It’s that time of year where suddenly we all begin to notice the annual changes in our skin, hair and lips. Suddenly everything becomes dryer, irritated, and out of balance. What happened to that sun-kissed glow we were savouring from the end of summer? No matter what your skin type, dry, oily, or combination, you are likely noticing that the changes in temperature, humidity, and your own skin care regimens have started to have a negative effect on the overall health of your skin.
Facts versus Fiction of Winter Skin Care
Since nearly everyone deals with a variety of winter skin care blues, everyone also tends to have their own opinion about why winter is so harsh. Let’s face it, there are a lot of rumors circulating about why our skin, hair and hands dry out and not all of these rumors are true.
Just as the plummeting temperatures outside have an effect on our skin, the climate change going on inside our homes does as well. People begin turning on electric heaters, central heating, and fireplaces, which all tend to dry us out. The overall humidity in the air is changed by heating systems during the winter months, which eventually begins to irritate our respiratory system, our lips and our skin especially around our face. Skin care experts recommend getting a humidifier to help increase the humidity and they also recommend reducing the heat to as low as comfortable at night to give our bodies a break.
Although drinking more water is never a bad idea, it surprisingly isn’t a proven way to alleviate dry skin. In fact, drinking more water is less effective than using a good quality moisturizer. When choosing a moisturizer for your skin care regime, always look for quality ingredients that will target both your skin type and your specific issues.
For example even though you may typically have oily skin, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can skip a winter moisturizing routine. Your skin might be overproducing in an to attempt to make up for a harsher environment. Thicker moisturizers also do not necessarily mean more nourishment either. Always focus on good quality and essential ingredients such as fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol.
Lip balms and salves while soothing in times of extreme irritation, can actually act as a crutch instead of a remedy. Instead of promoting the body to heal itself, balms allow lips to become reliant on topically applied moisture. Balms, especially flavored ones can also cause us to lick our lips more. Suddenly we could find ourselves in a negative cycle of never ending lip balm!
Recipes for Dry, Irritated Winter Skin
The good news for our dry, flaky or otherwise irritated winter skin is that we can replenish moisture naturally with do-it-yourself easy skin care recipes. None require complicated techniques to make, and many have ingredients we already have at home. These all natural remedies are sure to help clear up dry patches, irritations and cracked lips.
Winter Essential Oil Regimes
There is an essential oil for everything that ails us, including any skin issues which we might experience during the winter months. Most therapies recommend a maximum of 5% essential oil to carrier oil, and for some skin types this may even prove too strong. Always test a small patch of skill on the underside of the wrist to ensure the dilution works for you. This is especially true with facial applications.
For all skin types geranium and lavender essential oils are great for a daily skin care regimen. These oils help rejuvenate and can be used to treat acne, dryness or oiliness. If you find your skin becomes oilier in the winter months and is prone to acne, try using patchouli which has antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. Patchouli is especially beneficial for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.
If you lean towards the dryer side, try using rose and ylang ylang oils. Rose essential oil is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, helping the skin recover faster from any irritations. Ylang ylang promotes cell rejuvenation. Used together they can act as a powerful barrier between you and the cold seasonal environment.
Cacao Avocado Face Mask
There are many natural home remedies that can treat irritated and dry skin simply by using items already on your grocery list. In this recipe, avocado can be substituted for banana, but both offer tons of nutrients and nourishment for your face. Cacao and raw honey are chocked full of antioxidants, and raw honey also helps the skin lock onto moisture while at the same time helping to eliminating unnecessary oils.
- 1 avocado (1 ripe banana can be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
Mash up avocado (or banana) in a medium size bowl and mix in all other ingredients until completely blended. Apply to the face, and allow to soak in for at least 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Winter Lip Care
Surprisingly easy to make, this super powerful lip moisturizer combats chapped and cracked lips by nourishing the outer skin layers and offering protection against dry winter air. One recipe makes enough for you, and your loved ones.
- 3 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
- 3 teaspoons almond oil
- 3 teaspoons grated beeswax
- ½ teaspoon essential oil
Combine the first three ingredients, in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute or until fully melted. Stir in beeswax to melt, and once combined add your chosen essential oil. Pour into small containers and allow to set completely before use.