No matter where you live, winter can wreak havoc on your skin. With dry indoor heating, the frigid cold outside, and lack of general humidity, your skin can become dry, dehydrated or even oily to compensate for the conditions. Dry skin is often treated with moisturizers and lotions, but unfortunately, those don’t always work very well, and the dry skin can come rushing back with a vengeance. People stop putting lotion on oily skin because they think it’s making it worse. Both are wrong.
That’s because often times dry and dehydrated skin doesn’t just lack moisture, it lacks oil as well. Oils are essential to keeping our skin healthy, (yes, even for you girls with oily skin!) They can help regulate sebum, increase moisture retention, and generally soothe and protect. I have epic dry skin, and one of the best ways I’ve found to keep my skin hydrated and comfortable in this dry season is to use oils. Using something oily on your skin might feel unintuitive, since we’ve all been told that oily = greasy = bad, but used correctly, oils can be life changing. Here are three of my favorite tips for using oils.
Mix with your Moisturizer
Sometimes for those of us with severely dry skin, creams and lotions just aren’t quite moisturizing enough to last the day, but just slathering your face in oil isn’t going to cut it when you have to put on makeup and go to work. Let’s face it, our coworkers are going to look at us a bit oddly if we walk into the building glistening like an oil-slick. However, there’s a solution! Mixing a drop or two of oil into your face cream in the palm of your hand before putting it on your face is enough for most creams to say soft and moisturizing for hours without adding a greasy or oily finish.
Face Oils that are great for mixing:
- Camelia oil – A favorite in Japan and across Asia for centuries, camellia (aka green tea seed) oil replenishes and protects the skin with oleic acid and a host of antioxidants. It’s thick, but quickly absorbing texture delivers powerful anti-aging benefits: fewer fine lines and plump, firm skin, and a hydrated glow.
- Rosehip Oil – One of my favorite oils. It’s light and sinks in quickly, but packs a serious punch. Because it’s rich in linoleic acid, it helps with skin regeneration, removing pigmented spots, scars, burns, pimple marks, and the chief bioactive component, tretinoin, has been clinically identified as responsible for repairing tissue.
- Marula Oil – Great for dull, dry and lackluster skin. Marula oil is derived from the fruit of the African marula tree and can restore radiance and elasticity, helping you achieve a youthful glow. Rich in oleic acid and vitamin C, it also protects against free radicals which can help your skin stay looking younger.
- Jojoba Oil – This odorless, light oil is fantastic for oily, combination, or acne-prone skin. It helps clear up clogged skin and balances your skin’s pH. It’s also great for inflamation both from acne, and things like rosacea.
- Squalane Oil – Squalene is actually a lipid that’s found in many oils—including our own sebum. The light, hydrating texture is miraculously fast-absorbing, it also protects the skin against moisture loss, free radicals, pollution, and UV damage. Antibacterial powers and a weightless feel make squalene perfect for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin.
Use On your Body
Have you tried creams, lotions and body butters and still find your skin dry and rough a few hours later? Try using body oil instead. When your skin is still damp from the shower, slather on a generous amount, it will lock in the moisture from your shower and leave you soft and smooth. You’ll be surprised how quickly most oils absorb, with no oily feeling. Even better, if you’re exceptionally dry like me, you can still put your lotion on top of the oil to seal all that moisture in and keep your skin comfortable for hours!
- Cetaphil Baby Moisturizing Oil with Organic Calendula, Sweet Almond Oil and Sunflower Oil – This is a lovely mix of calming organic calendula, sweet almond oil and sunflower oil to soften and smooth exceptionally rough skin. My go-to in the driest months. It absorbs almost instantly and feels silky smooth.
- Neutrogena Body Oil, Light Sesame Formula, Sesame Oil – Sheer and lightweight, this is perfect for spring and summer and has a subtle scent that won’t overwhelm.
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Bath, Body & Massage Oil – If you’re looking for a body oil with a lovely scent and gorgeous texture, look no further. The combination of coconut oil and hibiscus flower oil is a tropical delight, and leaves your skin silky and rejuvenated
- Apricot Kernel Oil – Great for flaking, itchy skin, this odorless, fast-absorbing oil is suitable for all skin types, but has an affinity for exacerbated and dry skin. It contains a high amount of b-sisterol, which is known to quell inflammation and exhibit anti-inflammatory activity.
Oil Up Your Hands and Feet
Is the skin on your knuckles dry and cracking? Do you have hangnails and rough skin? Are your heels a dry mess? Using oil on your hands and feet can resolve most of those issues with one application. Apply before bed, and wear a pair of soft socks to prevent the oil from getting on your bedding. You’ll wake up to soft, soothed hands and feet that don’t feel sticky or greasy from lotion.
- SheaMoisture 15 oz 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – While coconut oil isn’t great to use on your face as it can exacerbate oily skin and acne, it is naturally antibacterial and deliciously aromatic, and can deeply hydrate dry, flaky skin, which is especially helpful on hands and feet.
- Avocado Oil – This is a rich, hydrating oil that’s full of vitamins A and E, making it excellent for dry, dehydrated, and mature skin. It removes flakes, boosts cellular regeneration, and plumps up thin, crepey skin, like that on the backs of your hands.
- Argan Oil – This oil has a clear golden hue and faintly nutty aroma. It’s the go-to oil for mature, damaged skin, and has a luxurious texture that hydrates flaky skin and softens wrinkles. It’s also anti-inflammatory and non-clogging, so it’s great for acne-prone skin, since it’s non-comedogenic.
These are just a few of the ways I use oil to try to tame my ferociously dry skin and stay comfortable in the driest of environments. How do you keep your skin moisturized when nothing seems to help?
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