Seasonal changes in the weather not only affect changes in nature – seasonal changes affect the mind, body, spirit and our skin. When the seasons change, we have different nutritional needs, we are required to dress differently and care for our skin differently. So as we move into the Fall and Winter, our Summertime routines no longer make sense as our body adapts to a new season.
Regular exfoliation of the skin is a good idea all year round – it helps cell regeneration by removing dry, dead skin cells from the body. Without regular exfoliation, the skin takes on a dull, lifeless look and feel. Since the cooler months of Fall and Winter are drier and less humid, our skin tends to dry out quicker. If skin is not properly exfoliated during this time, the skin can become red, dry, rough and irritated.
Properly exfoliated skin is more capable of absorbing essential moisturizers, serums and other nourishing extracts found in skincare products. In the cooler months, our skin needs more of these moisturizing and nourishing products to keep it healthy. If the skin is not exfoliated, none of these beneficial creams, serums and treatments can penetrate the skin – they simply lie on top of the skin where they do little or no good.
There are several ways to exfoliate the body and keep dead skin cells from accumulating on the skin.
Dry brushing the body is one method of exfoliating the body. This method of exfoliating effectively opens up the pores on your skin. As the method implies, your skin should be dry – the best time for dry brushing is in the shower before you turn on the water. Always brush towards the heart, making long sweeps (not back and forth, scrubbing or circular motions). Start at your feet, moving up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest. On your stomach, direct the brush counterclockwise. And, don’t brush too hard: Skin should be stimulated and invigorated but not irritated or red.
Body scrubs made from sea salt, epsom salt, sugar and other natural exfoliants are other effective ways to dissolve and exfoliate dead skin cells, leaving the skin invigorated, buffed and polished. Abrasive ingredients should be used with special care on sensitive skin. Never apply pressure when exfoliating – let the product do the work!
Detoxifying the Skin
Along with exfoliating, detoxing the skin helps the entire body feel its best. Each day, we are exposed to toxic substances through the foods we eat, the products we use, and the air we breathe, just to name a few. Those toxins build in our body and have a direct effect on the largest organ, our skin.
One of the most common ways of detoxing the body and skin is by sauna. Cleansing the skin with a sauna is one of the oldest and most well-known health treatments for the skin. Saunas induce sweating which, like urinating (sorry), is an effective way to rid the body of toxins.
Another way to detoxify the skin is with body wraps and muds that help to draw out harmful toxins from your body while delivering essential vitamins and minerals to the skin. These mineral-rich formulas absorb excess oil and remove dead skin cells, dirt and toxins to reveal fresh, soft skin. Therapeutic muds stimulate circulation and refine skin’s texture, clarity and tone. Mud treatments can also be heated to help relieve stress and muscle aches.
Infrared treatment offers anti-aging, mental and physical benefits. These invisible warming rays penetrate the skin to reach levels where toxins are stored. Detoxifying essential oils and lymphatic stimulating creams can be applied to help the process. The exfoliated skin will purge toxins and the deep sweating will flush out internal toxins from food and drink. Infrared therapy has also been successful at soothing and relaxing the mind and body of those who suffer from Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD) a condition that exists in the winter months brought on by the absence of sunlight, a change in diet and long days indoors. Infrared treatments are also known to:
- Enhance the immune system
- Balance the autonomic nervous system
- Improve oxygenation
- Relieve internal congestion
- Speed metabolism
- Relax muscular aches
- Alkalize the body
- Increase circulation
So as you prepare for the long, cooler days of Fall and Winter, prepare your body for the seasonal change too. Exfoliate and detoxify the skin, then protect the skin’s barrier with quality moisturizers (find out which one is right for you) and eat a healthy diet to keep your body and your skin looking great.