I don’t know about you all, but this winter has made my skin feel particularly itchy and dry. I have been itching certain dry spots on my body for about a month now and am constantly reaching for my favorite natural moisturizers to soothe my skin. If you are having the same problem and/or are looking for a better-working alternative to lotions and creams, keep on reading!
For years I had used the Nivea brand body lotion, as I truly believe it is the thickest, most moisturizing lotion out there for the whole body. However, I had been wanting to switch to an oil for a while now as part of my never-ending quest to replace as many “unnatural” and chemical-filled products as possible with better alternatives.
I had already been using coconut oil for a number of things, and decided to see how it worked as an all-over moisturizer. I loooved it!! There’s something that feels just luxurious about applying an oil all over your body rather than a body lotion. It is so much more moisturizing and you can almost feel your body drinking it in. I have since replaced body lotion entirely with coconut oil and feel great about using something 100% from nature to hydrate my skin. (I don’t, however, use coconut oil on my face. I think Egyptian Magic- which I wrote about extensively in my post “My Three Ingredients for Fabulous, Clear, and Happy Skin!” -is more gentle and hydrating for the more sensitive skin of the face.)
—–> tip: I like to apply coconut oil and then wait a couple minutes before getting dressed to let it absorb a bit. It comes out rather oily, so to avoid transferring it to my clothes I like to let it sink in a minute!
>> Coconut oil is now sold in many places: Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, most supermarkets, and there is a huge container of it (that offers the best deal) for sale very cheaply at Costco if you have a membership there!
Switching over to coconut oil solved my dry skin problems until fairly recently when some even colder weather started to creep in and I was getting some new itchy spots. So I went to a little bit more “heavy duty” natural product: Shea butter.
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree. It comes in a thick form, similar to Egyptian Magic, and needs to be rubbed between the palms for a minute to melt it down to an oil before applying to the skin. Shea butter has been used for cosmetic purposes for thousands of years. Once I started applying this on my itchy spots, over the coconut oil already applied, the irritations completely subsided.
>> I bought 100% pure raw African Shea butter from Amazon for about $15 for 1 pound. I bought THIS ONE.
Another great trick I’ve been doing to hydrate my skin is taking baths with oils in them. I stopped putting artificially frangranced foaming balls or soaps in my baths a long time ago, and usually opt for epsom salts.
Lately I’ve been trying different oils in my bath instead, and my skin comes out so silky and moisturized. I put around 20-30 drops of oil into the water and sit in the bath for at least 20 minutes. Lately, I have been using an oil that is a mix of pomegranate and acai oils that I found in a health food store, but really any oil will give the same effect. I have also tried coconut oil and almond oil in the bath, which work wonderfully as well.
The last product I want to mention is, of course, Egyptian Magic! I wrote about it extensively in my post linked above, so I won’t repeat everything here. But it is extremely moisturizing for the whole body as well as the face, and I would equate it to the Shea butter in terms of how moisturizing it is and its capabilities to completely soothe dry spots.
These tricks and products have been working wonders on my dry, winter skin so I know they would on yours too! Hope this helped! <3 <3
Photo of coconut oil: Pureformulas.com, Creative Common Attribution License
Photo of shea butter: wikimedia commons, hopkinsuniv, Creative Commons Attribution-share alike 3.0 unported