Winter has a way of drying out even the youngest and most supple skin, but nobody likes walking around looking like an alligator…all scaly, itchy and dry. However, it’s about more than just vanity and comfort. It's
about your health!
Your skin is your best defense of infection, it absorbs moisture(keeping your body hydrated) and nutrition (this is why essential oils can works so well) and it plays a large role in your body’s ability to get rid of toxins (through sweat). For these reasons, it is important to keep you skin healthy and properly moisturized, without introducing any unwanted bad stuff (a.k.a . chemicals).
When I was younger, I was told to apply baby oil to my skin while still damp from a shower. This does indeed make your skin feel soft and moist; but in truth, it actually does more damage than good. Baby oil is mineral oil and mineral oil coats the skin and actually interferes with all of the skin’s functions, such as its ability to absorb nutrients and rid the body of toxins. Mineral oil actually prevents moisture absorption from the air and instead causes the outer layers of skin to draw moisture from the inner layers, which actually leads to unhealthy skin in the long run.
So are there better options? You bet there are. If you aren’t someone that wants to deal with homemade options, you can find sesame oil in the beauty aisle. Neutrogena has a nice one, although it does contain a fair amount of fragrance, so it’s probably not the best if you have really sensitive skin. Sesame oil feels similar to mineral oil, just a little lighter. Apply it to damp skin and it properly hydrates your skin, without clogging it all up…allowing your skin to do all its normal functions.
While a commercial sesame oil product is a good option, there are of course better ones. Rather than shop in the beauty aisle, take a walk over to the baking aisle. Here you will find 2 great options; olive oil and coconut oil. Both of these make great moisturizers and are cheaper in the long run. One important thing to note, the coconut oil found in the baking aisle is often solid at room temp, so you can melt some in the microwave or simply rub a small spoonful of it between your hands. Just like with the sesame oil, apply it when you first step out of the shower, before you towel off.
If you frequent a good herbal store, you can often find other all natural plant based oils/creams such as Jojoba oil or Shea butter. These are great options as well, but often just a little more expensive.
Give one of these a try…your skin will surely thank you for it! And check back soon, for some ideas on how to jazz up these oils!
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.