Although it may be slow coming, cooler fall weather is just around the corner, and before we know it, brisk evenings will replace warm, muggy nights. With all the wonderful aspects of colder months (butternut squash soup, new boots, Thanksgiving!) also comes drier air, harsher weather and the parching effects of heating systems. If you’re anything like me, skin care goals move from battling a greasy complexion to trying to keep dry, flaky skin at bay.
Here are a couple easy ways I’ve found that are effective in locking moisture into skin during drier, colder months:
Avoid long, hot showers. While it may feel great to hop into a steaming hot shower after a chilly day, hot water robs skin of moisture. Instead, take a lukewarm shower (or if you simply can’t stand cooler water, keep your hot showers brief). Slathering your skin with a healthy dose of a good, rich body moisturizer straight out of your shower will also help to keep skin healthy and moist.
Try using a humidifier. When cold weather strikes and you begin pumping heat into your home, the air becomes drier and often only about 10% of the humidity remains in the air. A humidifier helps return some of the air’s moisture, allowing your skin to remain more supple.
Simmer cinnamon over the stove. Not only does it smell great, providing a natural perfume to your home, but this method will actually work to restore some of the moisture to the dry air of your home and help to keep moisture locked into your skin.
Turn to foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Indulging in salmon, tuna, nuts and seeds can help rid your skin of free radicals and boost new cell turnover, keeping dry, flaky skin at a minimum.
All my extensive complaining about hot, humid weather and days of blistering heat aside, I can honestly say that I love summer. I spend approximately 8 months of the year awaiting Memorial Day weekend, the opening of the pool and Friday afternoons spent driving east towards the coast.
Along with time spent in the sun and water, however, often comes the unpleasant side effect of dry, brittle, frizzy hair. How can you keep your hair manageable in the summer months without resorting to products packed with potentially harmful chemicals? You might be surprised at how simple, affordable oils can work wonders for locking in moisture in hair and keeping it soft and manageable.
Try the following natural ingredients to find out which oil is most suitable for your hair type:
Olive Oil. For dry, brittle hair, this everyday oil can be a lifesaver. Try heating about 1/2 cup (be careful not to overheat it and burn yourself!) and applying it liberally all over hair. To lock the moisture in, keep the oil in your hair for about 45 minutes by covering it with a shower cap or plastic grocery bag. Then simply rinse and shampoo your hair as usual.
Argan Oil. A natural antioxidant, this oil is rich in vitamins A and E, as well as omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, which can revitalize parched hair on contact. To use, simply rub a few drops into towel dried hair, concentrating on the ends, and style hair as usual.
Jojoba Oil. Packed with vitamins and minerals, this oil closely replicates skin’s natural lubricating medium, making it perfect as a moisturizer for your scalp and hair. Try adding several drops to your conditioner or use alone to soothe dry hair.
Macadamia Nut Oil. Light and non-greasy, macadamia nut oil easily absorbs into your scalp and hair, delivering omega-7 and vitamins A and E. To reap the benefits of the ultra-moisturizing oil, massage a tablespoon into hair, then wrap hair in a warm towel. Rinse and lightly condition hair and style as usual.
For most of us, when we think about the coconut palm, we envision faraway, exotic locations with sun-bleached sand and clear, inviting waters. What some may not know is that from the palm tree’s large fruits we can extract what is now a rising star in the natural beauty world: coconut oil. Among its many uses, this oil is particularly helpful in the natural treatment of mature skin by reputedly reducing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles through gentle, irritation-free methods.
A few things you may find interesting about this unique oil:
Vitamin E: Coconut oil contains significant quantities of this vitamin, which is essential for healthy skin growth and keeping skin smooth and crack-free. It is also reputed to prevent aging and wrinkling of skin, as it has good antioxidant properties.
Proteins: This oil is rich in proteins,which keeps skin youthful, healthy and rejuvenated.
Healing Properties: Containing antifungal and antibacterial properties, coconut oil may aid in the healing of damaged skin.
For effective treatment against wrinkles, find a gentle, all-natural moisturizer containing coconut oil, such as Snowy Owl Cove’s Driftwood Face Cream, and gently pat it onto skin before bed.