Southeast WI Archive
  • Southeast Wisconsin
  • December 2011
Written by  Mary Wishmann

How to get healthy, happy winter skin

Just because we live in Wisconsin, we don't have to suffer with dry, itchy, chapped winter skin. Start your skin care regime with a gentle soap that contains olive oil. And take other easy steps to protect your skin from the ravages of winter.

An olive oil soap that contains natural, gentle ingredients can help protect your skin from those cold winter winds. Olive oil has features and benefits that other fats and oils just don't have. It is not a thick oil that can clog your pores. In fact, olive oil is very close to the sebum that our body already produces. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause skin to age. These antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory properties and help the skin to heal rashes, abrasions and even sunburn. People who have allergies, eczema and psoriasis can benefit from the moisturizing qualities of olive oil. It is loaded with Vitamin E that can help slow down the aging process, and vitamin A that gives your skin a healthy glow. All these benefits can be obtained by using a soap that is rich in olive oil.

Hot water will strip away your skin's natural oils much faster than warm water. So, limit yourself to one shower per day with warm water instead of hot. When you are done, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it. You don't have to use soap on every inch of your body every time you bathe, either. Feel free to get any places that are really dirty. Other than that, limit your daily soap use to the places where there are body odor glands, lots of oil glands and wherever skin touches skin.

Keep your hands out of hot water, too. The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. This means it's harder to keep your hands moisturized, especially in cold, dry weather. Wear rubber gloves while you clean, whenever possible. Slather your hands with a rich moisturizer and wear thin cotton gloves before putting on rubber gloves to give your hands a special treatment. Remember to rinse your hands thoroughly after using cleaning products.

Your face may suffer the most from dryness and chapping in cold weather. Use a moisturizer in the morning and again before you go to bed. A product containing olive oil will keep your pores from getting clogged. Limit your use of exfoliates and products that contain alcohols or clays. They can remove moisture from your skin. And remember to use a sunscreen every day.

Pay extra attention to your feet. Give them a relaxing soak a couple of nights each week. Exfoliate occasionally to remove any dead skin. Then use a deep moisturizer on them. It will penetrate your skin faster and deeper. Wearing socks to bed gives your feet an extra layer of protection after moisturizing, and keeps them nice and warm!

Shaving can leave your skin irritated, especially when the snow flies. Use a lubricant when you shave, such as shaving cream or soap containing olive oil. Change your blades often for a clean, comfortable shave. Rinse off shaving cream completely. Limit your use of aftershave and cologne that contain skin-drying alcohol.

Even if you don't regularly use a lip balm, consider using one this season. Lips don't have oil glands, so they can dry out very easily. You want your lips to be luscious under the mistletoe!

These are some other easy steps to healthy winter skin.

Use a humidifier. Dry air creates dry skin.

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots water and eating lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content.

Dress in layers. You can remove layers to keep from over-heating and sweating. Wet socks and gloves can be very irritating, so remove them as soon as possible.

Winterizing your skin is kind of like winterizing your vehicle. Protect and soothe your skin with a good olive oil soap, and take a few easy steps to get "over the river and through the woods." Even when the wind "stings the nose and bites the toes," you and your skin can both enjoy a happy healthy holiday season.

Mary Wishmann is the owner of "Big Bubble Soap" a Natural Olive Oil Glycerine Soap. She is committed to providing natural, gentle, great smelling personal care and grooming products for all members of your family, including the 4-legged kind. For more information, visit, or call (414) 762-6946.

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