Soothe the dryness of winter with these spa-approved all-natural tips and treatments.
By Amy Ahlberg, Rodale.com
For many of us, the cooler weather brings parched, flaky skin and flyaway, staticky hair. The culprit: lower humidity in the air, which dries your skin. Central air and heating, space heaters and fireplaces all contribute to lower humidity levels. To combat dryness, try these natural dry skin care treatments from Ilona Pecnikov, director of esthetics at the New York City spa Just Calm Down, and Julie Gabriel, owner of skin care line Petite Marie Organics and author of The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Organic and Natural Skincare, Hair Care, Makeup and Fragrances (HCI, 2008). You’ll be soft and silky in no time.
1: Dab on olive oil.
When it comes to strategies for natural dry skin care, Gabriel swears by olive oil, an amazing multitasker. It instantly grooms dry cuticles, works wonders on hands and elbows, removes makeup, and soothes and conditions itchy, dry skin all over the body. ”When your skin feels extra parched, you can dab a thin layer of organic extra-virgin olive oil under your moisturizer for an extra dose of antioxidants and good fatty acids,” adds Gabriel.
2: Try natural exfoliants like yogurt, papaya, and pumpkin.
You can find plenty of options for natural dry skin care in your kitchen, or in the produce and diary aisles of your supermarket. Yogurt, especially the plain Greek variety, makes an excellent cleanser with a mild exfoliating action that will remove dry skin and leave you feeling refreshed and comfortable. Gabriel says it’s a particularly safe exfoliant for very dry skin because it exfoliates using lactic acid, not scrubbing granules.
To add some oomph, try making Pecnikov’s Greek Yogurt and Papaya Enzyme Conditioning Mask for Face & Décolleté: Mix ½ cup of Greek yogurt with 3 tablespoons of mashed-up papaya, and apply to skin.
Pumpkin enzymes are at play in her Pumpkin & Cinnamon Mask for Face and Body: mix one can of pumpkin and a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
Leave either mask on face or body for 5 to 15 minutes.
Or treat your extremities to her Three Berry Antioxidant Hand and Foot Mask: Mix 3/4 cup each of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries with ½ cup kefir in blender. Drink any leftovers!