Winter beauty products should nurture, relax and soothe. Keeping a few inexpensive store-cupboard ingredients on hand means you will always have a nourishing treat for dry winter skin. Homemade beauty products contain simple ingredients, so they are ideal if you like the idea of natural beauty but are on a budget. Make the most of your treatments by taking a little time out, combining them with a winter home-spa ritual, such as a warming cup of herbal tea and a relaxing soak in a hot bath. This not only makes you feel good but is great for fighting off the winter blues.
Cold weather and central heating can combine to dry out skin. Rehydrate with a homemade face mask. Choose from moisturizing ingredients, such as mashed avocado and banana, mixed with hydrating and soothing natural yogurt and grated cucumber. If you are super dry or have mature skin, you could add a few drops of olive oil. Or, if you get spots, despite the season add some soothing and antibacterial honey instead. Apply the mask to the face, neck and decollete, and rinse off with warm water after 15 minutes.
Skin on the body often gets bumpy and dry in the winter, also suffering from the change of temperature while being confined in layers of clothing. Exfoliating with a homemade scrub is an affordable remedy. Mix a handful of sea salt or sugar crystals with some olive oil. Massage on to dry skin, paying attention to the tops of legs, arms, bottom, knees and elbows. Once you feel invigorated, shower the scrub off. Continue massaging as you shower and the grains melt away, leaving you with moisturized smooth skin. For winter invigoration, add a couple of drops of a refreshing essential oil, such as tangerine or peppermint. You can make up a jar of your winter scrub, which should keep for a few weeks. Use the scrub a couple of times a week and your skin will come out of the cold season already beach-prepped.
If your skin gets really dry and flaky but you find that rich body creams just stick to winter clothes, swap to homemade body oil after your shower. Choose light oils such as refined jojoba, almond or rice-bran, which are available in drug stores. These are inexpensive and sink in without greasiness. For an aroma, try a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil. Aromatherapist Daniele Ryman recommends a safe amount being two drops of essential oil per 5 ml of carrier oil. As essential oils also smell strong, you may prefer to mix only up to about six drops into a whole bottle of base oil. This will still smell good when all over the skin.
Hot baths are relaxing and warm you all over when you feel chilled. Make an evening bath a therapeutic ritual, with the addition of fresh herbs such as lavender and rosemary. Herbs are particularly good because they infuse while you soak for a cheaper, healthier alternative to bubble bath. Others to try include warming, detoxifying sage; cinnamon sticks; and unsprayed rose petals. The fragrance will also fill your home. For a comforting winter bath, add a few handfuls of powdered milk.