Winter and Your Skin
Winter weather can be especially rough on skin. Not only does the cold outdoor air dry out your epidermis, but heated indoor air from furnaces or other sources of artificial warmth can also be drying. Dry skin can be flaky, itchy, and uncomfortable. You can prevent reptilian skin this winter with all-natural alternatives. Make sure to test any of these remedies on a small part of your skin before applying to large areas. You might have an allergy or sensitivity to any of the items listed below, and it’s always best to be cautious when applying something to your skin, even if it is all-natural.
One of the best ingredients for dry skin is sitting in your pantry! Olive oil is the best natural solution if your skin is already scaly or flaky. Rub olive oil into the affected area every day or so until you notice your skin becoming more supple. Be careful—olive oil can ruin furniture and clothing, so when you rub it into the affected area, try and sit still and not brush up against anything until it has had time to absorb completely. Use olive oil sparingly on your face as too much can cause clogged pores and/or acne. You can also add olive oil to your bath and soak, but be sure to wipe down your tub immediately afterwards to avoid getting a stubborn greasy film on your bath.
You might have heard of oatmeal baths as being a natural remedy for itchiness from chickenpox or shingles. Oatmeal soothes dry skin, and the itchiness that comes from it. Don’t use flavored instant oatmeal—this won’t do much! You need unflavored raw whole oats. You can put them through a food processor to make them into a powder that you can then pour into your bath. If the particles aren’t small enough, then the oatmeal with just sink to the bottom of the tub and you won’t get any of the benefits of the soak. A cup or so of oatmeal is a good amount, but you can experiment with your personal preference.
100% cocoa butter sticks are affordable, last a long time, and work great on dry skin. You can purchase them at your local pharmacy or grocery store in the health and beauty section. The sticks are highly concentrated and need to be warmed up before using so that they will melt onto your skin better. It is one of the least irritating natural ingredients and most everyone can use it, even folks with extremely sensitive or dry skin.
While a humidifier isn’t exactly a natural product, it can re-establish more natural levels of humidity to your home to counterbalance the effect of heating, which in turn will help with your skin. Humidifiers can also be used during warmer times of the year to prevent your skin from drying out from air conditioning. Make sure to read the instructions that come with it and don’t overuse it. Overuse of a humidifier can be as bad as not having one at all.