Winter Blues and Dry Skin
It’s November. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s dry and we’re getting used to going between freezing dry outside to overheated dry inside. If you tend to have dry skin anyway (I, personally, do best in semi- amphibious humidity levels) winter can be a time of itchy, dried out, cracked, unhappy skin.
For all those Blood deficient types out there for which itchy dry skin is a pretty common thing (especially now that we are staring into the barrel of a Canadian winter) here are a few tips for keeping your skin and hair happy:
X Bone Broth and Mega Foods Blood builder, Erryday.
X Stay hydrated and drink warm fluids. No Ice coffee! And remember that it’s easy not to feel thirsty during the winter months, so make sure you are always sipping something as your sense of thirst may not be as reliable as it is in the summer.
X Moisturize. I like to use hazelnut oil, which I find absorbs very well in to the skin. I find moisturizing straight out of the shower is best for optimal absorption.
X Buy a boar bristle brush and brush hair with it daily. This will distribute the sebum on your scalp to the tips of the hair, keeping everything naturally moisturized. Click here for a detailed how-to.
X Deeply moisturize your hair with a coconut oil hair mask. You will need:
-A shower cap
- A wide toothed comb
-Rosemary essential oil
- A towel
- An open morning
Start by applying coconut oil to dry hair up to 2 inches from the scalp (so NOT the roots) and combing it through. Once you are liberally soaked with oil, dab the rosemary E.O evenly throughout your roots and massage in. Really get in and give ‘er, the better the massage on your scalp the better the blood flow!
Put the shower cap on, pop a towel over your pillow and sleep with the oil in your hair over night. You will wake to find much of the oil has absorbed.
In the morning, wash your hair 2-4 times (this can be tricky to know how many washes are needed until your hair will look normal again, so make sure you are not doing this on, say, a Monday morning when you have to be at work early for a presentation. You will not be a happy camper!)
No conditioner is required. Let your hair dry naturally and enjoy the full splendor of your Disney- Princess hair!
If you do this regularly (once a week or twice a month) you will find your hair is stronger, healthier and grows faster (the rosemary oil massage helps to stimulate follicular growth, plus there will be less breakage with the moisture-loaded strands).
**I have only tried this with Caucasian hair, so I am not sure how it would be with African hair types. If you have tried and have any feedback, please let me know!**
X Making sure your skin is getting enough Qi and Blood is imperative for healthy skin. So, what’s the best way to do this? Move!
I do a Qi Gong practice every morning to help get everything moving as it should. There are some great videos online, so check it out and try to do a daily practice for one week. You will start to feel the benefits immediately, but after a week I find the improvements become more visible. A daily breathwork practice is a wonderful way to warm yourself up, calm yourself down and even yourself out.
X Needling, Gua Sha and cupping on the face are a great way to bring an extra bit of glow and vitality to the skin in the winter months. These practices are gentle and all natural, helping to stimulate immediately increase blood flow to the face and increase collagen production if performed over 10 weeks.
X Nap. It is dark outside. Honour the season and allow yourself to rest, like the Earth is doing. This is a time for the Qi to go inward, so take it easy, reflect upon your life, and take as many naps as you need.
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Let me know! I love answering questions and talking all things TCM, so comment below!