Tips to battle dry skin all year

July 28, 2015

Dry weather can leave our skin itchy, especially in the winter. Follow these tips to keep your skin moisturized year-long.

Tips to battle dry skin all year
  • Skip long, steamy showers and opt for shorter, cooler sprays. Long, hot showers strip skin of its moisture and wash away the protective oils. So limit your showers to 10 minutes and keep the water cool.
  • Check the dryness of your skin by scratching a small area on your arm or leg with your fingernail. If it leaves a white mark, your skin is indeed dry and needs both moisture and exfoliation (that is, removal of the outermost layer of dead skin cells).
  • Run a humidifier every night in winter to moisturize the air in your bedroom. Not only will it ease itchy, dry skin, but you'll be able to breathe the moist air more easily.
  • Smooth a couple of drops of olive oil over your face, elbows, knees and the backs of your arms every evening. The oil contains monounsaturated fat, which refreshes and hydrates the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
  • Apply ice wrapped in a towel to dry, itchy skin. A few minutes on, a few minutes off. Allow the moist cold to relieve your skin and draw warming blood to it, but don't let your skin get so cold that it stings or hurts.
  • Smooth aloe vera gel over extra-dry skin. The acids in aloe eat away at dead skin cells and speed up the healing process. Buy a pre-prepared product or cut the end off of an aloe leaf, split it open and spread the gel on the dry area.
  • Place rough, dry elbows on grapefruit halves. First exfoliate your elbows in the bath or shower, then cut a grapefruit in half and rest one elbow on one half, one on the other, letting them soak for 15 minutes. The acid in the grapefruit provides extra smoothing power.

To treat dry, rough, itchy skin, try these bath soaks

  • 225 grams (eight ounces) of sea salt and 450 grams (15 ounces) of baking soda. Bathe until the water is cool to detoxify your skin and soothe the itch.
  • 250 grams (nine ounces) of Epsom salts. In addition to soaking in it, while your skin is still wet, rub handfuls of Epsom salts on rough areas to exfoliate the skin.
  • A few bags of your favourite tea. The tea provides antioxidants as well as a delicious scent.
  • 100 grams (three and a half ounces) of uncooked oatmeal tied into an old stocking or muslin bag. Oats are not only wonderful for your inner health, they provide a healthy glow on the outside as well, leaving a film on your skin that seals in water.
  • 115 grams (four ounces) of powdered milk mixed with 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of grapeseed oil. The lactic acid in the milk will exfoliate your skin, and the grapeseed oil will provide a powerful dose of antioxidants.
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