My legs start to look like a molting snake in the winter time. Gross right? You’re welcome for that imagery. The combination of dry heat and dry cold winter air can dry you out as if you were living in the desert. Over the years I have managed to figure out a few ways to combat winter dry skin in a more natural way and it works wonders.
- Hydrate. Seems too simple but ask anyone who knows my how BAD I am about staying hydrated. As a fitness professional you’d think I would be better about this but I’m not. I forget my water bottle at home all the time and just forget to drink water in general day to day. But when I try and stay hydrated I notice a big difference in my skin. I’m almost 40 and when I am dehydrated it definitely shows more than it used to. *sigh* Add slices of citrus fruit to your water to give yourself a vitamin C boost.
- Jojoba Oil. This magical stuff is amazing. I keep a bottle of Jojoba Oil in my shower all year around but it gets used most of the time during the dry winter months. Once I’m clean I slather this on my legs, arms, hands, and elbows. I towel it off when I am drying and it really improves the dryness factor without feeling greasy. Body oils are a wonderful way to hydrate your skin. If you really want to treat yourself, I just reviewed a great fragrant oil from Little Barn Apothecary that’s been making an appearance in my shower too.
- Take fish oil supplements or just eat more fish. Lacking essential fatty acids in our blood can cause dry skin due to being a big part of our outer membrane (skin). When we lack essential fatty acids it’s harder for our skin to retain moisture and instead we are left flaky. Taking a daily fish oil supplement or making sure to eat fish rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 will help your body maintain that balance. I like Nordic Naturals which is a brand that is endorsed by Healthy Child Healthy World, but what sold me was that they do get their products third party tested for purity.
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom. As we sleep we tend to dehydrate, plus laying in bed while the dry heat turns us into beef jerky. A small humidifier near your bedside will help keep your skin healthy but also will keep your nasal passages moist and less prone to viruses and cold germs.
- Get out into the sunshine. A sign of vitamin D deficiency can be dry skin and in the winter time we can have less opportunities to be in the sun to absorb this essential vitamin! So when the sun is out, get out there and stand in it for 10-15 minutes and get your dose!
- Use coconut oil in your cooking or right on your skin. If the jojoba oil just doesn’t cut it you might consider using a bit of this miracle. It’s especially good on elbows, knees and cuticles but is also a great way to cook veggies. The added essential fatty acids will help keep your body in balance.
Naturally, healing yourself from the inside-out is always the best course of action. Eating right and proper sleep and hydration is key, obviously. But we all know that a little outside help can be necessary from time to time!
If you or your little ones suffer from eczema that is a bit of a different story. Check out tips from an expert guest about natural skin care for kids with eczema.