Happy autumn, Badger friends! Fall in New Hampshire evokes images of oversized sweaters, leaves crunching underfoot, and harvest. The days start to get shorter, the air crisper – and as hearty New Englanders, our thoughts shift to final preparations for winter. For a number of us that includes adjusting our skin care routines to compensate for the drier, colder temperatures.
You may not think of skin care as a seasonal affair, but no matter where you live, each season brings with it different facets that can impact the look and feel of your skin. We know this first-hand at Badger – it’s how our company was founded! Fall and winter in New England can be especially hard on skin, so here are a couple of seasonal tips plus a few of my favorite Badger products that get me through, year after year.
Listen to your skin. Your skin will give you subtle cues if something in your routine isn’t working – for me I will develop little dry patches on the lower parts of my cheeks. If you use multiple products, the best approach is to troubleshoot. Instead of trashing your whole routine and starting over, try switching products out one by one so that you can to isolate and address the problem. A fall/winter change may require more moisturizing, so you can start by switching to a more emollient moisturizer. Or you can simply add a product to your routine to see if it helps, instead of throwing out your whole routine and starting from scratch. Just remember to give your skin time to adjust to any new products – at least a month – before you see results.
Exfoliate. This word conjures images of harsh scrubs, chemical peels, and pink skin, but it needn’t. Exfoliation is simply the removal of dead skin cells from the top layer of skin to smooth, brighten and reveal the healthy new skin underneath. Even though a quick search of exfoliation will bring you every option you could ever have imagined (and maybe a few you don’t want to imagine), I find that regular, gentle exfoliation with a soft organic cotton washcloth to be a more sensible approach versus mechanical brushes, harsh chemical peels, and (eek!) microbeads. Other benefits of exfoliation include stimulating circulation with massage, improving skin’s ability to absorb moisture, and encouraging cell turnover. For a more exhilarating exfoliation, try making your own scrub using sugar or finely ground grains. Too sensitive for physical scrubs? Try making a mask made from enzyme-powerhouses papaya and pineapple.
Jentri’s Top Badger Picks for Winter Skin Care
Here are some of my never-fail Badger buddies for winter months. Do you have a Badger must-have for winter? Add to the list in the comments below!
Nutmeg & Shea Every Day Body Moisturizer – not only is the smell evocative of cool fall afternoons, this little tin is packed with moisturizing power. Nutmeg butter is great for extra-dry skin, and the scent has benefits that range from relaxation to stress-reduction. Badger’s Every Day Body Moisturizers are more intensive than our other balms because they contain a higher percentage of butter – in this case, rich East-African shea butter. Just remember that this is a highly concentrated moisturizer so use sparingly.
Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands – the product that launched Badger almost 20 years ago is still the best stuff for really dry, calloused, cracked hands. I was introduced to the product back when I was a baker, and it’s still my go-to when my paws take a beating. Olive oil moisturizes, beeswax seals in skin’s moisture and provides a protective barrier, and sweet birch is lightly antiseptic. I am never without a tin of this stuff in my medicine cabinet.
Cuticle Care – As the hot air is circulating around my cozy Badger Den, I like to smoosh Cuticle Care into my fingers while I unwind in the evenings. Part hand-repair, part aroma-therapeutic ritual, I find the geranium-ginger scent goes quite well with my evening tea. Just use caution if applying this before handling that can’t-put-it-down novel, or don some cotton gloves for an extra-intensive treatment (and page-protection).
Sore Joint Rub – yup, in the wintertime I will apply this orange-gold balm to my feet before I head outside to shovel. Cayenne and black pepper extracts aid circulation, and as you apply this rub you can feel the warmth – literally! (That being said, use caution if you have really sensitive skin, and avoid sensitive areas.) If I’ve got a bigger shoveling job than normal, I sometimes apply Sore Joint Rub to muscles that I anticipate getting sore (biceps and triceps). If you’re a winter outdoor exerciser, try this method before heading out to keep muscles loose and limber.
Seabuckthorn Beauty Balm – full disclosure: this time last year I would have said Damascus Rose Beauty Balm; a week ago I might have said Argan Beauty Balm – and I would have left it as just a “beauty balm” recommendation, but I’ve become so enchanted with the Seabuckthorn formula recently that I feel the need to call it out for this post. This little jar is a vitamin powerhouse, and I can almost feel the dry patches on my face soak up every last little bit. Seabuckthorn has loads of vitamin C, apricot oil brings the vitamin A, sunflower oil is bursting with vitamin E, and pomegranate is a vitamin B complex. Couple this with a sweet citrus/floral scent (not to mention the rich golden color of the balm) and you have a well-rounded meal for the skin. (Also great for hands, elbows, and just about anywhere dry skin crops up.)
Argan Leave-In Conditioning Hair Oil – I use a few drops to smooth flyaways and add shine, all-the-while conditioning and nourishing my long hair. I’m a no frills gal, especially in the winter – if I’m going to use a styling product it needs to improve my hair over time, and that’s exactly what this oil does. And I tend to use a blow dryer in winter months too, lest I get frozen-helmet hair, so I make sure to give my locks a little more nourishment than I do in summer months. After many trials (and a few tribulations) I have found the best method is to apply a few drops to the palm of my hand, rub my hands together, and use my fingers to gently comb the product into damp hair (pre-blow dry). I only go about as high as the bottom of my earlobe when applying, and use a wide-tooth wooden comb to distribute evenly.
What are your winter Badger staples for hair and skin care? Add to the list in the comments below, inquiring Badger minds want to know!
Love, Jentri (for the Badgers)