Most of us face a few additional challenges in caring for our skin during this time of year. The #1 challenge? Dry skin! During the winter months humidity levels outside drop, causing the moisture in your skin to evaporate more quickly. To make matters worse, most of us spend more time indoors in the winter. Heated indoor air further dries out skin as well as mucous membranes, which leads to dry noses, chapped lips and dry throats. Luckily there are many wonderful ways to keep your skin moist and hydrated throughout these ultra dry winter months. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Moisturize from the Inside-out: Avoid processed foods and foods that are high in additives, chemicals, refined sugar and sodium. These foods are highly dehydrating and contribute to making your skin drier. Instead, bulk up on foods that hydrate your body from the inside out. Excellent choices for moisture rich foods are avocado, coconut oil, fatty fish, nuts and cucumbers.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Drinking water is another quick and easy way to replenish the moisture that is being evaporated from your skin. Drinking water alone is not enough to replenish all the moisture that is being lost through your skin, but it’s an excellent part of a hydration routine. Want a more effective, moisturizing beverage? Try a glass of warm water with lemon and 1 tsp. of coconut oil. Warm water is more absorbable and coconut oil will give your skins cells a deep dose of moisture from the inside out.
- Dry Brush Your skin: Dry skin bushing is a wonderful habit to adopt all year round. Dry brushing is an age-old technique that helps to exfoliate the skin by loosening and sloughing away dry, dead skins. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, boosts circulation and cleans pores. By clearing away dead skin cells, dry skin brushing prepares the skin for taking in maximum moisture topically.
- Opt for Oil Instead of Lotion: Natural oils provide skin with much more moisture than lotions. This is because lotions often times are water and wax based with a few oils added in. Wax based lotions create a barrier to help hold moisture in, however this barrier is counter productive because it also prevents the oils in the lotions from being absorbed into the skin. For maximum moisture, use an antioxidant rich natural oil all over your body. Our favorite oils for this use are coconut oil, jojoba oil and almond oil. Want to add an intoxicating boost to your body oil? Try adding a few drops of ylang ylang, lavender or orange essential oil to your carrier oil (the main oil you are using).
- Avoid Hot Showers: Hot showers strip moisture from your skin, and can leave it dry and flaky. Instead, opt for a shorter, cooler shower or warm bath. If you’re not planning on washing your hair a warm bath with a ¼ cup of coconut oil added in works wonders for hydrating skin. Remember to moisturize your whole body (preferably with a natural oil versus a lotion) immediately after your shower or bath.