That thinking, however, is fundamentally flawed. While emotionally or mentally we may slow down because it’s cold and dark, our body never stops doing its job. Our skins cells die and reproduce, kidneys filter, livers cleanse, and hearts pump at the same rate in the winter as they do in the summer. Thus, we must be just as vigilant with our diet, water intake, exercise, and bathing and beauty routines. Just like a capsule wardrobe is built around basic pieces, good hygiene begins with basic habits and routines. So what are some good habits to start that will help you to enjoy a nestpretty lifestyle now, hibernate responsibly in winter, and that you can continue doing into summer? Here are a few of mine: dry brushing, hydrating, cleaning and deodorizing.
- Dry brush your skin. Say what? Brush your skin? When I first heard someone mention dry brushing, I thought they were making it up, but it’s an actual technique. And the results are super beneficial for your body and mind. Dry brushing aids in circulation, helps you de-stress, and it’s a huge support to your lymphatic system. Since your skin is your body’s largest organ, exfoliating your skin by brushing it keeps your pores clean and functioning properly. It also stimulates your lymph flow, thereby helping your skin to naturally detoxify itself. And because your skin is doing its job better, it takes the onus off of other filter organs, like your liver and kidneys. I have found this set of brushes works well for me:
- Hydrate. Because we don’t sweat as much in the winter as we do in the summer, we usually don’t feel the need to drink as much water. But the recommendation to drink two liters of water a day is great advice no matter what season we’re in. Our body depends on water to survive. It needs water to maintain proper temperature, remove waste, and lubricate our joints. Water gives us energy, mental clarity, and even helps with weight loss. Coffee, tea, sodas, and alcoholic drinks are no substitute, in fact, they dehydrate your body instead.
So what if you don’t like water? What can you do? I add a lemon to my water. I grew up with bottled water, so drinking from the tap is not so enjoyable for me. But adding a lemon to tap water improves the taste, and it gives me the idea that I’m drinking something other than water. More importantly, it helps my liver to maximize enzyme function, stimulates and aids detoxification, thereby flushing unwanted waste out of my system. I love it! You can also add some essential oils to your water, like Young Living’s Lime, Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, or Peppermint Vitality oils. These oils give your water a fantastic flavor that is so addictive it will leave you wanting more. Water is absolutely essential! So show appreciation for your body, and do what you have to in order to build up your desire to drink water.
- Clean and deodorize. Finally, the answer to the question posed in the beginning—which season is worse for body odor? In the country I visited, winter odors were worse by far than the summer odors. Cleanliness (and deodorant) was sorely lacking. This was never more apparent than when riding the subways—trapped in tiny train cars surrounded by people wearing wool sweaters that, I’m sure, were given as high-school graduation gifts and were meant to be worn every day until they fell apart, decomposed, or were to be buried with the recipient when he dies. At least, that’s the best way to describe the incredibly potent smell that was locked into those wool fibers. Additionally, the normal, customary shower wasn’t such a custom in the winter, whereas the summer heat usually dictated one, sometimes, two showers a day (at least let’s hope so). So the bacteria that naturally breaks down and causes body odor was not being washed away as regularly in the winter as it was in the summer.
Therefore, never underestimate your body’s need for a shower. This is a good and healthy habit. However, avoid long, hot showers as they can dry out your skin, especially in the already dry winter months. Make it a goal to keep your showers to ten minutes or less, and use cool or lukewarm water. Using a mild body wash, focus on the areas that need cleaning. Use soap only on the “poo-poo, pee-pee pits,” as my friend calls them, and not on your arms and legs, unless necessary. This will help keep your skin from drying out.
And please, before leaving the house, apply a deodorant. Young Living’s AromaGuard line of natural deodorants is fantastic, and you can feel good knowing that you’re not putting anything carcinogenic on your skin or lymph nodes. Deodorant is a simple act—a courtesy and kindness–that shows others that you care about them, but also, more importantly, that you care about yourself.
So choose to nestpretty and dry brush your skin, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, bathe and deodorize. These are just a few of my beauty habits that I can wholeheartedly recommend for others to try or to continue doing. By doing them, you can feel confident about your body in the summer and hibernate responsibly during the long, cold winter.