I have the driest skin ever, especially in the winter. My skin gets so dry I usually break the skin scratching my arms and legs. I’ve tried dozens of different lotions to no avail. Are there any natural products I could use?
Oh, I hear you, Renee. I traded the bitter cold winters of the Great Plains for the milder but more arid High Desert climate. My skin hates me. Based on the advice I’ve gleaned here and there over the years, here is what I’ve done to cope.
Make sure that your whole system isn’t dry. I know I have a hard time staying hydrated when it’s cold outside, because drinking cool water just makes me feel colder! You may be tempted to replace some of your daily intake (or just your liquid capacity) with warm tea or coffe, but remember that they are diuretics - they’ll actually contribute to your dryness. So stay on top of your water.
Another way to keep your skin in good repair is to start taking a fish oil supplement. One of the symptoms of Omega-3 deficiency is dry skin! I’ve talked more about Omegas and DHA here. Also? A low fat diet is probably not that good for your skin.
Humidify Your Environment
Invest in a humidifier or two for the rooms in which you spend most of your time - office? bedroom? Give the air a drink so it doesn’t go sipping at your skin.
Take a Cold Shower
Haha! Just kidding! Not cold. But definitely not hot, either. I know, this is such a bummer in the winter time; all I want to do to get warm is live in the shower under the hot steamy water. However, hot water will really dry you out. Better to go warm, not hot. (Confession? I still take hot showers; I just do everything else I can to compensate for them!)
Also, don’t use soap all over your body. Pits and crotch - sure; no one wants to smell your funk. But are your knees really that smelly? Well, then don’t lather them up! The more soap you use, the dryer those areas are likely to get. If you’re a bath person, instead of bubbles, try Zoe Organics’ Baby Bath Tea. It says its for the baby, but I love it! It has cocoa butter shavings and oatmeal in it - two great moisturizing ingredients.
When you get out, pat yourself down with a towel so that you’re still damp, not all the way dry. Then apply your moisturizer; it will lock in the moisture already in your skin.
While we’re on the topic of bathing, something I just read that I’d never considered before could be a really good option for you: a shower filter. The chlorine used to purify our water supply can damage and dry out our skin. Installing a simple filter (around $50, I think) could be the last thing between you and much healthier, happier skin!
Use a gentle exfoliator a couple times a week to slough off dead skin cells so the skin you hydrate is the stuff worth keeping. Angelina Organic Skincare has some great sugar scrubs and body polishes. My favorite is the Samadhi Chai sugar scrub. The Java Mint body polish would definitely be a great pick-me-up in the morning, though!
A good oil-based moisturizer is what you need. Angelina’s Vata Body Baulm is specially formulated for dry, flaky skin. It smells amazing - earthy, spicy, warm, exotic…Mmmmm. Angelina’s other body baulms and shea suffles smell excellent, too. She has a whole section of her online store for dry skin concerns. Check it out.
For dry hands, elbows, knees, and heels, I love Angelina’s Skin Doctor. This ultra-rich salve keeps my skin soft and crack-free all day. In the summer, I slather it on my feet at night and cover with plastic bags and socks to combat cracking calluses. You could do the same with feet and/or hands for wintertime dryness. Keep it near the sink so you can reapply after hand washing - one of the biggest culprits of wintertime dryness!
If your face is suffering from the weather, too, try Angelina’s Nourishing Herbal Face Cream and Pitta Ayurvedic Facial Oil - for damaged, inflamed skin. I had great results with these two products last winter. I’ve since switched to her Goji Mate Ultralight Face Lotion, which I adore, but it’s probably not quite rich enough for your needs.
To target problem areas, try Zoe Organics’ Extreme Cream which just got released in time for winter eczema and skin issues. With a simple, 100% organic ingredients list, it should be fantastic. I love ZO’s Baby Balm for my lips, too.
Remember that Heather is offering my readers 25% off their first order, now through 12/31/10. Instead of placing items in your shopping cart online, just email your order (and the discount code: HeyLauraWhat) to firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll email an invoice with the discount applied!
Now is a great time to try out a ZO product or two. Zoe Organics is currently offering a limited-time satisfaction guarantee to their Facebook fans. Here’s the deal: “Order any product(s) from our website between now and November 5th and if you are not happy with the product(s), [use the FB fan special code and] we will issue a refund!
**** By the way, I don’t receive any special favors for recommending these products. They’re just what I use and love, and I want to share! ******