Written by contributor Stacy Karen of A Delightful Home.
Along with frigid temperatures, the winter months bring a variety of skin care challenges. For many of us this means dry, thirsty skin that needs some extra attention.
Today we will discuss five natural ways to take care of our skin this winter.
Drinking enough water helps your skin stay in good shape no matter the season.
During the colder months we spend a lot of time inside, with heaters blowing or fires crackling; our bodies are losing moisture and it needs to be replenished.
Keep the kettle going and sip herbal tea throughout the day or fill a jug or bottle with water in the morning with the goal of finishing it by dinner time.
Apparently drinking with a straw helps you suck down more water. I’m not sure if that’s true, but if you’re struggling to drink enough, it might be worth a try.
Dry skin means dead skin cells. Dead skin cells mean dull skin. Take care of both by exfoliating weekly.
Inexpensive, homemade sugar or salt scrubs are excellent exfoliators for the body.
To make a basic body scrub: add a cup of sugar or salt (or a mixture of both) to a bowl and stir in a little oil until the desired consistency is reached. I usually use around 1/3 – 1/2 cup of oil and 1 cup of sugar).
To make a facial scrub, mix ground oatmeal, cornmeal or oats with a little water or milk until a paste forms. Apply in circular motions, staying clear of the eyes. Leave to sit for a minute of two and rinse off with warm water.
Scrubs usually work best when applied to damp skin.
Never use scrubs on broken skin or skin that is wind-burned or sun-burned.
Many commercial moisturizers don’t hydrate skin effectively and often contain chemicals and fragrances that can be drying.
Oils such as coconut, olive, safflower and jojoba are perfectly natural and actually nourish skin as well as moisturize.
The best time to apply oil is right after drying off from a bath or shower. It’s not necessary to be completely dry, a little dampness is a good thing.
This has a different feel to regular lotion, but doesn’t take long to get used to.
Oil can be used straight from the bottle, however it’s also easy to make scented body oil, if you’re so inclined; simply add 20 to 30 drops of essential oil to 1 cup of oil, or try these lovely combinations from Crunchy Betty.
Keep Shower and Bath Temperatures Low
Hot water dries out your skin. It’s a sad fact, I know. I love my hot showers, too.
If you’re serious about taking care of your skin, then you need to turn the temps down in the tub or at least shorten the duration of your soak. We’re not talking cold here, just warm instead of sizzling hot! (You shouldn’t look like a lobster when you exit the bathroom. Not that I’ve ever been accused of that. Ahem.)
It’s also worth getting a shower filter since the chlorine in most city water is not beneficial to your health in any way (including the condition of your skin).
Protect Yourself from the Elements
This is probably a no-brainer, but I’ll say it anyway: wear hats, gloves and coats when outside.
Winter wind and cold can be very harsh. In fact, a strong, icy wind has the potential to cause burns.
It’s sometimes hard to remember that the sun can also burn when it’s cold, but it can. On the days when you’re out for extended periods of time, be sure to cover up.
Do you have any tips for taking care of your skin in winter months?