Fall is officially here! Sweater weather, cool air, crisp red apples, falling leaves, warm spicy colors, and our beloved PSL. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year for a Midwest girl like me! I am a confirmed Beach Bum, a landlocked Mermaid, who is always trying to find her way back to the water most days but in the Autumn my Bohemian alter ego comes out to play. I love this changing of the seasons as Mother Earth readies Herself for hibernation. It is a time of transition. Nature knows it and so do we...or least our bodies do. The Fall season is an exhilarating time, but as we transition into autumn and the weather changes, the way our skin reacts to the new temperatures changes too. During summer, there’s often more humidity to help moisture stay in the skin and protect its barrier, but that's not the case in the Fall. In the cooler months, the air gets drier outside and inside with the operation of heaters. When skin starts losing moisture, the barrier can get disrupted, causing increased sensitivity, dryness, and irritation.
- Low humidity, which allows moisture in your skin to evaporate faster
- Indoor heating, which dries the air further
- Hot showers
- Certain soaps
- Frequent hand-washing
- Limited use of moisturizing hand and body lotions
Moisturize - Natural ingredients that enhance your body's own ability to retain moisture are exactly what your skin needs in the dry cooler months. Ingredients such as Goat's Milk, Shea Butters and the more exotic Mango and Kokum Butters are wonderful for providing extra moisturizing benefits. In addition to these is Glycerin. Glycerin, is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture. It is a natural byproduct of the saponification process in soap making. When applied to the skin through products such as natural handmade soaps, glycerin can cause a barrier on the skin that locks in existing moisture, as well as drawing moisture from the atmosphere. Commercial soaps do not contain glycerin (commercial soap makers purposely remove the glycerin to make moisturizers and creams so they can sell you MORE products!). Hence no matter how costly a store bought commercial soap is, your skin will get dry if it is a mass produced brand because these soaps strip off natural skin oils and do not give moisturizing benefits skin. Small batch handcrafted soaps may initially cost you more than the commercial soaps but they are worth it. As you are replacing two products (soap and moisturizer) with one product. In the summer this can represent a cost savings as you may be able to just use a quality small batch soap that contains glycerin to meet all your moisturizing needs. In the colder months notorious for their skin drying effects, these wonderful soaps used in combination with a good moisturizing body butter like SEAson's Peppermint Bark Body Butter can save the day. ALL of our handcrafted soaps at The Midwest Mermaid Company contain Glycerin! Try our yummy new Pumpkin Pie Spice Soap for the ultimate Fall Season beauty indulgence!
Essential Oils -
Dry skin can occur during certain times of the year like the cooler months we are now getting ready to enter into, as well as in desert-like climates. You may even have dry skin naturally from age or reduced activity in the sebaceous (oil) glands in your pores. Dry skin is often remedied with creams and moisturizers (OR soaps with Glycerin!), but some essential oils can also provide relief. Here are some of my favourites for dry skin relief.
You may have heard about using Lavender for sleep and relaxation, but this multipurpose oil may also help balance out moisture levels in your skin. It’s an anti-inflammatory that can reduce redness and a natural hydrator that can repair dry skin without making it too greasy. Try our soothing Salty Siren Lavender and Sea Oats Soap for all of the moisturizing benefits in one beautiful soap!
Chamomile oil contains azulene, known for increasing moisture and reducing inflammation. However, you may want to avoid it if you have Ragweed allergies, as chamomile may be a trigger.
Sandlewood contains compounds known for reducing inflammation while promoting moisture in the skin. By incorporating essential oils directly into my handcrafted beauty products you can have all of their benefits in one beautiful and convenient place! Using Essential Oils for Dry Skin- If you want to use these oils separately, you’ll want to use 2-3 drops of each essential oil diluted with a carrier oil. If you want to use ALL of the essential oils listed in this post, I’d recommend mixing up a small one or two-ounce glass bottle with a combination of carrier oils and adding 5 or so drops of each essential oil for the best results.Remember- Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before using. This is because essential oils are very potent and a little goes a long way. Carrier Oils for Dry Skin- The most common carrier oil is fractionated coconut oil. However, I recommend one or more of the following carrier oils when using essential oils for dry skin. This is because these carrier oils are more hydrating and moisturizing than fractionated coconut oil. These are my favorite carrier oils for dry skin: I use a variety of carrier oils for my Artisian soaps at midwestmermaid.co that complement the other natural ingredients in my skincare products, however, my three favorites are Jojoba, Grapeseed and Sweet Almond.
- Sunscreen - You've heard it before, but we’ll say it again. The most important step to healthy, vibrant skin is obvious—stop doing damage! With the temperatures beginning to dip and the sun setting earlier each day, your first impulse may be to stow a favorite SPF away until the beach beckons once again next summer. But as any dermatologist will tell you, protecting skin against UV damage is a year-round commitment. Incidental sun exposure—the kind experienced on a daily commute—has a cumulative effect that results in fine lines and sagging skin. And research suggests that wearing a skin saving SPF may be just as important for those who are on a daily commute to an office as it is for those who spend their days hitting the slopes or taking snowy walks during winter weekends. This means using skincare products with SPF, is a must—even in the fall and winter! Only when you stop the damage can the skin start to repair itself.
- Feed Your Skin - Put your skin on a diet! Just like the rest of your body, skin needs the right nutrients to be its beautiful best. So just as it's important to be mindful of what we put in our bodies, it’s also important to choose skincare ingredients that are high in antioxidants and vitamins. You have to replenish the nutrients that UV rays and environmental factors can deplete. When applied topically, antioxidants sweep away the free radicals that can wreck your skin’s youthful appearance. They also give your skin the boost it needs to start repairing itself. The natural ingredients found in skincare products such as botanicals, herbs, spices, and essential oils are not only beautiful but beautifying. Many of these natural organic substances contain antioxidants and vitamins that are so much better than harsh chemicals and artificial colors found in box store brands.
As explained above, exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin cells and exposes the delicate, sensitive skin underneath. That can be great for your looks, but it can make your skin more susceptible to damage from environmental factors like pollution and the sun’s UV rays.
That’s why we recommend exfoliating your face, neck, and chest only once per week. Restricting this part of your skincare routine to once every five to seven days gives your new skin time to build up some defense against the environmental factors that work to tear it down. The purpose of exfoliation is to gently whisk away the old dead cells in order to reveal the vibrant new skin underneath. It defeats the very purpose this if one uses products with harsh chemicals that can damage these fragile new skin cells. Store-bought exfoliators often contain caustic ingredients—like alcohol—that can dry out tender skin with just one application. Using products with natural exfoliators is a much better beauty strategy!
Try these all-natural face exfoliators for fresher skin with fewer wrinkles.
Oats, or oatmeal, is one of the gentlest exfoliators available. Because of this, it’s great for those with sensitive skin. In addition to its powers as a face exfoliator, oatmeal also contains anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties that can benefit all skin types. Try making an Oats and Honey mask right in your kitchen for some yummy natural exfoliation...or if you want all of the beauty benefits with none of the clean up, our Salty Siren Lavender and Sea Oats is the way to go!
Many expensive exfoliant products contain baking soda as their main ingredient, so you know it must be good...and it is. Baking soda is very gentle on irritated skin but still does an excellent job of removing dead skin cells. And it’s super simple to use. You can mix it in with your regular skin cleanser for an added boost or make a paste with one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of water. It’s just that easy! Or for a little more fragrant fizzy fun try Bath Bombs. Baking Soda is a main ingredient in these popular little bath time baubles and they also often come packed with essential oils and moisturizing emolients to turn any bath into a spa experience. Try our Boho Beach Bombs like Mermaid Bubble Bath Bombs in Sea Foam Swirl
Sea salt is know as a gentle exfoliant for its mildly abrasive properties. It also contains trace minerals that can rejuvenate tired skin, promote moisture retention, and stimulate cell growth. Sea salt works best as an all-natural exfoliator, but you can use regular table salt if you’re in a pinch....no pun intended! It is a wonderful ingredient for tired muscles in bath salts and slat scrubs.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains natural alphahydroxy acids, which help loosen dead skin cells so they will naturally slough off more easily. And like all the other exfoliators on this list, using apple cider vinegar couldn’t be easier. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and rub it on your face, neck, and chest with circular motions after washing as usual. For an even better (and more beautiful) alternative, try our new Spiced Apple Cider Soap made with nourishing Goat's milk and Apple Cider Vinegar for gentle exfoliation! Plus it looks and smells A-mazing!
Fall is a time of transition and change is everywhere. But even as we embrace change, we embrace the beauty of it. Beauty is everywhere. Embrace your beauty my Midwest Mermaids....Mabon Blessings to all!