It's no surprise that our skin can take a beating when the weather gets cold. We are in Wellington and the wind here is fierce! Dry indoor air, heating and low humidity can also dry skin out, leaving it feeling flaky and rough. The skin is the body's largest organ, so taking good care of it is essential. Here are a few homemade methods that you can use to help combat the cold and nourish your skin this winter.
Oatmeal Facial Mask:
Oats are rich in protein, potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and silicon, which are just as good for your skin as they are for your stomach! A porridge face mask is ideal for people with sensitive skin, as it will soothe irritated and dry skin.
To make: Take 1/4 cup of ground oats and grind them into a fine consistency in a clean coffee grinder or small food processor. Mix with 2 Tablespoons of whole milk and apply all over the face, avoiding the eyes and lips. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse well with warm water and pat skin dry.
Banana and Honey Facial Mask:
Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B-6, Vitamin C and magnesium, and honey is full of anti-inflammatory properties that are perfect for every skin type. Honey protects skin from damaging free radicals, and aids in locking in moisture.
To make: Take one small banana and one tablespoon of raw honey, mash together and apply all over the face. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse off, unveiling nourished, smooth skin.
The wonders of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has so many uses for the skin. Use it as a gentle make-up removing cleanser, face moisturiser, lip balm, cuticle oil, hand cream, heel cream - the list goes on. Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial and high in Vitamin E, an essential nutrient for the skin. Make sure you use an organic, virgin coconut oil.
Oil cleansing: Coconut oil can replace your expensive face cleansers.
Say goodbye to expensive face wash! Oil cleansing is the most effective way to rid the impurities that get stuck in your pores. Like attracts like, so the coconut oil adheres to the makeup and gunk in your pores and then you wash it off. I have tried this myself and my skin did not break out: I could actually feel less congestion immediately! I wash like this in the evenings and in the mornings I just rinse my face with cold water.
To make: Rinse your face with cool water. Pat dry. Melt a 1/2 a teaspoon of coconut oil plus a drop of lavender, palmerosa or camomile essential oil in your finger tips and massage in circular motion over your face and décolletage. Then rinse off with your face cloth drenched with very warm water. Not too hot, as it high temperatures can dehydrate and inflame your skin. A common misconception is that hot water opens your pores. Cold water shrinks the dermal cells surrounding your pores to open them. So finish with a splash of cool water to invigorate your skin.
Moisturising body scrub:
It's very easy to get dull, dry skin in winter. This scrub will revitalise and nourish your skin, leaving it smooth, moisturised and protected against the harsh elements.
To make: Mix 1/2 cup of coconut oil with 1/4 cup of raw sugar. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Wet your skin and scrub your legs and arms with this mixture. The raw sugar will exfoliate your skin, removing all the dry and flaky skin cells, while the coconut oil will moisturise and nourish your skin, and the essential oils will make you smell amazing. Rinse off with your face cloth soaked in warm water.
Calming herbal soak:
Create your own rejuvenating bath mixture to soak aching muscles and warm yourself up.
To make: Combine the contents of 1 bag of chamomile tea, 1/2 Tablespoon of dried lavender, 1/2 Tablespoon of dried rose petals and 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil in a bowl. If you add 1/2 cup of epsom salts the magnesium it contains will greatly add to reducing muscle aches. Heap ingredients into a square of cotton, and pull the edges of the square together to form a ball. Secure with string, and then let the ball float in a warm bath for 10-15 minutes, as the herbs infuse the water.
I hope you enjoy these nourishing winter body treats. If you have a favourite recipe you would like to share, please comment below.