Hark, the most dreaded of all skin seasons is upon us. If I have learned anything at all from watching Game of Thrones it is this - WINTER IS COMING, and that is a dreadful, terrifying thing.
Winter is hard for those of us with "sensitive skin" and by that I mean like 90% of the population who is impacted by cold weather, dehydration caused by moving between temperatures and indoor heating, lack of sunlight etc.
Winter is when skin becomes dry and flaky. It's when eczema happens. It sucks.
Fortunately I have become an expert at battling the many woes of dry, cracked, rash-prone skin. And I am about to share my secrets with you now.
It Starts on The Inside
Drink lots of water. When it's cold we don't get that same "thirsty" sweating feeling and so we let ourselves slide with a few cups of warm tea and forget that winter is drying us out like a flash frozen raspberry. For an added dose of helpfulness I've been a long suffering devotee of fish oil or diets heavy in the omegas. The skin is made up of cells which benefit from the hydration, but the skin cells are held together by a layer of lipids, made up of omega fats. When our skin dries and gets flaky, it's usually those lipid layers that are cracking under the pressure *pun intended* and giving them extra fat enriches them and makes them strong. When those layers crack and you get irritants underneath you get eczema. So this is a two in one power move. Look for fish oil that is burpless.
Lotion Lotion Lotion
Lotion works in two ways. When applied after a bath or shower it traps the moisture in your skin. It also helps prevent moisture from evaporating out of your skin, and some lotions will also act as a second barrier to prevent irritants when the lipid layer is broken. The key is frequency, and trying to stop the problem before it starts. It's so much harder to fix something than it is to prevent it from happening when it comes to skin. I also keep hydrocortisone cream everywhere in the winter so that the second I feel any little eczema bumps I can nip the cycle of irritation in the bud.
When it comes to body lotion my favorite, MVP, caviar-of-all-creams is the Lanolips 101 Multipurpose Balm. It's magical. It cures eczema overnight, makes my skin feel like butter, and has no smell at all. It's also super natural, comes from sheep, and expensive AF. The "molecular structure closely resembles & mimics your own skin oils" which is what makes it so amazing. But because of the price it is reserved for emergency situations and special occasions.
On all other occasions I use the oil + lotion method. I apply coconut oil immediately after emerging from the shower when my skin is almost a little damp. I follow it up with lotion. I'm still trying to find a paraben free body lotion that works as well as Eucerin or Amlactin for the price point, but there are some pretty amazing balms including my current fave Badger Balm. Although I have to admit the little guy creeps me out a bit.
Keep Going Past Your Face
I swear it's impossible to get the right teeny, tiny droplet amount of whatever amazing fancy skincare products you use on your face, so why not keep going. I just schmear that stuff from my forehead down my neck to my cleavage.
Earthy, Folksy Remedies
I didn't know what else to call this as I am reserving the title "woo woo hippy shit" for another blogpost, but there's a few other tricks I've picked up along the way.
In the winter, sleep with a bowl of water by your bed. It works like a humidifier, except humidifiers are gross and get moldy and then spew that fungus all over your house. Get a pretty bowl. It will evaporate, your skin will get the moisture everyone is happy.
Don't take super hot, super long bathes/showers (unless there's like, a block of oil in the tub with you) because this will suck the water out of your skin. Aim for warm showers and moisturize immediately afterwards.
Don't forget to exfoliate, but do it gently. Like wet a washcloth, gently. And if like me, you get rashy a throw some milk and some oatmeal in a warm bath and soak for about 10 minutes. It does magic things. They also make fancy pre-mixed versions of this.
You know winter is coming. Don't wait until your skin freaks out and becomes tight and painful. You'll just spend all winter playing catch up. And you know WINTER IS COMING.
Wearing: Lace Up Sweater | Seed Bead Rainbow Choker | Sunglasses