Winter Rescue: Goodbye Itch

Do You Have the Winter Itch?

Canadian winters are beautiful with all the snow and outdoor sports and activities to enjoy.  But our winters are quite cold and dry, and that means it is critical we protect our skin from the dry air that causes itchiness and dehydration.   Environmental aside, if you have skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis (like in my family), then you likely also experience cracked skin and some bleeding cuts too. 

During the cold weather months, you may find yourself scratching constantly and your skin feels stretched and rough with movements, especially when your clothing brushes against your skin.   Itchiness can affect any part of the body but most commonly:

  • Dry and flaky scalp
  • Tightness on your face
  • Itchiness and flaking all over your body
  • Scaling and peeling around the leg and on the shin
  • Deep cracks that may bleed on hands and feet

For severe skin conditions, it is best to consult your doctor or see a Dermatologist for the right treatment.   However, if you notice your skin change is more environmental, then here are some things we can do on our own.  

Restore Moisture in Your Skin.

A long hot shower or bath is the first thing I think of after a long day.  However, hot water is a common cause for drying out your skin and stripping its natural protective barrier.  As a general rule of thumb, try to limit your shower time to less than 10 minutes with lukewarm water and ensure you’re using natural ingredient soap and washes.   When taking a bath, limit the time you soak in warm water to less than 20 minutes and only pat dry with a soft towel. Especially during the colder months, you can also use a restorative and hydrating bath treatment like our Oat + Coconut Milk Herbal Bath Soak once or twice a week to help restore your skin’s moisture barrier. 

Remove Barriers.

While moisturizing lotions and body butters are essentials in winter skin care, regular exfoliation will keep pores clean, shed the dead skin cells faster and help your skin absorb moisture and retain it.  The question is what type of scrub is best for you? 

  • Sugar Scrubs. Perhaps the most popular type of scrub is less abrasive than salt.  They contain granulated sugar or brown sugar, old-pressed coconut oil and essential oils to give your skin the perfect protective coat. 
  • Salt Scrubs.Using a combination of different grades of sea salt (such as Epsom, Dead Sea, Himalayan Pink) will remove toxins from your skin’s surface and great for healing properties as well.  Adding almond oil and old-pressed coconut oil to create a more nourishing scrub, along with essential oils to add relaxing aromatherapy to your scrub.
  • Coffee Scrubs.The amazing smell of coffee aside, this scrub has anti-inflammatory properties and said to help improve blood circulation.  The anti-oxidants found in coffee helps give your skin a radiant glow and reduces fine lines and wrinkles as well.  

NOTE:   The best time to apply skincare is right after your shower or bath while your skin is still supple.  It is most receptive to absorbing all the good ingredients in your products!

Humidity Control.

I highly recommend placing a few humidifiers in your home, especially in the bedrooms. In general, the ideal humidity level in your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. Humidity in this range may help you control asthma by easing dry throat, nose and mouth, reduce spread of flu germs, relieve congestion and allergy symptoms, and help control dry skin.   Adding plants is also a great way to add moisture back in the air.  Through a process called transpiration, plants will take in water through their roots, and then release moisture through the leaves.  Houseplants can significantly reduce the amounts of pollutants in the indoor environment that aren’t filtered through air purifiers. 

Hydrate.  Lots of Fluids.

Water exists throughout the body and the percentage of water in the body varies depending on your age and sex.  On average, our bodies are made of between 45–75% water and that level is optimal to keeps our cells plump and healthy.  When you’re dehydrated on the inside, your skin starts to look and feel dry and dull and in turn, any fine lines will become more visible. 

Contrary to the summer months when you feel hot and sweaty, you might not be as thirsty during the winter, but your body is still losing water.  Try to minimize the number of caffeinated drinks you have each day, and stay hydrated with water, decaf coffee and tea, and herbal teas.

I hope you’ll find these natural remedies helpful for you and your family.   Say no more to dry, itchy skin!


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