Winter weather can be challenging. Here in New Jersey, we’ll have a day or two in the 50’s, and then a bone chilling slide down to 7°. There will be chilling rain, bright sun, the fluffy snow then sleet. Let’s face it – if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few hours and it’s likely to change.
All those changes, coupled with the drying effect of indoor heating, can dehydrate your skin and make it itchy, flaky, and irritated. Hands seem to take the worst of it. Cuticles and nails crack more easily, especially when stressing conditions like hot showers, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and washing dishes are added.
This drying happens because of moisture loss. Our nails are about 18 percent water. All the extremes in temperature draw out the water from you nails and cuticles. The cold also makes the proteins in your nails more rigid, causing them to be susceptible to breaks and splits.
So how can you keep your hands and nails from becoming split, cracked, tender messes? Here’s a few tips that I’ve found helpful.
It’s September. Time for the weather to cool, days to grow shorter, and the honey collection season is coming to a close as the bees begin to prepare for winter.
September is National Honey Month. It’s the perfect time to stock up on this amazing gift from those busy bees. Not only is it a delightful sweeter, it has benefits for both your insides and your outsides.
I have to admit that I always have lots and lots of honey on hand. Whenever I’m at a farm market or craft fair (which, as you may know, I go to rather frequently), I always look for a person selling honey and pick some up. I always try to buy honey from apiarists, not from the grocery store. Some store honeys are not completely honey and have sugar added or are so over processed that their benefits are removed. So sticking with local bee keepers is a better option. Raw honey is the best, but look for honey that’s less processed for the best results.
The benefits of honey seem almost endless.
Our feet take quite a beating all year long. They support our weight, and sometimes then some. We tuck them into shoes that might be to tight or not supportive. Let's face it, we're not always that nice to them. They take a real beating. But summer comes along and we want to take them out for a little air, to let them cool in the water or on the soft grass. Sandals, flip flops and barefoot - that's what summers all about.
Here are a few tips to keep your feet feeling happy and looking their summer best.
Barefoot with Care
It's sooo incredibly tempting to go barefoot everywhere. Grass feels so cushy. You want to be ready to just jump in the pool, so why wear your shoes while around it? It all sounds delightful, but it can also be a problem. Fungus, viruses, splinters, bacteria and more lurk in moist warm areas. Wear supportive, light shoes. Or, at the very least, make sure to wash AND dry your feet well when you come in.
I actually enjoy winter. I love how pretty things look as little snow flakes dance down a provide a glistening coat of white to the world. It's dazzling to see tree branches icily glimmer as if wrapped in crystal. Finishing off the evening in front of a warming fire with some hot tea is so relaxing. Not crazy about it getting dark so early, but I do enjoy the cozy feel of being home on a cold winters night.
However, all of the cold, followed by being in warm buildings, then in the cold again can wreak havoc on your skin. I have my hands in different butters and oils and creams almost every day, and I still fall victim to cracked cuticles and dried up knuckles. That's because I don't always do those things you should to protect and keep your skin looking good through the winter.
What are those things you should do? Here's a few tips.
But gently. Removing all those dry dead skin cells will help your skin look better. It also improves your circulation and new skin growth. It's important to not be too harsh, so you don't tear your skin. Especially caution should be taken on your face.
Perpetual herbal and aromatherapy learner.
Looking for our older stories and recipes? Check our older blog here.