With cold winter weather arriving, it can often wreak havoc on the skin, causing it to become dry and itchy. Our skin becomes dry because moisture is diffused from cells into the air, causing skin to become parched, dull and sometimes cracked. The systems used to heat our homes and other structures produce very dry air which robs the skin of moisture even more.
These 5 tips can help you take care of your skin naturally when cold weather hits:
Limit your baths and showers
Keep your bath or shower limited to no more than ten minutes at a time, and no more than once per day. The water should be warm, and not hot. When it’s cold out, taking a long, hot shower or soaking in a hot tub seems like a wonderful luxury but it can really do a number on your skin, drying it out even further. Limiting your time in the bath or shower can make a significant difference in preventing the natural oils from being stripped from the skin.
Use only the most gentle cleansers on your skin, and always use warm water rather than hot to rinse your face in order to preserve moisture. Irritating acid-based ingredients like retinol or glycolic acid should be avoided.
Most commercial cleansers contain toxic chemicals; instead, consider an all-natural cleanser. Mashed avocado, mango and even bananas are wonderful skin cleansers that contain enzymes to remove dead skin cells and clear pores.
Another option is to apply just a few drops of oil such as olive, jojoba or olive oil onto a cotton pad and gently wipe it across the face without rubbing; splash with cool water afterwards to rinse. If your skin is very dry, create a mask using avocado pulp and olive oil to make a paste and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. Raw organic honey is also a very mild cleanser offering antibacterial and moisturizing benefits. Simply apply, leave on for a few minutes (up to half an hour), and rinse.
Moisturize, and moisturize again
As soon as you get out of the shower or bath, apply moisturizer to damp skin. Don’t allow the skin to completely dry off, as when it is still damp there is a great opportunity to encourage it to hold onto the water. As the skin is the biggest organ in the body, it is important to stay away from a chemical-laden moisturizer as these substances can be absorbed by the skin and stored in fat tissue.
One of the best natural moisturizers is pure organic coconut oil which penetrates the skin and contains medium chain fatty acids that help address wrinkles, dry skin and other skin issues. Because it’s naturally antibacterial, it won’t cause breakouts either.
Eat healthy fats
Monounsaturated fats which are plentiful in coconut and olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, provide the skin with important ceramides that help boost its natural oil barrier and keep moisture in. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like wild-caught salmon also offer potent anti-inflammatory effects that can help keep the skin feeling more supple and elastic.
As you should all year long, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Many people remember the importance of drinking water when it’s hot, but don’t realize that more water is actually needed during the winter in order to keep the skin moisturized properly.
Before leaving the house in the morning, be sure you are well hydrated. Replenish your body’s liquid stores as soon as you wake up by drinking water with a squeeze of lemon, coconut water or herbal tea.
Are you prepared for the cold weather this year?
-The Alternative Daily