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For many people, the winter months mean dry, itchy skin, and no matter how much lotion gets slathered on, it never seems to do the trick. Nutritionist Melissa Ramos offers some relief with a few of her favourite dry skin remedies. EXFOLIATE Always start with an exfoliator (you should always exfoliate prior to using any kind of hand or face mask). Exfoliation helps to slough off dread skin cells so the skin can moisturize and actually absorb the nutrients more effectively. Generally, exfoliating once per week is fine. What you need:
  • 1 cup coconut oil (moisturizes and acts as an antibacterial)
  • ½ cup cane sugar (exfoliates)
  • 4 drops orange essential oil (anti-inflammatory and is rich in Vitamin C, which increases collagen production)
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil (increases blood flow)
What you do:
  1. Mix altogether and store in a jar.
MOISTURIZE Hand mask What you need:
  • ¾ cup cocoa butter (moisturizing and smells delicious)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (moisturizing and antifungal)
  • 1 tbsp almond oil (moisturizing for sensitive skin)
  • 2 tsp honey (antibacterial)
  • 2 tsp aloe vera (healping properties, especially with dry, cracked skin)
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerin (holds in moisture)
  • 10 drops cedar wood essential oil (great for dry skin, anti-inflammatory, antifungal)
What you do:
  1. In a double boiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except essential oils.
  2. Bring to medium heat and stir constantly until all ingredients are melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Add essential oils, if using.
  4. Move to fridge and let cool another hour or until starting to harden but still somewhat soft. Use a hand mixer to whip for 10 minutes until fluffy. Return to fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.
  5. Store in a glass jar with a lid and use on hands before bed and apply gloves and leave on overnight. Leaving the mixture in the fridge will hold its texture.
Facemask Winter weather brings cold and flu season, which means a lot of runny noses. When we constantly blow and wipe our nose, it causes red, dry, flaky skin. Moisturizing will help this. What you need:
  • 1 avocado (moisturizes the skin and the natural oils in the avocado penetrate deep into the skin helping to soften and hydrate dry and flaky patches)
  • 2 tbsp manuka honey (acts as an antibacterial and helps to reduce redness and heals congested or inflamed skin; it also oxygenates pores to draw our bacteria, helping to improve acne-prone areas)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (acts as an anti-inflammatory, soothes redness and blemishes, and improves skin appearance)
Lip scrub If your lips get dry and cracked in the winter, try this scrub. What you need:
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (acts as exfoliator)
  • ½ tbsp olive oil (moisturizes)
  • ½ tbsp. raw honey (antibacterial)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon powder (helps bring blood to the surface and plump the lips)
What you do:
  1. Use a toothbrush to brush off some of the dry flakes on your lips and then apply the scrub. Gently, with a warm, damp cloth, rub the mixture in for a couple of minutes. Leave on for a couple more minutes. Wipe off and apply lip balm that has a shea butter face for extra moisture.
Hair mask
  1. You can apply a mask to your hair much the same way you would to your face and hands.
What you need: ½ cup Jamaican black castor oil 2 tbsp melted coconut oil (great for dandruff or eczema of the scalp) 10 drops rosemary essential oil (for hair growth) What you do: Gently warm this concoction over the stove (minus the essential oil) on warm. Remove off the stove, pour it into a bowl, and begin at the tips, working your way up to the roots. When your hair is covered, add in five drops of essential oils to your oily hands and massage into the scalp. Foot scrub What you need: 1 cup black lava salt (helps remove impurities and detoxifies) 1/3 cup magnesium salts or flakes (relaxes the muscles) ¾ cup almond oil (or however much it takes to fill up the jar after filling it with lava salt and magnesium) 1 tbsp castile soap (antibacterial) 15 drops peppermint essential oil (refreshing and antimicrobial)