glowing winter skin with jessa blades.

February 29, 2016

tips for glowing winter skin from jessa blades | reading my tea leaves
It’s the time of year for looking in the mirror and hoping my salty tears might provide enough moisture to put a little glow back into my dry cheeks. (Sad February-ers, unite. It’s almost March!) To help combat dry winter skin in a slightly more proactive way, I asked my friend and natural beauty expert, Jessa Blades, to share her best tips for keeping winter skin looking as bright and glow-y as a California morning.

Here goes:

+ Ferment Your Food. You know that old adage? Two pickles a day keeps the doctor away? Never heard of it? Just ask Jessa. She recommends incorporating two fermented or lacto-fermented foods into your daily diet. She explains that “the good bacteria helps your digestion and boosts immunity, which helps balance and support the body and improve your skin from the inside out.” Recommended? Kefir, kombucha, beet kvass, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and those good probiotic pickles at the Jewish deli around the corner. Want to learn more about fermented foods? Right this way. (PS. It’s not just Jessa pushing the ‘kraut. Science!)

+ Embrace Oil – Phew! Jessa’s on board with using oils to restore the natural oils your skin needs. In fact, to folks who are afraid oils, she says, “Do you know how you make lotion or face cream? You take oil and whip it together with water. Don’t be afraid to use oil. You’ve always been putting it on your face.” What to use? Well-sourced, organic argan, olive, jojoba, coconut, almond oils. To avoid? Mineral oil. Oily skin already your problem? Jessa says even oily skin loves oil, just but be sure to use a lighter oil, like argan, if you have oily skin. 

+ Believe in Beeswax – For folks who need a little extra oompf in the moisture department, try adding a beeswax-based balm after you apply the oil. Balms or salves that include beeswax help to lock in the moisture and protect your skin from the wind. Jessa says, “double up on oil and balm and get ready to glow in the best way.”

+ Eat Your Guacamole – In addition to adding fermented foods into your diet, Jessa recommends incorporating organic oils like coconut, olive and flax as a way of improving your complexion from the inside out. And don’t forget your avocados. She says: “Make guacamole, eat your avocado on toast, drink it in smoothies; however you like. Oh, and mash it up and put in on your face! It makes an amazing face mask.”

+ Ease Up on Exfoliating – Contrary to popular belief, too much sloughing off of dry skin isn’t helping. Jessa suggests, “No more scrubbing or burning or exfoliating every day. That’s making your skin drier, more sensitive and it just isn’t necessary. And we all know to avoid plastic microbeads, right?” Instead? Jessa says the fruit peels are the way to go. Gentle peels involving fruit acids like pumpkin, apple, and papaya, help break down dead skin cells for soft glow-y and refreshed skin.

What about you guys? Any favorite tricks for combatting the winter skin blahs?

jessa blades | reading my tea leaves

Jessa Blades
is a makeup artist, natural beauty and wellness expert, and herbalist who splits her time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Inspired by true healing and wellness, Jessa made the switch to using all natural products in 2008. When she’s not on set as a makeup artist, she consults with clients to offer simple routines, pure products, and expert advice. 
Visit her online shop for her signature line of skincare and herbal teas as well as her curated selection of favorite beauty and wellness products made by other people!

Photo of Jessa at work by Tory Williams. Photo of Jessa by Laila Bahman

PSST: GOOD NEWS! Jessa and I are teaming up for two Simple Matters events while I’m in LA later this week. I hope some of you can join us! (More details to be updated later today!)

+ March 4 | Venice 

Join us for an evening of conversation and cocktails at the Cuyana Store on Abbott Kinney. We’ll chat self-care, natural beauty, and the advantage of going back to the basics. Juices courtesy of Renew JuiceryCopies of Simple Matters available for purchase and signing.

Where: Cuyana Store | 1140 Abbott Kinney Blvd, Venice Beach, 90291
When: 7 – 9 pm

+ March 5 | Arts District DTLA

We’re partnering with The Springs for an interactive afternoon on self-care, natural beauty, and Simple Matters. Come sip kombucha, say hello, and take home a personalized herbal bath soak of your very own. Books available for purchase and signing!

Where: The Springs | 608 Matteo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021
When: 3-5 pm

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  • Reply Ariel February 29, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Just found your blog this past weekend. Love the beautiful, natural aesthetic and focus on wellness. Glad to see Jessa Blades here. She is a true herbal guru!

    • Reply Erin Boyle February 29, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Thanks so much, Ariel! So glad to have you here!

    • Reply Jessa March 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Thank you Ariel! Honored to be here and sharing with Erin’s amazing community.

  • Reply Jess | CityComfortsDC February 29, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Great advice! Your first sentence sucked me in ha and I had never heard of the pickle thing. But you’re encouraging me to eat more guacamole and pickles… I’ll take it!


    • Reply Erin Boyle February 29, 2016 at 10:39 am

      I know it! Totally doable!

  • Reply Anna February 29, 2016 at 10:37 am

    This winter I finally took the plunge and tried making my own lotion, using a variation on Rosemary Gladstar’s Perfect Cream recipe (there are versions all over the internet if you google it). It is wonderfully simple and satisfying, and yields a silky, unctuous goop of a lotion that has worked absolute magic for my perpetually depressing, dull, itchy winter skin. If you’re looking for a little afternoon project, I highly recommend giving it a try! Oil, rosewater (or distilled water, but rosewater sounds/smells so much more luxurious), a butter of some sort (I’ve done it with straight shea and also with shea and cocoa), a little beeswax. Magical stuff.

    • Reply Erin Boyle February 29, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Amazing. I love all things Rosemary Gladstar!

  • Reply ladylyn February 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I learned the hard way last year not to exfoliate in the winter. :-/ Now I gently oil cleanse with Jojoba oil and finish with Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic All in One Skin Cream. (It’s a mouthful to say, but it’s magical stuff, I’m telling you. Magical. Especially if you live in the desert and have sensitive, dry skin like I do.) I’ll have to try to try an avocado mask and more fermented foods.

  • Reply hannah February 29, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    If you struggle with dry or problem skin (including chronic acne), I cannot recommend cod liver oil highly enough. I know oral liquids are seriously old school and I’ll admit, it takes some getting used to, but the results are amazing! I used to have chronically scaly legs, arms, and back, and combination oily and dry face during winter months, but no more! Make sure you’re getting high quality, cold pressed stuff. Also, while capsules may seem easier, you have to take a handful to get the same results as one liquid tablespoon of the oil. Some people recommend even going fermented, but I can’t make that leap… I’ll stick to kombucha for my probiotics. For the vegetarians, flax oil taken orally can have similar results.

  • Reply Erin February 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I am currently using oils for my facial regime and I love them. Soft and silky. When I am outside, I tend to get a bit dry around my mouth so, maybe a balm is in order?

    BTW – that spoon fascinates me…

  • Reply C February 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I’ve been using Worker B cream for the past two or three years and it’s pretty awesome. The cream’s made from just olive oil and beeswax, and one little jar lasts me about ten months (which makes me feel that the price is justified). I’ve struggled with dry skin my entire life, and almost always have an allergic reaction to other lotions I’ve tried – this one has only ever helped. I recommend trying it.

  • Reply Rita Tocta February 29, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Water. We see this advice everywhere but I think it’s still a secret since it’s ignored. I love my skin and I believe I owe it to drinking a lot of water. I love to drink water but for those who don’t I think is just an habit anyone can pick and and suddenly you are a water addict too 🙂

    I never wash my face (beside the shower!) and I never quite understood the culture of scrubbing your face with water and products everyday. I always, always cleanse my face before going to bed. It’s my ritual. My mother taught me that one. She used to clean her face with rose water and mine too. Now I’ve been using a cheap (2euros) bio cleasing cream from the super that I don’t recall the brand but again, no water or scrubbing my face 🙂

    Cream: I use a moisturizer by Dr Organic. I use the olive oil one in the Winter and the coconut one in the Spring/Summer. I can’t recommend this brand enough. It’s a British brand, organic mostly bio, no animal testing and super affordable and my skin adores it. At least here is around 12-15 euros and it lasts a long long time.

    Jojoba oil and argan oil (Petit Oliver is a French brand also bio and also affordable although I just like their argan oil not the rest of the line) now and then.

    I agree with eating oils. Olive oil (being Portuguese ;)!) is a daily staple in any food we cook and I immediatly notice if I don’t eat olive oil.

    On a more holistic note: I always been very happy with my face’s skin. But years ago I had some problems with my body’s skin. The moment I decided to love myself and take care of myself (food, emotionally,etc) they miraculously disapear. So yes, my two pennies are: water and lotes of love! 🙂

  • Reply Maria March 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Love your blog! Would you and Jessica do an event in New York? Please They sound wonderful.

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 1, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Would love to one day!

      • Reply Jessa March 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

        I second that Erin! I’d love to do an event together in NYC. Let’s discuss.

  • Reply ~Heather March 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Any (affordable or homemade) fruit peels to recommend?

  • Reply d'Auria March 1, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Can’t wait to meet you on Saturday at the SpringsLA! I poked around a bit and couldn’t find a place to RSVP. Please let me know if there is action I must take beyond showing up. xx

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 1, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      So glad you can come! Just showing up is fine by me (the more the merrier)!

  • Reply Jules March 6, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Great tips for people living in a dry climate year-round, too! [I am constantly fighting dry mouth here in Phoenix, even though I feel like I drink so much water, I could float away.] O I L is the way to go. 😀 Thanks, Jessa and Erin.

  • Reply Mun March 15, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I haven’t seen many beeswax based products here in Australia and I’m wondering why it was recommended over all the other potential moisturisers around?

    • Reply Jessa April 6, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Hey there Mun! Beeswax was suggested to help lock in, or seal in your face oil/moisturizer. The winter wind and indoor heating is especially drying to the skin and many people find their skin to still be dry, even after they put on their normal oil or moisturizer. This is where the layering of products comes in. The wax in beeswax or shea butter can be layer on top and helps to protect skin during these super dry and windy months. Hope that helps!


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