The dream of winter goes something like this: You’re cuddled up with a soft blanket on a cold snowy day wearing your favorite fair isle sweater. You light the fireplace and settle in with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa as the world becomes silent and muffled, and everything slows to a near halt.
The reality of winter goes something like this: It’s just like the rest of your crazy year, except that now everything is cold, wet, and dirty, and it takes twice as long to get anywhere. Okay… maybe that’s a bit harsh. Winter does hold a certain mystical calmness. However, the change winter brings to your skin is very real: dry, flaky skin and chapped lips. What’s a girl (or guy) to do?
8 Tips to Keeping Your Skin Healthy During the Winter Drought
To be sure, there is no shortage of products out there that promote beautiful skin. However, not all of them are natural, and many of them are downright harmful. (Parabens, anyone?) Therefore, we’d like to share with you some of our favorite natural remedies to keep your skin hydrated and nourished during the winter months.
Tip #1: Oils
You might balk at the idea of using an oil on your face. After all, don’t teenagers have oily skin? And teenagers have acne! No, thank you!
Don’t dismiss this idea too quickly. For truly dry skin, oils provide moisture and nourishment. However, even oily skin can benefit from oil treatments. Many of us are over cleansing or are using cleansers that strip away too much natural oil. The body then responds by increasing oil production. Replace the oil naturally, and your body will respond by balancing oil secretion.
Try using coconut oil both as a cleanser and a moisturizer. Coconut oil draws impurities out of the skin and contains healthy natural fats. Additionally, you can use coconut oil all over your body – face, lips, feet, and anywhere you have dryness.
Tip #2: Drink Water
We tend to think that water consumption is more important during the summer months. However, dehydration is very common in the winter months as well. If you can’t bring yourself to chug eight glasses of ice water in the cold months, try either water at room temperature or herbal tea.
Tip #3: Humidify Your Home
Not only does dry air in your home lead to dry skin, but it also leads to susceptibility to viruses. Run a humidifier with a few drops of essential oil added to the water reservoir. Alternatively, simmer a pan of water on the stove. Add orange peels, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon to make a natural potpourri while hydrating the air.
Tip #4: Exfoliate
Removing dead skin cells is essential for getting topical moisturizers to penetrate the skin. Gentle dry brushing two or three times per week will encourage healthy cell turnover. Natural exfoliators can be found right in your kitchen. Oatmeal, brown sugar, salt, and white sugar all work well to get rid of those pesky dry flakes. Add just a bit of natural oil (coconut, olive, etc.) to one or more of these ingredients to aid in application.
Tip #5: Eat Soup
Homemade soups not only pack a powerful nutritional punch, but they also aid in hydrating. Add plenty of vegetables, such as kale, spinach, carrots, onions, and celery, to your broth to give your immune system a boost.
Tip #6: Don’t Soak In the Tub
As good as a nice hot bath sounds, it’s also a sure-fire way to dehydrate your skin. If you can’t go without a soak, make sure you add essential oil to your bath water. Follow up with an application of moisturizing oil to your skin after you get out of the tub.
Tip #7: Eat a Healthy Diet
Beautiful skin begins on the inside. Your body will naturally divert nutrients to vital organs, so when there is a shortage your skin will suffer. Ensure a steady supply of goodness to your hair, skin, and nails by eating a nutrient-dense diet composed of plenty of green vegetables, some natural fats, and healthy proteins.
Tip #8: Eat Fats
Fats have received such a bad rap. However, they’re not the gangstas of nutrition as many would have you believe. Not only is applying fats to your skin beneficial, but eating them is good for you as well. Make sure to include moderate amounts of healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, butter, full-fat dairy products, omega-3s, and proteins.
Here’s to happy, healthy skin right through the season!
Have you ever wondered what’s really inside that skin cream or face wash you use every day? The answer may surprise you! Check out our latest slide presentation: The Ugly Truth About Beauty Products.
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