They’re baaaaaaccckk. The mysterious winter skin itchies, that is (also here). Maybe they’ll come around every year now, kind of like Christmas, but less fun. And they don’t go away when we put away the Christmas decorations (okay, who am I kidding, we didn’t even put up a tree this year, but OTHER people are putting away decorations now).
Anyway, I’m trying coconut oil and olive oil again, along with some almond oil, but after some reading and research, I’m curious about both cocoa butter and shea butter.
I stumbled across the Chagrin Valley Soap Company when I was researching no poo regimens a couple of years ago, and they have both a whipped cocoa butter body butter and a whipped shea butter body butter that look interesting. Unfortunately, they looked significantly less interesting after I calculated the price of the products plus shipping.
Fortunately, the ingredient lists for both products are wonderfully short and simple, and I found this video on how to make your own body butter. Come Friday, I’ll be out hunting for shea butter and cocoa butter — if I fail to find them locally, I’ll order the raw materials online.
I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be the ticket to not scratching my skin to shreds over the next three months — we shall see.
I feel your pain! A couple of years ago my winter skin got so bad that it errupted into what the doctor diagnosed as numular eczema. It was like I wanted to rip my skin off it itched so bad! She prescribed a steroid ointment, and I went on a mission to solve the problem in a better way!
Here’s what has helped me:
1) Don’t use soap – well only for hands after using the toilet, and a tiny bit on the obvious spots when in the tub… but no soap on arms, legs etc. and the tiny bit I use is done right before I get out of the tub so my skin doesn’t sit in the soap residue.
2) I went no poo (but you knew that)
3) I use jojoba oil for shaving and skin moisturizing – it’s ridiculously expensive at Whole Foods, but I found a cheap source on eBay. I also use a product called NaPCA which is a compound found naturally in human skin that attracts water to the skin and it’s wonderful especially in combination with the jojoba. I order it from Vitamin Shoppe. http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/search/en/category.jsp?trail=5001%3Ab193&type=brand&brandId=b193&addFacet=1030%3ASpray
4) Humidify the air! I have tried all sorts of humidifiers and have found the two best methods to be hanging the clothes inside to dry during the winter, and letting the warm bath water sit in the tub for several hours – at least until it cools down to room temperature – you get a little free heat that way too! I was drooling over a nifty evaporative (no electricity) unit made in Switzerland, but the price tag drove me off, and I think they’ve stopped making them, so I may try to make one myself.
5) Take a primrose oil supplement (orally, not topically)
6) Stay hydrated – drink WAY more than you think you need.
7) Wear gloves when doing the dishes or any sort of household cleaning.
8) And finally… in desperation I turned to science and petroleum for my cracked and bleeding lips and cuticles. My doctor recommended a product called Theraplex Emmolient. It’s basically petroleum jelly mixed with micro wax… so it’s a total petro product and therefore I use it quite sparingly. But it’s the only thing I’ve found to deal with skin that gets so dry it’s cracked and bleeding. She said the wax was the key… which makes me think that I might try some Burts Bees products…
Best of luck… and let us know how the body butter works out!
Thanks for the tips! Rather than waiting until Friday and discovering that I couldn’t find what I wanted locally, Matthew and I made a couple of calls ahead of time (to Whole Foods and a local candle and soap supply store). Whole Foods didn’t have either straight up cocoa or shea butter (only premixed concoctions containing them) and the candle and soap supply company only carried non-organic versions at a price significantly higher than what I ended up paying for organic versions online. I also ordered some jojoba oil while I was at it. I may have to look into the NaPCA — perhaps I’ll get my naturopath’s opinion when I see her on Friday.
Hmmm… I guess when you use the number 8 followed by a parentheses, it interprets it as a smiley face! I’m gonna test it just to be sure 8)