8 Tips for Healthy, Hydrated Skin This Winter

A local skin-care expert shares her tried-and-true methods for banishing dry winter skin.

By Allison Jones December 10, 2014

Esthetician and skin care guru Ally Guest of re:surface skin has seen a lot of pores.

At her zen Northeast Portland studio, Guest tackles acne, wrinkles, rosacea, and more with a mix of diet advice, supplements, soothing facials, and natural treatments that really work. From Portland television stars to that rugged climber at the bouldering gym with the preternaturally smooth brow, Guest has helped many of the city's smoothest faces stay healthy and bright with her effective holistic approach. 

We asked the dewey-skinned pro to share her tips for keeping skin hydrated in winter, when dry indoor heat, whipping winds, and plummeting temps can strip skin of natural oils:

1. Use a humidifier! No need to rush out to buy a fancy new model—Guest recommends a "poor-man's humidifier," a pot of water simmering on the stove with a few drops of essential oils. Try cardamom, ylang ylang, mint, citrus, lavender, or eucalyptus oils for some soothing winter aromatherapy.

2. Long hot showers can be just what you're craving this winter, but they can also dry out your skin. Instead of opting for lukewarm baths, Guest suggests "applying oil when you're wet, right after shower—or even prior to your shower without washing it off." Want to take it to the next level? Try an Ayurvedic oil bath (give your skin a good rubdown with almond oil and leave on for a few minutes before hopping in the shower).

3. Load up on healthy fats from fish, nuts, cold-pressed oils, flax, sardines, and avocados to plump skin from the inside out.

4. Exfoliate! Exfoliation helps your body absorb moisture:"It's like taking your pants off before you put on body lotion." Finding the right exfoliator in the winter is important. Folks with sensitive skin might want to opt for a gommage or creamy scrub over a harsher exfoliant and keep application to 1-2 times per week.

5. Drink a cuppa: Guest swears by "cold brewed marshmallow root tea that's super gooey and hydrating." Add a medium sized pinch to a pint glass of cold water, steep overnight in fridge, and strain.

6. Got chapped lips? "Staying away from drying lipsticks is pretty important in winter." Guest recommends Besame tinted lip balm or Dr Hauschka balms for a bit of color, but stresses that it's important to not overuse lip products in the winter, recommending application just once per day.

7. Mask yourself: "A raw honey mask is a great hydrating treatment." Mix a tablespoon of raw honey with Greek yogurt for a calming/brightening treatment that you'll want to lick off your face.

8. Try one of Guest's "desert island" products for winter skin bliss. She loves Osea Undaria Algae Oil, Besame Tangerine tinted lip balm, and Rhonda Allison Papaya Tangerine Enzyme for moisturizing exfoliation. 

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