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Get Ready For Spring And Shake Those Winter Blues

BBA logo and pics of founders on their family farm where they make all natural artisan skincare concentrates

 

Get Ready For Spring And Shake Those Winter Blues 

As we approach spring, many of us find ourselves growing weary and tired of winter and the toll it takes on our bodies and spirit. In the Pacific Northwest, winters can be tough, with extended darkness and long periods of chilly temperatures. Despite being relatively mild this year, winter still takes a toll. This is particularly true for those who work from home, like your friends at Botanical Bee Apothecary. While we're fortunate to have a dedicated studio in our remodeled barn, we still spend days on end without venturing off the farm. With Spring around the corner, here are a few tips to help shed the winter blues:

Hydrate: (drink at least 72 ounces of water a day)
Staying hydrated is crucial, not only for maintaining optimal skin health but also for optimal brain function and generally uplifting your spirits in winter. Cold temperatures and indoor heating strip the skin of its natural moisture, leading to dryness and irritation and exacerbating conditions like eczema or psoriasis. By maintaining adequate hydration, we not only support the skin's primary environmental barrier function, but improve our overall complexion from within. 

  • Try Adding Citrus to Your Water

Drinking warm water with lemon (or any available citrus) can be particularly beneficial. Personally, I drink about a gallon of warm water (160°) flavored with two drops of lemon essential oil* throughout the day every day during winter months. This volume of water ensures adequate hydration, while the lemon offers other benefits. Lemon is rich in vitamin C, which boosts collagen production, aids in skin elasticity and suppleness. Improper hydration does the opposite, leaving skin looking stiff, dry, unhealthy and fatigued. Lemon water aids digestion, detoxifies and can alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by boosting energy levels and mood. So, sip on this invigorating elixir to nourish your skin, lift your spirits, and restore your vitality and glow.

* ONLY use an essential oil deemed safe for ingestion and/or one you trust. EO are not all created equal.

  • Don’t Forget The Salt:

Your body and brain essentially run on electricity through a series of natural miracles starting at the mitochondrial level. Your body is its own electricity generator and storage system. For electricity to move efficiently through your nervous system and brain, it needs a proper electrolytic medium. Water is our essential and natural base for that medium, but it needs the right amount of salt to become a proper and efficient electrolyte. Making sure you’re properly hydrated and getting just the right amount of salt will improve brain function, mental clarity and overall mood.

Yoga/Stretching
I like to joke that beginning a yoga practice when my girls were teens literally saved my life. That may be a bit of hyperbole, but it was a game changer, nonetheless. Yoga is ultimately nothing more than taking a minute to 

Cartoon of a bee doing the yoga pose warrior.breathe, tap into your body, find its stress points and relax them through a series of progressively beneficial exercises. Yoga offers a holistic approach to physical and mental wellness, which naturally helps one cope with Seasonal Affective Disorders. By incorporating yoga into your lifestyle, you can harness those benefits for yourself. Regular yoga practice promotes flexibility, energy and relaxation, reducing stress levels by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels. Yoga movements also enhance circulation, which creates warmth. If you need society and structure, seek out a studio. If you don’t or can’t afford it, there are many online options you can stream for free, like Yoga With Adriene - YouTube. She has hundreds of quality videos from short to long sessions, beginner to advanced. 

Eat Good Oils and Omega-3s
We eat a lot of good fats at Blackstar Farm; nuts, seeds, EVOO, avocados, avocado oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter and we try to eat fish once a week. Those foods contain high levels of beneficial oils and omega-3 fatty acids, which work wonders for both alleviating SAD and combating dry winter skin. These nutrients are essential to overall health and well-being. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in sources like fatty fish, flaxseed and walnuts, have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. These fats support healthy skin by nourishing and hydrating from within, combating dryness and irritation. Incorporating good non-seed oils like organic extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, and coconut oil into your diet can also bring these benefits, because they are also rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. By contrast, cut back or eliminate consumption of "bad" oils like canola, sunflower, corn, soy, and vegetable oils, which are often highly processed and contribute to inflammation, skin issues and other documented ailments. 

Get Some Sleep Girl
I am a night owl by nature and getting enough sleep has always been a challenge. I actually feel the difference when I get 8 + hours. As I age, I make a concerted effort to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night. Feeling rested and ready to go promotes overall physical and mental well being. Adequate sleep helps regulate mood, reduce stress and promotes emotional resilience. During restive sleep, your body goes into repair mode, replenishing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play key roles in regulating mood, attitude and emotional stability. The body's natural healing processes are also hard at work during sleep, releasing growth hormones and natural collagen, repairing and regenerating skin cells. Because of this important natural process, I’ve developed a nightly skin care ritual to maximize those benefits. Below are a few tips that help me get a good night's sleep.

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends (super hard one for me as I like to stay up late and sleep late).
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. For me, I follow my nighttime face care ritual, then read a book (preferably paper because watching screen actually impairs sleep). Also, try taking a warm bath, practicing breath work of finding a relaxing nighttime yoga routine. I like to end my day making a mental list of things I’m grateful for.
  • Make your sleep environment comfortable and conducive to rest by ensuring your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet.
  • Limit exposure to screen (phones, computers, and TVs) before bedtime as the blue light emitted can disrupt your sleep wake cycle.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and large meals close to bedtime. I try not to eat after 7 pm. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and a full belly can cause indigestion.

Boost Your Immune System
Picture of Elderberry syrup cooking.Our littles engage in various social activities during winter months and those gatherings can be a petrie dish of viral bugs and bacteria that find their way into our home. Because of this, we make an effort to give our immune system a boost. We like to make big batches of elderberry syrup, which we either take as shots before bed or freeze in ice cube trays to put in drinks. At the first sign of sickness or exposure and before travelling, we break out the elderberry. Elderberry is bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and flavonoids, that bolster the body's defenses. Elderberry and rose hips are high in vitamins A, C, and E providing essential nutrients that support immune function and help the body fight off infections. Elderberries contain compounds known as anthocyanins, which have been shown to possess antiviral properties, making it particularly effective at warding off colds and flu viruses. Honey is also known for its antimicrobial properties and antihistamines, boosting immune function, soothing sore throats and alleviating coughs. We add honey to our Elderberry syrup to create a powerful immune boosting combo that we found helps tremendously in combating colds, flu, and other seasonal illnesses. 

Get Your BEE-utiful Booty Outdoors
Picture of founder Dena snowshoeing with her hiking buddies.I have an amazing group of girlfriends who I hike with EVERY Monday, rain, shine or blizzard. Regular hiking has transformed my emotional and physical well being for the better. Engaging in outdoor activities like hiking, walking, or simply spending time in nature, particularly during the winter months, can have profound positive benefits on your mental and physical well-being. These activities provide an opportunity to soak up natural sunlight, allowing you to absorb vitamin D from the sun, which is crucial for maintaining overall health and supporting immune functions. Vitamin D also plays a vital role in skin health, promoting collagen production and maintaining a healthy complexion. Exposure to sunlight also triggers serotonin production, a neurotransmitter for happiness and relaxation, helping to alleviate the winter blues. Outdoor activities promote circulation and oxygenation throughout the body, further enhancing skin health by delivering essential nutrients and promoting detoxification.

 Adopt a Skin Care Ritual
BBA's full line of artisan skincare concentrates

 

Cold, dry air leads to a buildup of dead skin cells, resulting in dullness and rough texture. Because my skin gets extra dry I make sure to give it extra special attention, focusing on exfoliation and moisture, both of which are essential for maintaining a healthy and radiant complexion. The steps below are an essential part of my personal skin care ritual that I promise will restore your natural glow and leave your skin feeling nourished and hydrated. 

  • Exfoliate your skin
BBA's Exfoliating Facial Mask with a handmade artisan mixing bowl and application brush. Best face mask for glowing skin.

For winter face care, start with an Exfoliating Facial Polish to remove dead cells and extract environmental impurities, like make-up, sunscreen and pollution that lead to dull skin and clogged pores. Dead sea salt sloughs away dead skin cells while high quality clays extract impurities from pores. Camu camu, with 30 times the vitamin C of oranges, nourishes your skin and restores your base glow. The anti-inflammatory power of white turmeric combats any inflammation or puffiness.

  • Tone your skin
BBA's Facial toner.

Next up, I spritz a little Botanical Facial Toner on my face, a simple, but important  step to beautiful skin in the winter. Our facial toners improve skin tone by balancing the ph, cooling and soothing your skin while tightening pores. Our facial toners are a great way to prep your skin and make it more rereceptive to absorb a high quality moisturizer

  • Moisturize and nourish your skin
BBA's Organic Green Tea Facial Moisturizer. Best Moisturizer for glowing skin.

I finish my face routine with Organic Green Tea Moisturizer, thoughtfully crafted with organic green tea leaf extract, special hydrating oils and the antioxidant powers of green tea powder, a potent combination that fights free radicals and slows signs of premature aging, leaving your skin glowing and healthy. This fast absorbing moisturizer is great for every skin type, including dry, oily and acne prone.  


Finally, it’s on to your BEE-utiful body.

  • Exfoliate
I start with an Organic Body Polish to exfoliate and nourish my dry winter skin. Coconut oil and Shea Butter smooths and soothes my skin while the sugar base sloughs away dead skin cells leaving my skin silky smooth. I use this polish to smooth my arms, hands and legs while I’m still in the shower.
  • Moisturize
BBA's full body moisturizer Bee D'lade. Best Moisturizer for glowing skin.I finish my routine with a high quality all body moisturizer like our Bee D'lade Body Moisturizer. It’s not an oil, it’s not a cream, it's something amazing, in between! Bee D'lade is all natural pure plant based goodness with no artificial anything and just a dash of mica to add an all natural shimmer that catches light and makes your skin radiant. All natural Bee D’lade is healthy and nourishing, providing deep, lasting moisture without feeling oily or greasy. Our loyal customers swear, "You will never use lotion again." 

Conclusion
I hope these tips help you bear the winter with grace so you can meet the spring looking and feeling your best. As always, if you have any questions about what we do, why we do it or  how we can help you with your skin care needs, feel free to reach out to me at info@bbaskin.com

XOXO,

Dena S

Founder, Botanical Bee Apothecary
Putting Nature Back In Natural ®

BBA founder mixing Organic botanicals grown on the family farm for use in all their natural artisan skincare concentrates

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