It’s that time of the year again! Call me crazy, but I love the cooler months – Time to break out the boots (adore fall/winter fashion), flame up the fireplace, curl up with a hot cup of cocoa and cook up some yummy chili for dinner – I make great chili, btw! 🙂
It’s also a time for dry, itchy, dull, irritated skin, and my hair! Well, let’s not even go there. Only a week of running the heater in the house and my face is itchy, hair is frizz, and forget about my poor hands.
Cold weather and dry, windy conditions can wreak havoc on the skin, but with a little TLC and some natural remedies dry, chapped skin can be a thing of the past.
- Warm, shorter showers – Forgo the really hot showers during the fall and winter months. Try to keep them under 10 minutes. Hot water is much more drying to the skin and to the hair.
- Close the door – During and after showering be sure to keep the door shut. This will keep the moisture in the air from escaping and in turn will benefit the skin.
- Pat don’t rub – Immediately after showering or bathing, pat your skin dry (do not rub). Make it a habit to moisturize as soon as you step out of the shower – that’s when the skin is most absorbent. For extra dry skin, try using a face and body oil before you towel off. The added hydration can make a huge difference in skin’s appearance and a serum can also help banish flakes.
- Break out the humidifier – Central heating systems blast hot air throughout our homes and offices. The constant exposure to dry air can cause your skin to become dry and flake. Utilizing a humidifier during the days or while you sleep can help add moisture and keep your skin from drying out.
- Exfoliate – Gentle exfoliators are a flaky complexion’s best friend. Look for a natural enzyme-based formula designed for sensitive skin to help prevent over-drying. Then once a week treat dull skin to a gentle chemical peel.
- Skip the harsh treatments – If you skin is going through a dry patch (pun intended), avoid alcohol-based toners, harsh peels and any type of treatment that can strip your skin of natural oils.
- Moisturize, moisturize – An ultra-hydrating moisturizer made with moisture-binding hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts can relieve tightness and restore skin to a supple and radiant state. Apply at least 2x daily and in the evening the evening switch to a formula designed to provide extra TLC while you sleep.
- Lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda – This can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy.
- Dry hands – Protect (wear gloves) and moisturize your hands often. Moisturizing is a vital part of relieving dry skin. But not just any moisturizer will do. Some are made mostly of water are do not lock on moisture. Focus instead on an oil based moisturizer. Ointments tend to be the oiliest emollients, followed by creams. Lotions contain the most water.
- What ingredients to look for – Petroleum jelly (petrolatum), mineral oil, and lanolin, all of which trap water in the skin. Lactic acid and urea, which can help soothe severely dry skin. Glycerin and dimethicone, which draw water to the skin. Hyaluronic acid, which can help skin retain moisture.
- Pop the coconut oil – Coconut oil, not only is it a great topical moisturizing agent, but it is also a great way to hydrate the skin from the inside out. If your skin is dry flaking and cracked, there’s a good chance you need to increase your omega-3 intake. Coconut oil is a great way to do just that. Omega-3 fats help to normalize your skin fats and prevent dehydration in your cells. This keeps your skin cells strong and full of moisture, which can decrease the appearance of fine lines. Omega-3 fats can also help calm irritated skin, giving you a smoother clearer complexion, courtesy of it’s anti-inflammatory activity.
So there you have it, a few helpful tips to get your skin through the cold winter months. Now I’m off to do my 2nd moisturizing hair treatment this week…Oy vey!
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