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Food Fixes for Dry, Winter Skin

Food Fixes for Dry, Winter Skin


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Winter is upon us and so is dry skin. If your moisturizer isn’t cutting it, it could be time to try addressing the problem from the inside out.

Vitamin A for dryness, anti-aging

Vitamin A is essential for preventing skin from drying out and staving off signs of aging. The best sources of vitamin A include eggs, dark leafy greens — such as spinach or kale — milk, carrots, and pumpkin.

Omega-3s for dry skin

Omega-3 fatty acids also have a wide range of health benefits, including softening dry skin. They help retain moisture, thereby decreasing the look of wrinkles as well. Fish like salmon, tuna, and trout contain particularly high amounts of omega-3s. Vegetarian options include flax, chia, hemp, cauliflower, and tahini.

Zinc to soothe skin and reduce acne

Zinc is another mineral that acts as a great skin soother, in addition to reducing oil production and acne. Shellfish and lean meat are chockfull of zinc. Other good sources are oysters, fortified breakfast cereals, and a combination of chickpeas, lentils, and nuts.

Tomatoes to reduce redness

It is also imperative to remember that the sun affects your skin, even on cold, cloudy days. So UV protection should be part of your year-round daily routine. Try including processed or cooked tomatoes in your diet, since lycopene — which gives tomatoes their color — is responsible for reducing skin redness and cellular damage caused by sun exposure.

Get some sleep!

Other simple fixes for winter-ravaged skin are getting enough quality sleep and using a cool-mist humidifier to counteract harsh indoor heating.

— Marissa Goldfaden Bleier, HellaWella

More From HellaWella:

• When healthy eating shows: What to eat for beautiful skin


7 DIY Moisturizers To Combat Dry Skin

Chilly temps, windy weather, and intense indoor heating means you have to take extra steps in the winter to help keep your skin as hydrated as possible. These seven DIY moisturizer recipes to combat dry skin this winter will nourish your skin and you might even have all the ingredients lying around. Time to raid the kitchen!

While I am all about the magic of snow covering Manhattan (and thus briefly eliminating the sweet, acrid smell of rotting garbage), my sensitive Texan-born and long time Los Angeles-residing skin is never fully prepared for the intensity of the season. Last year I was in such deep denial that winter was going to be so long and cold it took me until like, February to overhaul my skincare routine.

My face had gotten so dry and itchy, I knew my standard strategy of a little sunscreen would no longer be sufficient if I wanted to not constantly be rubbing my skin. As I do in most life crises, I turned to Pinterest for help.

Luckily, a plethora of amazing beauty bloggers popped up with their best DIY moisturizers for winter and below I've rounded up my absolute favorites. Each one is simple to make, doesn't require crazy expensive ingredients, and didn't clog my pores.

Try these amazing DIY moisturizers to fix your dry skin stat.

1. Mix'n'Match Facial Oil

I'm freaking obsessed with the Crunchy Betty blog, a natural beauty blog featuring reviews, recipes, and lessons on how to live more sustainably and naturally. One of my favorite posts of hers is one about creating your own facial oil specific to your face's needs. While Crunch Betty says it took her a while to figure out her favorite combination, my personal nourishing go-to is a combination of Jojoba, Rosehip Seed oil, and Lavender. Not only does it feel incredible on my skin, but it also smells amazing.

2. Moisturizing Beeswax Whip

Green Thickies blog created a super luxurious moisturizing whip recipe that is simple to make and ultra-hydrating for those who have dry skin. All you need is a stovetop or an electric stove, and once you've got the ingredients in a pot, the nourishing whip comes together quickly. She calls for olive oil, coconut oil, your favorite essential oil, and beeswax pellets. If you're new to essential oils, be sure to patch test them on your skin before adding it to this recipe to see if you have any allergic reactions.

3. Gentle Aloe Moisturizer

This one from SayNotSweetAnne is wonderful after a day spent skiing or hiking in the mountains, or anytime you end up with both dry or sunburned skin. The recipe calls for aloe vera gel, almond oil, coconut oil as a base, but you can also add essential oils, should you want to. Again, remember to test out the essential oil you'd like to use on your skin before adding it to the recipe.

4. Coconut Oil-Free Moisturizer

Coconut oil is so popular, it can sometimes be easy to forgot about another amazing, hydrating natural beauty ingredient: Shea butter. This DIY moisturizer recipe from LiveSimply focuses on Shea butter and tea tree oil to hydrate, cleanse, and treat your skin, even on the coldest days. You'll need to melt down the Shea butter first, but that's probably the most difficult step. If you're looking for an easy DIY recipe, this might be your best bet!

5. Olive Oil & Sugar Scrub

Wellness Mama is the mastermind behind this super nourishing facial scrub that aims to wash away itchy, dead skin cells. The recipe calls for just three ingredients — sugar and olive oil (or coconut oil, if you prefer). This could also be a great scrub to not just use on your face, but also on your body. Wellness Mama also listed a bunch of variations to make your scrub a little more interesting, like adding pumpkin or lavender.

6. Cinnamon Coffee Scrub

If your skin is feeling dry and lackluster, a caffeine boost could be the answer to helping bring it back to life. Free People's blog concocted this epic DIY coffee scrub recipe that combines ground coffee, coconut palm sugar, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Don't blame me if people want to come up and lick your face.

7. Lavender Coconut Moisturizer

Out of every moisturizer I've listed, I'd say this DIY lavender coconut moisturizer from the Natural And Healthy Living blog is the one I make the most. All you need is coconut oil, liquid vitamin E, and lavender essential oil. Mix them together and you've got yourself a hydrating moisturizer that will heal the driest and most irritated of skin.


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What is in the balm?

Essential oils

I use a combination of three potent essential oils. However, you can omit some or all of these, as wanted.

Lavender – Has substantial aromatherapy benefits including stress-relief and to help you sleep, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also cooling, soothing and antiseptic.

Peppermint – Not only does peppermint soothe irritated skin, but it can also be used to boost energy and studies show that inhaling peppermint can reduce headaches and aid digestion.

Lemon – Is not only uplifting but also containing antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also inhaled as a natural antidepressant and energy booster.


Carrier Oil

Whenever using essential oils for your skin, then you’ll need a carrier oil. These oils dilute the essential oils and ‘carry’ them to your skin. Without this dilution, essential oils can cause skin irritation if applied directly to the skin. I’ve used:

Coconut oil – A wonderfully nourishing, skin softener. Plus, it’s both antibacterial and anti-fungal.

Olive oil – has a smooth texture and is wonderful for moisturizing dry skin. It also is full of antioxidants that can have an anti-ageing effect on skin.

Other oils you can use include vitamin-rich almond oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, rosehip oil etc.

Beeswax is used to create the ‘balm’-like texture. The more you add, the harder your balm will be at room temperature and likewise, the less you add, the looser the final product.

However, beeswax is also antibacterial, non-toxic and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also forms a protective barrier to the skin without clogging pores – attracting moisture to the skin while still allowing it to breathe.

If you want to make a vegan version of this balm, then you could try soy wax. However, this will yield a thinner final product.

Optional Additions

Honey – Not only does honey have antibacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant properties, it also speeds up your skins cells’ healing process and is incredibly soothing and moisturizing on our skin.

Vitamin E – Not only does this work as a natural preservative for the balm, but Vitamin E also soothes and moisturizes skin. It is also a powerful antioxidant, with anti-ageing effects on the skin.


Embrace natural oils.

According to derms, a rub-down with a nourishing oil is an easy solution for parched skin. For your body, Dr. Ingleton recommends sesame, coconut, grape seed, and castor oils.

&ldquoApply them immediately after a shower or bath [to allow them to soak in]. Adding some oil to your bath water is a good idea for your skin, but be careful to avoid slipping and sliding in the tub, and make sure to clean it out after you&rsquore done to remove the oil,&rdquo she says.


Dry skin: Seven home remedies

Whether it is caused by aging, an underlying skin condition, or environmental factors, having dry skin can be uncomfortable and itchy. There is a range of treatments available to treat dry skin at home – but which are most effective?

Dry skin, also called xerosis, is skin that lacks moisture in its outer layer. If left untreated, dry skin can crack and become infected. Keeping dry skin moisturized is important, but some store-bought treatments can be expensive or ineffective.

This article explores home remedies for dry skin and looks at the scientific evidence behind the claims.

Share on Pinterest Studies suggest that sunflower seed oil may be used as a moisturizer.

There are a variety of home remedies a person can use to relieve dry skin. Most of the treatments below can be used as moisturizers unless otherwise stated. The best way to use a moisturizer is to apply it liberally to damp skin after a bath and let it soak in.

1. Sunflower seed oil

A 2013 study found that sunflower seed oil improved hydration when used as a moisturizer on participant’s arms.

The same study found that olive oil actually damaged the skin’s barrier, suggesting not all natural oils are suitable for use as moisturizers.

2. Coconut oil

Another natural oil that works well to treat dry skin is coconut oil. A 2014 study found that coconut oil is as safe and effective as petroleum jelly for treating dry skin. It was found to significantly improve skin hydration and increase the number of lipids (fats) on the surface of the skin.

As 2016 research explains, coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids that have emollient properties. An emollient is a fat or oil that acts as a moisturizer by filling in gaps in dry skin, making it smooth.

3. Oatmeal bath

Oatmeal is another natural ingredient that can help treat dry skin. Adding powdered oatmeal to a bath or using creams that contain oatmeal may help to relieve dry skin.

A 2015 study found that extracts from oatmeal had anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, suggesting it can help treat dry skin.

4. Drinking milk

Milk could also offer relief from dry skin, but not when applied to the skin. Research from 2015 suggests that a diet including milk could improve dry skin.

The study found that a fat contained in milk, called phospholipid, improved the skin barrier in mice when added to their diet. More research is needed to see if drinking milk has the same effect on skin in humans.

A 2012 review of research notes that some studies have shown honey to be beneficial for many types of skin diseases.

Share on Pinterest Some studies suggest that honey may be used as an at home treatment to relive dry skin.

Various studies have found honey to be:

These are all qualities that suggest honey is an ideal at home treatment to relieve dry skin. It is completely natural and can be applied directly to the skin.

6. Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly, otherwise known as mineral oil, has been used as a moisturizer for years.

In 2017, researchers found that the skin barrier in older people improved after they used petroleum jelly. This finding supports the use of petroleum jelly to treat dry skin, especially when caused by aging.

7. Aloe vera

Aloe vera gel may help provide relief from dry skin, according to a 2003 study .

A person with dry skin on their hands or feet can apply aloe vera gel and cover the affected area with a sock or glove. People may prefer to do this before they go to bed and leave the gel on all night.

If dry skin is on another area of the body, applying aloe vera gel liberally and allowing it to soak in may achieve a similar effect.


6 Quick Fixes for Dry, Cracked Hands

With cold and flu season in full swing, it's not a bad idea to wash hands thoroughly and frequently. But sudsing up or slathering on sanitizer every time you touch the office copy machine or press an elevator button has its own set of moisture-zapping side effects. "When your hands become dry and flaky and that protective moisture barrier is lessened, it makes it even harder for your skin to hold on to whatever moisture it has left," explains Annie Chiu, M.D., a dermatologist in California. Freezing temps and high winds that easily whisk away much-needed moisture molecules don't help matters. Nor does cranking up the heat inside, as "warm air can hold more water than cold air," adds Chiu, leaving skin parched. Here, top derms share the best ways to avoid dry, cracked hands from the get-go.

HYDRATE HANDS LIKE IT'S YOUR JOB

Moisturizing well and often is paramount. "Prevention is easier than restoration," says Chiu. Every time you wash your hands or brave the great outdoors, skip lightweight lotions heavy in fragrance and use creams or ointments that contain moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, dimethicone (a silicone derivative), or ceramides. "For hands, the thicker the product the better," says New York dermatologist, Kavita Mariwalla, M.D. Keep Neutrogena® Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream, $5, a formula rich in skin-softening glycerin, next to your computer, on the edge of your sink, in the cup holder of your car, and in your bag. "If your hands are severely cracked or bleeding, see a dermatologist who can diagnose the underlying cause (like allergies or eczema), fuse fissures with glue, or provide a prescription-strength moisturizer like EpiCeram or Neosalus," Mariwalla adds.

MAKE YOUR FAVORITE MOISTURIZER ANTIMICROBIAL

Getting to a sink to wash your hands with soap and water isn't always an option, explaining the omnipresent hand sanitizer tucked in bags all around the country. Seeing as many formulas are heavy in alcohol that can strip skin of hydrating oils and cause eczema to flare up, "try adding a few drops of antimicrobial tea tree oil to your go-to cream instead," says New York dermatologist Erin Gilbert, M.D, PhD. Try The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, $10. For those who don't want to DIY, Mariwalla suggests Purell Hand Sanitizer, $4, which contains moisturizing glycerin.

SWITCH OUT THE SOAP ON THE SIDE OF YOUR SINK

"Look for a moisturizing cleanser rather than soap," says Chiu, who suggests washing with warm rather than hot water, avoiding formulas billed as antibacterial, and skipping hot air hand dryers post-wash. Illinois-based derm Rebecca Tung, M.D&mdashwho racks up "double-digit" trips to the sink before and after visiting patients every day&mdashreaches for fragrance- and soap-free Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $7.

PILE ON LAYERS FOR EXTRA PROTECTION

"Glove liners can boost insulation and warmth without sacrificing dexterity," says Tung. "They should be lightweight and can be made from a variety of materials, including synthetics, silk, or wool." (The one caveat with wool, she adds, is that it contains lanolin, which can irritate sensitive skin.) Slip on The North Face FlashDry Glove Liners, $25, before layering cute and cozy mittens or knit gloves on top. For those who can't be bothered, Chiu recommends swanky leather gloves with a super-soft silk lining. The ultimate indulgence: Gucci Embellished Leather Gloves, $535.

TREAT YOURSELF TO AN AT-HOME SPA SESSION

Before your next Netflix binge, slather on a generous layer of Aquaphor, pure aloe, coconut oil, or shea butter. "If your hands are really chapped, put a plastic bag over them and then wool socks to lock in moisture," says Chiu. "If this is uncomfortable, just do it for 30 minutes&mdashit will still help." Another option is to coat hands with ointment (like Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, $4) and wrap them with a warm, damp towel for 15 minutes to "help drive the moisture in," says Mariwalla. If burning or parched, itchy skin is your problem, soothe hands by soaking them in warm water with colloidal oatmeal (like Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment, $6) for two to five minutes before applying a hydrating cream, advises Tung. (Just be sure to use only part of the oatmeal packet, since it's dosed for a bathtub&mdashnot a hand-sized basin.)

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP

If you can't spare the time for a lengthy soak, try this overnight treatment Tung swears by: "A generous application of a beta hydroxy acid cream like CeraVe SA, $15, followed by a thicker coating of a dimethicone product like Vaniply, $7, and cotton gloves will do wonders to heal dry, cracked hands." A humidifier can also inject air with much-needed moisture while you sleep, soothing not just dry skin, but easing cold symptoms and sinusitis as well. And if you use a retinoid, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or alpha hydroxy acid on your face, don't rub any excess into your hands&mdashwash it off instead. While these ingredients work wonders on acne and fine lines, they only exacerbate irritated skin.


Naturally Care for Skin This Winter with Hard Lotion Bars

Show your skin some love this winter with these moisture rich hard lotion bars. Crafted from a collection of richy moisturizing carrier oils like argan and camellia seed oils, these cute snowflake shaped hard lotion bars provide long lasting skin benefits all season long. Don’t let your dry skin drive you crazy with all the itching and scratching! Try this natural dry skin remedy instead.

These pretty blue snowflake hard lotion bars have just a hint of shimmer making them the perfect choice for DIY holiday gifts or winter wedding favors. While the clean up can be a bit challenging – I recommend washing everything ASAP and washing it twice in super hot water – you can make this hard lotion bar recipe in just 30 minutes.


3 Quick Fixes for Dry, Dull Skin

OK, fine. February has Presidents' Day. And we get the day off (yes!). But beyond that, it's not the most exciting month: The Super Bowl is over. The Oscars aren't for another few weeks. And it's the time of year when everyone's skin is dry and dull—and if you're the rare exception, seriously, no one wants to hear about it. So for the 99 percent of you who can relate, here are top dermatologists' best tricks for fixing skin that's dehydrated, parched. you get the idea.

Evening primrose oil. If the skin around your eyes and lips has a way of getting crazy, painfully dry, this is the stuff to fix it. It's actually a supplement (you can find it at drugstores), but Jeanette Graf, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York, recommends popping one capsule open and rubbing the oil inside over chapped areas. Do it at night (so you don't look like a greaseball during the day) and you'll notice a marked improvement when you wake up.

Sheet masks. You know how the best moisturizers contain humectants to pull water into your skin and occlusives to seal it in? Well, when you put a sheet mask against your skin, that moisture isn't going anywhere. "The sheet mask has an occlusive effect so it's really sealing moisture into the skin," says Graf. Look for ones with hydrating ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, and your skin will look glow-y for a day—sometimes even two, says Graf. Try Masque Bar by Look Beauty Brightening Sheet Mask.


10. Easy Whipped Peppermint DIY Body Butter For Dry Skin.

This body butter recipe includes just three ingredients except for the essential oils. So you don’t have to spend much time to make it. Peppermint essential oil and avocado oil are two major ingredients in this recipe. Peppermint oil boosts blood flow in your skin. This gives your skin much-needed oxygen. Hence helps revive your dry skin. While avocado oil is rich in fatty acids and is excellent for moisturizing the skin.