This is the perfect time of year to get those blankets out of the closet, make friends with a crockpot, and support some inward reflections. Embrace the coziness. Here in Colorado the shift in seasons can also mean more dry skin. Even if you live in a more lush area, cold and flu season has taken hold. An onslaught of neurotic hand-washing is almost inevitable. Even further, the winter months can leave us feeling sluggish. Below I’ve provided a couple recipes to add sweetness and invigoration to your next chilly evening-in.

Dim the lights, turn up the thermostat, and fix a cup of tea. Let’s do this thing.

Moistening Pumpkin Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon local honey
  • 1 teaspoon rolled oats, ground (optional, for exfoliation purposes). Add small amounts of Kaolin or Rose Clay, until desired consistency is achieved. Ideally, you’re looking to create a tacky paste-like mask.

Instructions:

  1. Apply mask onto the face in an even layer. (If you’re feeling extra fancy, apply with a wide paintbrush. It feels super decadent.)
  2. If you added an exfoliant such as ground oat, gently massage the mask in when applying. Let it sit until dried, or 10-15 minutes.
  3. When ready, wash gently with warm water. Ideally, massage a few drops of jojoba oil into the skin afterwards.

If you happen to be experiencing some soap-induced dryness, don’t hesitate to give this mask a try on the back of your hands! Messy? Probably. Soothing and delicious smelling? Definitely. Use less clay to limit astringency.

While nourishing topicals are lovely, don’t forget that the ultimate way to avoid seasonal dryness is, of course, to pay close attention to what we’re consuming. Remember to keep hydrated with water, teas, and broth. Daily fish oil is an incredible support. Lastly, don’t forget the power of fat! Facilitate internal lubrication with avocados, fatty fish, olives, coconut, well-sourced lard, etc.

Warming Cinnamon Foot Bath

My favorite low-mess way to add herbs into a bath is by creating a concentrated tea. Prepping the herbal blend prior to filling your basin, you vastly reduce the need to strain and clean plant material out of an unwieldy-sized container.

Ingredients:

  • If you have some cut-and-sifted cinnamon bark, a small handful of the herb (approximately ⅛-¼ cup) will do the trick.

Instructions:

  1. Bring eight cups of water to a boil, add the dried herb, and simmer for about 10 minutes. In a pinch, you can also add a 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder straight to the foot bath. I do not recommend the use of cinnamon essential oil, or a full body bath with cinnamon, as its potency and effects can be overwhelming to the skin. To make this foot bath both invigorating and moistening, add marshmallow root. Half and half of each cut-and-sifted herb, simmered as above, will make a lovely support for dry, cold tootsies.

Happy winter, everyone!

Writer Amanda Proscino is a Certified Clinical Herbalist and Nutritional Health Coach, based in Colorado. Alongside her herbal and nutritional experience, she holds a background in environmental youth education, public health, and gender studies. Amanda focuses most deeply on accessible therapeutics, harm reduction techniques, and creative intentionality practices. She can be reached at amanda.proscino@clinicalherbalism.com.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.