Dry skin is a common problem every winter. Whether it's rough hands, a flakey face or scaly legs, it's often hard to avoid when the temperature drops and the wind picks up. And no matter how much shea butter you lather on every day, it's often not enough to treat severely dry skin. So, let's get to the root of it! Here are six ways to treat dry winter skin without using a drop of lotion!
1. Eat watery foods.
Just because it's winter and it's cold doesn't mean you should forget about raw foods and indulge in stuff that's cooked and warm. Getting vitamins from fruit and greens is still important!
When you eat cooked food, your body uses up its water reserves to help digest the food. On the other hand, fresh fruits are so easily digested because they come with their own water content and don't need to rely on your body's to be digested. The body can just pick out the nutrients it needs and turn the rest into waste without digging into its own store.
The more water you can get from your food, the more water your body will have to naturally hydrate your skin!
2. Wake up to water.
The first thing you should do every morning is drink a big glass of water. Not only will water on an empty stomach hydrate you right away, it'll also wake up your digestive system after a night of "fasting."
Remember to continue drinking water throughout the day as well. If you're feeling chilly, try herbal tea without caffeine to keep your body warm and moist.
3. Avoid foaming cleansers.
Harsh alkaline foaming cleansers strip your skin of its natural oils and can leave behind acids that make your skin feel tight and dry. Even if you have oily skin, these cleansers can often do more harm than good as they tend to try out the skin, causing it to produce even more oil to compensate.
Instead, try a gentle cleansing method or find foam- and sulfate-free cleansers that have hydrating and soothing properties.
My formula for treating dry skin:
- In the morning, a splash of cold water or face mist followed up with a moisturizer is enough.
- Don't exfoliate more than once every two weeks, and don't steam your face more than two 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.
4. Skip the long, hot showers.
It may be nice to step into a hot bath or steaming shower after being outside in the cold, but hot water tends to dry out our skin even more. The hot water — just as harsh some cleansers — removes our protective oils leaving us dry and itchy. Hot showers plus harsh cleansers equal we've got double trouble. Go for lukewarm showers and baths, and try cleansing your body with a damp cloth and oil.
5. Invest in a humidifier.
The cold air of the outside world combined with the dry heat from radiators inside are disastrous for skin. 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, helping to keep skin moist.
If you're on a tight budget, you can recreate the effects of a humidified by filling a bowl with lukewarm water or placing 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.
6. Let the tropics come to you.
Another way to fight off dry air is to get help from nature by turning your home into a mini tropical forest. Add 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.
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