Now this might seem controversial, but when it comes to beauty, winter is actually awesome. I know, I know... What could possibly be so great about a season that saps your skin of moisture, hurricanes your hair and leaves your bones aching from the cold? But hear me out: Winter, with its shorter days, clipped-back social calendar and inherent chilliness forces us to slow down and take stock. It gives us a chance to actually take care of ourselves (a concept easily overlooked in warmer months, when you’re beachside drinking Aperol).
There’s something so soothing and indulgent about retreating and actually taking time out to practice a little self care. In my bid to convince you, here are a few ways to incorporate some bona-fide beauty-full winter wellness into your daily routine… and maybe, just maybe, you’ll develop a newfound respect for the most introspective of seasons.
If you haven’t already added oils into your winter arsenal you need to do it, stat. Your skin is made up of lipids and the barrier that protects it from the elements is constantly being compromised – particularly when the weather is unruly. Nourish your skin with a high-quality facial oil and – even better – give your face a nice firm massage as you apply it. This will bring the blood to the surface (hello glow!) and tone the muscles in the face. As for what to use? I am a life long devotee of Subtle Energies Facial Oil – it smells exactly what I think Heaven would smell like and it leaves my skin feeling nourished and gleaming like I’ve just returned from a health retreat. I keep it next to the bed and massage it on every night before bed. Subtle Energies also have some really beautiful body oil blends that use the Ayurvedic principles to warm the body – the Relief blend with black pepper, peppermint and lemongrass is great when you’re feeling unwell or your muscles are aching. You should also be burning oils, too. Which brings me to my next point…
Aromatherapy is back and it’s better than ever. With the popularity of the electric diffuser we’re kicking the old school oil burners to the curb in favour of an elegant constant curl of steam emanating from a chic ceramic diffuser. They’re safer as they have no open flames and many have timers, they also protect the integrity of the oils by not overheating them and they also infuse the air with moisture – which is a great counterbalance to all the heating we do in winter. I used one in hospital when both my children were born and I can’t tell you how many nurses and visitors would follow their nose to my room and swoon in the doorway. It’s the easiest way to create a spa-like atmosphere wherever you are. I have one in the office, one in each of our bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen and burn different blends in each. In my ceramic diffusers from In Essence and The Goodnight Co, I’ll burn a few drops of Doterra Lavender every night in the kids room at bed time, eucalyptus when anyone has a lurgy and The Goodnight Co Good Morning Blend at breakfast time. It makes such a difference to our mood.
Take the time you spend bathing to dial your skincare routine up a notch. If you take a bath, add a cup of Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils like In Essence Sleep (Lavender, Mint, Roman Chamomile and Valerian) to increase the therapeutic benefits. Then use the soak time to do a face and hair mask. La Prairie Sleep Mask is next level indulgence – you can leave it on to soak into your skin when you go to bed. When you apply your hair mask, wrap your head in clingwrap and pop a towel over the top for ten minutes. The heat will help the ingredients infuse. Showers can also be amped up with a good scrub. Always apply them to dry skin before you turn on the water, then add a little water to emulsify and further slough before you wash it off. A natural sugar or salt scrub over an oil-base is good as it will leave the oily film on your skin and help moisturize (or make your own with light olive oil, essential oils and sugar). Finally, if you’re brave, try this age-old hydrotheraphy technique that models swear by. Give your skin a blast of cold water at the end of your shower for twenty seconds. (Full permission to yelp and jump around as you do.) Not only does it help with sluggish circulation and cellulite, it actually leaves you feeling warmer when you do turn off the taps. Winter? You’ve got this.