You want to protect your skin from the win, cold, snow, and dry household air, but how? With so many lotions, potions, pills, and creams out there, it’s difficult to know what really works and what doesn’t. And, even when something does work well, how do you know it’s the best ‘bang for the buck’? Here are a few guidelines to follow.
Use Vitamin C Serums
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. Many people supplement with it in their diet, but did you know you can rub it on your skin? It’s true. The vitamin is essential in tissue repair, and it can help improve skin cell turnover.
In other words, a good vitamin C serum can help you look younger, erase fine lines around your face, and help heal dry skin and blemishes.
Amazon carries some good-quality Vitamin C Serum that’s made professionally. Just be sure to check the freshness of the product, because vitamin C degrades (oxidizes) quickly.
Don’t Shampoo Your Hair Every Day
Shampooing your hair every day strips it of the natural oils that protect your hair. It might seem unusual at first, but try shampooing every other day, and then work up to once or twice a week. At first, you’ll probably notice your body “revolting” by producing more oil.
This is normal. Your body is actually reacting to the over-cleansing of your hair. It will calm down after a few weeks. Eventually, you’ll notice your hair becoming smoother, softer, and fuller. If you want to help make the transition easier, prewash your hair with olive oil.
Use Coconut, Olive, and Sesame Oil As Sunscreen Alternatives or Compliments
Most people don’t think about sunscreen in the winter, but you can very easily get a sunburn from the sun bouncing off of snow and ice.
To combat this, some people slather on the sunscreen, but this often leaves your skin feeling greasy. An alternative (or perhaps at least a complimentary addition to sunscreen) is coconut oil.
Coconut oil contains a high amount of lauric acid. It’s what gives coconut oil its disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. Applying coconut oil to your skin can help reduce the risk of microbial infections that can get into open wounds or cuts while also moisturizing your skin.
And, unlike a lot of oils, coconut oil doesn’t act like suntan lotion. On the contrary, the composition of fats in the oil blocks 20 percent of UV rays. The same is true of peanut and olive oils. If you want better protection use sesame oil – it blocks up to 30 percent of UV rays.
Use Argan Oil
Winter can really do a number on your skin. If you have extremely dry and itchy skin, try Argan oil. It’s a rare oil harvested and distributed by local co-ops of women in Morocco, and is only found in this region of the world. The oil itself is one of the few that is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. But, it will absorb into your skin quickly and moisturize it.
Nearly 80 percent of the oil is comprised of fatty acids which are high in vitamin E, and phytosterols, which may have anti-tumor effects and which may reduce inflammation of the skin when used topically.
Use Salt and Sugar Scrubs
Salt and sugar scrubs are excellent products to use when you need to exfoliate your skin. Just a small amount of scrub will leave your hands and feet soft and smooth. The key is using the scrub long enough, but not too long. Generally, about 5 to 10 minutes of gentle scrubbing is all it takes.
It’s easy to make your own salt and sugar scrubs at home. Check out this recipe for DIY Tropical Mango Body Scrub!
Use Plant-Based Oils
Petroleum-based products can help lock in moisture, but they don’t really moisturize. Natural oils, on the other hand, do moisturize and they also contain antioxidants and vitamins that nourish skin. Plant-based oils will penetrate the skin quickly, and give you a soft feel, while petroleum creams and oils can feel greasy.
Some of the best oils can be found in the baking isle of your favorite grocery store. One of the best is olive oil. It is rich in polyphenols – antioxidants to your body and protective chemicals to the olive plant.
Olive oil also contains a substance called oleocanthal, which stops the activity of two specific enzymes in the body, Cox-1 and Cox-2. These enzymes are at the heart of inflammatory processes, and oleocanthal works in a manner similar to NSAIDs.
Translation: olive oil might help you with mild inflammatory skin disorders. About 50 grams of olive oil contains enough oleocanthal to equal 10 percent of the recommended adult dose of ibuprofen.