Dominyka’s Green Report: Balm, Winter Balm
It’s time for MTF Columnist Dominyka Gajauskaite‘s monthly column, The Green Report…
Oh dear winter – bringing with it crisp air, white snow – or more likely, rain, dry, flaky, chapped skin. But it doesn’t have to be if you know how to TLC your skin. It really does start with the most important ritual – cleansing. When the skin is properly cleansed, that means the moisturizers can work better for your skin. It doesn’t matter which type of skin do you have, what matters most is how your skin feels like and looks like on the day. Of course in winter, our face – most exposed skin, will get much drier due to the cold and it could even get agitated by the harsh environment of heating. Even though I have normal to combination skin, in winter my skin becomes extremely temperamental with cold weather outside and heating inside. My skin becomes extremely dry leading to pimples and redness.
Balm cleansers have been very successful on my skin. It suits almost all skin types. It will clean your skin thoroughly without striping off very much needed protection – natural oils. Skin produces sebum, or natural oils, not only to protect the skin, but also to keep it in balance and moisturized for that healthy glow. On the contrary, as you might think oil is only for dry skin, when applied to the oily skin, is actually extremely balancing too. Our skin, and the whole body, is a very smart ‘machine’, If it thinks something is missing, like not enough oils on your skin, it will produce more sebum. That’s why I urge you to stop using any cleansers that strip your skin squeaky clean, especially in winter. In summer we get more moisture from the air, so might not need heavy cleansers. Although you want the dirt away, you want to make sure your natural oil and pH is in perfect balance, so the skin doesn’t over or under produce natural oils.
I find that my skin is happiest in winter with cleansing balms washed away with a warm cloth (muslin, fiber or towel – depending on how sensitive your skin is). I loved the following: Suti ‘Cleanse’ (£33), Antipodes ‘Grapeseed Butter Cleanser’ and The Organic Pharmacy ‘Carrot Butter Cleanser’ (£39.95). All these have nourishing, antioxidant and soothing ingredients in common. May it be nourishing shea butter, antioxidant grapeseed or soothing lavender, all of the ingredients of these balms are natural without any harsh additives like preservatives. Balms are anhydrous products so to keep the shelf life and bacteria free it doesn’t need any harsh preservatives.
These are my empties. All the products I mention have not been endorsed or given to me. I use all my products with the need of my skin.
I sometimes clean my makeup off with organic extra virgin olive oil, it is great for sensitive skin and then do the balm cleansing. I know coconut oil had a lot of hype for cleansing the skin and for some skin types it works great, of course it has to be organic, cold pressed, but for pimple and acne skin I wouldn’t recommend as it is a comedogenic oil.
If you choose to use other facial cleansers here is what I would avoid all cost: alcohol as it strips your natural protective oils. SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulphate) – detergents and foaming agents in cleansers. It strips all of the grime and oil of your skin leaving it dry and inflamed. And to make it even more evil, as if the dry skin is not bad enough, it can penetrate the skin and the bloodstream with possible contamination of the carcinogen 1,4 dioxane of the latter SLES.
So read your labels (just like you do with your food), make time for your cleansing ritual (I recommend doing it twice), change your cloth often (due to bacterial growth) and choose the right moisturizer.
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