Cracked Winter Skin: 3 Ways to Heal

Even though it has been unseasonably warm here in Atlanta (and many other regions in the country), there have been moments of cold and dry weather, which can wreak havoc on our skin.  My problem areas tend to be my  hands and heels. I used to use lotion, but my skin never healed even after using it two or three times a day—especially after those long ER shifts. Now, I turn to natural remedies to soothe and hydrate my skin for a healthy glow all year long. 

Here are my top 3 favorite ways to heal cracked winter skin:

1. Check out your diet. Think it doesn’t matter? Think again. Include foods that help your skin to retain moisture. Foods high in antioxidants such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and spinach.  Don’t skimp on foods that are high in vitamin C like oranges, broccoli and cabbage.  Add in some healthy fat like an avocado, and eat fruits high in B-6, which are great for moistening the skin. Try throwing a half of a banana or a handful of grapes in your fave smoothie!

2. Drink more water. You hear this all the time, but it’s so true. Even though it is colder outside and you may not be physically sweating as much, it is still important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. I like to carry a glass water bottle with me all day as a reminder to take sips in between meals (and patients).

Bonus tip: add lemon or lime to your water for flavor as well as vitamin C!

3. Topical crčmes are great for combating cracked skin, but make sure you are buying the right ones and applying at the right times. You want to avoid products that contain harsh parabens and synthetic colors. Remember, what you put on your skin is important! Don’t believe all the claims you read on the front of a product, and do your research. Look for natural ingredients like the ones found in Sally B’s Skin Yummies.  I am in love with her Healing Hand Butter. Also, coconut oil makes a great natural moisturizer. I keep one jar in my bathroom and one in my kitchen. Try adding a drop of lavender or melaleuca essential oil to your coconut oil. Your skin will thank you. The best time to apply crème is right after you take a shower or bathe and throughout the day as needed (especially during the harsh winter months). And be sure to moisturize after exfoliating and shaving.