I've noticed as I get older that my skin seems to get dryer each fall and winter, as soon as we turn on the heat at home. It drives me nuts, especially on my hands because as I wash them so often, they get the most dry. I have tried several moisturizing lotions and soaps, in the past, and I feel like they each have their benefits and downfalls, so I did a little research and found some interesting new ideas to try dealing with dry skin this year.
One way that came up a lot when I poked around was to use olive oil. In fact, my sister lives in California and when she had her first baby last year, the pediatricians there said not to use anything but olive oil to moisturize the baby's skin or massage him. Since it's something we eat and put IN our bodies, it's definitely most pure and toxin and preservative and alcohol free, and therefore apparently really healthy for your dry skin as well. Another huge bonus: it's cheaper than other fancy skin products and really feels great. The downside is that some of these smell very strong to me, so if you try this, you might want to look for an extra light variety. If rubbing it on your skin feels strange, you can add some other essentials oils like lavender, orange or peppermint so that it smells more like regular skin products you are used to, with fragrance. I also read that you can heat it briefly and put IN things like a sprig of fresh rosemary, dried lavender or some orange rind, which will scent it by infusing the hot oil with the essential oils from these items. Then let it cool and bottle it up. These would make really nice stocking stuffers or holiday gifts for people in your family too, if you find small, pretty bottles and make a nice label or tag around the top to go with it.
Another interesting thing I read about solving dry skin issues is to exfoliate well with either a salt scrub you could make yourself from Epsom salt and / or coarse sea salt, or with a loofa. This releases any dead dry skin (ewwww!) and allows the water and moisture of your body products to penetrate and heal your skin much more effectively.
Lastly, it was recommended that you take care to humidify your home in the dry winter months with a good humidifier, that you drink plenty of water and other fluids, and that eating foods including olive oil, avocado, carrots and cucumbers also provided renewed moisture for your skin, from within.
How do you help heal or prevent dry skin in the cold months of the year?