a throwback from the archives. i thought the week could use some lighter fare!
although t.s. eliot said, "april is the cruelest month," my vote is with january. dark afternoons, tundric temperatures, and lack of fresh fare (and air) cast shadows on the post-holidaze, but the accompanying itchy skin doesn't exactly endear the season to me, either. thankfully, relief can be found well before the ground thaws.
1. Humidifiers Are Your Friend. we run one in both bedrooms, and they make a huge difference. indoor heating strips moisture from the air, and a humidifier puts it back in nicely, making skin healthier and breathing easier. just remember to keep it clean so that you aren't circulating bacteria or mold. we use these filter-free models that are quiet and effective work horses.
2. Re-Think Your Body Lotions and Moisturizers. ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, and synthetic glycerin can actually dry your skin. mineral oil, petroleum, and petrolatum are also poor ingredients in a moisturizer. chemically identical to crude oil, they cannot be absorbed and form an impenetrable barrier, blocking skin from receiving moisture or oxygen (and preventing the body's release of toxins). sodium lauryl and laureth sulfate can irritate sensitive skin as well.
i love non-greasy jojoba oil, even on my face. it's truly healing, prevents itchy winter skin, and absorbs especially well after a shower. almond and coconut oils are nourishing, too.
3. The Best Thing for Chapped Lips: lanolin. again, petroleum-based products won't truly moisturize. it's decidedly non-vegan but natural and long lasting, and i like to put it on the kids' chapped noses, too. you can spring for organic to avoid traces of pesticide or other toxins. cocoa butter and coconut oil are worthy vegan alternatives.
3. Turn Down the Water Temperature. excessive heat is drying on delicate skin (and uses more energy). although i still can't bear to give up super-hot showers, i try to keep them short and turn down the heat while washing dishes and hands.
4. Use a Saline Nasal Spray. the ones i'm talking about cost under $2 and contain no medicinal ingredients. nasal passages can become dry and uncomfortable in the winter, and a saline spray can be soothing. when i get a bottle, i pop off the lid and put in 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. its antiseptic properties help to prevent illness, making a good thing even better.
now i wonder if anything barring a tropical vacation could make this six degree weather feel like a balmy 60 degrees...
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