- Avoid long hot baths & showers. These will strip away the oil from the skin, leaving it dry & more prone to eczema, cracking & rashes. Think about the difference between doing the washing up in cool water vs hot – the hotter the soapy sink water is, the better the oil comes off the dishes. Works on the skin too, but it’s harsh, irritating & unbalancing!
- Use soap sparingly. Soap is a good thing, don’t get me wrong – it saves countless infections & stops us all from smelling & looking grubby. We have however, taken this good thing a bit too far – if used to excess soap will really compromise our skin function (sensitive folks know this already, but even the rest of us can be affected in winter with long hot soapy showers stripping away every bit of our lubricating, protective skin oils & good skin bacteria). If your skin tends to play up in winter, just bathe when you really need it – it won’t hurt to miss a day or 2, a quick wipe or a sponge with a soap-free pH balanced cleanser to the face, armpits, privates / bottom & feet (try to keep it in that order lol) will suffice & allow your skin to settle down & re-establish it’s natural balance of oil & good bacteria.
- Moisturise! Nourish your skin quickly from the outside after a shower or bath by rubbing in some good oils immediately after, just get dry & massage in some coconut, sweet almond, apricot kernel, jojoba oil or add some to your bath with some relaxing essential oils like lavender, ylang-ylang or geranium. For dry heels, hands & elbows – vegetable glycerine is awesome (& inexpensive) to soften & heal cracks & rough patches almost overnight!
- Eat your oils! If your skin is dry, you must moisturise from the inside too, by making sure you’re getting enough good oils – in your food or in a supplement. Fish, flax, chia, coconut, macadamia, olive…eat these & avoid the cheap & nasty ‘vegetable oils’ found in most processed foods.
- Stay hydrated! We often forget to drink when it’s cold – but dry winter skin can result. Keep your fluid intake up with hot herbal teas, warm stewed fruit & steamy, nourishing soups.
- Look after your gut – it’s health is strongly linked to the skin, & any gut imbalance will be reflected through the skin. Winter is a great time of year for making / using bone broth as a soup or base of other recipes (very healing & supportive to the gut). Herbal teas like dandelion, peppermint, ginger & chamomile all have gut & digestive tonic properties.
- Get some rays! Yes, yes, the sun can hurt your skin if you get too much of it, but if you’re getting too little you’ll be low in vitamin D, which is absolutely vital for smooth glowing skin & healthy hair as well as specifically for it’s wound-healing & anti-inflammatory actions. Aim for getting small doses regularly, all over your body if possible – a strategically placed day bed, old couch, cushion, yoga mat, rolled up beach towel…find a sunny nook & get into the habit of stripping off – or at the very least head outdoors on your lunch break & roll up your sleeves!
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