Thank you Emily Sovich for guiding us in a little pampering this holiday season!
Have you been as overwhelmed as I’ve been lately? It’s already December. The air is crisp, the trees are bare, and the sky is a ripening blue, but I’m almost too busy to notice. Suddenly, there are spouses’ club events to help coordinate, family gatherings to host, school programs to watch, and squadron parties to attend. At my house, we’re heading deep into Christmas-party season. Soon, I know I’m going to be smiling at my husband from across a crowded room, with a silk skirt swirling around my hips, and sipping a glass of wine.
Chances are, you’ll be doing that too.
With that in mind, here are three tips to help you nourish your skin and kick-start your holiday shine.
Wash Your Face with Honey:
Every year as the humidity drops and my summer tan fades, my skin gets dry and dull. My eyebrows start to flake, I get breakouts on my chin, and I begin casting around for ways to brighten my complexion. Over the years, I’ve tried everything I could think of in the pursuit of good skin. I’ve slathered myself with harsh ingredients, like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. I’ve spent hours wearing clay masks. I’ve paid for expensive dermatological consultations, microdermabrasion treatments, and chemical peels, but ultimately honey is the best skincare product I’ve found. Honey’s natural antibacterial properties help control breakouts while its status as a humectant helps keep skin’s moisture balance in line. These days, honey is the only product I use, and as a result my skin is the best it’s been in a long time.
Here’s What To Do:
Pull your hair back, making sure to secure any loose strands, and rinse your face with fresh water. Pat dry. Then slather high-quality honey directly onto your skin and let it soak in for 15 – 20 minutes. (Manuka honey with a UMF rating of 15+ is the best option, but raw, organic honey is less expensive and works well too.) Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. Depending on your skin, you can do this once or twice daily.
From there, you can tailor honey-mixtures to address your particular skin concerns. Honey mixed with cinnamon is especially good for acne. Honey with lemon juice will help fade dark spots. Honey mixed with sea salt exfoliates the skin and helps unclog clogged pores. Experiment all you want. With honey as a base, the possibilities are endless!
Exfoliate Your Lips:
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend winter with a permanent crack in your lower lip. Between the plummeting temperatures and the rising winds, your skin feels desperate to be soothed. You slather on lip balm (and then more lip balm) (and then more lip balm), but it doesn’t help. Smile too wide at a stranger and your lip cracks straight through. And forget about wearing lipstick to a dinner party! Chapped skin is notorious for transferring color into the cracks. As it turns out though, there’s a simple (and tasty) trick to help you achieve the supple winter lips you’ve been after: Exfoliate before you moisturize.
In a small bowl, combine a spoonful of semi-solid coconut oil with a spoonful of raw honey. Add a heaping spoonful of sugar (white or brown) to the mixture and stir until you form a thick paste. Dab a small amount of the paste onto your finger and gently massage it into your lips for a minute or two. (You can store the leftover paste in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.) (Remember that, okay? We’re going to use it later.) Rinse your lips with cool water on a washcloth. If your lips start to sting or feel raw after you exfoliate, coat them with a thin layer of pure coconut oil. Do this twice a week until your skin heals.
Soak Your Feet in Milk and Honey:
Most of the time, you’ll find me in ballet flats or tennis shoes, but from November through December I’m helpless against a holiday heel, and when I’m wearing them I want my feet to be soft and supple. That’s why I soak my feet in milk and honey, and I use a lip exfoliator on them too.
First, gather your supplies. Remember all that leftover lip exfoliator you put in the fridge? Grab it. Now mix ½ cup of warm whole milk with ¼ cup of warm honey and pour them into a large bowl of warm water. Make sure you have a bath towel, some coconut oil, and a pair of clean cotton socks nearby. Next, submerge your feet in the mixture and set a timer for 15 – 20 minutes. The lactic acid in the milk will help loosen the dead skin on your feet while the honey, a natural humectant, will help prevent your feet from losing more moisture. When your timer goes off, lift your feet out of the water and scrub them well with your homemade lip exfoliator. Once your feet are nice and soft, rinse them again in your milk and honey mixture and dry them with a bath towel. Finally, slather your feet with coconut oil and put on clean cotton socks. To keep your feet soft and smooth all winter, repeat this process weekly.
Now look at yourself. You’re lovely! All that’s left is for you to slip into a silky dress, pull on those holiday heels, and find yourself a glass of wine. But wait! Before you go, tell me, what’s your go-to holiday beauty secret?
During her years as a military spouse, Emily Sovich has traveled through five continents and approximately thirty countries. She’s climbed the Great Wall of China, gone swimming with sharks in Australia, and ridden a camel around the pyramids in Egypt. She loves culture and adventure, but she’s happiest at home with a book in her hand, a child in her lap, and a cup of coffee on her bedside table. You can read more about Emily’s life and adventures on her blog, Keeping Time.
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