dry skin

(photo credit Image After)

November is already upon us, and with us the much colder temperatures and blustery winds. Our skin takes a beating during the winter, between racing from the house to your car with your arms full and mittens forgotten, the multiple hand-washings involved in day-to-day life, and the typically very dry weather.

My mom, being a nurse and constantly washing her hands, used to wear cotton gloves and vaseline on her hands overnight to help ease some of the dryness and cracking that would inevitably occur. Sound painful? Indeed! And many of us suffer from the same complications. I’ve inherited skin that tends to dry out very easily and get irritated in the cold, so I’ve had to learn some tricks along the way to help keep my skin hydrated. I hope these ideas help!

1. Ditch the scented soaps.


Yes, I know. I particularly LOVE the holiday scents that Bath and Body Works puts out. They’re just so delicious smelling! But you know what? I’ve noticed that as SOON as I switch from my regular soap (which is a NON anti bacterial dish soap watered down in a pump bottle), my hands start drying out. And FAST. All the wonderful scents in those soaps are chemicals, y’all, and they’re contributing to the drying out of your skin!

So stop using them, permanently! You can find other great alternatives for hand soap, whether you like liquid or bar soap (check out Skin Deep – Cosmetics Database and search for liquid hand soap).

Or you can make your own! You only need a couple readily available ingredients to do so, and if you like scented, you can use essential oils to make any scent you want. To get you started, here are a few recipes ideas:

Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, filtered/distilled water (an 85% water to 15% soap ratio) a bit of tea tree oil + a favourite essential oil (Lavender / eucalyputus / sweet orange are some) in a foaming dispenser! Economical, natural, clean and great smelling (thanks Kitty for the recipe!)

Homemade Peppermint Soap from The Humbled Homemaker

Homemade Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap from Conscientious Confusion

Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap from Thriving Home


2. Scrubbedy, scrubbedy, scrub, scrub

You’d think that something “harsh” like scrubbing your skin would create more irritation and dryness. Incorrect! You need to slough off (yes, I love that word – sound like sloth, but it’s slough, with a “f” sound at the end :D) the dead skin so the new skin can shine through!


My favourite sugar scrub of all time is the cane sugar Citrus Twist made by my bestie, Lisa – she has an amazing company called Sweetcream Organic (I reviewed it last year!). Her products are reasonably priced and body-healthy, plus she’s a literal dictionary of knowledge on what’s good and bad for your skin!

You can also try your hand at making your own sugar scrub. Simply mix brown sugar with some olive or coconut oil, or there are plenty of tutorials online. Plus a really cool looking e-book called A Year of Sugar Scrubs, available from Erin at In Between Laundry.


3. Hydrate


There are two ways to hydrate your skin. One is to drink water. Yes, your skin gets hydrated too when your whole body is hydrated! The other is with a really good moisturizer.

As with the soaps, stay as far away from the scented variety you purchase from certain stores (ahem, Walmart and Bath and Body Works!). Check the ingredients – if one of the first few ingredients is water, that’s not a good thing. That means a lot of the “lotion” evaporates from your skin quickly and does not actually fully moisturize.

What you’re looking for is a product that contains natural ingredients (and remember, not ALL ingredients that occur naturally are GOOD for your skin! Read this for some more info). What you put on your skin also gets absorbed into your body.


Shea butter is a great option for deep moisturizing. Another favourite from Sweetcream is Body or Belly Balm (also great for pregnant and post-preggers mamas!). For other options, search on Cosmetics Database.


I hope these ideas help to keep your skin looking and feeling soft and fresh all winter long!

I’d love to hear in the comments how you keep your skin healthy!