It’s winter! Time for snow, skiing, and winter activities! While we may embrace the temperature drop when the seasons change, our skin can be less accommodating.
If you dislike the cold and spend the majority of your days inside, in a temperature controlled environment, your skin may still have a hard time adjusting to the elements.
What happens to our skin in the winter?
Winter weather and colder months often bring a lower humidity level. With less humidity in the environment, the cold, dry air causes water in your skin to evaporate more quickly. We lose up to 25% of our skins moisture level in the winter.
What about being toasty indoors?
The indoor heat can zap moisture in your skin as well. Forced hot-air and radiator heating methods further remove moisture from your body. Your home is often dry and lacks humidity in the colder months, adding to the problem. Ever notice an increased build up of static electricity during the winter? That’s due in part, to a low humidity environment.
Winter is harsh on your skin!
Whether you love the colder temps or choose to hibernate, winter weather still impacts your skin. It causes chapped lips, dry nasal passages (leading to the occasional nosebleed) and can also cause a dry/hoarse throat, as it dehydrates and removes moisture from your mucous membranes. This causes that familiar ‘scaly or flaky’ look. It’s also responsible for the tight, dry feeling we get after washing our faces or taking a shower.
How do we fight back?
Exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine, and I find it most important in the winter months. We can slough off that dull, dry layer that has lost its moisture and let more radiant skin come to the surface.
I want to share the at home (spa-inspired) scrub I use to combat dryness and rid myself of those scaly flakes! Spoiler alert: My magic ingredient is Himalayan Salt.
What is Himalayan Salt?
It is a salt, primarily mined from ancient sea beds found in the salt ranges surrounding Pakistan. These (now dry) sea beds compressed and hardened over many centuries to form dense rock layers. These sea beds are mined as a rock based salt. Aesthetically, it’s slightly pink due to iron staining.
Why Himalayan Salt?
Despite the popular opinion that Himalayan salt contains loads of beneficial minerals and elements, many scientific articles have disproven this. They concede that there are trace elements found in the salt, but they are in such a small quantity that their benefits are negligible.
As far as for a body scrub, it’s an ideal choice because the salt has non-symmetric edges which are perfect for exfoliation. The tiny rocks helps slough-off dead skin cells and promote cell turnover leading to smoother texture. Scrubs in general can promote circulation and help tighten skin. Spas and aesthetic centers love to use this ingredient for its beautiful pink color.
I first discovered the benefits of Himalayan salt while visiting a spa in Vermont. Overwhelmed by all the choices available, I picked a service for ‘dry, itchy skin’. It perfectly described this New England girls winter skin situation!
The treatment was heavenly! I was freshly exfoliated and hydrated with a moisturizing oil. My skin was glowing, smooth, and best of all: free from itching or flakes! Finally!
So, in my quest to be budget friendly, and enjoy this treatment whenever I wanted, I started making my own version of this scrub. I find it’s perfect for refreshing dull, tired skin, and is a great way to de-stress. Always make sure to use a thick and nourishing body butter or lotion after your scrub, to seal in extra moisture.
Below, is my basic recipe. It’s super easy to modify this scrub to suit your needs, so play around with it and adjust as you see fit.
- One cup of ‘medium to fine’ ground Himalayan Sea Salt (I like finely ground)
- 1/2 cup of any oil (I like to use coconut, almond, or jojoba oil…whatever I have in my pantry)
- Mix in some essential oils to enhance the scent and suit your mood. (Adding about 10 or so drops directly into the mix will give the desired result.)
- If I want to feel more invigorated, I’ll add in some peppermint oil.
- I am needing a little relaxation and want to quiet my mind before bed, I’ll choose lavender or something soothing.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl or container.
*If you are making this in the winter, be sure to warm the oil just a tiny bit before you try to mix it with the salt. The heat will help it blend better and make the paste a perfect consistency. If it’s too dry, add more oil or essential scent/essence.
Slowly apply the paste to dry skin, and smooth it all over, using a circular pattern. Obviously you’ll want to avoid any areas with broken or irritated skin (the salt will sting) and definitely avoid using this on your face!
Be gentle. Don’t rub too harshly; the granules of salt will do a great job of exfoliating all on their own!
I usually apply this right in the tub, before I take a shower, so the mess is contained. You can also apply this in the bathroom, but I would suggest standing on a towel or bath mat to collect all the granules that scatter during the application process. It can make a huge mess.
Once you are thoroughly exfoliated and relaxed, shower it all off with a warm to cool rinse. Nothing too hot! You don’t want to dry out your skin further with a hot shower.
Towel dry and apply a thick moisturizing lotion or body butter immediately afterwards. You’re all set! Enjoy your freshly exfoliated and radiant skin!
I hope you’ll give this scrub at try and let me know what you think! Leave a comment below and share any recipes you have for at home spa treatments! I’d love to give them a try!
Also, if you’re looking for Himalayan Salt, you can often find larger sized tubs on Amazon, HomeGoods, or even TJ Maxx. If all else fails, you can usually find smaller sized bottles of Himalayan salt at the grocery store or click below.