The Dry Skin Blues

Tuesday, October 20, 2009




We've had the heat on quite a bit these past couple weeks. Thankfully, it is in the upper 50s now and it's not on all day and night. Once I turned the heat back on again this fall, my arms and legs started getting dry. It's only a sign of what's ahead until spring comes once again.

If you ignore it, it'll only get worse and you'll notice flakes of dead skin on your legs and a dull texture. If you take some time to follow these steps, along with some easy DIY recipes, your skin will be silky and radiant all winter.

Try these 6 steps each day for a week. See the difference in your skin! If possible, avoid anything with artificial fragrances on the skin for maximum benefit.


STEP 1--Dry Brushing

Spend 5 minutes each morning dry brushing your skin. You can find good quality, natural bristled body brushes at The Body Shop, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Ulta.

Your skin will see phenomenal benefits with dry brushing. Avoid the face and heart region. Work from the feet up in gentle, long motions working up towards the heart. Do the hands up the arms and shoulders. Also work on the torso working up.

Dry skin cells will help be shed. Skin will appear newer and more radiant. Regular brushing helps reduce the appearance of cellulite and lends a smoother feel. Dry brushing is also said to help reduce toxins. Circulation can also be improved.

STEP 2--Oil Up Before the Shower

After dry brushing, apply my newest favorite body oil. I always tinker with different oil blends when making body oil, and this blend has been working like a charm! To make it, combine equal parts Macadamia Nut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Sunflower Oil. That is all you need. If you have pomegranate seed oil, olive squalane or argan oil, add it right in for added moisturization.

Apply the oil from neck to toes (not bottoms of feet, though, or you may slip). I always do this before getting in the shower to protect my skin from the extra warm water I like to use. It helps to seal in moisture.

STEP 3--Scrub a Dub

Choose an oily scrub and use this on your body before lathering up in the shower. I prefer a salt scrub for its detox properties and have provided my recipe in an earlier post. Click here for the recipe.

Use these 3 times a week, more if needed. Why? Exfoliation aids in cell turnover, sloughs away dull skin cells and leaves behind a renewed appearance.


STEP 4--Choose Your Suds Wisely

The perfect bar of soap for the whole family is Aunt Nancy's Goat's Milk Bar with Oatmeal, Honey and Olive Oil. It is so gentle. Wheat germ oil nourishes and is high in antioxidant vitamin E. The honey is full of skin nourishing properties and the oatmeal will soothe itchy, tight skin.

If you can only choose one bar, make this the one. You can also use it on your face.

The creamy gentle lather will cleanse your skin without stripping it of natural oils.

If you don't shop online, I do not have a bar of soap without palm oil I can recommend, so try the liquid Dr. Bronner's Organic Shikakai Baby Soap or Queen Helene Naturals Cocoa Butter Body Wash. I have used both and can recommend them without reservation. They are also both certified Fair Trade.


STEP 5--Soothe with this great DIY project!

I'm going to share a soothing body spray recipe. Makes 8 ounces.

In a bottle with spray top, combine the following ingredients:

1.5 ounces Aloe Vera Juice
1.5 ounces distilled water
1 ounce The Herbarie's Botanical Complex SCA (a fabulous blend of 5 extracts you'll learn more about below)


*What do the ingredients in the spray do?*
ALOE VERA JUICE-- is one of my favorite ingredients. Aloe Vera Juice naturally contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, niacinamide, choline and 18 amino acids. It can be used to brighten, calm, provide antioxidant benefits, and soothe irritated skin.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT--is chock full of EGCG, an antioxidant complex.
WHITE PEONY TEA EXTRACT--much like its relative green tea extract, this is an antioxidant powerhouse. It, however, contains 3 times as many polyphenols. It's detoxifying as well.
LAVENDER HYDROSOL--one of the most soothing and calming floral waters is lavender hydrosol. Helps soothe sensitive, sunburned, and irritated skin. Helps heal wounds and speeds the healing process
NETTLE EXTRACT--known for its anti-inflammatory properties, this can even help reduce the side effects of eczema
MELISSA EXTRACT--also known as lemon balm, this is wound healing, soothing, and detoxifying properties; helps keep bugs away, anti-inflammatory
ELDERFLOWER EXTRACT--used to treat wounds, insect bites and sunburns
CLEAVERS EXTRACT--an excellent tonic and anti-inflammatory, great for breakouts and soothing bug bites
PLANTAIN EXTRACT--a phytochemical, this helps increase cell turnover and is known for its wound healing benefits

STEP 6--NOURISH AFTER SHOWER and AT BEDTIME

Don't fret about spending lots of money on scented lotions and potions. Synthetic fragrance is one of the leading irritants of sensitive and dry skin.

According to a study by The National Academy of Sciences, Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace (published report by the Committee on Science and Technology, US House of Representatives, 1986-but not refuted), more than 95% of artificial fragrance ingredients are derived from petroleum. Many still contain phthalates, too, even though companies are slowly eliminating these toxins.

Take the natural approach and use Virgin Coconut Oil or Unrefined Shea Butter (Fair Trade, certified organic or NOP certified is best and what I use and recommend) as your moisturizer. Your skin will truly thank you!

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