December 2, 2013

Only 3 Things Needed for Great Winter Skin. {Skincare Recipes}

Relephant reads:

I Caked My Bad Skin with Makeup, Until I Faced my Fears & Tried the Caveman Regimen Instead.

Oil Cleansing: How to Have Amazingly Clear & Radiant Skin. 

Forget Sephora: Winter Skin Care Samadhi Starts with 3 Homemade Products.

Generally speaking, this time of year is my favorite.

I look forward to the holidays and even enjoy seeing the plants in my flowerbeds lose their remaining leaves with the promise that they’ll be back in their full glory in the spring. One thing I don’t enjoy, though, is the effects of the cold, dry air on my skin.

Usually, my skin is so oily that no amount of shine control products or powder can control it but this time of year, I and others suffer from that cursed malady known as dry skin. The dryness doesn’t just plague my face, but my entire body as well.

Dry skin isn’t just an aesthetic problem, but can be a serious medical problem if left untreated. One winter, my hands became so dry and cracked that tiny fissures formed, leaving me exposed to some potentially nasty infections.

Also, even if it isn’t life threatening, itchy skin is annoying and can be embarrassing, especially if the need to itch happens to arise when there are others around.

Fortunately, there are ways to protect and nourish your skin that don’t cost a bundle and won’t take up valuable space in your (probably) already overflowing bathroom counters.

I used to be that girl who each winter would purchase several bottles of lotion and cream and never leave the house without at least 10 tubes of lip balm in her coat pockets and handbags.

However, as I became more environmentally aware and was concerned about both the number of things I was buying as well as the effects of various common cosmetic chemicals that I was putting in my body, I decided enough was enough.

At first, I tried the DIY approach, but I found that many of the natural body care recipes I found were either too time consuming to make or required a lot of pricey ingredients. I decided there had to be a better way, and as it turns out there was.

Therefore, here are three natural body care recipes that require minimum fuss and will keep your skin protected during the cold winter months. Best of all, you only need a total of three relatively inexpensive ingredients.

Lip Balm

Nearly everyone, male and female, needs a lip balm if they live in a cold climate.

Here one of the easiest I ever found:

2 and 1/4 tsp. jojoba oil

2 tsp. beeswax

Melt the oil and beeswax in a bowl placed over a saucepan of boiling water.

Once melted, stir together until they are well-mixed.

Place the mixture in a clean, empty lip balm tube or container. (For those who want to recycle, I’ve found an old Carmex container to be ideal.)

Let cool and viola, you have a new lip balm. (BTW, this is a great thing to rub onto dry, ragged cuticles as well.)

Face Oil

Many of us with oily skin cringe at the very thought of putting oil anywhere near our skin for fear it will lead to breakouts. However, it’s simply untrue that all oils clog pores.

Jojoba oil is similar to the oil found in human skin and for most people, it does not cause breakouts. For those with ultra oily skin, substitute 100 percent cold pressed argan oil, which comes from the kernels of the argan tree.

Three to five drops of jojoba or argan oil.

Use an eye dropper to measure out three to five drops of oil.

Apply liberally to the face before applying another moisturizer and/or sunscreen if desired.

The skin should feel moist and soft but not greasy.

If it still isn’t moist enough, wait a minute and then apply an additional two to three drops of oil.

Body Oil

All moisturizers whether they are in the form of creams, lotions or oils work the same way by trapping moisture into the skin.

I prefer oils in general because they tend to absorb faster than lotions or creams, which is great if you are like me and short on time in the mornings while you are getting dressed. I also find that a spray top cuts down on time as well.

For a body oil that will last you all winter and beyond do the following:

Combine 14 ounces of jojoba oil along with five to 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice in a plastic or glass bottle with a spray top.

For those with very sensitive skin skip the essential oil.

Ultra heavy-duty foot or hand cream

When it comes to severely dry skin, 100 percent shea butter is the best thing I have ever found, hands down. It may take a few minutes to absorb but once it does, it does not leave any greasy residue at all. (This is important to me because I work with my hands a lot and cannot stand to have sticky or greasy fingers.)

Pure shea butter can be found at just about any health food store or online. Just make sure it is 100 percent with no unnecessary added preservatives.

Simply apply directly from jar to tub to slightly moist skin, then sit back for a minutes until it is absorbed.

Despite everything else that may be going on in life during this time of year, your skin need not be one of those things to worry about.

By using just three simple, relatively inexpensive natural ingredients, you can have great, glowing skin during the entire winter and beyond. Best of all, these recipes are so simple they take only minutes to prepare, and you probably won’t even need to write them down.

Like many things in life, sometimes less really is more.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

{Photo: Wikimedia Commons.}

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