Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Naturally Beautiful: Treating Winter Dry Skin

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced the Naturally Beautiful series with a post about skin brushing. I told you about how soft my skin had become by skin brushing daily for over a month. Since then, I’ve continued brushing and most of my skin is still healthy and glowy. My hands and face are a different story. For a couple of weeks, I've been slathering oil on my hands and it just wasn’t working. I didn't know what to do for my face so I doubled up on my moisturizer. Nothing was working. Finally, as I was driving to work, it dawned on me that my hands and face are overly dry because the full force of my car’s heat blows on them for a solid 2 hours a day while I’m commuting to and from work. My house is also a balmy 78 degrees. What can I say? I like it to feel like summer. 

Since decreasing the heat at home and in the car aren’t viable options for me, I had to find another solution. Having palms so dry they catch and scratch silky and soft cotton fabrics (I’m not kidding) is unacceptable. Really. Unacceptable.

So, in that spirit, I started a better moisturizing routine for my resistant spots and got them to fall in line. I started by putting a good amount of body butter* on my hands and feet. What’s a good amount? It’s not scientific. You want there to be slightly too much to rub in. Place each hand in a clear plastic (not latex) glove and put a moisture enhancing glove on each hand. Do the same for your feet but use saran wrap or freezer bags on your feet. (Find gloves and socks here.) If this makes your hands and feet too uncomfortable, you can just use the gloves. They’re made to keep moisture in. I just don’t like the build-up from product inside the gloves and socks. After a day or two of this routine, your hands should be back to their baby soft warm weather state. Repeat the process once a week until the cold winter bids us adieu.

 The face is a bit of a different beast to conquer. Did I just call my face a beast? Oops. Anyway, you can’t wrap your face in plastic before bed and a thick layer of body butter may just cause your pores to revolt. I have a good moisturizer that contains Vitamin E that I’ve used for years (L’OrĂ©al Futur-e) but it doesn’t seem to be working against this special type of winter we’re having.

Almost every beauty company now has a face oil for moisturizing or cleansing. They may have been around for a while but they seem to be promoted everywhere lately. I’ve been shying away from them because the idea of putting actual oil on my combination skin just screams pimples and makes me want to douse my skin with astringent. Then my skin got dry enough to want to try anything. I checked out a lot of oils and found them to be too expensive considering they’d be one or two time use products. So I went to Hey Fran Hey (who is quickly becoming my guru for all natural skin and hair care advice) and found this video:


I gave the almond oil a try and so far, no breakouts. I’ve only been doing it for a week so I will keep you posted on results. As far as actual method, I follow Fran’s pretty strictly. I don’t use the steamer either. No time, my friends. The only difference is after the hot water rinse, I wipe down my face (in small circles) with a konjac sponge before splashing my face with cold water (to close my pores). Then, I pat it dry with a clean wash cloth. And there you have it. My skin is in a much better state and I hope it will only improve from here. I'll definitely keep you posted.  

* In a recent Love List, I shared a recipe I found for homemade body butter. I used the same recipe (choosing cocoa butter and jojoba oil) and added eucalyptus essential oil. The smell is all over my house, car and office. It reminds me of the spa. 

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