Tag Archives: aloe vera

Living Well – Skin care for winter’s itch

Yes, you’re reading this right. It’s before 8 am and I’m up with my first cup of coffee for the day. Mostly because I’ve been up all night again. But I made the mistake of having a nap last night. Sometime during the night, I looked down at my feet and marveled at how dirty they were. I’ve been cleaning my condo like mad. My condo is all laminate flooring and no matter how much I clean it, my feet always seem to pick up dirt. I hate socks for the most part.

This is one thing I’m looking forward to – is having carpet again when I move. There is nothing better than a freshly cleaned carpet to sink your bare feet into. Am I right? I’m also looking forward to having a proper bath. And if all goes well tomorrow, I’ll have a fitness centre too. All good things.

I decided to take some time and really wash my feet. Like scrub between the toes. Got the toenails done. I forgot how good that feels. I’m not a feet person. I hate looking at feet. I hate touching feet. Even my own. But there’s nothing quite as satisfying as giving yourself a food and toe massage, and then lathering your dry winter skin with some aloe vera skin cream.

For me, I notice that the end of winter usually brings dry and itchy skin. We had a very dry winter this year with very little snow. This climate can be harsh on all skin types. And so, I’ve learned a few tricks that I’ll share with you on how to keep your skin healthy, moisturized and also how to fix cracked heels.

What causes dry and itchy skin?

Dermatitis is usually the culprit behind dry and itchy skin. But there can be other causes too like exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals, allergic reactions, changes in diet (rare), dehydration and of course, winter itch. This is common in places like Alberta that suffer with long and cold winters.

Winter itch can hit anyone, at any age with any skin type. I have sensitive and pale skin – it often turns red this time of year. If I neglect or get lazy with my skin care, then my skin becomes super flaky and itchy, very fast. Some people develop bumps or spots or even a pink or reddish rash.

Hard water can also cause your skin to become dry and itchy.

Where does winter itch strike?

More commonly, winter itch can affect the feet, legs, hands and arms. The degree in which it affects people depends on multiple factors from other health conditions, skin problems, aging or being overweight. Hormonal imbalances can also wreck havoc on your skin.

What can I do for winter itch and dry skin?

The good news is there are lots of great home remedies that can be used to help combat the icky feeling of dry skin. I know my skin often looks like leather when really cold or dry.

I have a few products that I go to for all my skin care needs. The combination of a really good facial wash, body hygiene (regular showers or baths) and skin lotion usually is enough for me.

The most important thing you can do for your skin is to practice good hygiene. I’ve been slacking in this area since being at home. I’ll shower every other day instead of every day like when I was working. I’m trying to get back into the habit of getting up in the morning, showering and having some kind of normal routine. This is so crucial for problematic skin.

The other thing is to eat a healthy and well balanced diet, avoid foods high in sugar or cut back on caffeine and pop. Reduce your alcohol consumption. Wine for example is terrible for people with Rosacea.

Stay hydrated! Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses or cups of water each day. Not only is this great for the skin, but it can help to leave you feeling full longer after your meals, and can aid in weight loss.

Home Remedies

CeraVe Facial Wash or lotion

I love CeraVe products. The facial wash helps to keep my Rosacea at bay and leaves my skin feeling so soft after use. I found that leaving the bottle of facial wash in the shower helped to remind me to use it daily. I use it for my face, neck and chest area – and even behind the ears. Follow up with an application of either CeraVe skin lotion or something like Aloe Vera lotion will really help reduce symptoms of winter itch.

I swear by Nivea products. It’s what I use daily on my face. I use the Aloe Vera Refreshing Nivea Cream for my skin and it really lives up to its name. My mum used Nivea too – so it’s a trusted brand in our family.

I cannot recommend Aloe Vera based products enough. It comes from a natural plant that has been used for healing various ailments for thousands of years. There is also a great Vaseline Aloe Vera skin lotion too.


This is an old trick my mom used to make us do for our feet. I remember my brother had a heck of a time with cracked heels. Use good old fashioned vaseline on your feet. Rub a generous amount on your skin before bedtime. Really rub it in. Give yourself a bit of a massage. Of course this feels better after a good soak in the tub. Then take a pair of cotton socks and wrap up your feet for the night. Do this for a few days and the itching should subside.

The key to skincare is repetition – and getting into a daily routine.


When I was younger, I used oatmeal mixes on my face for my acne but it also made a huge mess and dried out my skin. Apparently, colloidal oatmeal has known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help with itchy skin. You can buy the ground powder and it to your bath – or you can purchase a lotion with oatmeal in it.

Baking Soda

Not only will soaking in a bath with baking soda in it will help clean your bathroom – but it can also help to reduce inflammation in your skin. Baking soda is a natural ingredient without harsh chemicals and can be a great remedy for winter itch.

Skin Treatments

About once a year, I have to visit my doctor for a prescription for my skin. I don’t get breakouts often anymore, maybe twice a year now. The meds help with that. If you’ve tried various home remedies without relief, then I suggest a trip to your doctor. The issue may not be winter’s itch at all – it could be another form of dermatitis or something else all together.

One thing I used to do when I had the money, was go for a massage every spring. It was a steam massage that used sea salts for exfoliating the skin. I can’t tell how you amazing this made me feel. Exfoliation is a great way to help remove dead skin cells which can also contribute to the irritating itch.

You can easily do this treatment at home by using a sea salt scrub and applying it to your body. Let it sit on the skin for 10-15 minutes before climbing into a hot bath. If you’re lucky enough to have a steam room – then try it in the steam room. It will help to open your pores like they’ve never been opened before.

I think I’ve convinced myself to book one of these as soon as personal services are available!

Are you a dry skin sufferer? What do you do for your winter’s itch? Let me know in the comments!

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Living Well: Skin care and treatments for adult acne

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know that I live with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which is a disease that affects hormones. What also happens with PCOS, is living as an adult in my forties with acne. Sometimes I look like an overgrown teenager with skin problems.

And I hate it.

As a teenager, I never had skin issues. It wasn’t until later in life when I started experiencing hormonal issues, that I really started experiencing adult acne. When you’re a professional trying to work in a professional office setting – people often stared at me when I had bad breakouts. I often wonder if it was a reason why I didn’t move as far as I wanted to in my career at the time.

Over the years, my doctor and I have tried all kinds of creams and medications. I even saw a few dermatologists. One thought I had a good case of Rosacea. While another doctor, didn’t think it was Rosacea, but thought it was something wrong with my blood vessels. Which kind of made sense, since I also have Factor V Leiden.

Yes, I’m a complex patient – even though my doctor doesn’t think so. That’s just because she’s treated me for so long.

Because we also have winter eight months of the year, our air can get so dry in winter months that it really wrecks havoc on our skin.

As you can imagine, the cost of skin products can add up over time. I’m always looking for natural products to use and have found some success with Aloe Vera based creams and a good face wash. That said, when breakouts are bad, I have to take Minocycline which is an antibiotic for fungal infections. It seems to get rid of the acne – and the great thing is, usually keeps the acne away for six months to a year.

So, today’s post is going to be dedicated to skin care and products I’ve found to be helpful for keeping my acne breakouts at bay.

NOTE: this is not a paid sponsorship – but hey, Cerave or Nivea, feel free to reach out!

Cera Ve

Face Wash – budget friendly

It was my family physician who recommend this brand to me and I have used it for a couple of years now. It feels great and refreshing on my skin too – especially after a long day.

I started using the face wash in the shower in the mornings and at night time as well about a month ago. I can already feel the difference in my skin.

I’ve also combined this treatment with Omega 3 – fish pills – and it’s a great combination for dry or acne prone skin.

You can pick this up at just about any pharmacy, or order from Amazon. Cera Ve also makes face creams and lotions.

Nivea Skin Cream

Nivea Soft Refreshingly Soft Moisturizing Cream - 25ml | London Drugs

A soft and soothing hydrating lotion

My mum introduced me to Nivea creams when I was a child. She used it for things like rashes, dry skin or sunburns. As an adult, I started using Nivea Soft cream which felt less greasy on my skin.

I wear this product daily – apply once in the morning and before applying foundation, which is the only makeup I apply to my skin.

A 200 mL container usually lasts me about two months and you can buy it at any pharmacy or visit Amazon.

Aloe Vera Lotion

NIVEA Aloe Vera Body Lotion, 16.9 OZ (with Photos, Prices & Reviews) - CVS  Pharmacy

A natural product that comes in many forms to help hydrate your skin.

Aloe Vera is another great natural plant that is used for medicinal purposes. You can buy many aloe vera based products from oils, creams, gels and even in beverage form.

I switched to the Aloe Vera Nivea Soft cream for body lotion and it feels amazing on my skin. The first time I put the lotion on my legs, I breathed a sigh of relief. It felt like I had just stepped in the shower.

You can buy these bottles from any pharmacy – or on Amazon. One bottle will last me several months.

Tea Tree Oil

Nature's Bounty Tea Tree Oil | Walmart Canada

A natural remedy for dry and acne prone skin

Tea Tree Oil, in combination with Coconut Oil or Olive Oil, can make for a great product to help combat acne.

This Oil is also known as melaleuca oil, and is an essential oil that comes from steaming leaves of Australian tea trees. It is believed that the tea tree oil is antibacterial and can help fight fungal infections. It is often used to treat acne, athlete’s foot and other skin problems.

The oil should never be used on its own as it can burn skin. It is suggested to mix a few drops of the oil in with a base like coconut oil or olive oil.

If you already have oily skin, you may want to avoid this treatment. Tea tree oil should not be taken orally. There are a number of options to purchase. I recently tried this brand which you can get on Amazon.

Honeywell Humidifier

Review: Honeywell MistMate Cool Mist Humidifier - Today's Parent

A quiet humidifier to help keep your skin hydrated

I love this humidifier. I bought it in the fall when I was struggling badly with allergies. What I noticed after a few nights of use was how great my skin was starting to feel.

Even the bags under my eyes were starting to lighten up and I felt better overall.

A humidifier is an easy solution if you’re living in an extremely dry home or live in a dry climate province like Alberta.

It’s important to keep this machine clean as fungus and bacterias can get trapped inside the machine. I have this model and have not had any issues with it. It’s also very quiet.

I should take my own advice and clean this machine out and use it again.

Trial and Error

So, if you’re like me and you have acne prone skin, I hope that at least one of these products may help you. Winter is coming fast and I’m cringing already at the thought of how the weather affects my skin. I’ve stocked up on my daily vitamins and skin care products – and hope to beat the acne breakouts this year.

My doctor and I tried so many products over the years for my acne breakouts. I’ve finally found something that really works. And hope it continues working!

Sometimes the only thing that works for bad breakouts, is prescription medicine. I tried a gel during the summer that actually burned my skin. It did nothing for the acne spots. I turned to my pharmacist and she sent me a month supply of Minocycline, and my skin is back to normal – thankfully!

Also, I will add – that a healthy diet, regular exercise, natural vitamin D (sunshine) – and drinking plenty of water – will help improve your skin health.

What is your daily skin care regime? Let me know in the comments!

Living Well!

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