Does your skin get dry in the winter? My face and body used to suffer from dry skin during the winter months. I’m talking like seriously, really dry skin. In the past my legs have gotten so dry and itchy that I’ve scratched them until they’ve bled. Clearly that small revelation may be a little TMI, but it at least explains why I’m so passionate about these five winter skin essentials. These five simple things really work to keep my skin feeling well-nourished! If you’re a dry-winter-skin-sufferer this post is definitely for you!
If you’re one of the lucky ones whose skin stays perfectly happy all year long, skip to the end of the post for more information on how you can join The Safer Beauty Tribe this year. Get signed up for my monthly newsletter to learn more about safe, healthy, toxic-free, affordable ways to pamper your skin and body.
Winter Skin Essentials
1. EXFOLIATION is the key!
Who knew right? Who knew that actually scrubbing dry skin would be helpful not harmful? It’s true though. Sloughing off that dry skin so that moisturizers can really get into the skin and do their job is the real key to combating dryness in the winter. If you’ve ever shied away from using a facial scrub because you have gentle skin, you will love Beautycounter’s Nourishing Cream Exfoliator! It sloughs off dry skin with non-abrasive jojoba beads, hydrates and soothes the skin with coconut oil and aloe. It’s great for all skin types!
I use it three to four times a week, and it makes a world of difference in the way my skin feels. If you make just one change to your winter skincare regimen, adding in a gentle facial scrub is the best change you can make!
2. The wonders of COCONUT OIL never cease.
You remember how the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was obsessed with Windex? That’s how I am with coconut oil. I literally use it for everything! Not only is it an all-natural, completely safe and healthy way to moisturize the skin, but it’s one of the most affordable! Buy it on Amazon or at your local grocery store. This one is a favorite of mine. I use coconut oil as a make-up remover; it’s great for removing eye make-up! I also use it as a facial mask in the winter, layering it on kind of heavy in the evening and letting it remain on the skin for about an hour before wiping away any excess with a warm washcloth.
I also use it in lieu of body lotion in the winter months, and it totally saves my dry, itchy winter skin! You can also use coconut oil as a body scrub, by mixing 3 parts coconut oil with 1 part raw sugar or salt (depending on your preference).
Why is coconut oil so great for the skin? Not to get overly science-y on you, but the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil help the skin to retain it’s moisture content as well as prevent moisture loss through the pores. It’s vitamin E content makes it a wonderful choice for nourishing and protecting the skin from cracking which is why it’s so great in the winter months.
If you prefer something with a pump or just like having the convenience of something that you can stash in your purse or gym bag, I’m a huge fan of Beautycounter’s Baby Soothing Oil. It’s a mix of coconut, jojoba and sunflower seed oils that soften and soothe the skin. Made for newborns, but great for all ages!
3. WARM not hot SHOWERS are the way to go in the winter!
I used to take the hottest showers. The hotter the better was always my motto, especially after having lived through winters in PA. It was actually my hair stylist that showed me the light. She swore warm water rather than hot would be better for not only my dry, itchy winter skin but also for my hair. I remembering thinking, “Really?”. But boy was she right!
After further investigation into this theory I discovered there’s some real science involved here. Apparently hot water strips away your skin’s natural defense against dryness. Many doctors even promote the health benefits of taking cold showers, but I’m not a sadist. Warm I can handle though. And it truly has made a difference in the way my skin feels during the winter.
4. OILS over lotions.
The multi-billion dollar beauty industry has done a really great job of brainwashing us into thinking that oils are bad. So many people still believe that oils clog pores or that oils make skin feel well, oily. We’ve been sold a bottle of lotion or cream as the best way to moisturize our skin.
The truth is lotion is nothing more than oil emulsified in water, typically with other ingredients (often toxic chemicals) added in to aid absorption. You could skip the lotion all together and actually get better results going directly to the source by just using oil to moisturize your skin. Pure plant oils are unlike synthetic oils that sit on the skin; they are easily absorbed for maximum hydration. Beautycounter’s hydrating face oil is a wonderful way to moisturize the skin during the winter months. It’s a blend of pure plant oils including argan, rosehip and jasmine that work to boost hydration and leave the skin feeling soft and smooth. Argan oil is well-known for it’s moisturizing capabilities, and jasmine oil increases the skin’s elasticity. Two to three drops are all you need, so the bottle lasts for months.
5. Just SAY NO to ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS.
Forty-two years of FDA research as well as countless other studies have produced zero evidence that soaps with the anti-bacterial ingredient triclosan are any better at preventing illness or preventing the spread of infection than washing with plain old-fashioned soap. Triclosan, however, has been linked to hormonal imbalance, environmental damage and superbugs. I myself noticed a change in my skin when I stopped using anti-bacterial soaps. My hands used to get so dry that the skin would crack in the winter months. I assumed this was just par for the course.
In switching to conventional soaps I noticed a huge improvement. While washing my hands religiously during flu season my hands still don’t get dry. Washing dishes no longer feels like a special kind of torture…..at least not for my hands. 😉 I actually rarely, if ever, even use hand cream! And I used to have hand creams stashed everywhere from my purse to my car and nightstand.
With the truth on triclosan now coming out, many manufacturers have replaced it with benzalkonium chloride, a disinfectant that’s been associated with severe skin irritation. Steering clear of the word “antibacterial” is what has served my skin well.
Safe, Effective Soap Alternatives
I’m a huge advocate of the Thieves line of products from Young Living! I love their foaming hand soaps! With Thieves you get natural, yet effective cleaning without the harsh chemicals.
For my face I use Beautycounter’s Charcoal Cleansing Bar. I can’t sing it’s praises any louder! It pulls impurities from the skin, but doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight or dry. While the $24 price tag can be a smack in the face, this bar is unlike any bar of soap you’ve used before. It lasts for many months! The bar I’m currently using, of which I use both morning and night, is currently going on month four. And it looks to have about another few weeks before it’s completely used.
The trick is to store it out of the stream of water if you keep it in your shower. I keep my bar on a little plate on my bathroom vanity.
This charcoal bar is what I recommend for teens or any young person beginning a skincare regimen. It’s safe and effective. My 12 year old son uses it daily.
Safer New Year
I never thought to question the safety of personal care products. Never, did I ever read product labels the way I read food ingredient labels. I assumed the products on the market were safe. Until the day my son developed a rash after I slathered him down in sunscreen. All of a sudden, for the first time in my life, the ingredients mattered. And once they mattered, I became more knowledgable. Regardless of the reason, knowledge is power.
I learned that companies are allowed to use harmful ingredients and to make their own judgements about safety. I learned that there are many ingredients in the products available on the market today that have been linked to serious health issues, including but not limited to asthma, cancer and infertility.
However, what I also learned is that there are safer, more effective and yes, affordable personal care products available.
Join The Safer Beauty Tribe
Is switching to safer, toxin-free products one of your goals this year? Are you interested in learning more about which chemical ingredients are harmful? Not all chemicals are bad. Do you want to be able to read product labels with a better understanding so that you can make more informed purchases? Join The Safer Beauty Tribe by clicking right here! Once a month, on the second Friday of the month, you’ll receive a newsletter in your inbox. Every issue will provide you with essential ingredient information, ways to make choosing safer solutions easier and affordable as well as Beautycounter product highlights.
The Safer Beauty Tribe newsletter isn’t a monthly sales pitch, I promise. It’s sole purpose is to better equip the tribe with easy to understand information so that they can make healthier choices for themselves and their families. I didn’t join Beautycounter to “sell cosmetics”, I joined because I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of getting safer products into the hands of everyone. I just want to share what I’ve learned because it’s made a tremendous impact for my family!
With the primary focus of Our Fifth House being design and diy projects, I’ll only occasionally be posting about safer beauty here on the site. The Safer Beauty Tribe newsletter will delve deeper and provide much more detailed information, occasionally including homemade, natural beauty recipes for mixing up masks and body creams. If safer beauty is a field of interest for you this year, you’ll definitely want to join the tribe! It’s completely FREE to join! And as I mentioned above, it’s once a month, so it won’t junk up your inbox.
Let me know if y’all have any questions! My wish for you all is a happy, healthy new year!