In winter, it is perfectly natural that our activity slows down and we long to stay inside, to keep warm, to hibernate, and deal with the effects of the cold and short, darker days. As a result, there is less blood flow to the skin’s surface and fewer nutrients and vitamins are absorbed into the skin. Add that to the lack of sunshine (which lowers the levels of vitamin D absorbed by the skin), resulting in the skin losing its rose colour and becoming paler, together with the constant transition between cold air and central indoor heating (which makes the face dryer and more sensitive), and the end result can be dry, sensitive, vulnerable rosacea-prone skin that has difficulty in adjusting and adapting to the constant climatic changes.
So what is the answer? Just as we feed our body organic food because we know that it has been scientifically proven to offer higher levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, why not do the same for our skin? The skin, just like our internal organs, does not easily recognise synthetic substances that are added into most mass-market beauty products and this can lead to allergies and irritation. Our skin needs the best organic and biodynamic food just like we do. When you switch to organic skincare without a plethora of obscure fillers, chemicals and harsh preservatives, you will find that you skin no longer needs to be constantly moisturized and a little goes a long way.
Honing the power of organic, biodynamically grown plants is the solution to rejuvenate our skin, as this practice focuses on enriching the soil with natural compost and crop rotation, and providing the optimal ground to grow fresher and more potent ingredients in ecological harmony. Brands such as Martina Gebhardt, who grows her own biodynamically-farmed plants for her skincare line in a restored convent in Germany, uses her organic herb and flower extracts that are proven to be richer in vitamins and nutrients, thus giving the skin the best organic beauty food money can buy. Are you intrigued? Here are some of the very best organic and biodynamic beauty brands to try, together with tips on how to protect and nourish your skin during winter, using the riches of nature’s own botanical garden.
There’s a common misconception that exfoliating your skin constantly is the secret to radiant, soft skin. However, the truth is, our skin naturally sheds skin and by constantly taking away layers and layers of skin with scrubs and acid toners, the face is left more vulnerable and more prone to redness, irritation and increased sensitivity and can possibly exacerbate dryness, especially during colder months. When the temperature starts dropping, this is the prime time to switch to soothing and gentle organic creams to combat the damage done by the biting cold and wind. When shopping for your winter skincare routine, always be on the lookout for products containing nourishing ingredients, such as rose extract, shea butter and essential oils, the “soul food” for your skin. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin A and E, which are scientifically proven to help retain moisture, restore the skin’s resistance against harsh elements and improve the overall texture of the skin.
Hero products: Weleda’s Skin Food is still the undefeated hero when it comes to winter skincare. With a gorgeous smells and thick texture, this cream does all the things it says on the tube in an instant: the wild pansy, chamomile, calendula and rosemary, known for their anti-inflammatory and collagen-producing properties, are the key ingredients that make this cream so potent in treating dry skin during winter times. As this cream is made of only natural, organic extracts, it gets easily absorbed into the skin, and within a few applications, you will see a significant difference in the texture and look of your face.
Our new-found marvel, however, is Martina Gebhardt. You’ll not find anything that is not a biodynamically organic ingredient and is the embodiment of simple, soulful skincare. Gebhardt offers a variety of ranges depending on skin problems; the Rose Cream, with the high concentration of vitamin A and C and antioxidants found in the pure rose extract, is perfect to balance the hydration levels and soothe sensitive skins, whereas if you’re looking for something more intense, the Shea Butter cream is a great choice, as its composition, free of any essential oils, alcohol, herbal extracts that could irritate allergy-prone faces, is key for hypersensitive skins and for preventing dryness and protect against aggressive environmental irritants. For people with mature skin, the Happy Aging range is the one to go for, as it contains pomegranate and grapeseed oils, known for their anti-ageing effect thanks to the antioxidants found in these ingredients.
Who doesn’t love a good pampering with a face mask? But while during warmer days, applying face masks is more of a treat to yourself, as soon as winter makes its way, it becomes more of a necessity. As they are more intensive products, by adding face masks into your winter beauty routine twice a week, you’re bringing in the “cavalry” of skincare and will greatly improve the look and feel of your skin, as well as its resistance to the harsh elements. Use soothing and hydrating formulas that contain nourishing ingredients, such as jojoba, sweet almond and avocado oils. These ingredients contain high levels of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which offer the necessary nutrients to retain the skin’s moisture, promote skin regeneration and improve skin elasticity.
Hero product: Our top pick is Dr. Hauschka’s Hydrating Cream Mask; this gentle face mask, imbued with almond, avocado and jojoba oils, is designed to rescue dry, damaged skin. The wax structure of the jojoba oil is similar to the natural oils of our skin, which makes this soft, creamy texture absorbs into the face in minutes, leaving you with baby-soft skin, whereas the vitamins A and E offer the skin a boost of collagen and nourishment and the rose wax in this product locks in the moisture to keep the hydration levels throughout the day. We’re also in love with the Martina Gebhardt Happy Aging Vital mask and the Tata Harper Moisturizing mask. The first one, designed for mature skins, hones the power of sweet almond oil, honey and evening primrose oil and their high doses of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E, to combat anti-aging signs and dehydration, whereas the Tata Harper mask is targeted towards dry, dull skin (thanks to the shea butter and olive oil, well known for restoring skin moisture) but also acne-prone skin, as the coconut fruit extract has antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that help soothe inflammation and fight acne infections.
During winter time, face oils are the piece de resistance in the battle against damage caused by the cold weather. Adding natural, organic oils, such as argan or rosehip oil, into your skincare routine will feed your skin and will make a difference in texture and look almost immediately, as the skin will feel softer, bouncier and more radiant in just a few uses. Make sure you only use organic, plant-based products; their structure, similar to our sebaceous oils, will absorb quickly into your skin and offer immediate relief, while also giving your skin much needed hydration and protection against the elements. Studies have also shows that rosehip oil contains a high amount of vitamin A and essential fatty acids, which help improve skin texture.
Hero product: We’re in love with Pai Rosehip Oil at the moment, a beautiful, all organic product that does exactly what it says on the pack. The high concentrations of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids will give a boost of collagen to your skin, all while the vitamins A and C packed in this oily goodness will hydrate and repair damaged skin. Another one of our favourites is the Inlight Organic Daily Face Oil. This handmade, organically certified bottle of goodness is perfect for hydrating and repairing your skin. Its star ingredients, blue mallow, rosehip oil, lavender, evening primrose oil and jojoba oil, renowned for their hydrating and pumping properties thanks to the vitamins and antioxidants in them, will give your skin an immediate moisture boost and leave your skin with a rose-hued glow by just massaging a pea-amount onto your face, neck and décolletage. Not only that, but the smell of vanilla, with a hint of chocolate, will uplift your senses.
Written By Andreea Dulgheru and Alison Jane Reid. Research by Andreea Dulgheru.
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