We bemoan the long winters in the UK and with good reason. It can feel like a slog when the new year starts and there still remain another three (chilly) months to plough through.
In summer, when the days are long, our metabolisms and energy levels amp up, but in winter our energy levels reduce and the brain produces more melatonin because of the lack of sunlight, which makes us sleepy. For most of us though, productivity remains the same all year round, and from season to season we make no real distinction and our output levels stay pretty consistent. Perhaps this is the problem? The increase in the number of people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder may not simply be a limited light supply, it could be a result of contemporary life’s fast paced demands and focus on unremitting productivity, disconnected from the sun’s cycles. Like hibernating animals that fall into sync with the seasons in order to preserve and store energy, we could regard the cold, dark days as an opportunity to let ourselves off the hook, decrease our productivity and cosy up in our dens a bit more to regenerate and renew.
Simple self-care rituals help us to reflect so that we can take time to:
acknowledge, nurture and celebrate ourselves
shed old skins and unhelpful habits
and set intentions for the coming year.
One of the central philosophies here at A.S.APOTHECARY is that beauty exists as much from within as it does from without, that personal care is about finding time to nurture ourselves holistically, because mind, body and soul are all intrinsically connected.
Winter shedding skin ritual
A deep physical and facial cleanse and exfoliation will brush away dead dry skin, restore the epidermis and leave the skin glowing and bright but it is also a great way to shed skin symbolically as part of a restorative winter ritual.
Before you start, light a candle in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, then write down and reflect on these three simple questions:
1. What were the blessings of 2018
2. What were the lessons?
3. What things would you like to celebrate, create, improve or move towards in 2019?
Later, jump in the shower or run yourself a bath, and with a natural sponge or hand mitt gently massage your entire body with a natural soap or exfoliator.
For the face, Fiona Harlowe, Whole Body Facialist and designer of the Signature A.S.APOTHECARY Whole Body Facial protocol recommends using A.S.APOTHECARY Mineral Powder and our Soothing Cleansing Oil #2. To make a light and gentle exfoliating paste simply mix a small amount of both together and apply to the skin with gentle rolling movements (do not scrub) and leave for a few minutes before rinsing off with a warm water compress, flannel or mitt.
The A.S.APOTHECARY Bio Active Mineral Powder is replete with amazing, nurturing ingredients such as clay, our own plant actives and Hebridean Kelp - to decongest skin, heal blemishes and soften.
Fiona advocates making a simple healing and lymph stimulating masque (ideal for reducing puffiness):
“…mix a little of the powder with local ethical honey until a thick and unctuous paste is formed. Spread evenly over clean skin and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly roll or flick fingertips from the central midline of the face outwards towards to the edge of the face. Rinse off with warm water compress using AS APOTHECARY mitt or wash cloth. The honey loses its stickiness when you rinse it off with water.”
To sum up, we’d like to leave you with this beautiful quote by shaman and writer Cara Lumen:
“In order to grow, a snake must shed its skin. In order to expand, a birch tree splits its bark. What do you need to shed in order to grow? The birch tree outside my window looks like an unkempt pony shedding its winter coat, filled with clumps and bare spots. What does it look like for me to make room to change and grow? What do I have to do? What do I have to release? How do I let go of my confining skin? Identify the skin you need to shed”
A.S APOTHECARY Whole Facial Treatments will soon be available in our Lewes Treatment room, and at Beaverbrook House Hotel and Spa.