Dry skin can be such a battle during the cold, dry winter months. There is nothing fun about dry, itchy skin that flakes and cracks all the time. And while most of us enjoy the thought of maintaining soft, smooth skin all year round, the reality is that it is hard to do… especially with chemical laden lotions and body rubs.
Natural skin care is super important, especially when it comes to dry, needy skin that soaks things up like a sponge. Apply harsh ingredients and you are asking for even more maintenance during this time of year. Let’s take a look at several ways to lose the dry skin and keep a beautiful, moisturized body all year long!
Ditch the soap.
Okay… I know this may sound strange, but hear me out. Most people purchase soaps and body wash from the convenient store around the corner without knowing the damage these cleansing agents cause. Commercial soaps might make you smell nice and clean, but they also strip your skin of important oils that protect and moisturize. Try switching to a cold-pressed natural soap.
During the winter, avoid using soap on your legs, arms, and middle. These areas usually aren’t dirty or smelly; washing them unnecessarily will cause your skin to stay dry and itchy. Instead, focus primarily on the stinky important areas where bacteria have a tendency to build-up. A great alternative to a soapy bubble bath during the cold season is an herbal tea bath. Steep some rosemary, lavender, chamomile and rose petals and pour into a tub of warm water for a soothing and naturally cleansing bath.
Use natural moisturizers.
Did you know that most commercial lotions you purchase at a department store can actually dry out and damage your skin more than moisturize it? It’s true. Take a look at the label… you might see alcohol, petroleum by-products, parabens, artificial fragrances and many other ingredients that half of us can’t pronounce. These ingredients destroy your body’s defense system, leaving is susceptible to all sorts of damage and the inability to restore its natural oils.
Before you reach for lotion, why not try some natural moisturizers. One of my absolute favorite moisturizers is argan oil. It is the closest to your body’s natural sebum, it doesn’t leave an oily residue and it works great for even the most sensitive skin. Another great oil is jojoba oil. If you aren’t into liquid oils, I recommend you give a natural “lotion” bar a shot – 3 simple ingredients cocoa (or shea) butter, coconut (or sweet almond) oil and beeswax. Together, these ingredients moisturize and protect your skin naturally!
Maximize your nutrition.
With all the holiday parties during this season, it’s hard to focus on good, wholesome eating habits. While the sugary, colorful desserts and Grandma’s famous dishes are certainly delicious, they really don’t help your dry skin situation. Your skin needs foods high in fatty acids, fiber and raw nutrients.
Whenever you can, incorporate fresh, wholesome foods into your diet. Focus on raw nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens and veggies, raw milk and organic butter, organic meats (including organ meats) and lots of water. Your body will be able to put these nutrients to good use and your skin will be noticeably happier.
Protect your skin from the elements.
Always keep your skin well protected during the harsh, cold weather. This means bundle up before going outside to face cold wind, dry air and freezing snow. Your skin already works hard to protect your entire body, so help it out every once in a while.
Be sure to moisturize your face, including your lips, before heading out for long periods of time. It is much better to prevent windburn and chapped lips than to treat them later. Wear ear muffs and good gloves to prevent frostbite on your extremities. If your fingers do get freezing cold, allow them the warm up gently and slowly. Never run hot water on frozen fingers!
A few other ideas.
There are plenty of other things you can do to save your skin from the dry winter. Make a homemade sugar scrub to gently remove the dead, flaky skin. Run a humidifier in the house. Lather on a homemade hand and foot cream right before bed, cover your hands and feet with socks, leave them on overnight and wake up with soft supple skin!
What natural solutions have you tried for seasonal dry skin?
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