Are you struggling with the agony of excessively dry skin during the winter months? I know the feeling all too well, having battled this issue since my early 20s. As soon as the furnace fired up for the first time in the fall, I'd brace myself for months of tight, dry skin. My hands would crack and bleed around my knuckles, and I experimented with countless remedies over the years, none of which provided a lasting solution. It was only after gaining a deeper understanding of our body's physiology and the impact of everyday product chemicals that I finally overcame this issue. If you're enduring a similar plight, here are some valuable tips I'd like to share:
- Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can exacerbate dry skin. Make it a habit to drink enough water. A useful rule of thumb is to consume 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim to drink 75 ounces of water per day. Proper hydration is vital for overall bodily function, as every organ depends on water to perform its duties. Our bodies are primarily composed of water (about 60%), emphasizing its importance. If you struggle to drink enough water, consider using apps to track your intake and set reminders throughout the day. You can also enhance your hydration by adding lemon juice to water or enjoying herbal teas. Reduce the consumption of caffeinated beverages as caffeine can be dehydrating.
- Humidify Your Home: Combat dry indoor air by using a humidifier. When your furnace runs in the winter, it dries out the air in your home, causing moisture to be drawn out of everything it touches, including your skin. I recommend using humidifiers in key areas, such as a larger one for your main living space and a smaller one in your bedroom. Keep the humidity level in your home above 40% during the winter. This not only prevents your skin from drying out but also makes your home feel warmer. Additionally, it reduces static electricity and helps maintain the condition of wood furniture, doors, and floors.
- Opt for Natural Soaps: Switch to natural soaps that contain glycerin, a moisturizing ingredient absent in many commercial soaps. Unlike commercial soap companies, which remove glycerin to sell to moisturizer producers, natural soaps clean gently and don't strip your skin. This simple change can significantly reduce the need for additional moisturizers. It's astounding how much damage commercial soaps can cause until you make the switch.
- Embrace Natural Moisturizers: Choose natural moisturizers devoid of harsh chemicals. Products like our Cocoa Butter Lotion Stick, made from recognizable whole ingredients, are ideal for preserving your skin's health. These lotion sticks are similar to lip balm but designed for your entire body. They work best immediately after a shower when your skin is slightly damp. The cocoa butter provides deep hydration, Vitamin E heals dry skin damage and the beeswax seals in the moisture, resulting in all-day softness. Use them a few times a week during the winter to maintain soft, moisturized skin. Be vigilant about checking labels and avoid lotions or moisturizers that contain preservatives and chemicals.
- Regular Exfoliation: Dry, flaky skin can create a barrier that prevents your moisturizer from effectively penetrating live skin cells. Exfoliating before applying moisturizer ensures that your natural moisturizer can work more efficiently to restore your skin's healthy glow. You have various exfoliation options, such as soaps with oatmeal like Oatmeal Milk & Honey and Sensational Spa Bar. Alternatively, you can transform any bar of soap into an exfoliator by placing it in a Soap Saver Bag before use. Sugar scrubs are another great choice, as they exfoliate and moisturize simultaneously.
- Moderate Water Temperature: While a hot shower may seem enticing on a cold winter day, hot water can actually draw moisture from your skin. To benefit your skin (and hair), opt for lukewarm showers or baths instead. Your skin will thank you for the gentler treatment.
By incorporating these six tips into your winter skincare routine, you can alleviate the discomfort of dry, tight skin and embrace the season with a radiant, hydrated glow.