How to Tuesday: Winter Skin Care

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Feeling like you have dragon scales for skin lately? You're not alone. Anybody's skin can freak out when it's exposed to the harsh winter air, especially in frigid Chicago! My skin is a combination of acne-prone and sensitive (yipee!), so I have a plethora of tips for every skin type to get you through this winter onward to spring! Here are five of my favorite tricks for keeping your skin happy in wintry weather:

1. Change Your Moisturizer This one may seem scary if you're a brand addict, but it's definitely worth a try. I completely ditched pre-mixed, chemical-laden moisturizers for my face when I was having trouble with acne, and I've never looked back. Instead, I use a variety of oils (yes, oils) to moisturize my skin. I absolutely swear by grapeseed oil for my face. It's one of the lighter oils that not only moisturizes very well, but also has light astringent action for tightening your pores. If your skin is sensitive and on the dry side, almond or avocado work very well. You can also use these oils on your body for an all-over moisturizer. Apply the oil to your face and body right when you get out of the shower to lock in the extra moisture.

2. Water Water Water You hear it time and time again because it is SO TRUE. All of your moisturizing won't mean squat unless you're hydrating your insides. If the flavor of plain water bores you, try herbal tea or a squeeze of orange or lemon added to your water. You could even play around with infusing your water with different fruit or herbs to give it a little kick (one of my favorite combos is ginger + mint, but you could also try other citrus, berries, or herbs). Stay away from too much caffeine or sugary drinks that not only dehydrate you, but zap your energy in the long run. 

3. Try a Humidifier I had the worst issues with dry nasal passages and itchy dry skin until I invested in a humidifier - it is my saving grace during the winter. Not only is the outside cold air harsh, but the dry air of indoor heating can seriously put stress your skin. Investing a few extra dollars in a humidifier is well worth it, especially if you get the sniffles. 

4. Don't Forget the Hand Cream! It's easy to forget about moisturizing your hands until it's already too late - you know the feeling. I feel like I'm constantly washing my hands to get paint off of them after teaching art classes or during my studio hours, so they tend to get extra dry. I've found that pretty much nothing comes close the the moisturizing power of Bonnie's Superbalm. This stuff is awesome - it heals cracked hands without being greasy, and has a light scent that doesn't upset my allergies. Bonnie's line of skin care is made specifically for people with sensitive skin and other issues like eczema, and what's more, it feels like a dream. (Link to purchase at bottom!)

5. Homemade Masks I tend to use my kitchen as my laboratory for whipping up skin care concoctions, because it's so easy and affordable! Masks are a great way to revive your skin if it needs a little perking up. Here are a few of my favorites:

Yogurt - The lactic acid in yogurt helps to gently exfoliate dead skin cells making way for glowy skin. Apply it straight out of the container and leave on for at least 15-20 minutes. Great for all skin types. 

Oatmeal - Add 1/2 cup warm (not hot) water to 1/3 cup of oats and let it absorb. Add 2 tablespoons of honey for staying power, and apply to face. This one is especially good for sensitive skin.

Banana - Mash up 1/2 a banana and combine with a couple tablespoons of honey. Particularly helpful for dry or aging skin.

Honey - Honey is my all-time favorite mask for so many reasons. It not only moisturizes and gently exfoliates your skin, but also soothes irritated skin. The antibacterial properties of honey also make it a great mask for clearing acne. Apply a thin layer and leave on as long as you'd like, but at least 15 minutes. 

You are now fully prepped to get your own diy spa going at home. Warm hugs!

Amanda

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Disclaimer: As the author, I have based my writings upon my own experiences, beliefs, and extensive research regarding the topics covered in this blog. However, I am not a medical doctor, nurse, or medical professional formally qualified in this subject matter. The information contained in this blog is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. All diet and exercise decisions should be made with the approval of your health care provider. Please read and use the information that you derive from this blog appropriately and at your own risk.