In the winter, it is natural for blood circulation to slow down. To regulate it, try dry brushing. With dry skin and brush, start at the soles of your feet. Brush upward on your bare skin toward your heart, covering each area only once. Brush across your buttocks, and use a counter-clockwise motion on your stomach and abdomen. Finish with your arms and hands, remembering your palms. Start with gentle pressure, and as your skin becomes more fit and firm, you’ll be able to work more vigorously. Follow with a rinse in the tub or shower. Lotions are common moisturisers, and many of them come in pump-action containers. When your skin is dry in the winter, it’s important to use creams, which come in jars, and ointments.
Cold feet? A brilliant way to restore the heat is to use a foot cream in circular motions from the heel up to the toes. This will not only warm your feet but also moisturise them at the same time.
Vinegar and Listerine soak – Listerine is fantastic for removing dry, dead skin because of the active ingredients it contains. It can also help treat athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. All you have to do is mix one cup of Listerine with one cup of white vinegar and two cups of warm water. Pour this mix into a container large enough to hold both your feet simultaneously, or use your foot spa. Soak your feet for about 30 to 40 minutes. The soak may smell quite strong, but this will soon dissipate when dried. Once soaked, gently pat your feet dry and use a pumice stone to remove any hard, dead skin.
Coconut oil for dry, cracked feet – Not only is coconut oil full of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which means it’s great for aiding in the healing process – it’s also fantastic for helping your skin to retain moisture. Apply a generous layer of coconut oil after a soak to help moisturise your feet.
If you have a beard, you may be familiar with the deadly dry skin and even drier beard that comes with the cold weather. Consider applying a beard oil before and after heading out into the winter weather. Also, avoid taking hot showers. The extreme change in temperature will dry out both your facial hair and your skin.
Look for hydrating solutions rather than a bog-standard face wash. As temperatures drop, so does your skin’s ability to retain water, which means the face wash you used all summer won’t deliver the same results in winter. Look for alcohol- and soap-free formulations.
Give your hair a hot oil treatment as you do chores or soak in the tub. Simply apply a teaspoon olive or coconut oil to dry hair. Cover hair with a plastic shower cap and wrap a towel around your head. Natural body heat boosts the oil’s ability to condition hair. After 15 minutes, shampoo as usual.
Allow your hair to air dry – If possible, it’s a good idea to let your hair air dry and limit your use of tools like dryers and flat irons.
Winter beauty tips
Bathe in milk to enjoy the skin-nourishing benefits of lactic acid and natural fats. Just add skim milk to lukewarm water to soften your skin.
To soften stubborn dry patches on rough elbows and knees, opt for a rich, hydrating scrub. Use a simple mix of honey and sugar. Studies show that honey reduces inflammation, and sugar (applied topically) increases circulation in the skin.
Vitamin C is well-known as an antioxidant, and also for its ability to brighten a dull complexion and combat hyper-pigmentation. It also strengthens skin cells and promotes collagen production, thus making it an all-round anti-ager. Prefer fresh vitamin C? Get it from citrus fruits, berries, melons, papaya, pineapple, kiwi and mango.
Keep lips covered with a good balm applied several times during the day. Make sure the lip balm has an SPF of 15 or 20. Other ingredients to look out for when buying a lip balm are vitamin E, beeswax and shea butter. Massaging lips with ghee (clarified butter) and leaving a thin layer on overnight acts as a natural protection for lips.
Humidifiers can be a great investment if you have dry skin during the winter, as they can put moisture back into the air in your home and prevent the lack of moisture from drying out your skin further. Invest in several small humidifiers throughout the home to get an even dispersion of moisture in the air.