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I don’t know about you, but winter is so hard on my skin. The heater running indoors and harsh cold weather outside leaves my skin dry and unhappy. I want to share all of my favorite things that I use to keep my skin feeling fresh and soft.
I have to note that any links I share are purely for your benefit to show you exactly what I use and resources I love, but I don’t get paid by these companies. A second note, I am not a doctor so please do not take any of this as medical advice. Do you own research before using anything you’re unsure about and avoid anything you are allergic to. I have provided links of my resources for more in depth reading if you are interested. Consult your doctor for information concerning interactions with medications.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of my favorites to keep around the house. I use it for everything from cooking to my daily skin routine. It acts as an excellent moisturizer and carrier oil for essential oils. It’s also antimicrobial and reduces inflammation. It’s gentle on sensitive skin and has a mild coconut scent. Be sure to buy unrefined coconut oil because the refine process can change the chemical structure of the oil and cook out all the good benefits.
2. Shea Butter
Shea butter is amazing for your skin. It’s full of vitamin A and makes an excellent foundation for body butters and makes your skin feel so soft and hydrated. It has healing properties and is gentle on the skin, so you can apply it to eczema and psoriasis for dry skin relief. Shea butter has a very mild and neutral scent which makes it a perfect carrier for essential oils.
3. Cocoa Butter
Natural antioxidants and saturated fats soak into your skin and heal it from the inside out. Cocoa butter stays on your skin for hours after you apply it which makes it excellent as a moisturizer also. It makes a good carrier for essential oils and has a yummy chocolatey smell (since it comes from cocoa beans), so if you add oils to it, you’ll want to pick ones that don’t compete with its naturally strong smell. Cocoa butter is very similar to shea butter. Topically, they have very similar uses. The two big differences are scent and edibility. Shea butter is for topical use only, but cocoa butter can be used in cooking.
4. Aloe Vera
Raise your hand if every time you go to the beach and get even a mild sunburn, you go through an entire bottle of aloe vera. (ME!) It’s so cool and soothing and helps your skin heal from the burn so quickly. But it also has other uses for your skin. Aloe vera contains a bunch of vitamins and minerals that are yummy for your body and your skin. It has vitamins A, C, E, B12, folic acid, and choline. It has minerals including calcium, copper, selenium, chromium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Aloe has antiviral, antibacterial, analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be applied to treat psoriasis, dermatitis, frostbite, cold sores, and acne. It’s also highly moisturizing.
Each of these applications requires a different dosage and application method (it can be applied topically or taken orally), so if you want to go beyond adding it to your daily moisturizing and skin care routine, be sure to talk to your doctor and do your own research.
5. Avocado Oil
In oil form, this super food becomes a super oil. It can be used for cooking, but it can also be used as a moisturizer and makeup remover. It makes a great addition to a body butter and its healing properties can be applied to psoriasis. You can also use it as a conditioner on dry and broken hair. In France, avocado oil has even received prescription status as a treatment for arthritis (source). So now, not only can you enjoy the fruits of this wonderful food, you can add the oil your skincare regimen also! Be sure to buy it organic, unrefined, extra virgin, and cold pressed.
6. Lavender Oil
If you buy no other essential oils, I would put lavender in the top 3 everyone should have. It’s calming scent can be used for relaxation. It’s antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antidepressive. It does not have to be diluted in a carrier like most essential oils do, so you can apply it straight to your skin. Remember, a little goes a long way when it comes to essential oils (like one drop!). It can be applied to burns and wounds for relief and scar reduction. It can be inhaled or applied topically to relieve headaches. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, lavender has an anti-aging effect on your skin. It can also help treat acne.
7. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is a new acquisition for me, and I love it! I add it to my home made body butter for its moisturizing properties. It can also be used to condition hair. Use it before bed as a makeup remover, and it also helps reduce wrinkles. It can be used to treat eczema, acne, and other dry skin conditions. It can even be used in place of shaving cream. Jojoba oil contains many vitamins that give it its wonderful properties. It contains vitamin E, B complex, silicon, chromium, copper, zinc, and iodine.
8. Cucumber Seed Oil
Cucumbers are detoxifying, cleansing, and cooling. Cucumber seed oil is hydrating, making it a perfect addition to your skin care products and conditioner. It can also be applied in a carrier to over-sunned skin and helps reduce puffiness. I actually have cucumber oil in an essential oil blend called Skin Care from Rocky Mountain Oils (where I buy all my essential oils). This blend contains cucumber, lavender, frankincense, carrot seed, neroli, Roman chamomile, and rose. And it is sooo yummy for my skin!
9. Carrot Seed Oil
If you’ll go back two sentences, you’ll notice that carrot seed oil is an ingredient in that oil blend I love. Do note that carrot seed oil and carrot oil are not the same thing. We’re talking about carrot seed oil which is very high in antioxidants (a super plus for your skin and hair!). You can use carrot seed oil as a skin and hair moisturizer.
10. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense is an expensive and rare oil, but the benefits are bigger than the dollar sign. It can be added to oil blends and skin care treatments. Frankincense can also used to tone and tighten skin, fade scars, and prevent wrinkles. It can also be a treatment for acne and eczema. Just don’t apply it to broken skin unless it’s started healing.
11. Almond Oil
Almond oil is a great moisturizer for sensitive skin because it is a mild hypoallergenic. It has antioxidant properties, making it protective against UV damage. The high vitamin A content is good for battling acne. Almond oil is an excellent addition to a facial cleanser or sugar scrub. Almond oil also helps relieve inflammation in psoriasis and eczema.
12. Myrrh Oil
Myrrh oil can be added to beauty products as a moisturizer. It helps soothe dry and cracked skin. Myrrh is a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancer properties. It’s also popular for its fragrance.
13. Rose Oil
Rose oil is another oil that comes with a hefty price tag; however, the benefits are even more incredible. Rose oil is an excellent treatment for acne and is an ingredient in my lovely Skin Care oil blend. Rose oil opens your pores to allow your skin to absorb more nutrients, so take extra care to only put yummy and natural products on your skin. Any chemicals or synthetic products will also be better absorbed by your skin (but you shouldn’t be using these products anyway!!).
14. Goat Milk
Goat milk removes dead skin cells, making your skin look smoother and younger. It is also anti-inflammatory and is an excellent acne treatment. Goat milk is chock full of vitamins (A, C, D, E, B1, B6, B12) that absorb into your skin and makes for a wonderful moisturizer. An easy way to incorporate goat milk into your skin care routine is through soap. Making soap can be a super fun and easy DIY project. Try this recipe from Dr. Axe for goat milk soap.
15. Avoid Chemicals
The worst thing you can do for your skin is saturate it with harsh, synthetic, and unhealthy chemicals. Read every label of every product you want to buy and turn on your filter. If it has any ingredient that you don’t recognize, came from a laboratory, or has numbers in it, put it back on the shelf. Anything you apply to your skin gets absorbed into your body. Be picky about what goes on your skin.
16. Avoid Fried & Processed Foods
The quality of your food is directly reflected by your skin. Greasy, processed foods make for unhappy skin, sometimes within hours of eating. Cleaning up your diet will make your skincare process so much easier. In the future, I’ll definitely have a lot more to say on diet and food, but for now, start by removing the big, bad offenders: soda (especially diet), candy/added sugars, processed foods, and the most common unhealthy oils (canola oil, partially hydrogenated oils, and vegetable oil).
17. Eat Foods That Promote Healthy Skin
Not only can you use all these products listed above topically, but there are plenty of consumables that will promote healthy skin. A few of my favorites are wild caught salmon, kale, sweet potato, and walnuts. These are all super yummy to incorporate into your weekly meals and snacks. Snack on a handful of walnuts when you get hungry during the day. Have a sweet potato for lunch, or try salmon with a side of kale for dinner.
I hope this list has been super helpful to you. If you have followed the source links, you’ll notice that Dr. Axe is one of my absolute favorite resources for information and recipes when it comes to healthy living. Also, I buy all of my essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils. They are very open about sourcing their ingredients and very selective about producing the best essential oils possible. All of the products come from their native habitats to give you the most nutrients and benefits from their essential oils.