Winter has officially begun, so to help take care of your skin I offer this advice excerpted from Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).
“Winter can be tough on skin, but there’s much you can do to defend against the assaults of the season. The skin’s primary role — to protect the body — is ever more important in extreme weather, and in most locations, that means extreme cold outside and dry, over-heated air inside during the winter. Your epidermis must “weather” these drastic fluctuations in temperature, and often the result is chapped, scaly, flaky skin. …
(Shift) to winter-weight products, such as thicker, cream-based cleansers and moisturizers. These will provide stronger barriers against the harsh environment of winter months. … If much time is spent outdoors skiing, snowboarding, or walking, for example, your complexion needs heavy-duty protection from brisk wind and winter sun as well. … For regular outdoor time — a few hours a day — a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 should be sufficient. But if a winter trip on the slopes or shore is part of the plan, sunscreen with a higher protective factor is needed.
Skin everywhere dries out, and gets that flaky look and uncomfortable winter itch. Hot baths — a delightful antidote to the chill — can further exacerbate dry skin. The solution? Add 10 drops of a an aromatic essential oil to the bath to moisturize as you soak, (diluted, of course). … Then apply an emollient moisturizer — a product that feels particularly thick and creamy to the touch, like a body butter — geared for extra dry, rough, chapped, or cracked skin. Apply it immediately after drying off, when the skin can most readily absorb the lotion and restore its barrier. …
And don’t forget feet and hands. The feet, hidden by socks and boots all winter long, often go neglected this time of year and need attention, but the most obvious casualties of winter are the hands. Exposed to the elements and the subject of frequent hand-washing during the cold and flu season, hands can turn to rawhide just as holiday parties go into full swing. …
This is the season to slather hands with heavy, oil-rich cream at night and cover them with gloves. And don’t forget feet: they also require the same special care. Consider a moisturizer for them in the evenings and sleep with socks on. In the morning, your feet and hands will feel soft and moisturized.”
At Elemental Aromas we carry Lizard Lotion, a soothing cream for body, hands, and feet. The essential oils in the cream have been chosen to improve dry skin and mend those pesky cracks that appear at winter-worn knuckles and nail beds. Or, if you are feeling DIY, then try this recipe:
Whipped Body Butter
2 ounces Cocoa Butter
3 ounces Coconut Oil
1 tsp Carrier Oil
30 drops Essential Oils
In a double boiler over low heat, melt cocoa butter and coconut oil. Remove from heat and stir in carrier oil and essential oils. Allow mixture to cool until the edges become firm. Whip until butter becomes fluffy and smooth.