It may officially be spring, but winter seems to be hanging on forever this year, and the cold combined with dry indoor air can be brutal for dry, sensitive skin. Below are some tips that I’ve found effective at helping to keep skin soft and smooth all year round.
Ditch harsh cleansers
Harsh ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate will not only wash off sweat and dirt, but will strip your skin of it’s natural protective oils. Products from brands such as Everyone, Gardener’s Dream, and Saje are eco-friendly, cruelty-free, gentle and safe for the whole family. These products smell great and give you a spa-like feel. I’ll never go back to regular bar soap! Whatever you choose, try to go with products that are SLS and paraben free, as well as free from artificial fragrances. Your skin and the environment will thank you.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to rush out the door without moisturizing after your morning shower. Pamper yourself by massaging a good quality lotion into your skin daily. For an extra boost of moisture, oils can be used on the body in place of, or mixed with, your regular lotion. I really like Eminence apricot body oil. It has a sweet, fruity smell that could almost double for perfume it and absorbs quickly so your skin isn’t left feeling greasy. Plain old coconut or almond oil will work fine too, just be careful with heavier oils such as olive oil, which could lead to clogged pores if used everyday.
Also, don’t forget to use an SPF cream on your face and hands. Even in winter, harmful UV rays can penetrate and damage your exposed skin, leading to premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer.
If it seems like you’re slathering on the moisturizers to no avail, you may benefit from using a humectant underneath your moisturizer. Humectants prevent dryness by helping to retain your skin’s natural moisture. Eminence strawberry hyaluronic serum is good to use alone or in combination with a moisturizer, and like most of their products, smells amazing! Although it may sound like some sort of deadly chemical, hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the human body and can help your skin stay supple by replenishing moisture.
Glycerine is another natural and inexpensive humectant. You can get glycerine or rose water and glycerine at most health food stores for about ten dollars. It can be used after cleansing as a toner as well as a hydrator.
Love your lips too!
Don’t forget your lips! Look out for lips balms that are “medicated” with ingredients such as camphor or menthol, which can actually irritate the delicate skin on and around your lips. I personally like to steer clear of petroleum-based lip products as well. Plain shea butter is a great moisturizer for lips, and has a light, nutty flavour. Right now I’m in love with Hurraw, a vegan, all- natural, organic line of lip balms that taste and smell good enough to eat and leave my lips soft and moist. Next time I go to my local Choices I’m going to stock up!
Hydrate from the inside out
Make sure you’re getting adequate hydration in the form of non-caffeinated, sugar-free and non-alcoholic beverages. Filtered water is your best bet, but herbal teas will work just as well. If you do high intensity workouts, a sugar free electrolyte powder added to your water can help you replenish electrolytes and minerals as well as hydrate quickly post-workout. Vega Sport® Electrolyte Hydrator is my favourite: it has a fresh citrus taste, is sweetened with stevia and contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin c, calcium and magnesium. Take a water bottle with you wherever you go to remind
Whenever indoor air gets too dry, I tend to get a stuffy nose, dry staticky hair, dry skin and a pesky cough. If you’re experiencing dryness, it’s helpful to use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level in your home to determine whether this may be the cause. This little device measures the amount of humidity as a percentage (you can pick one up for about $20). Try to keep your humidity at around 50%: anything below that number will contribute to dry skin, but too much humidity can result in condensation on your walls and windows and mold growth.
Nebulizers also add humidity to the air and you can use them to diffuse essential oils, which can help ease cough and cold symptoms.
Use distilled water in your humidifiers and nebulizers to prevent dirt and minerals from building up and being dispersed into the air.
Stress can make just about any issue worse, including skin conditions. Take deep breaths, let the little things go and remember to count your blessings ❤