Winter skin in Idaho often means dry, itchy, and irritated. Here are a few ways to take care of that!
The first way to help combat dry skin is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of quality water every day, get a humidifier to help keep some moisture in the air, and take natural oils. Hemp seed oil, chia seeds, flax seeds or fish oils all help to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
Other factors to consider are what you are using on your skin. Soap is good for removing dirt but it can clean the skin too thoroughly, and strip it of it's natural barrier.This is also often the case with commercial shampoos and bubble baths. When using soap look for natural soaps made with oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, glyercine and products that do not contain artificial ingredients and chemicals.
You can even use the oil cleansing method if you skin is extremely dry. Most people like coconut oil for this but I prefer olive oil or even castor oil. Pour the oil into your hand and massage into the skin in circular motions. This is safe to use on the face and body. You can then use a wet wash cloth to gently remove excess oil.
To remove dull skin you can do skin brushing with an exfoliating mitt or a soft bristled body brush before you shower. This is best done on dry skin. Use the mitt or brush in upward circular strokes towards your lymph glands to aid in lymphadic drainage. Here is a chart to help with that : http://www.stepup-speakout.org/images/KloseChartofLymphSystem1.jpg
You can also use something called a Ddeh Meeruh cloth. You would use this in the shower after you have rinsed off any soap residue. The Ddeh Meeruh is a washing cloth and the name means push dead skin cells. It is a rough cloth that you can purchase in a Korean market or these cloths that I found online:
Some reviews have said they used these on their face. This should be done very gently as the skin on our face is more sensitive than our bodies and these cloths are very exfoliating. I found a large exfoliating hydra towel by Earth Therapeutics at Fred Myer for $4.00 that works well. Hot water can contribute to dry itchy skin so try to limit the amount of time you are in the shower.
Once you are done bathing you can put Shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, hemp seed oil, or whatever natural oil that you prefer on damp skin to help seal in moisture. You can also shower first to remove any dirt then take a relaxing soak in a bath with the moisturizing oils listed above added to your bath water. Be careful when getting out of the tub after these types of baths because it will be slippery! I also make some bath teas with powdered goat milk, oatmeal, and lavender flowers and throw those in the tub with me. All are very soothing and help with irritated skin.
I hope any of these tips were helpful and please return next week for some nourishing skin facial treatments you can make at home!