Dry skin is common during winter. Not only is it unsightly, but it can be itchy and painful, too. There are plenty of expensive products available, but you can manage your dry skin on a frugal budget. Start with eating well, getting plenty of rest and de-stressing. I recommend you see a doctor if your dry skin is more than a minor annoyance. A professional can give you the best advice for your skin type. You can mention the following suggestions and get feedback, too.


Drink plenty of water and soak in water, too. Avoid long, hot showers (use warm water) or strong-scented and drying soaps. Use bar soaps that are considered beauty bars that contain Lanolin, cocoa butter or coconut oil. When soaking in the tub, add a cup or two of Aveeno (or grind your own oatmeal to use) or add some powdered milk. Afterward, apply baby oil to your skin to lock in moisture. And speaking of water, run a humidifier to add moisture to the air and your skin, too.

Baby wipes:

Look for wipes that contain Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. They can be a quick way to clean your face before you head out or when you first get back home. Use the wipes to remove makeup, too.

Olive oil:

Add essential oil for scent if desired. Apply to skin. A little goes a long way, so don't apply a lot. Other oils that work well are Jojoba, avocado, coconut, primrose, vitamin E, almond and emu.


If you do dishes, wear gloves to prevent dry or cracked hands. Use a moisturizer that contains humectants such as glycerin.

Steam treatments:

For an occasional indulgence, boil some water in a pan with herbs such as lavender, mint, citrus slices, rosemary or sage (4:1 ratio), or add essential oils and give yourself a steam facial. Remove the boiled water from the stove. Cover with a lid for a few minutes to allow herbs to steep and cool down a bit. Move the pan onto a table, remove the lid and place your face (close your eyes) about 10 inches over the pan. Place a towel over your head to keep the steam contained. Relax like this for a few minutes. Afterward, apply cool water and a moisturizer to face and lip balm to lips (and avoid licking them).


Scrub your skin to slough off dead skin. Apply a facial mask to cleanse, tone and soften your skin. Soak your feet in a footbath with Epsom salts or a cup of apple cider vinegar, and use a pedicure paddle and then moisturize. Exfoliate hands with a salt scrub or use a home paraffin spa to soften them. Then add moisturizer.

Salt Scrub

1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup coffee grounds
1 cup of almond, olive or baby oil
several drops of essential oil for scent
Mix ingredients together, and adjust to the grit texture you prefer. Apply with your hands. Scrub gently and rinse.

Great products:

Results will vary, so you might need to buy a product that costs a bit more money. My readers have reported the following products have given the best results: Lansinoh, Cetaphil, A+D ointment, Eucerine, Aquaphor, Corn Husker's lotion, Zim's Crack Creme and AmLactin Lotion. And don't forget the sunscreen!

photo by andrew mason