Approaching Winter Solstice 2016

Do you ever feel like this while shopping on Alpine Avenue or 28th St?

Believe it or not, winter has yet to begin, at least according to the astronomical calendar. The winter solstice, also known as the day when the sun stands still because we experience the fewest number of daylite hours, occurs Wednesday, December 21, at 4:44 a.m.  If you’re like me, though, your skin isn’t confused about the season; it’s been winter ever since it got cold and my skin started to flake. When it comes to skin care, I must adopt a more diligent approach to maintenance; our bodies are unable to retain enough moisture from the food and beverages we give them. The approaches that I have to follow in the winter focus on external measures. If you have a portable-type of humidifier in your home, you know that filling it and

These fingers  are mostly healed up, despite the fact that they were split-open only 24 hours earlier – from eczema and a night of Cub Scout activities.

hearing it run is a constant. Even if you have a system attached to your furnace, you might still look at your cuticles or the static in your hair, and know that the low humidity in the air is effecting you. This is where lotioning after bathing and hand-washing becomes crucial to keep your skin supple. For folks with eczema and other similar skin conditions, even lotion might not be enough. Your eczema might be flaring and this leads to bumps and itching and broken skin and the possibility of an infection. Or you might notice your fingers splitting where earlier in the day you saw only intact skin. Ah, winter! When my son’s eczema flares, probably due to dust mites (and forgetting to activate the humidifier), we have to apply our Multi-Purpose Herbal Salve thickly, plus a bandage if any skin has broken (usually on the palm-side of his fingers), then don bedroom-only gloves.  nights in a row until we can get our situation under control. Eczema is no small matter at our house, unfortunately.

Jar and tube herbal

Let me share a bit about bit about my morning routine with you. After breakfast, my home schooled son and I go outside to care for the animals, put wood in the furnace, then shovel/salt the sidewalks and porches. Before I can even go out the door, I apply lotion to my body, and a thickish facial moisturizer with moderate sunscreen built into it. While my dermatologist might argue for an additional layer of sunscreen, I have problems with acne, and know that my skin will be paying the price of additional acne for MONTHS afterwards. Instead, I wear a winter hat with a brim and sunglasses. Then, there are gloves to protect my hands, but these are just the waterproof kind that you might wear while gardening; we are handling wood, just-hatched eggs, water containers…all items that are either wet or too dirty for anything but the most work-worthy gloves. As you can imagine, I have to baby my skin once back inside. I should note that we are not cruel-hearted with our animals. No, everyone is moved to the “toasty” barn in the cold months, and most of the kitties are allowed to come inside each morning while we are doing our schoolwork. Chickens and cats get hot goat milk at least once a day, twice on the most-frigid of days!

A pair of flop cats

One part of my body that needs special management the whole year-round is my feet…my heels, specifically. It was not even 2 years ago that they were catching on the carpeting or rugs, once even holding a wooly sock hostage as I tried to remove it. No doctor could find a solution to their perpetual state of cracking. I finally got serious and created my own formula, using a twist-up dispenser tube to contain it. I have to apply it at least every 2 days, more if I have been on my feet a lot or if the weather is brutal. If I forget for too many days, it’s bye-bye smooth feet. In case you’ve never  touched a sample of the solid lotion,  I formulated it to not be tacky or too slippery – a product that could be applied without my reaching for a pair of socks immediately following and that wouldn’t land me on the floor once I started walking. Just as an aside, I infused the base oil with black walnut hull powder, a strong anti-fungal.

Both sizes are airport check acceptable, and fit easily in purses, bags!

Aren’t they lovely? Only the seafoam green colored (Rosemary Mint) remain.

Just in time for Christmas, our most-beautiful snowflakes soaps are ready! If you liked them before, the essential oils have been doubled. Now, the Rosemary Mint  and the Frosty Mint are beyond belief. To be honest, I was closing the door to the drying room shortly after they came out of the moulds because the oils were overwhelming me. Now, though, they are dry and perfectly scented. I must admit that since I initially drafted this newsletter, we have sold-out of the mint, but still have about 8 Rosemary.

Below is a link to our website, but just as a side-note, let me tell you what we have and our prices:   Multi-Purpose Herbal Salve, $7.95;  Lotion- Lilac Lover, Tulip & Tangerine, and Infatuation, $7.95; Solid Lotion Stick (to pamper your feet) – tiny tube and Snowflake Soap – Rosemary Mint, $4.95  www.applecountrysoap.com

Whatever your holiday is this season, I hope that it is joyous, spent with family and friends, and memorable. Thank you for supporting my business this year.  -Jayne Kozal

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