Tips for Happy, Healthy Skin Through Winter

TIPS FOR HAPPY, HEALTHY SKIN THROUGH WINTER

BLANCHE FERNANDES, RMT

With the onset of the cold weather, winters tend to cause our skin to become dry and have reduced circulation. Are you aware that the largest organ in the human body is actually the skin? Accounting for 16 percent of total body weight, it covers up to 22 square feet of surface area. The skin is more than just a "covering," as originally thought. A complex system made up of nerves, glands and cell layers, the skin plays an intricate role in overall health. So it’s important to take good care of it.

There are some daily regimes we can implement to help maintain healthy skin in the winter. Three easy ways to minimize the effects of winter include staying hydrated, moisturizing, and improving blood flow.

Here are some ways to help stimulate the skin to boost circulation.

Important note: allow an hour for resting after any of the following applications and to drink plenty of water.

Dry Brushing

Use a dry, long handled, natural fibre brush before you shower, sauna or bathe. Start at your feet & use long circular motions while moving up the leg. If a bit irritating, follow with a soothing hand stroke, or lighter pressure. Move to your arms, starting at the hands, then your shoulders, back, stomach & buttocks.

Avoid any open sores, acne or freshly shaved skin. Dry Brushing strongly stimulates the body, so avoid doing this before bedtime

 If you’re looking for something a little more vigorous, try cold mitten friction & salt glows. These techniques improve the efficiency of the skin’s elimination function, as well as, gradually increasing one’s responsiveness and tolerance to cold. It may also assist with strengthening the body’s immune system.

Cold Mitten Friction

Cold mitten friction is an application of cold water to the skin with friction. Dip a wash mitt or loofa in cold water and wring out well. Uncover the part of the body to treat and rub vigorously, using moderate pressure. Cover immediately to avoid chilling, but do not dry off. (Follow same pattern as in dry brushing).

The film of water adhering to the skin induces the skin temperature to rise gradually. In turn this gently trains the circulatory system to react positively to cold. 

Salt Glow

A salt glow involves the application of slightly moistened salt to the body using friction. This modality is excellent for removing dead cells and softening rough skin. Moisten 1-2 cups of coarse Epsom or sea salt in a bowl so that the salt sticks together slightly. While on a towel or in a tub, place moistened salt between your hands and vigorously apply to your body. Rinse with cool water.

Blanche Fernandes, RMT, brings over 20 years of experience to her practice. You can learn more about Blanche on her practitioner profile.