By Christie Melhorn, January 12 2018 —
Even with lingering holiday sales on fancy scented lotions and bath bombs, skin care products can be really expensive while failing to combat the effects of Calgary’s sharp winter winds. However, remedying and preventing chapped skin doesn’t need to compromise your budget. The following supermarket items are not only wholesome ingredients for home-cooked meals but are also good for treating winter-beaten skin.
Coconut oil is a versatile oil loaded with healthy fats and healing properties. Its distinct scent and flavour is reminiscent of an island, distracting from the cold and stress of the winter semester. It’s a great component in homemade body scrubs and shea butter but busy student schedules don’t leave much time to whip up batches of self-care products. Still, coconut oil is an effective lotion on its own. Apply by warming a dollop with your hands to liquefy it from a solid state. Ideally, do so after drying off from a shower or bath to seal in extra moisture. According to clinical nutritionist Josh Axe, coconut oil can also seal cracked cuticles so take a little extra time to rub it around your nails.
Be aware it’s easy to underestimate how much liquid a small scoop of solid coconut oil melts into. It will also linger on your skin, so avoid wearing or touching anything you don’t want it to transfer to for 20–30 minutes. Use that time to relax, meditate and enjoy the delicious aroma.
While nutritionists recommend oats for a filling breakfast, dermatologists recommend them for dry, sensitive skin. On her skincare blog dermatocare.com, dermatologist Surbi Mahajan says oats are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich, making them a great moisturizer. She says they also relieve itchiness and are a gentle skin exfoliant.
The most straightforward way to apply oats to your skin is by taking an oat bath. In a blender, grind one cup of unflavoured oats into a very fine powder and sprinkle it into a full bath — the finer, the better. It will absorb water more easily and leave less of a mess in the tub. The water should tint white and develop a thicker, silky consistency. Sit in the bath for at least 15 minutes. When done, place a face towel over the drain to prevent clogging.
Raw honey doesn’t just sweeten tea or coffee — it can also enhance your complexion. Honey is a humectant, meaning that it stores moisture and is a nourishing skin care tool. Its antibacterial properties also help clear your pores, which both cleanses and hydrates your skin. As strange and sticky as it may feel, spread two tablespoons of honey over your face or a dry patch of skin and let it sit for 15–20 minutes — and avoid taking any phone calls! If you feel like it, make yourself a sweet cup of tea before putting your supplies away. While it may be tempting to lick it off, use a warm, damp cloth to remove the honey and enjoy the relief that comes with it.