concoction to experiment with this winter! 😀

    • December 18, 2010 10:51 am

      I ended up making a different cookie for my office party (one batch was a complete FAIL) while the other turned out wonderfully. I’m really working to hone up my domestic skills lol.

      I’m so glad you’re going to try this winter moisturizer recipe. I totally agree with you, once I started using shea butter, NOTHING else compares to it. I do however keep a small bottle of regular lotion in my bathroom just in case friends come over or something, they’re pretty hesitant to use my shea mixture which is fine. More for me lol

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