What to Do Naturally for Dry Skin in the Winter : The Renegade Health Show Episode #741

Tuesday Jan 11 | BY |
| Comments (64)

Today, Annmarie took over the show…

Her skin was really dry because we’ve been inside and the hot forced air heat is very, very drying.

In this episode, Annmarie is going to explain some of the natural techniques you can use (some of them are probably already in your cabinet!) to help deal with the dry air and your dry skin.

These tips work for the winter or in dry climates, too!

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What are your dry skin tips?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

To check out any of the products Annmarie mentions in this episode, click here!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Wendy says:

    I discovered coconut oil and just use that now. In the morning under my make-up and always on my lips. Works on any body part and disappears quickly after applying, so no greasy film. Drink lots of water, too. I have houseplants in the kitchen and bedroom and keep my tea kettle on my gas heater stove in the living room to add humiditiy. It is all working pretty well.

  2. Darcy says:

    Great show on winter dry skin!

    Here’s my hot tip…

    Instead of a salt scrub, which is drying, try a sugar scrub instead!

    1 oz honey
    1 oz vegetable glycerin
    add sugar to your desired consistency
    add up to 1 tsp jojoba oil
    add a few drops of rose, lavender, or tea tree oil to help your skin heal.

    The great thing about the sugar scrub is that it gently exfoliates and dissolves in the shower, so you don’t end up with all that salty stuff to wash out at the end of your shower.

    Also, the sugar acts as a humectant, helping seal moisture into your skin!

    I hope you enjoy!

  3. Luc says:

    I like how Annmarie gets right to the point instead of rambling on for the first few minutes(hint-hint Kevin)

  4. sharon says:

    I mix in some cacao butter with the coconut oil…plus some essential oils.

  5. debbie says:

    Oh thank you for this timely information. I used to use vaseline but will switch now to coconut oil since I have some of that. My skin has never been dry but I have taken longer hot hot showers lately because of the cold weather,so I know it is from that.

  6. Karen says:

    I usually use just coconut oil – so glad to have found it. Thanks Annmarie!

  7. Val Jacobson says:

    I love your products!
    The coconut body and facial oil keeps my skin happy. The eye cream you sent me took away my “tiny lines” so I started using on my lips and skin around my lips and Wha-la, it worked on that too! (I’m old, 47, and an X-party full-time girl.) So, my skin needed some repair when I first met you. I look 20 years younger from the high-raw foods and your anti-aging serum.(not an exageration. Ask my friends! I used to look 50 and tired, now I look 30 and fit) Did you change the formula on that? It seems lighter now.

    Also, after taking Vit D, (at your recommendation) for the first time in my life, I have color in my checks and a strong lip line. I no longer wear make-up! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    My house is nice and humid in the winter because I leave the door open when I shower, and allow the tub to fill part way with water after I have gotten clean. Sometimes i will toss in dead sea salts and esential oils to soak my feet while I towel-dry and oil-condition my hair (While standing in the water, or seated on the side of the tub). I leave the water in there until I’m going to use the shower or tub again. Kind of like a HUGE bowel of water.

    Then, while my skin is damp, I slather on the coconut oil, step out, run cool water over my feet in the sink (to wash off the salt) exfoliate, if needed and slather them with coconut oil and slip them into bamboo-fiber socks.

    I feel like a queen. It’s spa-day every day!

  8. rob says:

    I live in Canada, so I know all about dry winter air. I use a number of the ideas presented for dry skin, but another great idea is to put a few inches of warm water in the bathtub before bed or I leave the water in the tub after my children bathe in the evening so as not the waste the warm moist air. I also have a filter on my dryer vent that I can switch to vent inside when it’s really cold out – this saves heat and moisture.

  9. Kristin says:

    Thanks for the reminders..I’ll start using the water mister again. I was a raw food vegan for several years, but now consume some animal products, so I use fish and cod liver oils which I think help a lot with preventing dry skin. But I’m in the mountains of Western Colorado, so it’s COLD and DRY, a constant challenge!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Great ideas and I enjoyed watching you do the show today! I do many of the same things that you talked about plus lots of coconut oil with a few drops of young living essential oils such as lavender and geranium oil. However,most important is the diet and staying with fruits and vegetables plus foods and supplements with omega 3’s. If possible it would be best to have steam heat instead of the standard gas heat found in most homes. Elizabeth

  11. Nick says:

    After a shower I put olive oil on my face and feet

  12. Gini says:

    Thanks Annmarie,
    Here’s what I do, many of the same things you recommended. After soaking in the tub and while the moisture is still on my skin I lock it in with coconut oil. I keep a small electric potpourri pot going (with cinnamon sticks and orange peel in it) and keep refilling the water level all day. I have a jungle of plants. I keep my heat at 67 degrees and wear a sweatshirt, which also saves on heating bills. I keep large vases of water in each room. I also have a humidifier with a waterwheel in it that goes around, but only need it occassionally as all the other methods keep the humidity very comfortable.

  13. Jane says:

    Raw shea butter – the best

  14. Ryan says:

    Dry skin has been giving me itch attacks lately-they are unbearable. I find that going in the sauna helps significantly, but I still have them. Have you heard of this before?

  15. andria says:

    Dear Annmarie,
    Thanks for this one!!! Great show!!! I am actually in the midst of creating some different mixtures for hair and skin using coconut oil. For quite a few years now, I’ve been simmering in a large stock pot water with essential oils. I adjust the blend of oils for the mood or just to keep the air and breathing quality clean. Eucalyptus and lavender for happy sinuses or chamomile and lavendar for relaxation, makes the house smell pretty too. Also I try to rinse my hair with cooler water to close down the cuticle and lock in the moisture. Here in the Mid-West the skin is really challenged by the dryness. Thanks Again!!!

  16. Blair says:

    Coconut oil and lots of water. I also really like oxyjojoba oil for my face.

  17. amalhator says:

    Wouldn’t the simple answer for most cases be to moisturize frequently?

    I now use organic moisturizers every day after washing my face, after shower, and after washing my hands. I use chap sticks more frequently now. Balancing your EFA’s are also important. I also include free range meat and proteins and sulphur are needed to support skin health.

    Hang nails and cracked skin are so painful, and can leave your skin open to infection.

    Anyone know if pH balanced hand soap are beneficial for hand washing? Some recommend pH 5.5 for facial cleansers.
    Is skin supposed to feel too oily when you use coconut oil to moisturize?

    This study showed that well hydrated skin is significantly more resistant to wrinkling than dry skin. So is oily skin. Makes sense since dry skin is less elastic and more easily injured. So if you have dry skin, don’t ignore it.

  18. Debbie says:

    Just wanted to say thank you Annmarie for all the wondeful tips you are a sweetheart !!! And to all the other people who shared their great tips too.
    peace, god bless

  19. Lorien says:

    I use coconut oil on my skin. In the morning before I dress I put it on all over just like you would hand lotion. Feet, legs, arms, face and hands. I use it on my hands a few times during the day if I’m in the cold or using a lot of water. I take a hot bath and sweat in it for 1/2 hour every day. After my bath I put a bit more on my face and hands. And then before I go to bed I put more on my face and hands. My skin always feels wonderful and soft.

    I live in Vermont so I know dry and cold. I’m out in it a lot. Something else that probably helps is I never use soap of any kind on my skin.

  20. bob says:

    melt coconut oil in hands and mix with some body lotion and rub on whole body after shower. I may try mixing coconut oil with honey- honey (anything sweet) serves as a humectant to absorb the little bit of moisture in the air and hydrate the skin.

    Hang moist/ wet towels over heater vents at night- hot air blows and dries the towels. I do this esp in hotel rooms when I travel.

    PS I like the mounted camera for the still video- easy on the eyes (and you are too 🙂 Thanks.

  21. Sharon says:

    When I lived in the northeast my skin was SO dry I was going crazy scratching myself all the time. Then I got smart and bought a shower filter. Problem solved. The water is really hard and it must stick to skin.

  22. Rebecca says:

    Eat right, shower less, moisturize with whatever you have on hand in the kitchen. My fav is olive or coconut oil and honey. Please do not leave water in your bathtub for humidity–children and pets can drown in an inch of water.

  23. jackie says:

    I’ve been using raw shea butter, but when it’s too thick I mix some oils in. It works great; makes a barrier on the skin which lasts all day. You can also buy shea butter with essential oils already in it.

  24. Annie says:

    Ryan and anyone else who has winter-dry-skin-itch. Coconut oil all year long after showers and Mercola Body Butter is very healing; but I still had this crazy itchiness – only in the wintertime (for the last several winters). Then I discovered Summer Wind’s Healing Breezes X-Balm. It’s a blend of all-natural herbs and oils, including neem oil. No more itch! It’s my new friend!:)

  25. Brenda says:

    Great info. I like all the external things mentioned. I like coconut oil & Shea Butter. What has made a significant difference for moisturizing my skin is what I take internally. Green Pasture’s X-Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil and Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

  26. Mary Artemis says:

    Great suggestions. However, I can’t forget my everyday all time favorite—-…..OLIVE OIL! Dab some on with some water. Then I use AnneMarie’s oil for the face!

    Mary from Stamford CT

  27. Vonciele says:

    Olive oil and when my hands get cracked and sore I will use aloe vera (straight from the plant) and/or my own, handmade calendula salve which is great for chapped skin and lips and is safe for babies and animals.

  28. Angie Leigh says:


    I usually use olive oil, oatmeal and honey for my skin care needs. I have a history of acne so I have to be extra careful when it comes to what I use on my skin, as well as what I eat.

    Thanks Ann Marie.

  29. Joseph DiMasi says:

    Rockin’ show, Annmarie! 😉

    In colorado, we have to deal w/ dryness year-round.

    I’m in the coconut crowd, but use a MSM/Aloe cream w/ other herbs *before* the coconut oil… it soaks in quickly, and the Coconut seams to ‘seal’ the whole thing somehow.

    Yes, lots of fats help! I’m not vegan anymore, and have benefitted a *ton* from taking animal-based Omega-3’s. I’m not sure why, but high quality fish oil (like Minami Nutrition) seems to offer more of a sheen on my skin than the Krill does… odd.

    Adding a pinch of sea salt to my spring water seems to help water retention and aids hydration – especially with all that Hot Yoga! 😉

    Finally, I think the thing that makes the biggest difference is having a good shower filter. Chlorine is bad enough, but really wreaks havoc in the wintertime.


  30. oreganol says:

    I had never considered using coconut oil and avocado. I will give them a try. Hopefully the avocado won’t turn my skin green. LOL.

  31. Beth Wilke says:

    Used to slather on the coconut oil until my dogs discovered it — they love coconut oil. Having two dogs following you around where ever you walk trying to lick your legs is NOT desirable. But they are my RAW dogs – what did I expect? Coconut oil benefits them too!

    Had to come up with an alternative moisturizer from Alba.

  32. Richard says:

    Ann Marie: What do you think of using MSM (dimethyl sulfone) for dry skin?

    Also I have a question for Kevin: Does Bragg’s Aminos (from SOY)have phytoestrogens?

  33. Bathing less, yes, but I think bathing with not-as-hot water helps, too. Doesn’t strip the skin of all those oils.

    Annmarie, what about dry hands? I use rubber gloves whenever I am doing the dishes or doing other types of housecleaning, but my hands are still crazy-dry in the winter… to the point of cracking sometimes. The only way I’ve been able to keep it at bay a bit has been to moisturize right before I go to bed and to limit my hand-washing. I heard you about the EFAs and that’s a good idea. Anything else for heavy-duty moisturizing?

    Lisa Marie
    Owner, Rite Chocolate

  34. Patty says:

    I have tried the coconut oil on my skin – but have found it too greasy – ruined several bras =( I use a natural bristle brush all over (not too hard) before a shower and a cocoa butter lotion after bathing.

  35. Angelique says:

    Great show! I really don’t do much to moisturize. Where I live in northern CA, we tend to have plenty of moisture in the air this time of year. But my best method is drinking water and eating water rich food — I really can tell a difference when I don’t (my lips chapping is a tell tale sign). Then if I need more, I use coconut oil or a body butter I made from coconut oil, shea butter, essential oils and whatever assorted butter/oil I had on hand i.e. avocado butter, kokum butter, cocoa butter, etc. If I need something on my face, I use almond oil. OH, and I’ve also been loving this hydrosol I got from Mountain Rose Herbs, helichrysum. Feels wonderful sprayed on my face (and I think helped heal a bout of pink eye in record speed).

  36. Leam says:

    Drinking water…lots and lots of water. I can’t stand forced air heat either. Annmarie, loved your practical tips and easy-going, matter-of-fact delivery. Thanks : )

  37. Thanks so much Annmarie! Lots of great ideas 🙂

  38. Angie Smith says:

    I do a lot of the things already mentioned: bathe less, houseplants, EFAs, coconut oil, drink water, etc. I also eat lots of healthy fats (grass-fed butter, avocados, coconut oil, etc.) and I keep a pot of herbs on the stove. I boil it for at least a few minutes every day, which helps steam the air while making a super-nutrient tea. I used to catch & leave the water in the tub after showers & baths, but I haven’t done it this year. I also hadn’t thought of using a mister, but I’m starting that now, too. Thanks! And for the record, I don’t mind Kevin’s rambling beginnings – he gets pretty funny sometimes.

  39. Almamater says:

    I used coconut oil all over for 3 years, but honestly, it doesn’t seem as effective as it used to, so I like to switch it up, i.e., using a decent, fairly organic moisturizer, jojoba oil, musk rose oil, and borage oil alternatively. I’ve been told by a “professional” that many oil molecules are too big to penetrate the skin surface, so they don’t do the good that people think they do. I think cod liver oil taken internally helps me immensely.

    Although I’m a huge proponent of staying hydrated with water, I saw on a tv show once where they did an experiment with 2 identical twins (teenage). They gave one twin minimal water to drink for 3 weeks and the other twin was allowed to drink 64 ounces of water daily. They measured their skin hydration at the end of that time and found that the water-drinking twin’s skin was no more hydrated than the parched one. The most current school of thought is that water is overrated for skin hydration, although everyone here probably knows how vital it is for just about every bodily organ and function.

    Lastly, I too liked the way Anne Marie got right to the point. With so very much information to watch online, I appreciate succinct presentations.

  40. Angie Smith says:

    I also hang clothes to dry sometimes, either in the bathroom or in the closet with the closet door left open. More water goes into the air and the dryer isn’t drying the whole house. I also sometimes leave the water in the sink after doing dishes, to steam the air as it cools down. My son regularly contributes to the indoor moisture levels by playing outside and coming in with his clothes & boots covered in snow. 😉

  41. Heather Hemphill says:

    I have been purchasing goat milk cream from the farmers market that is just Glycerine, goats milk and essential oils and a lovely Shea butter cream and mixing them together with coconut oil a tablespoon of each with a bit of Magnesium oil and 3/4 of a teaspoon of Vitamin C crystals. This makes such a lovely cream that I use it all over. I mix it weekly in small batches because of the Vitamin C makes it yellow after a week. But the Vitamin C actually makes this mixture an amazing sun screen or rather it just makes your skin less prone to burning. I love it.

  42. Nadia says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for all the great tips. I also use coconut oil all over my body. I dry skin brush every morning and have a fresh green juice every morning. If I have dry patches on my skin anywhere I use a salve I made using calendula, comfrey, plantain and st johns wort in olive oil with essential oils added. It is extremely healing and I use it on my lips too.
    Have a few plants in our home now and working on getting more… they are great.
    Also use a humidifier.

  43. Beth says:

    Loved this video.
    Thanks Annmarie!

    We don’t have a fan in our bathroom, so we keep the bathroom door open when we shower. Humidifies the whole house.

    Huge fan of Coconut Oil. Especially on my face.

    We have plants in every room of the house (except the bathroom). Didn’t know it helped keep humidity in the air, just love plants.

  44. Wendy says:

    I make sure I wear gloves or mittens everytime I go outside if the weather is 40 degrees or lower. I haven’t had to use any hand lotions in many years. I also don’t use any soaps that have antibacterial ingredients.

  45. Francesca says:

    Thanks to AnnMarie and all the contributors for the great ideas. I will start using them too, as my skin has become even drier since I became a raw vegan 2 years ago. Strange, as I eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and drink lots of water, fresh juices and smoothies every day. Maybe the causes are external as well as internal, so I will look into improving my environment too.
    Thanks to all!

  46. Danae says:

    Awesome show, Annmarie and definitely using your honey mask and body oil helps!

  47. Vicki says:

    I also use coconut oil all over and cook with it.., dogs love to lick it off my feet anf shins. I wash my hands a lot using Miracle II soap. Keeps my hands from drying. I drink food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) everyday. It keeps my skin, nails, and hair healthy. No dryness. Don’t put anything on my face anymore since I started on the DE. Used to have very dry skin, now I don’t…am almost 72. We also turn our furnace thermostat very low and use Eden heaters. One heater, set on medium keeps our whole house warm. Saves so much on gas and the heat from the Eden is not dryimg.

  48. Rhonda D says:

    Olive oil works great for me, But coconut oil is just as good.

  49. Jennie_Raw says:

    you had me at “almond oil”…

    I had just written down on my to-do list “purchase aromatherapy gifts for Mom’s birthday” before I checked my email and watched this. Perfect timing! Looks like I’ll be modifying my to-do list now.

  50. coconut oil all over body and jojoba oil on face

  51. Anna says:

    I am having SUCH dry skin and dry lips this winter. This has been my first winter in a house with as gas furnace, way way dryer for some reason. Like many people have already mentioned COCONUT oil after Every shower, no exception. Also, not taking piping hot showers because that will strip your skin of it’s lipids and dehydrate it even more. For lips i layer on a product called un-petroleum jelly which is made from natural waxes and oils, or a product called Lip Treat which is basically coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, calendula, vanilla, and lemon balm. I love exfoliating my skin but during the winter i find that i have to do it less because of the dryness and sensitivity factor, but it is Really important to use your exfoliator of choice at least 1-2 times a week so that your hydrator/moisturizer sinks in. And nothing helps more than drinking enough water of course. I’ve been drinking sparkling water as well with organic fruit essences added to get even more liquids in me since i tend to not get as thirsty as in the summer.

  52. Cindy says:

    Thanks for the great post Ann Marie. Nice & short & to the point. I want to know if the coconut oil you use is the edible variety that you can use for cooking? Also do you apply it when it is hard or melted. Mine melts in the summer and is hard in the colder months. i would think it would make your skin, clothes etc very oily, or does it absorb so well that it doesn’t stain your clothes. furniture etc.
    Would it be a good thing to apply to the fine lines around my eyes, or would olive oil or avocado be for that matter. Would the nutrients from avocados be absorbed through the skin. I don’t like avocados but i do feel that I am missing out on nutrients so maybe using it on my face and possibly scalp (for dry skin & hair) maybe a solution to this as well as being hydrating from the oils. Thanks in advance for any answers.

  53. My latest jar of coconut oil is the same brand that you are using currently. At the time of my purchase I thought nothing of it.. recently I wondered about the plastic jar vs. glass. What say you this?

  54. coconut oil all the way! I use it daily, it’s the all purpose wonder oil 🙂

  55. Rachel Banks says:

    I had forgotten about coconut oil as a lotion, thanks for the reminder annmarie! I enjoy your matter-of-fact style as others did, but I love Kevin’s ramblings as well! It’s clear you balance each other and both have beautiful personalities! 🙂 🙂 Beautiful!!

  56. Ingrid says:

    I use coconut oil on my body like many others here, and Annmaries products for my face.

  57. From my own experience, I have found that healthy raw fats and that does include raw animal fats – are much better for lubrication.

    According to Aajonus Vonderplanitz, water is a solvent and fat lubricates. Too much water does not work for me and I only drink it when necessary.

    I use to make a lot of raw mature coconut cream and throw it in the bathtub – what a great experience!

  58. Cindy says:

    For many years I would get horribly cracked & bleeding fingers during the winter. They are very painful, especially when you accidentally hit them on the wall. LOL! About 2 years ago, I started adding coconut oil to my smoothies or oatmeal a few times a week. It was the only thing I changed in my diet at the time. It worked miracles. That was the first year & last that I had horribly cracked & bleeding fingers.

  59. I use sesame oil mixed with some essential oils right after I get out of the shower, without rubbing off the water first. I love the way it makes my skin feel all day long. I also use coconut oil on my hands, face and feet, as these seem to be the dry areas of my body. I also use seaweeds for the skin. You can soak with a strip of kombu in the bath (or turkish towel) and not only will it add moisture to your skin, it will also detoxify you and you can absorb the minerals from the seaweed directly through your skin. Looking for a good seaweed company? Try Ocean Harvest Sea Vegetables from Mendocino, California. You can find us at http://www.seaweedmermaid.com or email at ohveggies@pacific.net

  60. Stacy says:

    I like to use aloe vera gel, and grapeseed oil. I use coconut oil every once in a while but grapeseed absorbs quicker and I find it lighter but just as moisurizing. Is it normal for skin to feel tight after applying moisurizers to it? It only lasts less than 10 minutes.

  61. Christy says:

    Thanks for the tips!
    I have a full house humidity system which helps a lot but I also use Avalon Organics Grapefruit and Geranium Lotion!

  62. Susie says:

    My sister makes an amazing body cream that I use on my face http://www.WildWillow.com. But before that, I am well hydrated, I eat coconut oil, Ghee, olive oil, and butter with my veggies. I avoid forced air heat and just use a space heater and layers of clothing to keep warm. I play outside even when it’s cold- I feel like it keeps me more adaptable to fluctuating weather conditions and therefore my skin knows how to stay balanced.

  63. Jeni says:

    Hi Anne Marie

    I think one good tip to add is to use a night oil/cream before you go to bed.

    As your skin does more repair at night it is more important to use a good essential oil based product and maybe change the mix after 3 months so that your skin gets a change to keep up the potency.

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