Specialist Shares Natural Remedies For Winter Skin Problems
Wintertime may bring beautiful snowscapes across Connecticut, but the season also comes with freezing temperatures and harsh winds that can leave skin looking cracked, red, and inflamed.
Wellness Spa Therapist Maria Sabla says there are a variety of natural ways to help prevent and remedy those problematic winter skin issues. At Maria Sabla Wellness Studio, 220 South Main Street in Newtown, she specializes in organic skin and body treatments with herbs, vegetables, fruits, and minerals.
Ms Sabla was trained in her native country of Hungary and received a two-year associate degree in Dermatological Sciences. It was there she learned how to utilize natural resources, like Hungary’s rich mineral water, to care for all parts of the body.
Following her schooling, she worked for 18 months in Austria and Germany, where she enriched her knowledge and learned different methods of spa services.
In 1983, when she came to America, she began working at the day spa Derma Clinic in Westport. After moving to Newtown with her husband and three boys in 2002, she opened her home office Maria Sabla Wellness Studio in 2007.
“My specialties are for problem-skin treatment,” she explained. “I treat people from teens all the way to clients who are 100 and 101.”
Her goal is to not just beautify the aesthetic of the skin, but to treat its issues and, in some cases, allow clients to cease taking prescribed medicines by switching to using alternative treatments made from all-natural ingredients.
“There are so many [products] out there that I think people get overwhelmed,” Ms Sabla said. “So I always tell them to ask a professional, somebody who knows about skincare.”
With the skin being the body’s largest organ, it can be especially sensitive when exposed to the winter elements.
“The reason I do seasonal facials, that I was trained in, is that every season, the skin is changing so much that you have to treat it according to the outside temperatures,” Ms Sabla said. “During the winter, our immunity of the body and skin goes down because of the cold temperatures — that is why we get more eczema, dry patches, things like that, in the winter.”
For the facial treatment, she diagnoses the skin first and then, depending on the skin type, she will make a customized mask, cream, or lotion of organic ingredients, like vegetables and fruits that are in season.
“Your body recognizes the ingredients, and they’re friendlier to the skin than chemical products,” she said.
Ms Sabla says that in addition to the services she provides, there are easy remedies people can begin doing at home to maintain and remedy skin to look and feel its best.
For those suffering from dry skin in the wintertime, she recommends making an egg yolk mask. All that is needed is one egg yolk, a teaspoon of honey, and a teaspoon of oil (it could be olive oil, grape seed oil, chamomile oil, etc.). Once that mixture is whipped up, it should be brushed on the skin and left on for 15 minutes until it is dried.
“You get all the nourishment from the egg yolk because it has lecithin in it, and eggs themselves have amino acids that your body needs,” Ms Sabla explained of the mask's anti-aging properties.
Those wanting to use the remaining egg white can even make a mask to combat oily skin and blackheads by mixing in a few drops of lemon juice and a couple tablespoons of oat or buckwheat flour.
For help healing inflamed or chapped facial skin, she also advises putting cold whole milk on a cotton pad, dabbing it on the skin, towel drying, leaving it on for 10 minutes, then washing the milk off with cold water.
Another beneficial treatment is to apply infused oils — like rosebud, chamomile, or lavender oil — to the face. The oils absorb into the skin for extra moisture.
Lip, Body, Feet Care
Staying consistent specifically with lip care is also crucial for the wintertime.
“A nourishing lip balm should be used at all times, because the lip is extremely sensitive,” Ms Sabla said.
In addition to regularly applying a lip balm that has coco butter, beeswax, and/or vitamin E, people can also do a honey treatment. For that, people can simply apply honey to their lips with their finger and leave it on for five minutes for a hydrating effect. To exfoliate and increase blood flow to the skin while the honey is on, she says that people can use a clean, soft toothbrush to the area then wash (or lick) the honey off.
For taking care of the entire body’s skin health, she says, “For the winter, I always advise people to use [a] loofa when they take a bath or shower.”
When the dead skin then scrubbed off, it is extremely important to rub in a long-term moisturizing lotion and SPF on the skin before going out. After bathing, it is also beneficial to put cornstarch between the toes to absorb moisture and prevent eczema and fungus on the feet.
For the best results, Ms Sabla recommends people select clothing made from breathable, 100 percent cotton fabrics instead of polyester-based material to avoid getting dry patches of eczema or dermatitis.
“Whatever you put into your body, it shows on your skin, nails, and hair,” Ms Sabla said.
Through her studies and experience, she has found that there is a direct connection with a person’s diet and their skin.
For example, incorporating cinnamon into a winter diet can have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects; while consuming white and/or green asparagus can help protect skin and increase the effects of SPF.
“Teas are external and internal healers,” Ms Sabla added. “If you have a cold or sinus problems [and] drink peppermint tea, it helps to open up your sinuses.”
Tea can also relax the stomach, help with sleep, and be natural a remedy for those with rosacea (when used as a toner on a cotton pad).
She even gets specific flowers for teas straight from Hungary, like marigolds grown by her mother-in-law and linden flowers, the latter of which are excellent for relieving inflamed skin.
“Every little bit you can do for your skin, your skin will appreciate it, and it will help,” Ms Sabla said.
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