Springtime remedies for super-dry winter skin
Chapped lips. Cracked heels. Rough elbows. Parched hands. These are the skin’s casualties from the chilly winter months. “Certain areas of our body have become drier because they were more exposed to the climate and elements,” explains Jennifer Kwiatkowski-Herzog, spa director of The Forest Spa at The Lodge at Glendorn. “Moisturizing becomes more important during the winter months and as we move into spring, our skin craves hydration. It’s especially important to keep it protected, healthy and youthful.”
Another culprit is dry winter air. “Our skin dries out in the winter because of low humidity,” says Pamela Margolis, owner of the Ivy Spa Club at Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Minneapolis. “The use of a furnace to keep our homes and offices warm contributes to decreasing humidity in the air as well.” That’s why she recommends keeping our bodies well hydrated by drinking water and sleeping with a humidifier in the bedroom during the colder months, and even into early spring. Of course, upgrading your beauty routine is also crucial. “I recommend a cream cleanser to gently exfoliate,” Margolis says. “Using a serum and a richer moisturizer also helps.”
These tricks will soften the scaliest spots before the first buds of spring bloom.
DRY SPOT: Elbows & Knees
DIY REMEDY “An at-home fix for softening dry elbows or other areas that need a little extra TLC is to make a sugar scrub,” says Kwiatkowski-Herzog. “Add [equal parts of] an oil of choice, or honey, to sugar to create more moisture. Mix together and rub it on the desired area, then rinse and moisturize.”
DRY SPOT: Hands
DIY REMEDY “Hands are especially dry as they are exposed to the elements more than other body parts,” says Kwiatkowski-Herzog. “A paraffin treatment at your favorite spa is a great option to help moisturize the skin and cuticles.” Or, according to OSM Editor-in-Chief Rona Berg, author of the clever Fast Beauty: 1,000 Quick Fixes (Workman Publishing), toast one cup of sesame seeds in the toaster oven to release the oil. Crush seeds with one cup sea salt, in a mortar and pestle. Add ½ cup of sweet almond oil and massage into damp skin, then rinse. Apply hand cream.
DRY SPOT: Feet
DIY REMEDY The skin on your feet tends to naturally be drier, so expect them to be even more parched post-winter. That’s why extra moisturizing is a must. To soften cracked heels before sandal season, Berg suggests massaging a body scrub on heels in the shower, with a pumice stone. Then apply a moisturizing face or body mask, cover with thin cotton socks, and leave on for one or two hours. Margolis suggests using shea butter or coconut oil to help lock in moisture.
DRY SPOT: Lips
DIY REMEDY “The best way to keep lips moisturized is to apply a lip balm,” Margolis says. “Pure shea butter can be used or a premade lip balm that contains shea butter works well.” Making your own lip balm is a cinch, as well as a scrub. Berg suggests using a soft-bristle toothbrush and a bit of honey to gently exfoliate chapped lips.
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Feature image credit: Shutterstock / gpointstudio