It’s a common problem every winter to get dry skin, flaky legs, and waking up with a soar throat. I used to be affected by this, well I still wake up with a sore throat on extreme days, but nowadays there’s hardly any impact on my legs, arms and face like it used to.
I decided to go straight on to the main cause of dry skin and fix that, because we all know that it doesn’t matter how much shea butter or body lotion you apply during winter-time, the flakiness will still be there the next day. If we don’t treat the cause then we’re just wasting money on lotion…
I feel confident enough to say that these methods are guaranteed to work!
But yeah, if you still feel like an expensive lotion is going to save you, then I’m not going to judge you.
■ Eat watery foods
Just because it’s winter and it’s cold doesn’t mean you should forget all about raw foods and indulge in cooked. Getting your vitamins from fruit and greens are still important, if not even more important during this season. Not only do they contain all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep you sick-free but they also contain precious water content to hydrate your body. But it’s really not the fruit that does the job, you see…
When eating cooked food the body has to use up its own water reserve to digest the food. One of the reason fruit are so easily digested is because they hardly acquire any digestion because they come with their own water content. The body can just pick up what it needs and waste the rest without compensating with its own tools.
I always say that drinking isn’t normal, because we humans always seem to mix thirst signals with hunger, and I choke myself to death every time I try to drink. Also most of us favor flavored water, unless we’ve been through an extensive workout, then we’ll drink pretty much anything in sight. We are meant to drink what we eat, so don’t forget to indulge in high water content fruits and greens like iceberg lettuce.
Don’t try to compensate cooked food with a glass of water
Drinking with cooked food will ruin the digestive fire, slow down the digestive process and make you feel bloated. We don’t want that. If you are unable to feast in a breakfast made up of a huge melon or smoothie, then hydrating in between meals is a better choice. Starting your mornings with about 1L of lemon water is said to not only wake up your liver but to hydrate you from your nightly fasting.
Winter is the season of not only cooked foods, but also hot beverages, like tea. I’d suggest going for herbal teas that don’t contain caffeine which is very diuretic and taxes the liver. Some hot water over ginger and a squeeze of lemon is enough to keep your body warm and moist.
■ Avoid Foaming Cleansers
Harsh alkaline foaming cleansers strips down your natural oils that forms an acid mantel and leaves your skin feeling tight and dry.
These types of cleansers are even too harsh for oily skin types for they dry out the skin, which in turn makes the skin produce even more oil. Avoiding strong alcoholic toners is also advised.
Look into the gentle oil cleansing method (no steam) or go for foaming- and sulfate-free cleansers that have hydrating and soothing properties.
My formula for treating dry skin:
- Don’t wash your face in the morning – a splash of cold water or face mist followed up with a moisturizer is enough.
- Don’t exfoliate more than once a week, and don’t steam your face more than 2 times a week.
- Keeping a facial mist on hand to spray throughout the day – especially when working near computers and radiators.
- Wash your face in the evening with a gentle milk- or balm cleanser. If you wear none to just a little bit of makeup: wipe your face using a cotton pad with some oil on and end with a moisturizer.
■ Skip the long and hot showers
It may be nice to step into a hot bath or steaming shower after being outside in the cold, but hot temperatures tend to dry out our skin even more. The hot water, just as harsh cleansers above, removes our protective oils leaving us dry and itchy. Hot showers + harsh cleansers and we’ve got double trouble. Go for lukewarm showers and baths and try cleansing your body with a damp cloth and oil.
■ Invest in a Humidifier
The number one reason why the skin gets dry in the winter is the dry air from the cold outside and the heat from the radiators inside. To solve the problem we need to recreate humid summer air in our home and work place. A humidifier adds water vapor to the air, which helps the skin keep its moisture.
Humidifiers can be somewhat expensive, but a small one to keep near your desk or bed is a good investment. If you’re on a really tight budget, one way is to put bowls with lukewarm water or a damp towel on top of the radiator. This will bring up the humidity level in the room letting your skin hold on to its moisture. To actually know if the environment you’re in is dry you can easily purchase a hygrometer to check.
Other things you could do to increase humidity in a room:
- Dry your laundry in the middle of a room.
- If you’re able, turn off the radiators and wear warm clothes instead.
- If you take baths, leave the water in the tub after you’ve finished bathing. Letting it sit and cool allows moisture to evaporate into the air.
- Fill empty vases and bowls with water to put around the room.
- Spray water on curtains.
■ Green is the new black
Another way to fight off dry air is to get help from nature by turning your home into a mini tropical forest, decorating it with plants that not only work as air purifiers but also humidifiers. When a plant is watered, moisture travels from the roots up to the pores that are on the underside of the leaves. These pores release moisture, which will then increase the humidity level in the room. All plants work wonders, but plants like palms that are adapted to tropical areas work even more efficient at it.
Got other great tips for dry skin?
Share them in the comments below!