We don’t mean to be dramatic, but winter can kind of wreck your skin.
For people with combination skin, the dry areas of your skin can become drier, and the irritation that results can actually cause more breakouts.
For people with dry skin, the need for moisture becomes even greater during this chilly season. If you don't tend to your skin's extra needs, it can get flaky, cracked, or generally unhealthy looking.
On top of that, less time in the sun can take a toll on our healthy glows, as can less exercise, which might start to happen as jogging or hiking outside becomes less appealing.
Okay, we’re being a little negative here. The good parts about winter? When it gets dark earlier, we’re more apt to get to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. This benefits the complexion as well as… pretty much everything. And of course, pumpkin appearing in our favorite dishes is delicious, festive, and the extra vitamin A can add warmth to your complexion.
But pie can only distract you from your dry skin for so long. We have a few DIY recipes for dry skin to help you get through this winter without giving up on a luminous complexion. No dryness, no dullness, no cracking! We’re covering everything from your face to your hands.
Let’s start simple:
1. Apple Facial Mask
We’ve talked about the health benefits of apples before, both for your skin and your insides. Apples make a great mask ingredient for people with combination skin, because they help combat oily skin while also moisturizing. If you ever find yourself with a few wrinkly and unappetizing apples, this is a great use for them!
- 1 apple
- If you have a food processor, you can roughly chop your apple (omitting the core) and process it into a textured paste (not all the way smooth). If you don’t have or want to use a food processor (they’re not known for being quick and easy to clean), peel, core, and steam the apple, then mash it up.
- If you have them on hand, add 2 tablespoons of whole milk and a teaspoon of honey to the mixture. You can also use the apple alone for a nice, simple mask.
- If you steamed the apple, make sure it cools enough before you apply it to your face. Spread the mask evenly across your face and leave on for 15-20 minutes (more is fine, too).
- Massage the mask into your face as your rinse it off.
2. Dessert Facial Mask
I challenge you not to eat any of this! This recipe was based on the one on rawmazing.com. I swapped the avocado for some banana, because it makes for an even more appetizing smell, and bananas are underutilized as a skin-nourishing ingredient. You can definitely use avocado in here if you’d like.
Cocoa powder contains anti-oxidants that help protect from environmental stressors. We like the cocoa powder from Equal Exchange.
Banana is soothing and softening, plus it contains vitamin C for anti-aging benefits. Use a ripe banana that mashes easily.
Of course, coconut oil is an amazing moisturizer (and also contributes the yummy smell of this mask). If you have oily or clogged skin, you can use some hazelnut oil instead, though it will make the consistency a little less thick.
The final ingredient is honey. (For lots of info on why it’s such a great ingredient for your skin, see our blog post here.)
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Mash banana with a fork in a small-medium size bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend together.
- Apply to all areas of your face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
3. Hand Saver
Winter’s toll is often seen first on the hands. They become dull, cracked, and dry, which can be uncomfortable in addition to unflattering. We recommend moisturizing regularly with our Radiant Skin Silk, but we also found this luxurious, at home recipe to massage into your hands and bring them back to life.
You could even use this oil to massage a loved one. You’ll get the hand soothing benefits while also extending the gift of massage. 🙂
This recipe is from one of our favorite natural beauty books (you’ll notice we reference it often!): Natural Skin Care, by Joni Loughran.
- 1 tsp wheat germ oil
- 400 I.U. vitamin E
- 2 oz. avocado oil
- 2 oz. apricot kernel oil
- 4 drops lemon essential oil
- Mix ingredients together and massage into hands. If you have leftover, store them in a sealed container (pro tip: you can reuse the containers from our products!).
We rarely do a DIY skin care article without a recipe from Brigitte Mars, a renowned herbalist and natural beauty expert. Here is one of her natural hair care recipes:
4. Avocado Deep Hair Conditioner
- ½ mashed ripe avocado
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 3 drops rosemary or lavender essential oil
- Combine all ingredients
- Massage into hair and scalp, concentrating on the ends
- Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse well.
This recipe could also be left on longer. Personally, if I sacrificed half an avocado, I’d want to make sure I got the full benefits from it! Apply this mask then do a few sodoku puzzles, go on a vacuuming spree, or knit something. Just some ideas.
One more from Brigitte! You can’t forget your lips.
5. Tinted Lip Balm
- ⅛ ounce alkanet root
- 1 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup beeswax
- 1 tbsp honey
- 5 drop essential oil (vanilla, peppermint, or cardamom)
- Simmer the alkanet root in the olive oil at a low temperature for 15 minutes, or mix them together in a dry glass jar for two weeks.
- Strain, pressing the oil out of the root with clean, dry fingers.
- Add the beeswax and heat or reheat gently until the beeswax is melted.
- Remove from the heat and add the honey and essential oil.
- Pour into lip balm containers and allow it to cool before sealing the jar. If you have ever purchased a sample kit from us, the containers for the cleansers, Sun Love, and dry powders (the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub and the Purifying Mud Mask) make great lip balm containers! Simply clean them out and pour in your lip balm. Put the lid on once it has cooled.
Be sure to check out some of our other DIY recipes like homemade body washes and scrubs!