When the wind has a bite, and the heating goes on, the moisture levels in the air drop and you're left with itchy, dry and sometimes even cracked and bleeding skin. The good thing is that there are lots of easy natural remedies for dry skin that work fast, and they work really well.
I've got super dry skin, just like my dad. He, however, lives in far north Queensland, right up in the tropics where it's hot and humid. He swears that his skin gets better when he gets past Townsville. Me? I'm in Melbourne, where the air seems to be dry even when it's raining.
Years of experience means that I really know what I'm talking about when it comes to dry skin remedies, so here's my top tips.
Moisture levels in the air drop as the temperature drops, so the first thing to do to move to a tropical climate. If that's not an option (even though it sure does have a lot going for it), get yourself a humidifier like my favourite Aroma Bloom
Take warm, not hot showers
I remember when I first discovered this. I couldn't believe how simple it was, but boy does it work. Hot water strips your skin of its natural oils, and you feel dry and dehydrated the second you step out of the shower or bath. Turn the temperature down a notch, and it will make such a difference to your skin. Make the shower as short as you can, too, because extra time spent under the spray is extra drying for your skin.
I love dry body brushing in winter to get rid of dead skin cells, and get your circulation going. I'm not sure why, but exfoliating scrubs in the shower seem to dry the skin, whereas dry body brushing doesn't. It may be that the combination of water and scrub strips the oils. The other bonus of the dry body brush is that you can reach everywhere - hello, back! I love the Bass Brushes Dry Skin Brush
, because you can remove the head and it's made from bamboo and sisal.
Use a gentle soap
Harsh soaps are not made for dry skins. Ideally, you want something unfragranced and mild, like the Dr Bronner's baby mild liquid soap
(my favourite). It goes without saying, but you don't want anything perfumed (gentle essential oils like lavender and rose are okay) and definitely skip the sulphates like SLS and SLES.
Stay warm, but keep away from heat
Don't stand next to the fire or the heater as this sucks moisture from your skin and the air. Do make sure you're rugged up and covered up (gloves, too, if you're outside) so that you're warm, and then you'll stay away from the heat sources.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
When you get out of the shower, slather moisturiser on while your skin is still damp. It will absorb better and your skin will stay moisturised. Having had a particularly bad winter last year, I can happily tell you that my number one, can't live without, would take it to a desert island, all time favourite dry skin moisturisers are the Weleda White Mallow range. I use the body lotion
every day after the shower in winter, and nothing beats it. I've also been using the Acure Ultra Hydrating Body Lotion
, and this is great, too, but the White Mallow is still my favourite.
I've heard advice that coconut oil is good, but this is actually quite a dry oil and isn't really hydrating enough for very dry skin. I've had great success with hemp oil, if you apply it as a layer under moisturiser and don't mind smelling like fresh mown grass (it's rather lovely, actually). I've found that oils on their own don't work as well as layering oil then moisturiser, as the moisturiser seems to lock the moisture in.
Sweet almond, apricot kernel and wheatgerm oils also work well, and they're pretty cheap.
What are your natural remedies for dry skin? Share in the comments below!
Image credit: Gorupka on Flickr
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