By Susie Kuse
Do you love the dry, scaly, itchy skin that comes with winter?
It's like the Christmas gift you never wanted, right?
Sadly, we all get that tight, dry, itchy feeling when it gets cold outside.
Most people reach for the hand cream… which helps a little, but usually - not enough.
And 95% of the hand creams on the market are packed full of toxins and even carcinogens. Lathering up with traditional moisturizers can give you more toxins than breathing deeply in downtown LA. (Sorry, LA!)
Well, I can tell you this...I’ve worked with thousands of customers…
and taught hundreds of estheticians…
and personally reviewed each and every skin quiz response that comes to our store…
And the truth is, if you want to avoid dry skin this winter, there are three things you need to do. And none of them have anything to do with a skincare product.
Today, I will tell you the three simple things I constantly see people NOT doing.
If you do these, they will prove to be a game changer for you this winter.
Of course, you may choose not to, and if you’d like to flake and itch all winter, go right ahead. But these things are so simple they’re practically a no-brainer.
They don’t take extra time or cost a lot of money.
They don’t make you significantly change your lifestyle or diet.
You don’t have to get up early to do them.
They’re. Just. So. Simple.
When I owned my spa, we incorporated these things right into our everyday routine. To our customers, it seemed like good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. But we knew the effects these things had to improve their mindset as well as their physical well-being.
We constantly had customers telling us how refreshed they felt as they were leaving. Now, of course some of that would have been due to the amazing treatments they received. But we knew that part of why our customers were so happy is because of the attention we paid to
hydration - the #1 attribute for looking and feeling healthy (and young!).
Here’s how you can do the exact same thing - and save yourself from dry, itchy skin this winter.
Step One - Drink More Water
See how simple this is? You knew this already. We’ve heard forever that we need to drink 8 cups of water a day, but most of us don’t do it. And in the winter, we really need to pay attention to this. Cold air has less humidity than warm air, and it pulls the humidity from our bodies.
So we DO need 8 cups of water a day, but it doesn’t all have to come from drinking plain water. Some of it will come from our food, especially if we’re eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. If that’s not you, don’t worry...you can also count the water in your coffee or tea.
Here are a few ideas for getting a little more hydration into your day:
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, before breakfast. Right when you get up. Your body will thank you for rehydrating after a long night's sleep.
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day so your water is always handy. Flavor it with fresh cut fruit for "spa water" - we love cucumber and mint, citrus, or watermelon. We served this all day long in the spa.
- Try a coconut water or flavored water as a treat. Watch out for too many additional calories though.
- Add a glass of water to your morning coffee break.
- Or take an herbal tea or hot water and lemon break.
- Drink at least one glass of water with every meal.
- Try a sparkling water with dinner, and serve it in a champagne glass for a festive twist!
Step Two - Invest in a Humidifier or Vaporizer
So this one does cost a little bit of money, depending on how you do it. The most expensive way would be to install a whole house humidifier. We had this type in the spa. You can even get some now that connect with your smartphone and let you monitor the results.
If you’re not up for that, you can get one or more humidifiers or vaporizers and locate them strategically in your home. Your bedroom is the most important room. Your body repairs itself, including your skin, as you sleep. So give it all the tools it needs, including water.
A lower cost version would be to boil water on your stove, or simply place bowls of water around your house. Getting additional moisture into the air will make your skin and your house more comfortable.
Step Three - Take Cooler, Shorter Showers and Baths
OK, this one is a killer for me. I like my showers and baths long and hot. Really hot. My husband calls it lava-hot.
But I notice the effects in the winter - I will definitely feel dryer. So as much as I hate to, I try to cool and limit my showers to 10 minutes, and my baths to 30 minutes. We had a tub in the spa - a really nice tub! And offered therapeutic baths that were 30 minutes long. It was enough time to relax and let the warmth and bath products do their work.
If yours are already that short, cool them a little. Just turn the temperature setting back a little each time you shower or bathe. Don’t try to cool it too much at once. No one likes that. Soon you’ll be used to the cooler setting.
Here’s a little bonus that does involve skincare - apply a body moisturizer while you’re still wet. One we love is Rebirth Body Butter by Beauty in the Raw. Formulated for sensitive skin, it can be used by everyone. And it was designed to be used on wet skin.
Another we love for its light formulation is The Everything Oil Body by Carter + Jane. I love this one because I don’t overheat when I use it directly after a shower or bath. It absorbs easily and feels light on my skin.
One of our best-sellers is the Mango and Macadamia Intense Body Balm by Herbal Dynamics Beauty. Mango butter is fabulous for nourishing, firming, softening and hydrating. And it smells amazing.
We used this technique of applying moisturizer to wet skin after our body treatments. Our customers were always thrilled with how soft and hydrated their skin felt.
This last step will save you money by taking cooler and shorter showers and baths, so invest your savings well in a humidifier and a little body care!