Dry Skin this Winter? 14 Tips to Beat Dryness without Breaking the Bank

Snowflakes, skiing, hot chocolate, Netflix marathons…what’s not to like about winter? Well, maybe the dry, flaky, itchy skin… Here are some of our favorite dry skin tips you can do at home to help your skin feel more comfortable.

Dry Skin doesn’t make enough oil. Oily skin makes plenty of oil. Dehydrated skin however, doesn’t have enough water. This is why you can have very oily skin, but still feel quite dry in the winter: it’s really just dehydration.

External Skin Care tips:

  • Dry Brushing- Any bath or shower ritual will be enhanced with a little dry brushing beforehand. Simply take a stiff bristled body brush and brush your skin in upward motions toward your heart. Not only is this a great way to exfoliate dead, dry skin, but it also moves lymph, which reduces swelling, puffiness, and supports overall health. Start on your feet and move upward, continuing until the skin is slightly pink.
  • Oil Your Skin First- Follow up that dry brushing with a little self-massage! Raid your kitchen for some sesame or sunflower oil. First let it all soak in, then hop in the shower. Use a gentle cleanser and try washing just the “stinky parts”. (Applying oil to the skin after a shower is lovely, however the oils will soak into the fibers of your clothing and towels, turning rancid over time.)
  • Apply Moisturizer After Washing– Follow up after bathing or washing with your favorite lotion, every time. Avoid lotion with fragrance, as it’s a common irritant, frequently causing more dryness and itching. Dry winter skin doesn’t need more of that!
  • Moisturize BOTH your face and body! If the body skin is dry, your face definitely will be too. Don’t skip one or the other, they are all part of the same organ. Treat your skin well❤️

Weekly Dry Skin Tips

  • Coconut Milk Bath- Indulge in a lush bath of warm water and a can of full-fat coconut milk! The natural fat helps to gently soften and hydrate itchy dry winter skin. Keep it to about 20 minutes though, more than that and your warm soak may have a reverse effect. Caution! The tub will be slippery!
  • Mask Treat- indulge in a weekly mask of full fat yogurt, mashed banana, avocado or honey. A classic “honey pat” helps to gently exfoliate and hydrate. Simply take 1-2 teaspoons of liquid honey, and with your fingers, “pat” it all over your face. After a few minutes of patting, the honey will become runny, then you can leave it to continue working for 10-15 minutes if desired. Rinse well and follow-up with your favorite moisturizer. For a superior treat, try a professional hydrating mask like this one.

Layer Moisturizers With Oils

  • Avoid using JUST oils- Oils alone do not contain the correct ratio of essential fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol that make up a healthy barrier. Continued use of JUST an oil will damage the barrier of the skin over time (makes the skin dry and chapped). Use oils as a boost along with regular moisturizer.
  • No Coconut Oil on Acnecontrary to popular media, coconut oil is NOT the best choice for people with acne-prone skin.  I know, I specialize in Acne…kiwi oil is a much better choice, it contains a high proportion of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid which studies have shown is deficient in acne and eczema prone skin. Coconut oil is ok for non-acne prone skin, but it doesn’t contain enough fatty acids for winter weather. It will absorb and disappear.
  • Shea, mango or cocoa butter– Dry skin needs more reinforcement. Butters are thicker and heavier, and rather inexpensive to obtain. Just warm it a little in your hands and apply. Again, not for acne!
  • Pomegranate oil for. A drop or two added to your regular moisturizer can give you the winterizing boost dry skin needs. Kiwi or jojoba oils are good choices for acne -prone skin.

Internal Tips:

  • Eat healthy fats: avocado, walnuts, grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, olive oil. These foods are required for healthy cellular membranes, and no matter how much lotion you put on the outside, if your insides are oil dry, you just can’t moisturize enough.
  • Drink enough water!! Healthy skin has a balance of oil and water, so someone who is very oily can often feel very dry in the winter. they aren’t really dry, rather they are dehydrated! Drink up! A cup of hot tea both hydrates and takes out the chill.

Environmental Tips for Dry Skin:

  • Use a humidifier. While dry, hot air from heating units will pull moisture right out of your skin by osmosis, try just boosting the relative humidity. And don’t blast the heat.
  • Cover your skin- wear a scarf and gloves! Keep your skin protected from the elements and reduce moisture loss by keeping it covered when you go outside.
  • Wear natural fibers like cotton, wool, bamboo and silk. These fabrics help prevent moisture loss and preserve heat.

What are your go-to tips for keeping dry winter skin happy? Please share in the comments.

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