Winter skincare tips & top picks

Remember my Summer Skincare Tips post? I thought I’d do another for winter. I know it isn’t officially winter yet, but since we saw our first snow fall earlier this week, I’m thinking it’s close enough. Truthfully, many of the tips I shared in my summer post are relevant for winter skincare, but given how dry the air is, it’s even more important to stay hydrated and moisturized. Here are my favorite ways to do so…


1. Drink lots of water or coconut water. Some people aren’t big on the taste of coconut water, but if you can get past that, it really is an amazing hydrator — some say it hydrates even better than water because it’s choc full of electrolytes. It’s also rich in potassium. Try adding it to smoothies if you don’t like the taste.

2. We’re all tempted to take hot baths or showers in the winter to stay warm, but this can actually dry out your skin. So if you do take a bath, try to keep it warm rather than hot and add some milk and honey to your bathwater. As celebrity esthetician Catherine Ianelli says in her milk and honey bath soak recipe, “milk makes the skin soft, is rich in AHA’s (alpha hyroxy acids), which promote exfoliation, and gives the skin a glowing complexion.”

3. Just as it’s important to exfoliate your face, it’s crucial to exfoliate your body, too, especially in the winter. My homemade vanilla coconut sugar scrub is my go-to body scrub. The sugar gets rid of dry, flaky skin and the coconut oil swoops in to moisturize. I’m also partial to my Jar of Frosting, a whipped soap body scrub made with jojoba beads to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.

4. My Coco Body Balm packs a super-moisturizing punch because it’s made from cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Liquid lotions tend to contain chemical preservatives, whereas my Coco Body Balm is entirely natural, and therefore entirely good to your skin. I use it on particularly dry patches of skin like my elbows, knees, heels, and slather it on my hands before I go to bed.

5. Whether or not you’re prone to dry skin, it’s better to use a natural bar soap for your face in the winter. Not just any bar soap, of course, you’ll want one specifically formulated for the sensitive skin on our face. Why? Because natural facial bar soaps are made with skin-loving oils that provide your skin with more moisture rather than removing it. Most liquid face washes contain surfactants (also in household cleaning products!) which strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your face too dry. I like this oatmeal & lavender facial cleansing bar from Blissoma.

6. Hopefully, if you’ve followed all of the above steps, your skin will be well-moisturized, but if you need a little extra help, you’ll want to keep a face serum handy. Facial serums can be pricey, but they are packed with rejuvenating oils, so you only need a few drops for your whole face. The best serums — like this Organic Face Serum from Antho — contain Rosehip and Argan oils, loaded with powerful antioxidants and natural essential vitamins.

What do you do to keep your skin soft in the winter?

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Winter Skin DIYs


Chapped lips. Itchy, dry skin. Yep, it’s winter! Here are a few how-to’s and tips to keep your skin soft, smooth, and happy.


1. DIY Sugar Scrub ~ here’s a how-to I did last winter on making your own sugar scrub, which is great for handmade holiday gifts, too!

2. Strawberry Mask + Sugar ~ Remember the strawberry mask recipe I shared with you last year? Well, it’s great on its own, but add about 1/2 cup to a cup of regular white sugar to it to have a nice exfoliating, acne-blasting mask.

3. Exfoliating Kisser Scrub from Soap Queen ~ I love Bramble Berry! I get a few of my soapmaking supplies from them, but I also love that the owner, Anne-Marie Faiola, has a wonderful blog with great recipes and tutorials. This one is for exfoliating your lips, something we often forget to do! {Image © Bramble Berry}

4. Winter Recipes with Spice from Mountain Rose Herbs ~ Mountain Rose Herbs is the place to buy herbs, spices, teas, essential oils, and other ingredients for at-home cosmetics-making. A large portion of their stock is organic and fair-trade {I buy the certified organic jojoba oil for my cupcake soaps here}. Here are some great DIY winter beauty & beverage recipes, including an Oatmeal & Spice Bath, Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Body Scrub, and a yummy chai recipe that I am definitely going to chai out later this week {get it? Chai out??} {Image © Mountain Rose Herbs}

Hope you’re having a lovely week so far! I’ll be spending the rest of today studying for my three exams tomorrow, eep!


Summer Skin

When I put the words Summer and skin together, the first thing I think of {okay, after the Death Cab for Cutie song} is tanning. It’s always my goal to work up a nice tan in the summer, even though that never happens. I blame my Danish, Swedish, and Irish heritage. It’s okay to spend some time out in the sun as long as you’re taking care of your skin. Here are a few tips for healthy summer skin:

1. Wear sunscreen every day! Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard this one, I know, but it’s really important. Why? Because repeated sun exposure without protection can lead to premature aging {wrinkles and age spots}, rough skin, and freckles. Even worse, you could get skin cancer. So please, for the sake of your skin, always wear sunscreen on your face, and wear sunscreen on your body when you’re going to spend a good amount of time outside. If you’re heading to the beach or a pool, lotion up before you go, but also lotion up again a few hours later.

2. Drink lots of water. Approximately 60% of your body is water, and you lose some of that through sweat, especially in the summer time. It’s important to keep your body hydrated not only to keep you from getting sick but also to keep your skin healthy and supple. You’ve probably heard that you should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day, but that’s not necessarily true — it actually depends on your weight, the climate you live in, and your activity level. The best way to determine your recommended water intake is to divide your weight {in pounds} by two. This gives you the number {in ounces} of water you should be drinking. So, a person who ways 130lbs should be drinking 65 oz of water each day.

3. Wash your face twice a day. Whether I’m inside working or outside playing, my face will feel sweaty and grimy after only few hours of waking up and showering. Again, because we sweat a lot in the summer, it’s important to to extra special care of our faces. By washing your face twice a day {I sometimes wash mine 3 times; once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once right before bed}, we keep all of that dirt and grime away that our skin collects from sweat and dust/dirt in the air.

4. Eat healthy. We’ve all heard that eating greasy pizza and junk food will make us break out. Well, that’s not exactly true, but it’s important to eat healthy to maintain healthy skin. WebMD has a great article called Foods for Healthy Skin, which says that we should eat more:

  • Vitamin A: especially in the form of low-fat dairy products because the vitamin is already in a form that everyone’s body can digest.
  • Fruits with high levels of antioxidants: such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums. Antioxidants help fight off free radicals. I like to think of free radicals as super villains that seek to destroy cells and make people age faster and antioxidants are the super heroes that fight off these villains and save our skin. {This is how I remembered things for my Nutrition and Biology exams}.
  • Essential fatty acids: this doesn’t sound that great, but actually essential fatty acids are, well, essential for healthy skin. They’re responsible for healthy cell membranes, which keep the bad guys out and the good guys in.

I highly suggest reading the whole article, which isn’t very long, but is a great resource for troubled skin. Check it out here.

5. Don’t take hot showers or baths. Let’s face it. In the summer time, there really is no need to take a super hot shower or bath when it’s averaging 85-90 degrees outside. Take lukewarm showers and try to keep them short because showers and baths strip natural oils from our skin — oils that work to keep our skin soft and moisturized.

Have a happy and healthy summer, readers! :)