The weather has not been great this past couple of days; if only this non-stop rain would hydrate my cold-weather skin! It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. Because before I know it, I see not only patches, but a leg-ful of flaky skin. Ashy, scaly, possibly itchy… Well, you get the idea. I’m blaming the central heating!
Luckily it’s not the end of the world. There’s a lot that can be done to save the Sahara skin. Read on for some tips and home remedies.
Moisturisers. It’s pretty much the first thing that comes to mind when someone brings up the subject of dry skin. But there are simply too many to choose from. A moisturiser may smell really nice and its bottle may look amazing, but ultimately you’re looking for a lotion that loves your skin as much as you do, and that means bringing moisture (come on, if it doesn’t do that one thing it’s named after, bin it!). Dermatologists suggest products with heavier formulas, such as those that contain humectants like glycerin and sorbitol.
Long hot baths. I’m writing from personal experience here. Yes, they feel nice; yes, they help you relax. Make the little addition of scented candles and you’re sorted for your pamper evening. However, nothing can be worse for your skin than hot baths/showers. The heat makes the skin’s oils soften, much as butter softens and melts when heated. Bring some shower gel into the mix, and the shield on your skin will be gone in no time. And guess what happens next? Without that barrier, out goes the moisture. Don’t want it to escape? Try to stay away from exposing your skin to hot water.
Moisture-robbing soaps. It’s a beauty myth that oily or acne-prone skin needs to be washed regularly, sometimes with the combination of harsh soaps to prevent breakouts. That’s simply untrue. Washing your face every hour isn’t going to stop those spots coming, in fact, you’re inviting more to appear. Stripping away the basic layer of oils on your skin gives your body the signal to produce more oils to make up for the loss, hence creating even more skin problems. No matter how oily your skin is, wash it regularly, keep it moisturised; your skin will thank you for that.
Homemade face masks. Spoil yourself with a fancy spa facial at home with only ingredients from the kitchen. One of the most effective is the milk mask. Just mix 1/4 cup of powdered milk with water to form a thick paste with a consistency that’s not too runny. Apply that on your face, let it dry and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it with lukewarm water. Another way to feel your skin feel moisturised and rejuvenated is the yoghurt, banana and honey mask. Mash 2 tablespoons of yoghurt, half a banana and a tablespoon of honey in a bowl until smooth. Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Leftovers? Treat yourself to some dessert!
Full-on spa. Enjoy a full-body spa at the weekend because why not? You may not find these ingredients in your kitchen cupboard but they are definitely worth investing in. Mix a ratio of 3 to 1 of olive oil and castor oil in a bowl and let it aside. Prepare a big warm towel (you can put it under hot running water then squeeze it until it’s not dripping). Apply the oil all over your body, and then wrap yourself up in the towel. Take the towel off when it’s become cool. The most important thing to remember here is not to take a shower immediately after; leave it for another hour or two and let the oil sink in.
And voilà! Don’t go too crazy with these remedies as experts suggest doing them only weekly, if not once every two weeks. But do keep your skin clean (not with boiling hot water though) and choose the right moisturiser; your skin will be forever grateful to you!