As the colder weather starts to blow in across the country, we’re collectively beginning to experience all the tell-tale signs of dryness, like chapped lips and flaky skin.
If you live in a cold climate, then you’re probably used to stocking up on extra lip balm and creams as the season shifts. This year, consider taking your skin care routine one step further by assembling a winter facial kit for yourself or as a special gift for a loved one!
A winter facial is a fabulous way to nourish your skin with deeply penetrating fatty oils infused with natural, botanical benefits. We’ve outlined two of our favorite winter facial regimens below – one for morning and one for the night. All of the products we’ve featured are also age-preventative and age-corrective, making them a wonderful choice for anyone over the age of thirty (it’s really never too early to start protecting your skin against fine lines and wrinkles).
A winter facial is more than moisturizing, it can be a healing ritual in and of itself. Light a candle, make yourself a steaming mug of your favorite herbal tea or spiced milk, and settle in for a special treat. While you’re pampering yourself with this skin care ritual, consider taking some time to meditate on what you’re grateful for or simply share some positive feedback with yourself. 2020 has been a challenging year for so many of us, but fortunately, there are simple and affordable self-care tools, like botanical facials, aromatherapy, and meditation, that can help lift our spirits and refill our emotional cups.
A Morning Winter Facial
A morning facial is typically more focused on revitalizing the skin through gentle exfoliation. Your skin needs a boost in the morning in the same way that your body needs high levels of cortisol to get the day going. Here are the products we recommend using, in order.
Step 1: Monoi Age-Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser. The first step to any facial is to wash away dirt and impurities. This lovely Eminence Organics cleanser is a great starting point for a winter facial because it exfoliates and moisturizes. Finely ground olive seeds and fruit extracts serve as the all-natural, biodegradable exfoliators, but the star ingredient in this cleanser is monoi oil. Monoi oil is made by soaking the petals of Tahitian gardenias in coconut oil. This aromatic scented oil has been used by French Polynesians for centuries as a skin and hair softener and is quickly gaining popularity in Europe and the U.S.
Step 2: Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel. This gentle peel can be used daily to deeply hydrate your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. (If you use this peel on a daily basis, then make sure to balance the treatment with plenty of nourishing oils and fats.) This much-loved product is packed with antioxidants from acai berry, grapefruit, and goji berries, along with lactic and glycolic acids to increase skin’s firmness and collagen production.
People tend to fall in love with this exfoliating peel after using it. It won Elite Magazine’s “Best Firming Peel” (Green Beauty Awards, 2016), and it was also included in Yoga Journal’s list of “Editor’s Must-Haves” (2017).
Step 3: Lavender Age-Corrective Night Concentrate. Even though this treatment is labeled as a “night concentrate” it is light enough to be used in the morning, as well, especially in colder climates. Think of your moisturizing regime as layers the same way you would layer clothing in winter (see our blog post Layering is a Balancing Act for more info about moisturizing layers). In this case, the water-based serum is the cotton, the lipid-based serum (like this lavender concentrate) is the wool, and the moisturizer (mentioned below) is your coat. Winter skin care is more expensive in this way, but we think your skin is worth it!
Lavender has been used for centuries for its gentle, skin-soothing effects, and this decadent concentrate also includes argan oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter to deeply hydrate your skin and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Step 4: Coconut Age-Corrective Moisturizer. The final step of your morning winter facial is to lock in the moisture from your lavender concentrate while also adding another deeply hydrating layer to soothe winter dryness. This luscious cream features both coconut oil and coconut water to moisturize the skin. With each application, you will feel your skin noticeably tighten and lift due to the Natural Retinol Alternative made from chicory root and tara tree. This is part of the reason why we love this moisturizer for a morning application!
This popular cream won 1st place for “Best Natural Moisturizer” in the Aestheticians Choice Awards (Dermascope, 2017).
If you’re going to leave your house and wear a mask after your facial, then consider applying 1 drop of peppermint, ravintsara, or grapefruit essential oil to the outside of your mask. All of these essential oils are antimicrobial. Grapefruit also helps elevate mood, peppermint aids mental alertness, and ravintsara is a natural expectorant and bronchodilator. Choose the best essential oil for your needs that day!
(Do not apply essential oils onto the mask or anyone who is incapable of removing it themselves.)
A Nighttime Winter Facial
Winter has fewer daylight hours, which means all the more time to cozy up indoors with a decadent skin care ritual. Evening facials are especially beneficial during winter because you can apply multiple layers of thick, luscious creams and oils that protect your skin against moisture loss while you sleep. Here are the products we recommend for a moisturizing nighttime winter facial, in order of use.
Step 1: Stone Crop Cleansing Oil. This gentle cleansing oil is an incredible makeup remover (including eye makeup!) and also helps restore the skin’s barrier. As an added bonus, this lovely cleaning oil is infused with sunflower oil, jojoba oil, and microgreens to protect against drying environmental stressors, like wind, sun, and pollution.
Step 2: Bamboo Age Corrective Masque. The best part about a nighttime facial is that you’ll have more time to sit and enjoy this moisturizing masque that’s composed of some of the most powerful anti-aging technology in natural skin care.
Set aside 5-10 minutes to let this masque work its magic. While you wait, listen to calming music or enjoy a Golden Milk Latte, a traditional Ayurvedic spiced milk made with anti-inflammatory turmeric. The ritual is part of the magic here!
After 5-10 minutes have passed, remove the masque with a clean, moist towel.
(For more masque options based on skin type, see our blog post: Best Botanical Masques for an Organic Facial.)
Step 3: Marine Flower Peptide Serum Now that your skin is clean and prepped, you can apply this easily absorbed, potent serum to diminish the appearance of fine lines and strengthen collagen density. This decadent serum is a cocktail of marine marvels for the skin, including nutrient-rich blue-green and red algae extracts and botanical peptides.
Insider’s tip: Through the month of November (2020) a half-ounce bottle of this collagen-boosting serum will be included as a gift with purchase for orders over $50. (Curbside, in-store, and online orders qualify, while supplies last.)
Step 4: Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil with Gua Sha Stone Facial. Are you ready for the most luxurious part of your at-home winter facial? This dewy product features highly moisturizing camellia oil, which is made from seeds of the tea plant. Combined with marula oil and hemp seed oil, this lovely face oil will give you a healthy glow.
For a spa-like experience, give yourself a gua sha stone face massage with this camellia oil. Gua sha stone massage originated in China, and it’s a simple practice that you can easily do at home to increase your skin’s circulation and reduce puffiness. Our esthetician friend Katie Westgate (who we now share a space with at K. WEST Skin Body Spirit) shares instructions for a rejuvenating 3-minute Gua Sha Stone Facial in this video.
You can purchase a white jade gua sha stone as part of a Restorative Self Care Ritual, here.
Step 5: Rosehip and Lemongrass Repair Balm This ultra-rich moisturizer is perfect for a winter facial. It features rosehips, sunflower oil, edelweiss extract, and prickly pear serum to repair dry skin and reduce redness due to dryness. This repair balm is a lovely addition to this skin care ritual, but it can also be applied to dry patches as often as needed.
If you experience super dry skin due to dry winter air or other environmental stressors, then this balm is a great product to keep in your purse and apply to affected areas throughout the day. Learn more about this wonderful balm and its protective properties in our blog post Psychological Stress + Skin Barrier Function.
Step 6: Restorative Mind-Body Ritual Oil. When you’re finished with your winter facial and ready to sink into bed, take a few moments to apply this calming ritual oil to your pulse points. This beautiful blend is one of the flagship products in the new Stony Creek Aromatics line, and was created to help ease stress. It features an aromatic blend of rose otto, sandalwood, lavender, orange, and patchouli essential oils.
Don’t miss this video, in which we explain how to use this oil for a restorative self-care ritual!
Learn more about how these essential oils create greater equilibrium in the mind and body in our blog post, Aromatherapy & The Stress Response Cycle.
An at-home winter facial is such a decadent way to treat yourself to something special while also caring for your body’s biggest organ – your skin!
You can mix up your routine and try a different masque every night by using these botanical masques or even trying our new Turmeric Energizing Treatment, which helps awaken and revitalize dull skin.
If you would like to discuss a targeted treatment for your specific skin type, schedule a virtual consultation today by emailing email@example.com or by calling 734.545.4303.
We are also open for in-person facials, during which we can discuss your personal skin condition and develop a winter facial specifically for your needs. We’re excited to move to a new location on November 12, so please take note of that new address if you book your appointment soon. (415 N. Main St. Suite 3, Ann Arbor, MI 48104; inside K WEST Skin Body Spirit.)