As the cold winter winds start to blow our skin starts to redden and chafe. Dry skin can leading to itching and irritation.
Rather than letting the weather get under your skin, protect it before hand. Doing so not only prevents such harm but replenishs your skin as well.
This can be done without stocking up on commercial creams and lotions. In many cases you needn’t even a recipe to create a natural alternative.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to soften rough skin is to apply cocoa butter.
The pure extraction of cacao beans, cocoa butter is a natural fat with a creamy, soft texture. Because of its emollient properties, it is often used in beauty products, health products, and baked goods. But it is powerful used on its own. For best results, apply cocoa butter to the skin just before you shower. If using warm or hot water the cocoa butter will melt and soften the skin.
Cocoa butter can also be used in place of beeswax in natural beauty care, which is especially good for vegans who avoid the use of any animal products.
If you don’t have any cocoa butter on hand, try bathing your skin in steam. This works to invigorate skin by opening and cleansing pores. It is best used for facial cleanses but can treat other problem areas as well.
Start by heating a pot of water at a medium to high temperature until it reaches boiling point. Reduce to the heat to low or simmer. You want to water to give off plenty of steam without boiling. Once the water is settled and foggy, immerse yourself into the steam. Don’t touch the actual water as you may get burned. If you have long hair, be sure it is swept back and secured by a clip or ponytail holder. You may also don a towel turban to absorb any extra steam.
For an added health boost, herbs can be sprinkled into your water before you steam. The addition of mint increases the steam’s cleansing properties, while steeping orange peel in your water improves the resilience of your skin. Mixing herbs of stronger healing properties with those of more pleasant fragrances is best for a cleansing that it as soothing as it is rejuvenating.
Llewellyn’s 2006 Herbal Almanac, copyright 2005.
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