Prevent and Treat Winter Skin Problems

Prevent and Treat Winter Skin Problems
Photo Credit: Julijah / iStockPhoto.com
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Keeping Your Skin Healthy and Hydrated Through Winter

Cold, dry, windy weather can wreak havoc on your skin. Heating systems dry the air and irritate your skin when you are indoors. Chafing, chapping, burning and itchiness are common, your lips may crack and peel, and your hair and scalp may get itchy and flaky.

Simple practices and natural skin care products can provide needed protection for your skin, hair and lips.

Well Cared for Skin Keeps You Healthy

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so you must take excellent care of it in order to stay well and look your best. Your skin helps protect and detoxify your body — if it is not healthy, you are subject to developing health problems. Dry, cracked skin provides access for bacteria and other microbes to enter your body.

Skin helps regulate the moisture balance of all tissues within your body. Dry skin cannot maintain your body’s moisture balance as effectively as healthy skin can.

Your skin plays an important role in detoxifying your body. During the winter, when we are confined indoors frequently, you are exposed to all sorts of environmental toxins. Keeping your skin healthy will enhance your body’s ability to rid itself of harmful wastes that accelerate aging and cause illness.

Use Healthy Skin and Body Care Products

Make or purchase quality products to use on your skin, hair and lips. They are not always inexpensive products to buy, but you can always custom craft your own for less. There are many books and recipes that teach you how to blend your own products, or you can check with an herbalist for hands-on classes.

Have a Facial Party

Gathering a group of friends together while creating skin care products is sure to be a fun-filled, relaxing afternoon. Give each other facials with your creations; you will enjoy a wonderful break from winter and your skin will enjoy the benefits of your labors.

Choose Skin Care Products Carefully

When choosing skin care products, select those made with natural, organic ingredients, as they are gentler for your skin. Don’t make the mistake of simply purchasing products based on the active ingredients they contain; active ingredients usually make up a very small percentage of a product. The base oils and other ingredients have profound effects on your skin, hair and lips.

Olive Oil Is Your Skin’s Best Friend

Olive oil is fantastic base oil as it contains a wide array of antioxidants and nourishing compounds, and relieves inflammation through antimicrobial properties. Try mixing warm olive oil with a drop of your favorite essential oil and applying liberally it to your hair before showering several times per week. Your hair will remain soft and strong all winter. This highly effective treatment only costs a few cents per application.

Healthy Oils Lubricate the Skin

Squalene is special oil made from olive oil and also produced by the body. Squalene is expensive, but worth it if you have problem skin — it prevents wrinkle formation, supports inner skin layer structures and is very moisturizing. Squalene oil is used in combination with other less expensive skin care oils.

Avocado oil is very rich. It is especially beneficial for mature skin and contains a wide array of nutrients to keep winter skin healthy.

Jojoba oil is not a true oil, it is a wax that provides a protective barrier for the hair and skin. It is highly absorbable and rich in healthy nutrients to keep skin supple and hair shiny. It is an excellent choice to employ if you spend lots of time outdoors in winter as it protects the skin from sun and windburn.

Omega-rich oils, including flax, borage, black currant, hemp and flax, can be combined with other base oils to create blends that are anti-inflammatory. These oils relieve discomfort due to windburn and chaffing and penetrate deeply into the inner layers of skin.

Make outstanding lip balm or salve for rough, dry skin by combining a base oil with honey, beeswax (which provides supreme protection for damaged skin), and an omega-rich oil. The cells of your skin and lips become hydrated and plump.

Natural vitamin E oil nourishes winter skin and serves as a natural preservative. Add a few drops of it to homemade skin care products.

Use Ayurvedic Skin Care Practices for Soft, Moist Skin, Hair and Lips

Use a dry brush on your skin before showering, taking long, gentle strokes towards the direction of your heart. This aids circulation and removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.

Prior to showering, massage a small amount of sesame oil all over your entire body, including your scalp and lips. Take your shower, using a moisturizing mild shampoo and soap. Be careful not to slip, as the oil may make your shower floor slippery.

Tips to Keep Your Skin, Hair and Lips Healthy All Winter Long

  • Keep your skin covered when exposed to harsh weather.
  • Buy a humidifier or keep a pot of water simmering on a stove if indoor air is dry.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Apply moisturizers frequently.
  • Take only one shower per day. If you have mature skin, consider showering every other day while giving yourself a sponge bath on alternate days.
  • Deep condition your hair twice weekly.
  • Wear hats, scarves and gloves.
  • Wash your hair every other day.
  • Use sunblock to protect yourself from sun and wind burn if you are going to be outdoors for extended periods of time.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants.
  • Take a multivitamin every day.
  • Consume flax or hemp seeds or oil every day to reduce inflammation and nourish your tissues.
  • Get daily exercise to ensure the circulation to your skin and scalp is healthy.

Take good care of your skin, hair and lips this winter. You will be rewarded with more comfort, and a youthful, healthier appearance.