Although this has been the longest, coldest winter ever (people living in places farther north probably want to punch me in the face right now), I could swear it almost feels like spring here in Mississippi. Yes, it was down in the twenties just a couple days ago, but I am willing it to be spring. We are no longer running the heat. The daffodils are blooming. We’ve even had a couple of glorious, no-coat-necessary, 60° days.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that soon it will be warm enough for something other than my current uniform (a sweater, fleece-lined leggings, wool camping socks, boots), which means I should probably do something about my winter skin. Here’s the thing: for the most part my skin is fairly problem-free, though it tends toward dry and sensitive—two things cold weather only makes worse. Add to that the fact that the cold makes me crave the grossest, bad-for-you foods (burgers, pizza, chinese food, sugar in every imaginable form, and a Krispy Kreme NY Cheesecake donut in a moment of true weakness), and it’s not hard to imagine the state my skin is in.
In addition to eliminating refined sugar, dairy, most grains, and generally cleaning up my diet (the most important part!), here’s what I’m doing to prepare my skin for spring:
o1. For the past few months I’ve been using coconut oil as a facial moisturizer. It’s great in winter but a little too much for the rest of the year, so I am switching back to my long-time favorite argan oil. It’s the lightest, fastest-absorbing skincare oil I’ve ever used, and perfect for the heat and humidity that will be here before we know it (I used argan oil religiously when I lived in Southwest Louisiana, which is saying a lot).
o2. Unlike argan oil, I am new to the world of konjac sponges, but after reading rave reviews at No More Dirty Looks I decided to order one and see what the fuss is about. My love for turmeric is well documented, so it should come as no surprise that I chose to order the Leonie turmeric konjac sponge for sensitive/mature skin. I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for several years now, and it’s great except it takes forever. I recently signed up for a yoga class, and I need a way to get the sweat off my face in the middle of the day that doesn’t take as long as oil cleansing but also isn’t soap. I’m hoping the konjac sponge lives up the the hype and brightens my sad winter skin.
o3. Another weird skincare thing I first heard about on No More Dirty Looks (before that post was published) and then taught myself to do via YouTube video, dry brushing is so unexpectedly wonderful. Every day before showering, I use a natural bristle brush with a long handle to make long strokes toward my heart. Dry brushing is supposed to stimulate the lymphatic system and help with detoxification, and it also exfoliates dry skin and feels really nice.
o4. Because it’s still not as warm as I’d like it to be, I’m relying pretty heavily on warm lemon water for hydration and detoxification—both of which should help brighten up my skin. Image via Angela Gerhardt.
o5. Since I started drinking a teaspoon or two of grass fed gelatin in my coffee every morning, I have noticed that my skin isn’t taking quite as long to heal, plus my hair is growing faster and my fingernails are a lot stronger. Gelatin is also rumored to help with cellulite (as is dry brushing), but I can’t speak to those benefits thus far. Still, the skin, hair, and nails are big for me, as I have always had very thin, brittle fingernails and skin that scars super easily and takes forever to heal.
Some of these spring skincare resolutions have been harder to keep up with than others. Dry brushing, for example, is a real pain when you are freezing and it takes every ounce of strength in you to just take off your clothes and get into the shower. And stirring gelatin into my coffee in the morning sometimes feels just like one more step separating me from caffeine. Still, like anything else, once you make it a point to do them despite your discomfort they pretty much become part of your routine. My dry brush is hanging right beside the shower, so there’s no way I’m getting in without seeing it. Likewise, I keep the gelatin right next to the coffee beans and grinder so that I don’t forget to add it.
Are you doing anything to get your skin ready for spring? Let me know in the comments!