Our #1 Winter Skin Remedy

Contributor Micaela Hoo is a pro at treating dry and irritated skin. She's the co-founder of a skincare line called Drifter Organics, and she has had chronic eczema for her whole life, so she takes her moisturizing products very seriously. She taught us everything we need to know about skincare for the colder months. Read on for her insights — your skin will thank you.
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Image Credit:Micaela Hoo

Image Credit:Micaela Hoo

There's nothing more rejuvenating than a deep breath of crisp winter air or prettier than freshly fallen snow, but there's also nothing that wreaks more havoc on our skin than this cold weather.

The outermost layer of our skin — called the stratum corneum — contains natural oils to keep water inside our body and to ensure our complexions stay soft, flexible and moist. When there is not enough water in the stratum corneum for it to function properly, we get what we like to call the "winter itch": rough and flaky skin that's totally uncomfortable. It happens because both our outdoor and indoor environments are so arid during this time of year – humidity is naturally low during the chilly months, and when we run the heat on high in our homes, we blow dry air from room to room.

Fortunately, there's a simple solution that's more impactful than an average lotion: body butter. Pure carrier oils are also excellent for gentle moisturizing, but sometimes, we need a little extra oomph to get the job done. Butters are thicker and richer, and they form a protective barrier over the skin to lock in moisture without clogging pores.

Butters can be made with a few different bases, but our favorites are shea, cocoa and mango. When buying any skincare staple, an organic and non-GMO option is key, since we absorb it all. (We don't put anything on our skin that we wouldn't trust eating!) Mountain Rose Herbs is an excellent source for these raw ingredients, like pure, expeller-pressed coca butter with no extra scents or additives. 

For full-on rejuvenation, we're currently loving our own unique body butters. Each one has a bit of a different "personality" – Blushing Ambition, for example, contains clary sage to support women's hormonal health and ylang ylang to relieve fatigue with an uplifting floral smell, while the calm and relaxing Serenity Now version includes lavender, palmarosa and helichrystum to relieve pain, aid digestion and prevent infection. 

We love to use the butters all over, including on our hands and heels – even on our faces, though it doesn't take more than a small dab to satisfy that particularly delicate skin. Ideally, we apply them at night before bed, so they can work their magic while we sleep, and we wake feeling softer and smoother – take that, winter chill. 

p.s. An at-home facial peel is another of our favorite ways to brighten up a dulled complexion.