Old man winter is back and, man, is he grumpy. As the temperature and levels of humidity drop outside, so does the moisture in our skin, leaving it feeling dry, itchy, and often irritated. It’s time to bring your skin back to life!
Before you buy another fancy cream, read the ingredients. While they may smell great, the alcohol and perfumes in heavily scented creams may actually dry your skin out rather than moisturize. For the best results, go natural. And it doesn’t get more natural than 100% Raw Organic Shea Butter from Nharo, a store right on the Danforth that sells indigenous African products.
The butter is handmade by women in Ghana who collect the Shea nut and then go through the process of pounding, grinding, roasting, and boiling the nuts to extract their natural oils. “It has Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and essential fatty acids which is what your skin uses,” explains Paul Wellhauser, owner of Nharo.
Shea butter’s rich, unrefined texture means you need to use very little to see results and because it’s 100% natural, you can use it almost anywhere: on your scalp as a hair conditioner, on cracked heels, on chapped lips, or “anywhere you’ve got skin,” says Wellhauser. It’s child-friendly and also ideal for those struggling with eczema and sensitive skin.
Nharo is currently working to have their all-natural Shea butter become Fair Trade Certified, which would guarantee that artists and labourers back in West Africa get a fair share of the revenue. Wellhauser is hoping to get their certification by this summer. Nharo’s all-natural Shea butter, which has become one of their most popular items, is available in three convenient sizes starting at just $5.
Here are some other tips to try along with moisturizing to help with irritated winter skin:
- Really hot showers can actually dry your skin out quicker. Keeping the water at a lukewarm temperature will help to retain your skin’s natural moisture.
- When choosing a body wash, look for one that’s unscented. Avoid anything with a strong fragrance, since these products usually contain alcohol, causing more dryness.
- After showering or washing your hands, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing and apply moisturizer right away. Your skin is most absorbent when it’s slightly damp.
- Using a humidifier will help to keep the air in your room moist, which will keep your skin from drying out faster.
- Even though summer feels like a distant memory, the sun is still out so continue to apply sunscreen or creams containing SPF daily to prevent skin damage.