Cold Winter Months = Dry Itchy Skin

Is your skin exceptionally dry this winter?  If you’re like me, it is.

As we age, our skin naturally loses moisture and becomes drier. Unfortunately, that becomes even worse in the winter. As the temperatures outside get cold and dry, the heat in your home gets cranked up;  combined, these things result in our skin getting robbed of moisture and feeling sucked dry.

What I want to do today is share with you ways to keep your skin replenished with moisture to minimize the effects of the cold winter months.

  1. I know nothing feels as good as a long hot shower or bath when it’s cold outside.  I certainly enjoy them. However,  what’s happening during the hot shower or bath is the hot water is breaking down the natural oils on your skin leading to greater loss of moisture. It is recommended that you take a luke-warm shower or bath instead. If you can’t even begin to accept this idea, just make your hot shower of bath brief instead.
  2. Speaking of showers and baths, directly after is the best time to moisturize as the pores are still slightly open and the skin is still damp, both of which will help to absorb your moisturizer.
  3. As for moisturizers, now is the time to think oils!  As the seasons change so too should your moisturizer. Find a moisturizer that’s oil based rather than water based as the oil can create a protective barrier to help you retain moisture. Choose “non-clogging” oils such as avocado oil, almond oil and vitamin E oil. I have included a homemade moisturizer recipe below. Feel free to moisturize 2-3 times per day,  I do at least twice per day and occasionally more. You can probably also add one of these to your favorite moisturizer.
  4. If you are used to exfoliating daily, slow it down. Exfoliating can help smooth out skin and get rid of dry flakes and patches, but it can also eliminate the natural oils on your face and body.  Try decreasing this practice to just once or twice per week at the most.
  5. “Stop licking your lips…” I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell my poor daughter that the other day when we were out shopping.  When our lips are dry, there’s a natural tendency to want to lick them. This actually helps dry them out even more. A simple lip balm will help protect your lips from the cold dry air, apply often. My cousin Carole has always simply used Vaseline. She puts it in a small tub and carries it around with her everywhere; she swears by that stuff!
  6. What about drinking water, does this help to hydrate your skin? Well that is actually a little debatable. It has been shown that those of us who already drink at least 8 glasses of water a day will probably not benefit much from drinking more water. Conversely, those who don’t drink enough water normally during the day may see some improvement in their skin when they start. So my advice is, if you’re drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day continue doing so and if you’re not start.
  7. How about taking Omega 3 fish oils internally, will this help dry skin? Yup! There was a study reported in Allure magazine that showed patients who took fish oil pills saw significant results in their skin within a few short weeks. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, you can see marked improvement in skin, hair, and nails in just six weeks.
  8. Lastly, I would recommend investing in a humidifier for your home. With your furnace cranked up in the winter, the humidity in your home is considerably diminished, again leading to moisture loss in your skin. A humidifier will help to increase the moisture in the air, which will help prevent your skin from drying out so much.

As promised, here is a simple recipe for homemade moisturizer:

Ingredients:

Almond oil, beeswax, essential oils, 3 Vitamin E capsules

Melt the Almond oil and beeswax over heat. (This should be a 2:1 ratio) stir well until beeswax melts and cools.  Add a few drops of essential oil of your choice, such as lavender or rose and the contents of the Vitamin E capsules; when cooled pour into a clean jar and store in a cool place.

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your skin from drying out in the winter? If so, please share in the comments section. You may also enter your email address in the space provided to continue to get valuable tips about your health and optimal aging!

Be Well,

Dianne

sources:

WebMD.com

Nutritionresearchcenter.org

Health.discovery.com

About.com

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