Winter Can Really Crack Up Your Skin, but Nature Can Help

Once Christmas is over, most of us are anticipating spring. Warmer temps, flowers grinning up at the bright sunshine and skin that doesn’t look and feel like a piece of old, worn-out leather, because it’s a given that wintertime can wreak havoc with your epidermis.

Who wants cracked skin? Not us.
Who wants cracked skin? Not us!

But until Mother Nature takes off her coat and dons her bikini, there are some things that we can do to combat the itchy, dry, flakiness that has become our outer layer of consciousness.

Staying hydrated and moisturized is the first tip of the day, but what do you do when a lot of those off-the-store-shelves lotions and remedies only serve to leave your skin feeling drier and your winter-acquired cracks burn and hurt more? Well, you look to some old-fashioned and natural assistance, of course, and the good thing about some of these balms? You can find a lot of these cold-weather deterrents right in your own kitchen cabinets.

Up first, that wonderful tasting lube that can anoint our food with a burst of flavor: Olive oil.

Olive oil is great for healthy cooking but can also have tons of other uses around the house.
Olive oil is great for healthy cooking but can also have tons of other uses around the house.

Olive oil is often used as a base for many store-bought creams and moisturizers. Not only can it make your salad come alive; it can pretty much do the same for your skin.

How to use it as a skin reviver: Daub cotton balls or tissue in the elixir and swab onto dry skin. In addition to bypassing all those chemical additives that are in the store-bought lotions and oils; using extra virgin olive oil straight from the bottle is a natural hypoallergenic way to moisturize your cracks and crevices that have been ravaged by cold weather. And it provides strong antioxidants, like Vitamins A and E that help repair and renew skin. It’s a given that the ancient Greeks knew what was up when it came to the uses of the magical oil.

Honey is great in tea for a sore throat.
Honey is also great in tea for a sore throat.

Honey comes in a close second behind olive oil. The healing properties of honey go all the way back to the Egyptians. Not only did they use it as an embalming fluid, they also sought it for a dressing for many wounds.

Honey is thought to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to be a natural humectant – which means it draws moisture from the air into the skin. And when your hands are dry and cracked, you definitely need moisture.

Just apply it directly onto dry skin, massage gently and let it sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water.

Coconut oil is another miracle oil. You can rub it in, lather it up or pour it straight into your bath. It’ll leave you feeling smooth, silky and smelling like an island paradise. And in the dead of winter an island paradise isn’t half bad.

This prickly plant brings amazing hydration to skin.
This prickly plant brings amazing hydration to skin.

And then, of course, there is that ancient plant that has so many uses, from burns to extremely dry skin: aloe.

If you want to do it the natural way, buy an aloe plant and when you need the silky gel, just cut one of the tentacles off of the plant and squeeze the gel directly onto your poor, moisture-malnourished skin. And cutting the plant doesn’t kill or hurt it; the aloe plant just seals itself back together and continues to grow. Miraculous! And so is this wonderful plant’s healing properties.

These are just a few of nature’s gifts to us to help assuage the sometimes painful reactions of a long, cold winter. Give them a try and enjoy!

Angela Rogalski is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at angela.rogalski@hottytoddy.com.

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