Yankee Thrift-Avoid “Winter Skin”

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It’s now officially winter, and with it comes dry cracked skin, lips etc. If you live in Vermont, you know about Bag Balm and the wonders it can do for your skin. However, there is a lot you can do to avoid “winter skin” then lathering on a thick coat of BB before going to bed.

Limit baths and showers to 5 to 10 minutes and use warm rather than hot water. Go easy on the cleanser-a gentle body wash is better than bar soap.  Blot skin gently dry-no hard rubbing. Since ointments, creams and lotions work by trapping existing moisture in your skin, applying just after the bath, showering or hand washing is important. Whether you use lanolin (low risk) or some other cream or ointment, check out product safety and toxicity at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website

• Limit your affair with the wood stove: We all love to do it-stand with our back to the woodstove or fireplace. It feels soooo good, particularly if you just come in from the cold. However, doing it too long can add to dry skin problems. Truth is most of us will most likely avoid this recommendation of the American Academy of Dermatology. After all, we live where many night’s temps are below zero and they don’t.

• Hydrate you and your house: As one of our local runners noted, Water, water, and more water. I've tried a million things because of winter running and dry skin but drinking tons of water has always been the best fix. Humidifier for the house also helps

• Wear gloves outside and when washing or cleaning.

• Have the layer next to your skin be cotton or silk.

Use hypoallergenic laundry detergent

• Replenish Your Skin from the Cupboard: It’s better to use a cream or ointment than a lotion, but dabbing on olive, grape seed or safflower oil works very well at keeping your skin smooth and flake free, and it’s considerably cheaper than the lotions and creams that most stores sell. Be sure to use food grade oils, and if you are in need of a scrub, just combine the oil with sugar. These oils also work well on your lips. Note-canola, corn and other vegetable oils should not be used as many are genetically modified. 

For more Yankee Thrift tips check out the Cavendish Connects Pinterest Board.