With spring in full swing and summertime just around the corner, I’m very excited to break out my skirts, dresses, and sandals. My skin, however, needs a bit of coaxing out of ‘winter’ mode. You may be in the same boat, and if so, hopefully this post will give you a few suggestions to help get rid of dry skin and leave you ready for some sunshine.
I suppose the best way to break down this post is by category. I’ll touch on one or two tricks I use for my face, but this will primarily be about ways to smooth legs, knees, elbows, etc.
• Exfoliation is key, but the trick, especially with more sunshine, is not to overly-exfoliate and leave skin dry. To gently remove any dullness left over from winter I like to use a mix of baking soda and coconut oil. Mixing about 1/2 tsp coconut oil and about an equal amount of boring soda, I mix the two into a sort of paste and gently apply to my face (except the area around my eyes) and let it sit for about five minutes. To remove, use lukewarm water, and very gently remove with a washcloth. I follow up with a super hydrating moisturiser, usually Cosmetic Lad from Lush, which I know is technically for guys, but works wonders to soothe and hydrate my skin post-face mask, and is a great night-cream.
• As well as gentle exfoliating a few times a week, I’ve found that keeping my skin hydrated is a key factor not only in minimising any dullness, but in staying smooth and breakout-free. A favourite week-night face mask of mine also happens to be wonderfully simple. For this I combine 1tbs coconut oil and 1tbs raw honey (as local as I can find), mix , and apply gently to clean skin. While it sits for 10-15 minutes be sure to have a towel somewhere under your chin because it is very likely to drip a bit. When it’s time to remove use warm water and a washcloth to gently wipe it away, and follow with your favourite moisturiser.
• One thing I do every morning, no matter the season, and which makes a surprising difference, is dry brushing. It has a whole host of other benefits like detoxing, and increasing circulation (read more here). I’ve done it on and off for a few years now, and I can definitely notice positive change when I consistently dry brush in the morning.
•The winter always seems to be the hardest on my legs and knees, making my skin at best a bit dry, and at worst a bit scaly. To help with this I use a pair of exfoliating gloves on my legs every other day, with let me really concentrate on areas like my knees and ankles that tend to get extra dry. Before drying my skin off post-shower I apply either coconut oil (warming it in my hands a bit to make it easier to apply), or the miracle-working Tata Harper Revitalising Body Oil. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has transformed my dry, scaly skin into something from a women’s razor commercial.
•If I’m in a hurry, taking the time to let the coconut oil ‘set’ isn’t always in the cards, but no matter what I always make it a priority to moisturise as soon as I exit the shower. This is the simplest, and yet most effective thing you can do. You could even multi-task this step by using it to check your skin for any new freckles or marks that could be suspicious.
• I run a lot, and do yoga every morning, both of which can bit a bit hard on my feet. To remedy some of the dry skin I use a good-old-fashioned pumice stone to remove any rough patches before giving them a bit of a soak, and then slathering on some moisturiser mixed with coconut oil, and a thick pair of socks before heading to bed.
While these will all help your skin look its best for extra exposure on these longer, sunnier days, the last thing to do to make sure it stays that way is to apply sunscreen. Seriously, every day– especially on your face, and even if your moisturiser/makeup already has some spa packed in as well.
I’d love to hear your skin-saving secrets in the comments below, and if you give any of these a try!