I mean, really dry. Like, peeling and cracking kind of dry.
Sorry. That’s pretty gross.
During most of the year, my skin stays soft and smooth. It’s only when the weather changes and we have to turn on the heaters that my silky skin turns into a dry desert.
More disturbing imagery. Sorry about that.
But no worries! I have an awesome completely simple and natural skin care routine that leaves my skin soft, smooth, and healthy.
If you struggle with dry skin during the colder months (or anytime), I definitely suggest giving this 2-step routine a try.
Step #1: Exfoliate
When you hear the word “exfoliate”, you probably think of body scrubs made from hand-harvested French sea salt and crazy expensive “rare” essential oils.
Don’t worry, I’m not that kind of gal.
“Exfoliate” simply means to remove dead skin cells. You certainly don’t need a pricey, chemical-laden scrub to do that!
Dry Skin Brushing
It’s exactly as simple as it sounds. You just brush your skin while it’s dry!
First, you need to buy the proper brush. You want one that is made with natural fibers, not synthetic.You can find one for cheap on Amazon. I actually have two: a standard one for my body and a smaller, less coarse one that I use for my face (which I brush using a circular motion).
Next, you lightly run the brush up and down your body right before your shower. Now, some methods you may come across on the web are a little labor-intensive. You can only brush in upward strokes (always toward the heart) and you have to follow a certain pattern (hands to arms to shoulders to chest…).
Sounds like a bunch of new-age mumbo-jumbo to me. Plus, I’m just way to lazy for all that!
All I do is quickly brush all over right before my shower, paying special attention to my hands, feet, elbows and knees.
I do this maybe once a week during the summer (especially if I go swimming a lot) and every other day during the winter.
It honestly takes less than 5 minutes.
Step #2: Moisturize
Now that you’ve sufficiently exfoliated and washed off all the yucky dead skin cells with a quick shower, it’s time to moisturize.
But of course, not just any moisturizer will do! No expensive lotions full of nasty chemicals like Diethanolamine (DEA) and phthalates (chemicals that have been linked to cancer, by the way).
Yep, just plain organic, unrefined coconut oil. I buy mine from Whole Foods, but I believe other places sell non-organic, refined brands. A 12-16oz jar costs between $9 and $12 and it will last for quite a while.
In fact, I have had the same 14oz jar for almost 2 years now! That’s definitely WAY less expensive than paying $30 (or more) for some high-end body “crème” that only lasts a month or two.
Another great benefit of using coconut oil to moisturize is that there is practically no smell. You smell coconut as it’s being applied, but the smell quickly dissipates.
As I said, I like coconut oil because of the price and the no-smell factor. But there’s nothing inherently special about this oil that makes it a better choice then, say, avocado or grape seed oil.
You can certainly use those or other plant-based oils if you wish. There are also natural oil blends you can buy, like Burt’s Bees Apricot Oil, at health food shops or even some pharmacies.
Just be sure to steer clear of petroleum-based mineral oil.
The only downside to coconut oil is that it solidifies at room temp. You could put the jar into a bowl of hot water before your shower, but (you guessed it) I’m way too lazy for that.
When I’m ready to moisturize, I just take out as much as I need and rub it in my hands. The heat and friction will warm up the oil and it will return to its liquid state pretty easily.
I can avoid this step during the winter because we always have the heater running which keeps the house really warm and the oil nice and soft.
- Using a natural skin brush, lightly brush up and down your body and in concentric circles on your face.
- Moisturize with coconut oil…as much as you like!
Okay, so the routine is actually 3 steps. But you were going to shower anyway…right?
Oh, I forgot to mention the bes* part about this routine!
You will see results almost instantly!
When I first implemented this routine back in the winter of 2007, my skin was completely dry and cracked. Within 2 days, there was about 50% improvement and after about 6 days, my skin was completely smooth and soft again.
All because of a skin brush, some coconut oil, and a few extra minutes of my time.
Beat that, Bath and Body Works!
Go raw and be fit,
Post Last Updated: 3/6/2013