Winter is a beautiful time of year. There’s a chill in the air, fireplaces are warming up our homes and it’s a grand time to cuddle with those we love. One of the downsides of winter for most of us is dealing with dry, cracked, itchy skin caused by dry air. While there are hundreds of commercial moisturizers available on the market, many are made with synthetic ingredients and chemicals which have the propensity to dry out the skin. There are alternatives to help heal dry skin without using harsh chemicals. In this article we will discuss how to help heal your skin today by following 3 easy tips.
Keeping yourself hydrated is key to whole body health. Just remember the old 8-8 adage, drink at least 8 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Drinking water not only benefits your skin, but it helps keep all parts of your body working properly. Dehydration, even mild dehydration, can make you feel tired, your skin will feel dry, your mouth will feel sticky dry and even mild dehydration can lead to headaches and constipation.
Regulate the humidity in your home by using a humidifier.
Low humidity in the air can cause chapped lips, dry skin, sinus problems and a dry cough. Using a humidifier in your home, especially when your heater is running can help alleviate these annoying issues. There are two types of humidifiers, cool mist and warm mist. Cool mist humidifiers usually work better for people who suffer from allergies and asthma. They are also considered safer, especially if there are small children in the home. Warm mist humidifiers can be used for steaming medications or essential oils (such as eucalyptus) and are wonderful if you have a cold. They do have to be cleaned more often though because warm water provides a good environment for bacterial growth. You can find a decent room sized humidifier starting at approximately $40.
Use Natural Soaps and Moisturizers.
What you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat and drink because the skin absorbs most of what it comes in contact with. Many of the soaps and moisturizers on the market today are made with synthetic ingredients that have the propensity to dry out the skin. Commercially made soaps contain petroleum products, detergents, animal fats and sodium laurel sulfate (SLS). SLS and other surfactants are often added to soaps to increase lather quality. As synthetic compounds, SLS and other surfactants dry out your skin and, for many people, cause irritation. Many moisturizers also contain petroleum products and parabens. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives, which have been linked to possible carcinogenicity with prolonged use.
Using plant based natural soaps and moisturizers are a healthy alternative. Look for plant based, vegan, cold processed organic soaps made with only natural ingredients. Make sure that the soap maker states that their soap bars contain no artificial substances such as synthetic fragrances, dyes or preservatives and are scented with essential oils and colored with herbs and plant extracts. The best soaps are made with a soap base that is made from certified organic vegetable oils and contains no animal products.
To moisturize your skin, choose a shea butter, cocoa butter moisturizer that contains Vitamin E. Shea butter is a plant extract known throughout Africa for centuries to help heal severely dry skin, burns, sores, scars, stretch marks and other conditions. It also helps diminish the appearance of wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, promoting cell renewal and increasing circulation. Cocoa butter is often used to treat conditions such as eczema and dermatitis and is used to prevent stretch marks, especially during pregnancy. Always use moisturizer after a bath or shower to help retain moisture on your skin, especially during the dry winter months.
Stay healthy, hydrated and moisturized this winter!