There are so many lovely things come alongside the cooler temperatures of fall – colorful leaves, hot teas, and, of course, pumpkin-spiced everything else. Unfortunately, for many of us fall also means that our skin begins to feel like a desert – thirsty, cracked, and dry. If you have a regular tendency for dry skin, fall might make it worse. Even if your skin is fine most of the year, you might notice some dryness. As fall transitions into winter, the dryness most likely will increase. That means, now is the perfect time to give your skin the extra nourishment that it craves. Before you stock up on your favorite lotion, let’s look at some benefits of using oil instead.
Yes, oil! This is a common and time-tested practice in Europe and Eastern holistic traditions. The oil massage not only moisturizes and nourishes the skin, but increases lymphatic circulation, soothes the nervous system, and, if done regularly, supports your ability to handle stress. The oil can be infused with herbs and essential oils for additional therapeutic qualities. If your skin is already very oily – this might actually be due to dryness, your skin produces extra oil to compensate for loss of moisture. Therefore, once you nourish and oil the skin, it won’t overproduce its own oils and you might get less sheen on the nose!
To keep it simple, start with basic pure oil. Look for cold pressed or CO2 extracted, organic, without added perfumes, synthetic chemicals or dies. Stay away from mineral oil, it is a byproduct of petroleum and you do not want it on your skin. Any of these delicious oils will work – jojoba, almond, grape seed, olive, sunflower, sesame or coconut oil. Yes, you can easily find these at your local grocery store!
Okay, you’ve got your oil, now what?
In Ayurveda, the oil is applied warm, left on the skin for at least 20 minutes, then gently rinsed off. If that sounds too much work, just use it as you would lotion. But if you are up for the oily experience, follow these simple steps, and you will see and feel the results after the first use.
- Place the oil in a jar or taller container that you can place in a bowl of hot water, to slightly warm up the oil;
- Use an old towel to stand on as you apply the oil on your whole body, starting with face, ears, neck, and shoulders, arms and so on, covering every square inch! Be generous with oil, use about 4-6 ounces. It is also very nice for your scalp and hair, but this might take a few rounds of shampooing to get the oil out. So you don’t get that greasy hair look.
- Now that you are all oily, relax! Read a chapter from a book, have a cup of tea. Warning – everything you touch will get oily!
- After a few minutes or, if you can make it, at least 20min, gently rinse off in a shower. No need to use soap, just rinse off the excess.
- Use a designated towel for your after-oil showers to dry off.
Feel the difference?
Natural oils are rich with nutrients; most are easily absorbed and won’t clog pores. What about the lotion? Well, the biggest disadvantage of lotion is the added chemicals and perfumes, which do more harm than good. If that sounds like your lotion, it might be time to give it up. There are definitely skin and eco-friendly lotions out there, you just have to find them. The less ingredients the better!
When are you going to give up your lotion and try oil instead?
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