Tis the season for festive holidays, comforting cold-weather food, and…itchy, dry skin? Unfortunately, a side effect of “the most wonderful time of the year” is that the dry indoor heat mixed with the cold outdoor temps wreaks havoc on your skin, your hair and your nails. There is no need to spend the entire winter season scratching and miserable, and it is also unnecessary to buy products to put on your skin that contain toxic chemicals or that don’t line up with your green philosophy. You can spend the winter with soft, glowing skin, smooth moisturized hair, and healthy nails by using products with some helpful green ingredients or by making some green remedies right at home.
In order to be ready for whatever winter we may have this year, it is best to use nourishing, healthy products on your skin, hair and nails daily. For skin, you will want separate products for face, hands, and body. First, the face. To clean your face in the winter, steer clear of any product that contains harsh cleansers or drying soap. Instead, look for products that contain cleansing oils that are non-irritating to skin, contains omega-3’s and vitamin E, and can remove the pore-clogging natural oils on your skin while at the same time providing moisturizing benefits.
Once your face is clean, you may want to improve the look of your skin with masks, exfoliating or moisturizing products. Look for natural clay masks, which will draw impurities out of the skin and leave the surface smooth. Exfoliating products help combat that dry flakiness that comes from dry indoor and outdoor air. Look for a product that has all-natural ingredients and is 100% vegan. Moisturizer is a big deal, because you want it to hydrate your skin without leaving it so oily that you have to clean it again halfway through the day, or for the ladies, all your makeup slides off. You can choose an all-over oil, such as an Argan Oil product, which is lightweight and non-greasy, or choose a moisturizer that is formulated for cold weather that will hydrate and smooth.
Hair, nails and body also need special treatment in the winter. Nobody wants to step outside with staticky, flyaway hair. Hair oil can soften split ends and add shine, so no more dull winter hair. Many Argan oil products are formulated for all-over use, so a dab on the hair can tame tresses all day. A nourishing, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can also go a long way toward helping de-winterize your hair, especially ones that contain no harsh sulfates. Protecting your hands during the winter months is a tricky task, as we wash them so often to avoid cold and flu season that they become dry, cracked and sore. A good hand cream is essential, and there are some that are formulated specifically for winter moisturizing. Plus, fingernails are not immune to dry weather and frequent washing, especially if you enjoy wearing nail polish. Rather than using alcohol-based nail polish remover when you remove your polish, try a paint-and-peel polish, which allows you to simply peel the polish off to change colors.
Purchasing the right products with all natural, earth friendly ingredients is important for protection against the elements and protecting the planet. However, you can also make some green remedies right at home. You may already have olive oil right in your kitchen to cook with, but did you also know it is good for your skin? Apply to cuticles, rough hands, elbows or knees, or anywhere skin feels dry and itchy. Other things you may already have that are great for skin include plain Greek yogurt for a cleanser, papaya, pumpkin mixed with cinnamon as a mask, berries for a hand-and-foot mask, brown sugar mixed with oil as a scrub, or organic honey applied to dry, chapped lips. Avocado and oil makes a great hydrating hair mask.
This winter, you don’t have to put up with itchy skin, staticky hair or products that claim to combat these ills but contain unnecessary chemicals or toxic ingredients. There are plenty of natural, earth friendly ways you can enjoy the winter months without worrying about its effect on your skin, hair and nails.
Honey photo: Flickr.com, Attribution License Some rights reserved by Siona Karen Lotion photo: Flickr.com, Attribution License Some rights reserved by shawncampbell