Today is my father’s least favorite and second favorite day of the year. On the one hand, it’s the shortest day, which he hates. On the other, it’s the last day the days get shorter until his favorite/ second least favorite day of the year- the summer solstice- when they get longer again. You’d think someone who’s made a career out of winter would be a fan of the first official day of the season, but he hates the short days. He wears long sleeves and long pants all summer and will do everything to avoid the sun. He’s an interesting man perhaps best suited for the shoulder seasons.
Winter can also wreak havoc on your skin. I’m out in the elements every day and never leave the house without sunscreen on my face (this time of year, I’m wearing enough clothes to protect the rest of me). I also find my lips get very dry- I have a pot of our lip conditioner at home and at work. Another thing that I struggle with is drinking enough water- that really makes the most difference- we have to moisturize from the inside out and the outside in…I aim to drink half my body weight in ounces each day. A tall order some days, but I have a cute swell bottle that fits in my cup holder that I try to finish in the car on the way in and a 40oz Hydro Flask that I polish off at night. The first week of this led to a lot of extra trips to the bathroom, but as you drink more, interestingly, you pee less. An article on egoscue.com shares an interesting analogy-
Think about what happens when you pour water over a dry sponge. If you’ve done this before, you know that the water initially runs right off. Only when the sponge is wet will it absorb water. When you think about it, it sounds completely backwards, doesn’t it? You have to get it wet for it to hold water.
Amazingly, your bladder works the same way. It’s designed to be saturated. It’s designed to hold water only when it’s wet. Using that line of thinking, we have to get you saturated, to get you hydrated. Therefore, over time, the more you drink, the less you’ll have to go to the bathroom; drink more, pee less.
I also find the skin around my mouth and corners (think elbows and knees) tend to dry out first. I address these in two ways- one, I’ll wash my face just at night, and I’ll add a few drops of the hydrating face oil to my night cream. In the morning, a few drops of face oil before the sunscreen layer and I feel moisturized and protected all day. For those of you living in below freezing environments, use oils to moisturize- they feel light but pack a punch and can protect your face from windburn.
For my body, I indulge in the occasional scrub- I love both Beautycounter’s Lemongrass scrub and Little Seed Farm’s Activated Charcoal Detox Scrub– the main trick here is I have to find a time when I get to shower without my pint sized helper because the oils in the scrubs can make the shower floor slippery. For efficiency sake, I love that Alice climbs right in the shower and plays with her toys until it’s her turn for a scrubbing, but it doesn’t really make taking a shower a relaxing undertaking full of me time…it’s also best to step out of or turn off the water for the scrubbing- so find a time when the bathroom is nice and warm as well. I don’t know about you, but with mainly wood heat, the evenings are best- I can go from warm shower to cozy pjs to down comforter and let the delicious oils do their magic all night.
So happy solstice- celebrate with a bog chug of water and a stay ahead of your dry winter skin. You deserve a few minutes a week of alone time in the shower to scrub away any flaky skin and relish in how amazing bright, moisturized skin looks and feels.