Last winter I got into a simple ritual that I have been enjoying again now that winter is here. Winter can bring a lot of dryness to our skin, mucous membranes, and hair, so it is important to supply our bodies with more fats and water than in the summer (damper) months. I have found that putting good fats on my skin is a great way to absorb them and feel nourished in a deep way. The following winter ritual keeps my skin soft and moisturized all winter.
Here is the ritual:
1. Dry Skin Brush 2. Hot Shower or Bath 3. Lather skin with Sesame Oil
1. Dry Skin Brush How-To
If you don't have a dry skin brush, you can find them at Harvest Health or at the Wellness Collective GR, where my office is located. Begin by using light, circular strokes on the bottoms of your feet. Move up your calves, knees and thighs with the same strokes. Continue these strokes on your hips, abdomen, arms, chest, and back. Be sure to always be directing these strokes toward your heart as this is where the major lymphatic dump points in the body are.
Dry skin brushing helps to move the lymph and clear out debris. As the skin is one of the body's organs of elimination, this opens up the pores to release toxins and waste. It also helps to clear away dead skin cells.
2. Hot Shower or Bath
I love to add Epsom salts or Himalayan sea salt to my bath. Essential oils such as lavender can add to the relaxing effects.
3. Lather skin with Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a neutral to warm oil that is easily absorbed by the skin. It is best to put the oil on right after getting out of the shower to trap in some of the water from the shower. The layer of sesame oil creates a barrier on the skin which protects it from cold and wind and helps to seal in moisture. I have played around with different combinations of oils, the latest being sesame, wheat germ, and jojoba oils.
A Note on Self-Care
Creating rituals and self-care practices are extremely important. They create space for us to encounter ourselves just as we are and to show some love to ourselves. Self-care doesn't have to be difficult or extravagant, but adding a few practices like this into the day or week can create space for big change. There is a huge paradigm shift when we begin to relate to the world around us from a place of fullness instead of emptiness.