Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
Cold temperatures, harsh winds, and dry indoor heat all lead to dry, flaky skin, redness, and irritation. The solution? Make your own gentle skin care products, with concentrated ingredients that draw moisture to the skin, prevent dryness, and heal damage and irritation. Bonus: Triple the amounts, package extras in decorative jars, and share with friends as a heartfelt holiday gift! Save your skin (and your friends) from the ravages of winter with these easy DIY solutions.
Lavender Sugar Body Scrub
Combine ½ cup coconut sugar, ¼ cup sweet almond oil, 2 Tbs. aloe vera gel, and 5 drops lavender essential oil in a small jar. Stir to mix well. In the shower, apply scrub gently in a circular motion over damp skin, and rinse with warm water. Makes enough for one or two applications. Store remainder, refrigerated, in a small glass jar.
Skin savers: Coconut sugar exfoliates skin and also contains alpha-hydroxy acids to slough off aging skin cells; sweet almond oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and in vitamins A, B, and E to nourish and hydrate skin; aloe vera increases circulation in small blood vessels in the skin; lavender has long been used to soothe irritated skin.
Honey is a humectant that hydrates skin by attracting water to the surface layers.
Honey-Rose Nourishing Protein Masque
In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup raw honey and ⅓ cup whey protein. Puncture two vitamin E capsules and squeeze contents into saucepan; discard capsules. Warm on the lowest heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool; stir in 1 ounce rose water. Apply generously to clean skin; leave on for 20-30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Makes enough for two applications. Store remainder, refrigerated, in a small glass jar.
Skin savers: Honey is a humectant, attracting water to the surface layers of skin; whey protein can enhance collagen production, minimizing the appearance of fine lines; vitamin E heals damage and soothes irritated, itchy skin; rose water softens skin and reduces puffiness and redness.
Anti-aging Geranium Night Cream
In a small saucepan on the lowest heat, melt ⅓ cup cocoa butter cut into small chunks. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puncture three vitamin A capsules and squeeze contents into mixture; discard capsules. Stir in 2 Tbs. jojoba oil, 1 Tbs. royal jelly, and 10 drops of geranium oil. Transfer to a small glass jar and let cool. Apply generously to skin before bedtime. Store in the refrigerator. Makes enough for five to seven applications.
Skin savers: Cocoa butter contains polyphenols that nourish skin and protect against damage; vitamin A (retinol) helps prevent free-radical damage and wrinkling; jojoba oil increases hydration and reduces irritation; royal jelly promotes collagen production to make skin look smoother; geranium has long been used to promote skin healing, and can reduce redness and irritation from cold, dry air.
Frizzy Hair Fixes
In winter, cold, dry air and indoor heating lead to a lack of humidity in the air, leaving hair dull and frizzy, and causing flyaway locks. Here are a few tricks to keep frizzy, flyaway hair under control:
Spritz your hairbrush with natural hair spray before brushing your hair, and use a natural bristle brush to help evenly distribute your scalp’s natural oils.
Try:Alba Botanica Medium Hold Hair Spray
A deficiency of essential fatty acids can contribute to frizzy hair. Boost your intake of omega-3-rich foods and oils such as fish, hemp, or flaxseed oil.
Try:Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Oil
For curly hair that is particularly unruly, try swapping out your hairbrush for a wide-toothed comb. A curl cream with hair-smoothing ingredients (e.g., shea butter or argan oil) is also important for reigning in frizzy curls.
Try:Alaffia Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream
Combat damage and dryness with leave-in conditioners, hair serums, or hair oils made with ingredients such as shea butter, vitamin E, panthenol, and natural oils. Try sesame oil-this vitamin E-rich oil is popular in China as a healthy hair treatment.
Try:Ayush Herbs Ayush Hair Oil