Winter sees the start of the bitterly cold weather, dark nights, and Christmas lights. However, most of us will also find that our skin becomes drier, sometimes sore, and often our mental wellbeing can also suffer. The plummet in temperatures affects our body in several ways and therefore it becomes essential that we take good care of ourselves both mentally and physically.
We have put together a selection of products which we feel are our winter skincare essentials here at Sweet Cecily’s.
First Up, We Have Our Fantastic Lip Balms!
Often, it's our Lips that bear the brunt of the change in the weather, becoming extremely dry and even cracked.
Dorrie, (Manager at Sweet Cecily’s) explains some of the key reasons for this “Our lips, unlike other areas of the skin, do not have the same glands. They don’t have sweat glands, nor do they have sebaceous glands, which are responsible for helping the skin to produce oil. The only source of moisture that our bodies produce for the lips is saliva”
You may be thinking that licking your lips may help to alleviate some of the dryness that we all at some point experience, however, the relief is only temporary! Dorrie goes on to explain “Saliva contains enzymes which are used by the body to break down and digest food. Although saliva contains mostly water, the enzymes and salts also present can make your lips even drier over time.”
It’s important to keep your lips hydrated as well as drinking enough water, to keep the whole body functioning at it’s best.
I (Beth) find that certain lip balms can leave your lips feeling too greasy and don't do what they intend to do. However, since working at Sweet Cecily’s I have been lucky enough to try out some of our Natural Lip Balms and I think they are excellent.
Our Lip Balms contain five powerful, nourishing, natural ingredients:
Shea butter is one of the most used ingredients here at Sweet Cecily’s and if you have read our previous blog ‘What is shea butter?’, you will already be aware of it’s incredible moisturising capabilities. Not only does Shea Butter moisturise, it also is an ‘emollient’ which means it can help to form a breathable barrier on the lips to protect as well as soften.
Cocoa Butter provides an extra hydrating protective layer to the lips, helping protect them in extreme temperatures – so our lip balms can even be classed as a summer essential!
With so many flavours to choose from, there is something for everyone! For me, the Strawberries and Cream Lip Balm is my go-to and it has made its way into my daily skincare routine.
Sometimes you forget how much your hands go through in a day, but it’s important to remember that you need to look after them. Using a hand cream gives you a variety of benefits, such as, it can help boost moisture level and skin elasticity. With long lasting hydration it can help even the roughest feeling hands, be soft to the touch. Our hand creams are ‘Sea Buckthorn Berry’ and ‘Elderflower and Almond’.
The Sea Buckthorn Berry hand cream is perfect for hands that need a little extra love and may perhaps be a bit on the drier side. The Sea Buckthorn Berry extract that we use is enriched with Vitamin C and E which have known benefits for soothing and hydrating sore skin. The essential oil gives it a fresh and fruity aroma which is uplifting and invigorating – something we all need in the dark winter days!
Our Elderflower and Almond hand cream has a more delicate sent which I (Sophie) find more calming, compared to the Sea Buckthorn Berry hand cream.
We use almond oil in both our hand creams. When this nut oil is used as an ingredient in a face or body cream, it’s beneficial for helping improve acne, or reducing the appearance of scars. When applied in a hand cream, studies have shown that it can help reduce the symptoms of moderate or severe hand dermatitis.
Soothing Bath Infusions
Taking care of our bodies and minds is especially important during the winter months due to the lack of sunlight, the drop in temperature and the stress that can be caused from snowy drives to work or school!
A long, hot, soak in the bath can ease tired, cold muscles and relax busy minds and can help wind you down and/or warm up after a long day!
Our Soothing Bath Infusions contain chamomile and colloidal oatmeal (and you receive three in a pack!). Although some people may be confused by this ingredient, as usually oatmeal is something you put in a bowl and eat, this ingredient is slightly different and provides a lot of benefits to the skin!
Oatmeal is widely used as a home remedy for soothing dry, itchy, or irritated skin, so we decided to put it into a product. Using one bag per bath, pop it in the water as you fill the tub and leave it to soak whilst you relax.
Colloidal oatmeal can also act as a buffering agent, which helps skin maintain a normal Ph, along with providing antiviral activity, such as helping treat skin rashes.
Chamomile also has similar benefits, helping reduce redness and irritation. Importantly, it’s known for its calming scent which can induce sleep and reduce anxiety.
These 2 ingredients together create a relaxing environment mentally and physically.
Here at Sweet Cecily’s, essential oils are part of almost every formulation. Some of our favourites to use are Ylang Ylang, Frankincense and Spearmint, although we do love the fresh, citrus oils such as Mandarin, too! Essential oils can be used as a form of therapy which is more commonly known as Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils to promote health and well-being, using your sense of smell to activate certain parts of the brain with products such as, bath salts, creams, or diffusers.
If you are someone who doesn’t like using direct application products for the skin, Aromatherapy could potentially be the perfect relaxation method for you. Over hundreds of essential oils are available to buy with a wide variety of unique healing properties, uses and effects. For example, using a lavender essential oil can help you relax due to its calming scent, compared to the scent of eucalyptus claims to stimulate the brain and improve energy.
Although this form of therapy can be used all year round, we think it’s particularly useful during winter. As the sun rises later and sets earlier, when your body clock can’t quite recognise the time, it can be difficult to relax. Using some essential oils in a diffuser or popping some in a bowl of hot water to steam your face can help to either perk you up or calm you down!
It’s important that self-care is a year-round habit, even adding a small dose of self-love in whatever form fits you best can help brighten up your winter. From applying a small amount of hand cream, making your hands the softest they’ve been to putting your favourite scent in to a diffuser, personal care comes in all different shapes and sizes!
Let us know in the comments or over on our social media if you have tried any of our winter essentials and what you think about them!