Autumn Skin Saviours
Autumn can bring abrupt drops in temperature, all of which can dehydrate our skin and depress our immune system. On March 20 the autumn equinox marked a turning point for our seasons, where longer nights and shorter days begin.
This also signals the beginning of a movement from the external, expanding the energy of summer to the internal, contracting energy of the cold. It is the perfect time to begin the journey inward, withdrawing energy from the outer world and preparing for the cooler months ahead.
by Rebecca Giorgilli
A month ago
As it turns out, COVID-19 has forced nature’s hand, and with most of us in isolation, the upside is that the journey within, can begin without all the usual added distractions.
Use this time to breathe deeply, meditate and reflect on the challenges, achievements and harvest of the past year. In the cycle, autumn is often the richest and most rewarding, as non-essential activities, beliefs and relationships drop off like falling leaves, leaving behind the ripeness of wisdom and experience.
Autumn is about organisation. Finish up any projects you started in summer or spring, and use this time to slow down and replenish reserves. Stock up your freezer and pantry, and get your house and garden in order.
In traditional Chinese medicine, autumn is the theme of “the lungs” and the theme of the lungs is “letting go”. So, autumn is a time to let go of things weighing you down, to make space for new experiences you can grow from.
Let go of unwanted possessions, old clothes, computer files and household items that are no longer used. Remember the golden rule of decluttering: ‘is it useful? Is it beautiful? Is it sentimental?’
Extend this philosophy to everything in your life. Letting go of negativity is a good idea at any time, but it's particularly good in autumn. What emotions are you holding onto that could be released? What is no longer serving your greatest good? Is there someone you need to forgive? Or someone you need to fall away from?
This process may require some soul searching, but your future self will thank you. Sometimes we hold onto things out of habit, fear or simply our conditioning. Now is the time to question everything, from your daily routines to your diet, to your relationships, to your beauty routine!
We cannot plug this powerful remedy enough! One of the best ways to strengthen the lungs is to breathe deeply.
So many of us do not breathe deeply enough, which can affect our immune system, energy and skin! Crazy fact, but did you know that 70 per cent of the accumulated toxins within our body, is actually released through breathing?
When we breathe deeply and with intention, we deliver more oxygen and circulation to the skin, boost the lymphatic system, improve digestion, calm the nervous system and ensure humming hormones. For a deeper dive on the beauty benefits see our article here.
Take it up a notch by getting out into nature. Breathe in the brisk autumn air, taking long, slow breaths or try these breathing exercises here.
The ultimate aim here is to bring your body back into balance after the holiday season and fill up on nourishing foods to prepare your body for winter.
Autumn skin can begin to feel dull and dehydrated, so a good dose of inner and outer moisture is needed to protect against environmental aggressors such as central heating and cold weather.
As a season of transition, post-summer skin could do with some serious TLC, in preparation for the cooler months to come. Think purification, exfoliation and replenishment.
Because the weather cools off in autumn, we need to eat less cooling foods like salads, and more slow and warming foods like stewed fruits, steamed vegetables, casseroles, soups and roasts.
Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends seasonal moistening foods such as pears, pumpkins, mushrooms, squash, cabbage, apples, grapefruit and lemon.
Vitamin C is naturally found in many autumn fruits and vegetables. Not only does this boost our immune system, but is also a skin superstar! Vitamin C is highly effective at reducing free radical damage, such as skin that has been overexposed to the sun during summer or pollution. It is also essential for the production of collagen, the elastic tissue that is found in the skin. The best in-season autumn finds are capsicums, citrus fruits, broccoli and parsley.
Be sure to get your daily dose of healthy fats from foods such as grass-fed ghee, avocado, olive and coconut oil. Cold weather can be countered with plenty of Omega-3 essential fatty acids to provide moisture from the inside out and reduce inflammation. Aim for sources such as flax, chia seeds or oily fish.
Autumn is also a time to give ourselves some extra attention and self-love, so that instead of seeking validation from the outside — chasing money, status and power — we can be content knowing that everything we need is within us to be complete.
Autumn Beauty Rituals
Seek out more intensive serums that contain a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to strengthen the skin barrier, whilst retaining and replenishing moisture. Spend some extra time massaging them into your skin to boost circulation, blood flow and delivery of nutrients.
Oil cleansing is perfect for the cooler months, as it nourishes and hydrates, while removing dirt, make-up and debris. It will not strip or disrupt the delicate outer acid mantle, designed to protect your skin, and when removed with a warm face cloth it steams and detoxifies the skin, leaving it petal-soft.
We strongly encourage introducing a weekly exfoliating treatment. Between the cold air outside and dry indoor heating, your skin cells dehydrate and die out faster in the cold.
Glow, texture and everything about your skin looks better when you exfoliate properly. Serums sink in deeper, and make-up glides more easily when it is soft, polished, and free of excess oil, dead skin cells, and debris.
Our Purity Polish (available with our Ritual Combo) contains the best of land and sea to gently polish and reset skin. It contains ingredients such as marine phytoplankton, pearl and rose to nourish, stimulate and soften skin. (Available for individual purchase soon!)
Facial Steam Bath
A facial steam bath can draw out toxins, and built-up impurities. It is the perfect warming ritual for the onset of cold, and it will have your skin cooing like a newborn baby. For a full ritual see our article here.
DIY Body Exfoliant
Exfoliation is not just for the face, and it's essential to the prevention and build-up of dry skin.
Honey moisturises and soothes, coffee boosts skin circulation and brown sugar provides a natural source of glycolic acid (also known as AHA) to break down dead skin and support cell turnover. This easy DIY Recipe always does the trick:
- 2 Tablespoons good quality cold-pressed olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons local raw honey or manuka
- 2 Tablespoon ground coffee beans
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Mix all ingredients together and rub over the skin in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water and glow!
Circulation is so important in cold weather. To keep the blood moving, a morning Ritual we adore is dry brushing. This process really gives love to your lymph system, which is responsible for the removal of waste and toxins from the body.
Finish with a contrast shower or contrast water therapy for 1-3 minutes (be mindful of not slipping if lathered in olive oil!).
A contrast shower alternates the temperature from hot to cold to boost immunity, energy, blood circulation, while removing toxins, reducing inflammation. It also wakes you up like nobody’s business and is a skin saviour!
The benefits are endless but, to get the greatest benefits, a ratio of 3:1 is recommended.
- Start with warm/hot water for 3-5 minutes
- Turn to cool/cold for 1 minute
- Repeat hot to cold cycle for 3-5 minutes
- End on cold water
To your blossoming xxx