Hi everyone, welcome back to Beauty Within! It’s your host, Felicia 🙂 And today, we’re here to talk about two of our favorite things in the world: Skincare and self-care. We all know how tough winter can be on our skin. It gets dry, it gets flaky, it’s irritated [and] it’s itchy. And not only on our face, but all throughout our body. Because we are losing hydration, and water is evaporating from our skin much more quickly in the wintertime. And today is actually Winter Skin Relief Day. And so we partnered up with Cerave to share our skincare routine and tips to restore and replenish the hydration of the oils back into our skin. And we also thought it’d be a really great time to share with you guys our personal self-care tips that will get us through the winter woes. Or the winter whomps, whichever you prefer. So I wanted this video to be one that focused not only on our skin, but of our entire being – our whole mind and body. And we’re gonna be talking about skincare products to support healthy skin. And also share my favorite winter drinks and foods to help get the gut microbiome back in order. Also mental exercises that can get us out of certain funks that we feel. And how to channel positive perspectives during these times. So this is gonna be my little winter skincare and self-care plan that will hopefully [and] collectively bring us out of just perpetual blanket burrito position. And lift our spirits because there’s actually a lot of beautiful things to appreciate when we just have a slight shift in approach and mindset. So starting on the outside with skincare ~ Taking care of our skin. So our skin is made up of what looks like Humpty Dumpty’s brick wall with physical bricks and some cement that seals it all together. The bricks are our skin cells, while the cement that’s holding the bricks together are called ceramides. And ceramides are fatty oils or lipids that our bodies produce naturally. And all together, this builds a healthy skin barrier on each and every single one of us. But in winter when our skin tends to get especially dry, really flaky, [and] sometimes even itchy and irritated, this is usually the first sign that the ceramides in our skin are depleted. Which means the skin barrier is not functioning like the strong wall that it’s supposed to be. And even though our bodies do a really good job in healing itself and protecting itself, we can also assist that process to rebuild the surface layer of our skin, so that the bacteria doesn’t get in and make matters worse. So a little tip is in the wintertime, consider switching out your more intense cleansers and products that might be good for the summer into more gentle products like gel and milky textures that won’t destroy the skin microbes and also send our skin pH levels into a much more drier state. Because we need all the natural oils and moisturizers for our skin, even our hair and nails, right? As my skincare routine in the winter. For the face, I drench up on toners and serums because I just feel it just needs so much more to help with the evaporation, known as transepidermal water loss. Because we’re having hotter showers [and] our heaters are on all the time. And that’s literally collecting the hydration from our body and soul. As a cleanser, I really love the Fresh Soy Cleanser. It’s a very bouncy, very gentle [cleanser]. It smells amazing like cucumber and a little bit of rose. And it just feels really good on the skin without taking away too much of those essential oils that we want. And then following the cleanser, I love my NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid, which I’ve talked about in the previous two videos. Because it’s just so lightweight, but it delivers the most hydration and 15 different sorts of hyaluronic acid to really replenish the skin. And then I’ll use the Paula’s Choice Niacinamide, which is one of just those really great skin barrier-friendly ingredients that you can boost your toner with [and] you can boost your serum with. But sometimes I’ll just apply it on as normal. And because this ingredient works really well for a lot of skin tones and it’s non-irritating, I just find that it really does keep my skin in check [and] helps to balance out uneven texture and skin tone colors. Otherwise, I’ll also mix it in with a serum like the Neogen White Truffle Serum in Oil Drop. And why I love using this in the wintertime is because it’s just the perfect balance of oil and water. And you can actually see the little encapsulated oil in the formulation when you squirt it out. And it just glides effortlessly over the face without being thick or greasy or leaving any sort of residue on the skin. It just drinks it up! And then at night, I love my holy grail mask or moisturizer because it is multi-use. Is the Summer Fridays’ Jet Lag Mask. And I love this because it’s just so easy to use. All the ingredients within it are very natural [and] are very clean. Although they don’t promote themselves as a clean brand. Everything inside is very beneficial for the skin. There is a light tingling sensation. So that’s just something to keep in mind if you don’t enjoy that. For the most part, I love this. And I use it on very dehydrated nights that I feel I just need everything to stay in place. Sometimes I’ll get really rough, dry patches. And that’s when I go in with the By Wishtrend TECA 1%. And this contains centella extract. And that just really helps just soothe and calm that area of the skin where I just want a little bit more moisturization. So those are my day and night skincare favorites. Before we move on to the body, *TEA TIME* cheers to hydration! For the body, sometimes it’s just something that we forget about. But in the winter, my arms and my legs look legit like a peeling lizard. And they are so so scaly if I don’t moisturize it. So I start the moisturization process in the shower. And I’ve been using the L’Occitane Almond Oil. When you work it into the skin, it smells divine! You feel like you’re at a spa. It’s like this rich almond kind of scent. It doesn’t bubble or froth or anything, but it just moisturizes the body while you’re washing it. So I love using that, as well as the Nécessaire Body Wash. Because the Nécessaire Body Wash includes all the essential vitamins. B, C, [and] E to really just nourish the skin and not strip it of all its essential oils. So by the time I’m finished showering, I don’t feel like a prune. And then when I get out of the shower, I’ll try to moisturize as soon as I can. Because when the skin is damp, that’s when it’s actually able to take in more of that product. And really absorb it like a sponge into the skin. So this Daily Moisturizing Lotion from Cerave, I’ve actually been using for years now. I’ve gone through countless bottles of it. It’s just like one of those no fuss, always reliable moisturizers that you just have to have in any skin or body routine and also for any time of the year. And I can apply a lot of this because honestly, it just drinks it up. And there’s no oily feeling. And sometimes I’ll even use this on my neck and my face because it is just so gentle on the skin. So we were talking about ceramides before. And this one contains three essential ceramides in the formula. And they mimic our skin’s natural production of ceramides, as well as incorporate hyaluronic acid for hydration. So it’s really safe. It’s oil-free, it’s fragrance-free, [and] it’s non-comedogenic. So basically free of all the things that could potentially make irritation on the skin much worse. When I had a rash, this was all I would use. And for those of you who are super super dry like Rowena, who get really dry skin on either their heels or their elbows or even their necks from eczema, you can try the healing ointment. Because it’s a super dose of moisturization. The texture of this one is much thicker than the lotion because it does really help restore dry, irritated, and cracked skin. And especially in the winter when places like our heels, even our necks if you have eczema, or just all over the body [where] they tend to get really flaky and dry, this is the one that you probably want to try out. Because it is more of that super dose of nourishment to repair and replenish the skin. And the tender loving care that it really needs. At the same time, it’s not greasy. And it’s best to heal dry, cracked, and chafed skin with the essential ceramides that your skin really needs and craves. So then sometimes, my elbows will get really itchy and dry. And they actually start peeling and flaking away. And it’s quite painful sometimes. And I don’t know if it’s eczema or something like that. But when it does flare up, I actually use the Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion. Because, my lord, this thing takes away that itchy feeling like a freaking sorcerer! Not even joking. So the ingredient that works in this that helps to soothe and calm the skin and just reduce any signs of itching. It’s called pramoxine hydrochloride, which is a common ingredient when it comes to anything that’s designed to soothe itchy skin. So whether you have irritated, eczema skin, patchy scaly rash, sunburn – whatever it is – or even like insect bites, this will completely soothe over the areas that do have that itching sensation. So this one, as well as all the other products, are also developed by dermatologists. So it’s very safe for eczema skin, any sort of like psoriasis or anything. It’s just dependable [and] trustworthy. You’re go-to. So that’s kind of my face [and] my body routine. Moving onto something to focus on in the winter, [which] is your space. Your space is your sanctuary. So winter is also the time that I like to start reorganizing and spruce up my room and home environment. This will mean, for me, sometimes getting into a weekly routine of cleaning or organizing or rearranging the space, so that there’s just something new. And my apartment in New York City is super small. And so there’s not a lot of options to go with here. But what I did do recently was buy hooks and shelves and started to work with the space that I have and figure out how to maximize. Because you’re spending most of the time in your room, you just want to make sure that it’s very comforting. Because I think a lot of our mood and the way we feel and how we start each day is directly reflected by the state that we physically see when we wake up, right? So how many of you have woken up to a room full of mess, and you just feel like you can’t go on! For me, that’s like throughout the week, Monday to Friday, my chair would just start stacking up with more and more clothes. So I make it a routine that on Saturday, that’s when I do my washing, [and] that’s when I clean the room just to reset and rebalance the mind. Which then leads me onto drinking teeea! This is just one of those really simple but effective kind of self-care things you can do that’s actually made the biggest difference in my life. And kind of switching out the coffee intake and incorporating more teas like this one: jasmine tea. And I find that tea has been a great replacement for kind of that caffeine-kick throughout the day, but it’s slow release. It’s not like *panic gibberish* It’s just kind of like *ahhhh* And even [for] non-caffeinated, I found that you don’t even need caffeine if you really are just nourishing your body with the right nutrients from the food and your diet. And the great thing about tea is that there are so many different flavors to try. So you can get a variety without the side effects of jitters. Because as we said in our acne video, caffeine from coffee will help stimulate a fight-or-flight reaction in the body. Which stresses it out, and it can cause inflammation, which is not what we want. So what we want to do is incorporate teas. And my favorite winter drinks are actually Golden Lattes, which is basically a turmeric latte that I use with oat milk because I can’t drink cow’s milk. Nor do I want to anymore, that is dead to me now. Or a Chai Oat Latte, which is also really good. And if you are going to add sugars, try maple syrup or honey. Because even though they do increase insulin levels, it does it at a much slower pace. So it’s not gonna spike your insulin, which means that there won’t be as much inflammation in the body. And here’s a thing with warm drinks and foods. If you guys have bad circulation, meaning your limbs and your hands and your feet are always cold, this is actually a sign that the body needs a little bit more help. So drinking warm water or room-temperature drinks are really important. Because you want to work with your body and support the circulation of the blood to be able to deliver the nutrients throughout. So if you’re one of those people who always feel cold, make sure you try incorporating warm drinks [and] sautéed vegetables, rather than fresh salads. Next thing to keep in mind is support your gut microbiome. So probably one of THE most important aspects of the health of our skin [and] our body is the gut. The gut has everything to do with what we see on our skin. So there’s good bacteria and bad bacteria. And you need a balance of both, so that it’s healthy and stable. So the good guys in your gut do so much to support your health. From keeping your brain functioning at optimum levels and, you know, to keep your mental health going, but also encouraging clear skin. And basically, there’s no area that these little teeny tiny bugs do not impact. And one really important effect to pay attention to in winter is the connection between your gut and your immune system. And it might seem strange to think that these two systems have anything to do with each other. But roughly 80% of your immune system cells live in the gut, making your gut microbes uniquely placed there to help support everything that’s going on in your body. So this is really interesting! There was a study that we found that was conducted on the gut microbiomes from the Hadza tribe, which is a group of hunter-gatherers who lived very similarly to how early humans did. And it showed that their gut bacteria changed every season. And so they needed certain types of foods at certain times of the year. And these studies also show that our microbiomes tend to be strongly affected by the changes in temperature. With certain types of bacteria being more prevalent when it’s cold and then dying off as it gets a little bit warmer in the spring and summertimes. What we want to do is match our diet to the seasonal state of the microbiome by focusing on seasonal and local foods that we can get. So in the winter we can focus on probiotic favorites like the brussel sprouts, the kale, pomegranates, as well as cabbage, leeks, and sweet potatoes. For the body to function in winter, we do need to help it out a little to be in balance. So it’s important to eat root vegetables and anything that’s soups, stews like bone broth, spiced drinks, and warmer liquids that will all help in working together with the body in the temperatures that we’re living in. Next little self-care ritual is not so much in the home. But it’s actually getting out, so you can go out and do more things and spend time with friends. It doesn’t just stop there because being outside while the sun is out can obviously help your vitamin D levels. And breathing in fresh air gives you a chance to get some of that new bacteria into your system [and] into your microbiome. Since the more diverse the microbiome is, the healthier your body and your mind will be. So going outside into nature, whether it’s just a short walk, also helps your immune system and your mood. And studies have shown that spending time outside really switches your nervous system into a more relaxed state and reduces activity in the brain that’s associated with depression [and] low mood. And it will leave you less likely to just stew over negative things when we’ve just been indoors for days on end. It’s like no one even knows we’re dead, that kind of thing. But if you think about it, if your windows are always shut, everything is closed up. You’re breathing in the same air. This mix of just old microbiomes, toxins, [and] chemicals can have seriously negative effects on the brain, your skin, [and] your health. And it’s depleting your immune system of functioning that kind of gives you that feeling of fogginess like murky. And you don’t want to do anything. It’s actually probably the environment you’re in. So just a short walk outside, whatever it is. Pop on a podcast. That’ll really help invigorate and excite yourself again. So in the world, there’s called Blue Zones. And these Blue Zones are where the centenarians are basically living. So this includes Japan in Okinawa. There’s also California [and] there’s Greece. And if you look at all these zones, one – they have a really great balanced diet that’s full of vegetables, but they also do very light physical activity. And that’s not pumping guns. You don’t have a hundred year olds pumping guns. Every day, they will do some sort of light to mild physical activity [It] stimulates the mind, and they’re happy, and they live long lives. So we can all take a little tip from the hundred year olds. So the next thing is reflect, reset, and engage inwards. So each season kind of has a special thing to teach us. I feel like the universe is trying to show us something all year round. And I feel like winter’s theme is kind of hidden growth. And this is a time to turn inwards and kind of listen to yourself reflect on where you are and where you want to be. And kind of pick up that weekly reset ritual, if you don’t have one already. So you can obviously go online. There’s plenty of people who are sharing their rituals. Or you can just make one up yourself. So whether you’re religious or spiritual or anywhere in between. Personally, I think one of the best things about winter is that it gives you the opportunity to really focus on yourself in your mental world. Because we’re literally inside all the time. So it’s physically and mentally indoors. And then that really enables us to reflect those things outwards with any sort of spiritual practice. And this doesn’t have to be religious or anything like that. It’s just thinking about rituals that are meaningful to us [and] meaningful to you. And then finding ways to incorporate that into a daily or weekly routine. And this creates a really great opportunity for reflection, [to] think of ways on how to improve, and renewal of self. So this is the time when I think you can really look towards these physical objects to help compliment and encourage a routine shift. So things like notebooks and journaling. Or even like, you know, a simple Gua Sha. I hate when self-care is directly related to these tools because it’s not. Self-care is more about using these to then think about the broader perspective and what it means in your life and how you should improve, right? So Rowena obviously really loves journaling. She’s journaled for, I don’t know, most of her life since she’s known how to write, probably. ‘Cause that girl has a lot of thoughts. And we all have a lot of thoughts. So if you’re struggling with kind of internalizing things, there’s different ways to go about it, as well. For me, I don’t do it at night. Because I can go straight to bed! Girl, I’m dead by the end of the day. But in the morning, to kind of plan my day, I need to get everything that I need to do in the day on paper, so that I’m personally accountable for making things happen. And you’re being responsible to the tasks that you need to achieve So writing that down will make me really happy when I can cross things off. And then you just feel accomplished! And then you’re kind of done for the day. And then you go home and then you have another ritual. So just find something that works with your lifestyle [and] with your routine. Not everyone needs to go out and buy a notebook. It doesn’t work for everyone. Finding what works for you! It could just be a candle. I love candles, and I light it every time I go home because the smell creates an ambience, which then makes me very relaxed. And then I’ll kind of pivot into my nighttime routine, which includes meditation. So with meditation, there’s obviously a lot of different apps that you can get out there. It goes from one minute to 10 minutes to even 30 minutes. All depending on how comfortable you are. And I think what meditation really boils down to is how at home and how peaceful you are with yourself at the core. And I think day to day, we like to distract ourselves with different things. We go see different people. We do different activities. But there is so much power in the mind that we don’t even know about that can really be harnessed and can really be let out when you just are still. So meditation isn’t just some “airy fairy” thing. Because if you look into the studies, it affects the white matter of the brain and the gray matter of the brain. And these two matters in the brain drive all the actions of your body, of your thoughts, of being able to pick up a pen, [and] being able to think about different areas of life – everything! So whether you need a physical action to things like stress to memory to cognition [and] to perception. Everything that we see/feel here is all kind of controlled in our brain. So it’s been proven that in meditation, it really helps to improve all these processes that’s going on in the brain. I think when you find that peace with being by yourself, even if it is just one minute a day, five minutes, 30, [or] an hour, whatever it is, that is actually the core of pure happiness [and] content. And then you can then live out your life, and matters will not be that bad. So that’s one of the reasons why we do it. And if you also have issues with sleeping, if you’re constantly anxious, [or] if you’re stressed out, we would definitely recommend trying it out. And the more aware you are of your thoughts, the more you’re able to sort out which kind of ones are beneficial that you can deal with. Whereas the other ones that are completely useless and are just causing you pain. And that’s kind of just the process every day that you can help yourself go through by just one minute. Start off with one minute, low-hanging fruits. So a tip for people who are interested who haven’t tried it out. The cool thing is that you can just do it anywhere, right? It doesn’t have to be in a certain form or a certain way All you have to do is find a place that’s relatively quiet. Because that is the point of it, to be still. And then you can close your eyes. You can even open your eyes. It might look a little freaky if you’re just distantly staring off. So we would say close your eyes. And then you’ll realize that there’s a lot of different thoughts that come into you. Maybe you remember you have to do something. Or you’re thinking about certain people. Or you’re thinking about certain issues in your life. And all these thoughts are completely fine. But the point is that you’re aware of them. And then when you’re aware of them, you can then sort them out into kind of different folders of your brain. Whether it’s worth thinking about, whether it’s going to improve your situation, or whether it’s actually something you can’t change. It’s causing you anxiety and stress, and it’s better that you just discard of it, you know? Just delete. And it’s still there, it’s in the little delete folder. But at least it’s out of your mind momentarily. Because the goal is to just get you into a place that’s a little bit more stable [and] a little bit more free, so that you can carry out the day and think more clearly. And then when the time comes, you can revisit that deleted folder and think of it again. And then take action from there. So just start from one minute. Just be very aware of everything. You know, be aware of your body [and] your thoughts. And…it’ll get easier every time. And that is how you deal with stress. And the last component of self-care in the winter is preparing for the year to come. So there’s a quote, “In winter, I plot and plan” and “In spring, I move.” And that’s by Henry Rollins. And I think in winter, it can really be such a blessing in disguise and a magical time. Because it allows us to reflect and connect with other people and ourselves. And also set the intentions for the year, while thinking back and using everything that we gained from the previous year. And forming new goals and things like that. Even though I hate thinking of goals as New Year’s Resolutions. Because goals can shift and change at any given point. But at those any given points in time, it’s always good to have a period that helps facilitate and encourage that. And I think winter is one of them. The most important thing to note is to really take more care in yourself and ourselves in a more holistic approach. The mind, the body, and the gut – all of these three things are really the most pivotal in being able to lead the most healthy and happy and enjoyable life. So I think it’s a really good time that we can kind of pick and choose where we might be not doing as great and then focusing on that. So if skincare is something that’s obviously a challenge right now – you have flaky skin everywhere – definitely check out the products that I mentioned. But also, the mind and the body play such a huge role in that. So make sure you’re feeding your body the nutrients and the foods that it really needs, so that your brain can then process different things that are happening in life. So you’re not stressed out [and] so you’re not depressed. And then get a little bit active. So it all combines together. So that’s it for this video. Let us know your favorite self-care rituals and what you like to do to calm down. Because it’s different for everyone! And we’ll see you in the next video. Bye! And then for the rest of the face routine, I love my NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyalur… *HA is a tough one XD* So the key ingredient of this and what actually helps to soothe the itching is called pramoxehhhhh… Ow. And then – uhhhh I feel like I’ve been talking for like six hours non-stop. Oh god. *Just a little tea break* “Next little tip for winter-” Okay. Ugh. I can’t switch – Uhh Ahhhhh! Weather that means get *lblllb* geetting. Getty Images. And I think whether you’re religious or ritual or anywhere or anywhere in between… *umm ritual was supposed to be spiritual* oh ritual! RITUALS! SACRIFICIAL RITUALS! So this is the time when you can incorporate a lot of, you know, “self-care”. Okay, wait. So *lblbll* There’s so many scripts! Which one is it? So go back to Cerave because this was all about skincare. Memememeeee. “Okay, so I think the important thing tonight -” Okay.