Baby It's Cold Outside! My Skin Moisturizing Faves For The Season

Living in the northeast in all its beauty can get pretty rough come the change of seasons. While the leaves are turning, and the wind chill factors are dropping, my skin is also making it's transition. My psoriasis, specifically on my legs, can get pretty bad. It starts with just a constant itch, and then plaques. When I was younger, my Mom told me I had "winter itch". From that point forward, I understood the reality of the seasons changing. It meant that I had to get accustomed to a routine even more so now to manage my symptoms.  Over time I found combinations of products alongside my medication that help to keep my flares at bay.

Cocoa butter queen

My number one absolute go-to favorite moisturizer is cocoa butter. Not only does it smell amazing, but it helps to make my skin feel really smooth. When plaques appear on my legs, and I use cocoa butter it seems to help with the peeling skin. I even notice less hyperpigmentation in certain areas. My favorite brand is Palmer's but I use other brands as well. Although it is thick, I don't personally find it to be too greasy. That's one of the main reasons I prefer it over Vaseline. Speaking of Vaseline, I also use cocoa butter infused Vaseline. Of course, I love the scent, but if I don't have my original cocoa butter available it's a great back up.

Alongside cocoa butter a very close second is shea butter. I travel to Brooklyn, NY to get all-natural shea butter that has no additives or fragrances. This shea butter can be very thick, but letting it sit out for a bit does help it smooth out. Shea butter also has similar benefits like cocoa butter with keeping moisture and assisting with hyperpigmentation. It's great to have especially in the winter season when regular lotion is just not enough to do the job.

Faves for my scalp

Although I experience most of my issues with dryness on my legs, my scalp can get pretty dry as well.  Even when I am not experiencing a flare in my scalp, I do my best to keep it moisturized. I mix a combination of oils together to create a blend that I love. My go-to oils for I use are coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, and amla oil. Everyone is different, so you have to know what will work best for you. Also make sure you are certain of what oils to avoid from allergies, etc. I always spot test on the back of my hand a small dab of the oil to make sure there are no interactions.

You can find these oils anywhere, but I go to an all-natural store in Brooklyn, NY. I find that the less additives or ingredients the better, especially since I don't want anything to unexpectedly trigger a flare up. Typically, with the coconut oil it's hardened, so to soften I sit the container in warm water for a few minutes. I mix about an ounce of each oil together and I use sparingly throughout my scalp. I even put it on my hair to prevent it from being dry. Oils aren't meant to serve as a treatment, but I do use them to supplement my current regimen.  For me it helps using them to prevent and lessen dryness and itchiness.

Finding what's best for you

Maybe some of these products will help you, and maybe they won't. Everyone experiences dryness differently. Often, it's a process of trying different things until you find what best suits you. There's no one size fits all. If you're unsure about different options, it may be a good start to talk with others in the psoriasis community or your provider. The National Psoriasis Foundation is also a great resource and has even sent me samples of moisturizing products to try. Preparation is the key to life. If we can be proactive in trying to managing symptoms, why not? At this stage, I would fare worse if I waited until full blown winter to start lathering up on the extra moisturizing. Get to know yourself and your body more. Your skin will thank you later!

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