Without a doubt one of the most challenging things for me each winter is keeping my skin in a good shape. My skin tends to be much more sensitive in winter than it is in the summer months and especially my hands’ skin feels irritated and unusually dry. After just an hour or so outside, when I take a closer look at my hands, they literally look like a spiderweb of tiny cracks and ridges. Yikes. I need to fix that. Since I am usually ‘on the go’ and don’t have much time or money for elaborate treatments, I need something simple, easy, affordable and efficient.
I have to admit that I have tried some really amazing products including face and hand creams, body scrubs and body butters. Their only drawback? They really do cost a little fortune. While being frugal and always trying to get the best deal on everything, I promised myself that I will not skimp on high quality and healthy foods as well as good quality skincare. At the same time, while saying that, I am very happy to use cheaper alternatives if they work same or better than store bought products.
I bet that most of the products I am talking about are already in your kitchen cupboards and pantry. Within a few minutes you can have yourself a home-made remedy for dry, itchy and tired skin. Not to mention, if you make it yourself – you know exactly what you are using. Formaldehyde, phthalates and toulene are most common ingredients added to body washes, shampoos and conditioners. Huh? These sound more like dinosaurs’ names rather than what you want to be treating yourself with. So now get yourself some coconut oil, oats, avocados and let’s get to work!
Natural Amazing Winter Skincare Products?
Take a bath
Mix 2 cups of oatmeal (you can grind it before in a coffee grinder) with 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of honey. If you want add water and powdered milk. Add to your bath and enjoy. Your skin will be moisturized and feel more supple. My mom would always take a bath with oatmeal whenever her skin felt really dry, tired, after she got sunburn or when she had an outbreak of eczema. Moms tend to be right.
Wash your face
Sometime I like to make an oatmeal toner. It is a great way to calm very sensitive skin; the skin stays moisturized noticeably longer. I just throw some oatmeal into a cheese making cloth (or any clean piece of cloth that I have on hand), tie it with a thread and soak in a small bowl with water (I boil and cool the water first). I give it a few squeezes till the water gets cloudy. Voilà – I just got myself some oatmeal toner! I use it as I would any other kind. I make enough for one use only and do not store it, it is easy and cheap enough to make it as often as I need it.
Do a peeling
I am sure there are plenty of recipes but what I usually end up doing is blending 2 tablespoons of oatmeal with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of water and olive oil (adjust the ratio if you are going to do a body vs. face peeling). It cannot be too watery; it should have a consistency of very thick batter. Massage your skin with it for a few minutes, then rinse and treat with usual moisturizer. Your skin will be heavenly soft and smooth.
Coconut oil has been ‘a big hit’ for a long time. It literally is good for everything. If you haven’t already, make friends with coconut oil, especially in winter.
Warm up some coconut oil and apply it all over your body just before going to sleep (whenever I do it, I wear a long sleeve PJs). I wash it off in the morning. In winter, I try to do it at couple of times a weeks, although for best results it is great to do it at least every other day. Results? Beautiful, soft and smooth skin.
If you prefer not to be all ‘oiled up’ in bed, try applying coconut oil on your skin after taking a shower in the morning. When skin is freshly washed and still warm, this is when the oils are absorbed best. Try putting some on your face as well. The most amazing part is that it does NOT leave a greasy film. If you feel like it did, pat your face dry with a cleanex a few minutes after use.
Remove eye make up
It works just as well as the priciest store bought products. I tested it myself! Melt a teaspoon of coconut oil, soak a cotton round and swipe away. It does magic. You eyelid skin will never be dry again.
These are just a couple of simple ways you can use coconut oil but there are many more of course. I found a good list here if you are interested.
Where do I buy coconut oil? I usually buy a jar either at Whole Foods or Trader’s Joe, or if I have more things to buy (and am buying enough to get a free shipping), I get it on VitaCost. (If you go through my link, when you sign up you will receive $10 off of your first order of $30 or more). Since a 14 or 16 oz jar lasts me for a couple of months, I am not trying to save and I buy the organic kind. After all I am using it on my face and I like to think I am treating myself well.
Just like coconut oil, avocado shall be one’s go to product for dry skin and brittle hair, during all seasons really, not just in winter.
I have long, fine hair and yet I have been able to avoid split ends all along. One of the miracle products I have been using is avocado. Once every two weeks or so I blend 2 ripe avocados (due to having long hair; you may want to use just 1 if your hair is short or medium length), and massage it into my hair and scalp. I leave it for 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly. It helps to heal, nourish and overall improve hair and scalp condition. After a few weeks you will also notice that your hair is definitely less frizzy, a lot bouncier and shinier.
Sunburn relief / body nourishing treatment
Just like coconut oil, avocado brings relief to sunburn, itchy and tired skin. Mash ripe avocado with a teaspoon of good olive oil, distribute a thin layer on the affected area for 15 minutes, then rinse off and pat dry.
Use same mixture all over your body for a nourishing treatment, the skin will feel rejuvenated and moisturized.
Hand / body scrub
A ripe avocado and half a cup of finely ground oats go really well together. Combine well and use as a peeling on your hands or entire body. Before rinsing off, leave on for 5-7 minutes. If you do it often enough (every other day) you will see the difference.
What are YOUR favorite products from your pantry to use as skincare?