Anyone who has lived in South Texas for more than a year knows that snow is a rare miracle during our wintertime season. Dry, cracked skin, however? A Christmas-time regular. Instead of spending oodles of money on factory-made lotions and scrubs injected with artificial ingredients, hydrate your skin the way it was meant to be pampered with these all-natural recipes!
The Importance of Natural Skincare
It’s the largest organ of your body, the fleshy barrier between you and the outside world: your supple yet stretchy (and all-around amazing) skin! One of the primary functions of your skin is to protect you from toxic microorganisms and pollutants, so it seems fundamentally counterintuitive to lather yourself up with unnatural skincare products full of synthetic, and even toxic, ingredients.
Lipids are the fat cells of your skin, so to speak, that keep it soft, supple, and hydrated. The use of mainstream skincare products, however- yes, even those that claim to be “natural” -strips away the lipid barrier with the help of harsh chemicals and cleansing agents. The key to hydrated winter skin is helping your lipids revive and thrive — and there’s no better method than with a gentle and organic touch!
Milk, Honey, Oat & Oil
Knees, elbows, hands, feet…is your entire body suffering from the cold dryness of Texas weather? Never fear! All you need are a few simple ingredients for a breezy daily routine.
1. A few droplets of fresh lemon juice + 1 tsp milk + 2 tsp milk cream: Apply to any dry part of your skin and let it sit for at least 15 – 20 minutes before washing. Whole milk and milk cream act as natural anti-inflammatory and exfoliating agents respectively, helping slough off the dead skin cells and restoring your skin’s pH balance.
2. 3-4 tbsp gram flour + milk cream + 1 tsp honey: Mix together the flour, cream, and honey, adding enough cream to create a thick paste. Apply to face, hands, and legs, letting it sit for 15 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
3. 4 tbsp milk + a few drops of rose water: Rub the mixture all over your body and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. (Best when used twice daily)
4. Unprocessed, raw honey + beeswax + olive oil: Measure out equal parts honey, beeswax, and oil. Melt the beeswax on the stove, removing from heat once melted. Add the honey and oil, stir well, and rub the ointment anywhere needed on the skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing. Honey is a historical go-to when it comes to skincare — providing moisture, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Read more about the power of honey here!
5. 1-2 cups colloidal oatmeal + 4 cups milk: If you purchased natural oats, blend the oatmeal flakes into a fine powder. Make yourself a lukewarm bath and add the oatmeal and milk into the mix; the water should have a silky texture. Soak in the tub for 15 – 20 minutes before patting yourself dry. For best results, apply a moisturizer such as coconut oil. Find out about the soothing nature of oatmeal (as well as more recipes) here!
6. Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a fatty oil that consequently replaces the fatty acids missing in dry, dehydrated skin cells. Before bedtime or after your shower/wash, apply warm coconut oil to your body just as you would apply any sort of lotion. It will absorb into your skin, leaving a glossy, supple glow.
**Check out our blog about edible facial cleansers for even MORE recipes containing oats, honey, milk, and oils!**
For Cracked Feet
When it comes to the thickest layer of skin on the human body, your feet take the cake! They’re built tough to endure miles of wear and weight, but when this thick skin dehydrates and cracks, it is stubborn to restore. Here’s one home remedy for rehydrating those callused heals:
- Combine 1 cup apple cider vinegar to 2 gallons lukewarm water: Soak your feet for 45 minutes in the mixture, patting dry when done. If desired, use a pumice stone, file, or brush to remove dead skin from heels and callused areas of your feet. Finish by rubbing coconut oil on both feet. (On top of its ability to relieve athlete’s foot, apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, nourishing the skin with vitamins and minerals and restoring pH balance.)
Remember to always keep yourself hydrated! Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will reduce an average person’s risk of dehydrated skin; caffeine and soda, however, are moisture-sucking beverages, so avoid these if suffering from chronic dry skin.
Whether or not you lack the time of day to mix together homemade lotions or simply dislike DIY recipes, there are several altruistic companies who sell organic, sustainable, and green-minded moisturizers and lotions! Check out these brands for pre-made goodness: