Banish Winter Skin

Winter can be hard on skin. Windy, dry air, dry heat and cold temperatures create a special alchemy that can make even the most youthful skin itchy and parched. The trick is to nourish the skin both inside and out.

Add Moisture to the Air

One of the most obvious ways to help your skin in winter is to pump moisture into the air. If your furnace doesn't regulate moisture, purchase a humidifier or vaporizer and keep it running. This is especially important at night, when the dryness can make it hard to sleep or breathe properly. You can also increase moisture by setting out pans of water under your plants (this helps the plants breathe easier too) and by boiling hot water on the stove.

Add Moisture to Your Skin

You probably moisturize your skin all year 'round. But not all moisturizers are made the same. In winter it's especially important to use an oil-based "ointment" moisturizer rather than one that is water-based, because the oil creates a protective barrier against the ravages of wind, sun and dryness and helps retain the natural moisture in the skin.

Choose a moisturizer with non-clogging oils such as avocado oil, primrose oil or nut oils. Before buying a moisturizer, make sure that the oils it contains are healthy ones. Youthful Skin Cream uses pure oils from organic sunflower seeds and organic macadamia nuts, which are known to deeply moisturize without blocking the pores. It also contains "humectants," such as organic vegetable glycerin, which is a class of ingredients that attract moisture to your skin. Now available with more organic ingredients, Youthful Skin Cream provides a pure and natural way to deeply nourish your skin.

Moisturize while you cleanse. In winter it's especially important to avoid harsh cleansers that dry out the skin. The Youthful Skin Herbal Soap is very good for dry skin, which includes just about everyone in winter. This rich, gentle formulation can be used more than once a day — leaving your skin soft and moist as well as clean. With its herbal wisdom, it nourishes and moisturizes the deeper layers of the skin as it cleanses and tones the surface.

Moisturize your whole body with oil massage. Whole-body oil massage is another way to deeply moisturize your skin in winter. Oil massage not only hydrates skin from the surface, but it increases circulation and blood flow, nourishing the skin from the inside.

And there's nothing like a massage and warm bath to de-stress the mind and body in winter. Do a full-body massage every morning for a week and you'll have everyone commenting on how radiant your skin looks. But again, it's important to choose only pure, non-clogging oils. Youthful Skin Massage Oil (available in specific formulas for men and women) contains an astonishing two dozen restorative herbs in a pure jojoba oil base, rejuvenating your cells and skin with a truly luxurious experience of massage and aromatherapy.

After your massage, take a warm bath with Epsom salts. But skip the hot water. Hot water dries the skin, while warm water soothes it.

Pay special attention to your feet. The feet tend to dry out more in winter, especially the heels, which can develop painful cracks. Because your feet contain nerve endings to every organ in your body, it's important to massage and pamper them for your overall health. And if you massage your feet before bed with pure, organic ghee (cover with a pair of old cotton socks to protect the bed sheets), you'll sleep deeper and feel less stressed the next day. There's nothing like a good night's sleep to nourish your skin.

Add Moisture to Your Diet

While hydrating the skin, it's important to remember that true beauty comes from within.

You can choose foods that moisturize your skin from the inside.

Eat healthy oils. Because digestion is higher in winter, and to balance the prevailing dryness, Maharishi Ayurveda recommends eating more oily foods in winter than other times of year. But choose healthy oils, such as organic ghee for cooking and baking, and first-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil for dressing salads and cooked vegetables. Avoid heating olive oil to high temperatures, as this destroys its natural nutrients. And avoid most packaged foods, as these tend to contain harmful trans fats and hydrogenated oils, which create impurities and make the skin dull and lackluster.

Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet of organic, fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, light dairy products and nuts and seeds is recommended. If you want to eat foods that have more life-force and help create radiant skin, eat as many whole, organic foods as possible. Avoid leftovers, and canned, frozen and packaged foods as these are not fresh and are hard to digest, creating impurities that damage the skin.

Drink hot water and herbal teas. Sipping hot water throughout the day helps cleanse impurities from the body and improves digestion and elimination—and contributes to healthier skin. Avoid ice-cold drinks as these disrupt digestion. Because caffeine dries the skin, try herbal drinks such as Raja's Cup, a coffee-flavored herbal drink that is brimming with antioxidants, which help keep skin youthful and damage-free.

Protect Your Skin from Dryness

As always, prevention is worth a pound of cure. A layer of Youthful Skin Cream can moisturize and protect your skin from winter dryness whether you're spending the day skiing or working inside an office building with dry forced-air heating. Protect your skin with a layer of before you face the wind and cold. Wear clothing made of organic, natural fibers, as these are gentle on your skin and do not contain harmful toxins.

Keep your socks and gloves dry — try packing an extra pair to change into if you anticipate getting wet. Wet socks and gloves can lead to skin irritation, rashes and "winter itch."

Don't forget the sunscreen — if you are going to be outside, protect yourself against damaging UV rays that contribute to dry skin and aging in winter.

Youthful Skin is for Men Too

Men can suffer from dry winter skin just like women. The herbal ingredients in the entire Youthful Skin line are pure, free of annoying synthetic perfumes and now contain more organic ingredients, making them ideal for men as well as women. And with herbal ingredients such as Sensitive Plant, Youthful Skin Cream works as a soothing, healing after-shave lotion as well.

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.