Winter is finally winding down, which makes me pretty excited. Though I know I’ll miss riding boots and layered sweaters, my skin is begging for some kind of reprieve now! I have eczema-prone skin and winter’s harsh effects can tend to last for months if I don’t take care to nourish my skin during the cold weather. My daughter has suffered with terrible eczema since she was born. It has gotten much better over the years, and these are the lessons I learned while trying to figure out how to care for her skin in a gentle, safe, and natural way. Below is a breakdown of products and practices I’ve found extremely helpful over the years.
- Layer moisturizer – I know it may sound a bit odd to most and it does add extra time to my personal care routine. However, I have found that layering my moisturizers is the only way to prevent my skin from drying out in a 24-hour period. Some people layer multiple lotions, while others layer oils and lotions or creams. The combination that works best for my daughter and me is to apply an oil first followed by a rich, moisturizing (water-based) lotion. There are so many variables, so I suggest you do a little experimenting for yourself. Some people prefer to layer the lotion first followed by the oil, and others can use a thicker cream, like shea or cocoa butter, instead of a water-based lotion. Neither of those combinations work for us and it took quite a bit of trial and error to find an optimal combination. For those interested, the recipe for my hair & body oil can be found here.
- Exfoliate regularly – a friend introduced me to an exfoliating cloth called Salux and it is truly a game changer! It takes a bit getting used to because it can seem a bit rough at first. Ever since I began to exfoliate regularly, I notice a vast difference in how well my skin absorbs moisturizer and how much longer my skin stays hydrated. Removing the top layer of dead skin cells improves the skin tone detoxifies the skin. I try to exfoliate twice weekly, and I’ve recently had my daughter begin exfoliating weekly with a gentle exfoliating cloth.
- Protection from the elements – I make sure to cover up! The cold temperatures really can zap moisture from the skin. Staying adequately protected by using hats, gloves, scarves, etc. is very helpful in locking in the skin’s moisture barrier. The same can be said for protecting your hair from drying out, as well.
- Hydration – I notice a big difference in the tone and appearance of my skin if I am not well hydrated, specifically in the skin on my face. If I am not drinking 2-3 liters of water a day, my skin lets me know it! It will feel so dry, itchy, and scaly that moisturizer won’t even help. Hydrating from the inside out is crucial for me. Don’t skip the water!
- Supplements – Lastly, I do credit supplements with helping the moisture balance in my skin. Staying on top of essential nutrients and vitamins is another way to combat winter dryness from the inside out. Things such as omega 3 oils, vitamin c, d, e & k, biotin, iron, and probiotics, especially for those with allergies, (just to name a few) can help tremendously with nourishing and improving your skin. They also have anti-aging properties that we all can benefit from. Win, win!