The winter season has some really soul-shaping benefits. If we look to many of our comrades in the animal kingdom, we see lessons of hibernation, growth, and most importantly - survival. The snowy months don't need to be feared. Winter wellness can help us thrive if we are open to its lessons and if we grasp the inner strength to do the necessary work our bodies crave during this time of healing. It wasn't hard to come up with our Winter Survival Guide series featuring an onslaught of powerhouse people, shops and businesses alike, all in support of a winter wellness program. I hope you follow along on our journey of self-care through the (sometimes) harsh winter elements, while we explore spiritual, practical, and thoughtful tips. Whether you're one who has struggled through previous winter seasons or if you're a seasoned winter patriot, this Winter Survival Guide is for you.
Part one of our series: Caring for your skin + body during the brusque winter elements, featuring Natassia Brazeau of Northlore Goods sharing her 5 step winter skincare ritual:
NORTHLORE'S WINTER SKINCARE RITUAL
Welcome! I’m so pleased to have been invited to share my favourite winter skincare rituals with you all. Whether you’re a winter weather lover or prefer to stay cozied up indoors, our regular skincare routines require seasonal modification as the temperatures drop. Cold weather is often accompanied by extremely dry air, especially for prairie dwellers, which can cause our skin to struggle to maintain moisture within the cells.
To care for your skin during winter’s brusque elements, it is important to ensure that it is receiving proper nourishment and protection. The following 5 Step Winter Skincare Ritual works to provide a protective barrier between skin tissues and the outside environment, while naturally imparting a healthy, balanced glow.
Consider doing these steps once a month throughout the winter, allowing the new moon to remind you to pause for reflection and indulgence in this luxurious self-care ritual.
Exfoliation is an important component of winter skincare, as it increases circulation and prevents pores from being clogged by the oils and moisturizers that we often use to combat dry skin. Northlore’s Yarrow + Lavender Cleansing Grains are a nourishing combination of hand-ground wildcrafted botanicals and poppy seeds, perfect for cleansing, exfoliating, and gently moisturizing skin. The combination of colloidal oatmeal and white clay in this blend additionally provides a nourishing “meal” for your face that leaves it soft and supple after rinsing.
2. HERBAL STEAM
Steaming your face with herbs that are rich in nutrients works to nourish and tone your skin for deep pore cleansing. Boil a handful of herbs in water and then steam your face for 5-8 minutes to open pores and allow your skin to absorb the plant oils. Choose one, or a combination of herbs to suit your skin type. For normal to dry skin, use chamomile, wild rose petals, lavender, or calendula. For normal to oily skin types try sage, comfrey, raspberry leaf, or rosemary. Adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil can also greatly increase the relaxing benefits of the steam.
3. CLAY FACIAL
Facials are an excellent way to draw blood to the surface of your skin to promote the healing of scars and blemishes and to increase circulation to skin cells. Northlore’s Plains Mud Mask is a deeply detoxifying blend of bentonite clay and activated charcoal powder, both of which have highly absorbent properties for lifting dirt and impurities. Mix this mask with water to form a smooth paste to paint onto your face, carefully avoiding the delicate area around the eyes. Once the mask has fully dried, massage off with warm water or a facecloth, using gentle, circular motions and try to avoid scrubbing. This mask will leave your skin noticeably brighter, lifting the dull appearance of weather weary skin.
4. OIL CLEANSE
Plant oils and skin produce and share many of the same fatty acids, making botanical oils highly compatible for skincare. Northlore’s Facial Serums are a blend of organic and prairie grown botanical oils with natural properties to help retain body warmth and energy, and protect skin tissues from winter’s harsh elements. These serums are blended for different skin types and can be used as a make-up remover, moisturizer, and cleanser.
As step four in our skincare ritual, gently massage a dropper full of serum into your face, using circular, sweeping motions and some gentle tapping around your eyes. Cover your face with a hot facecloth to open pores and absorb the oil, then gently wipe off and admire your dewy glow.
Immediately after using the facial serum, apply a toner to balance your skin’s pH levels and close pores. Northlore’s Toning Mists are packaged as a fine mister so you can spritz your face to avoid touching it after cleansing. These toners are the perfect way to wrap up this skincare ritual, as the combination of toner and serum creates an emollient that acts as a light barrier on the skin, leaving you refreshed and prepared to face the elements.
Altering how we care for our bodies during the winter can help us to embrace the season with preparedness. Additionally, using natural, plant-based products is an opportunity to remain connected to and grateful for nature’s offerings, even during the deepest cold of the season. What are some of your winter skincare rituals?
Northlore's Proprietress Natassia Brazeau grew up on the mixed woodland and prairie grasslands surrounding the riverbanks of the South Saskatchewan River. Foraging plants to make “potions” as a child was the beginning of her self-taught journey of learning the names, properties, and folklore of wild, Canadian plants. Northlore, an organic, wildcrafted skincare line, was born from these naturalist sensibilities and her interest in the traditional folk methods and recipes of the Great North. You can find Northlore’s full product line at www.northloregoods.com, and in locally owned shops across Canada.