There are many lotions and creams at the drug store aimed at healing your winter skin, but many of those contain ‘mystery’ ingredients. “Rather than roll the dice with store-bought winter skincare products, you can whip up your very own. When you make beauty products yourself, you have complete control over the ingredients, so you know that what you’re putting onto your skin is safe,” says Dr. Susan Stuart a board certified dermatologist from La Jolla, California.
An avocado mask is perfect for dry skin that may become very irritated in the winter.
It is easy to make: mash the flesh of avocado with a fork, add a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, and apply this smooth, fragrant mixture onto your face. “This nourishing mask will supply your skin with a whole range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and softening agents to fight winter dryness,” says Dr. Stuart.
Sweet Almond Body Scrub
Almonds are packed full of nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy monounsaturated fats. These compounds make them nourishing to your body inside and out. Try this recipe to exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup almond oil
-2 tsp honey
-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together in a shatter-proof bowl. In the shower or tub, massage the scrub into your skin in circular motions (after washing your skin with soap), concentrating on rough or dry areas of the skin. Rinse with warm water, allowing the residual layer of almond oil to remain on the skin. Pat dry.
Chocolate Face Mask
Once regarded as a bane to our health, new research has shown that dark chocolate is healthy—and not just to eat. Compounds found in chocolate can actually benefit the skin when applied topically.
-1/3 cup cocoa powder
-1/4 cup honey
-2 Tbsp cream or plain yogurt or sour cream
-3 tsp oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking)
Place all ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. Apply to clean, dry skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Pat dry.
Apple Vinegar Foot Soak
-1 part apple vinegar
-2 parts water
Mix ingredients and soak for 30 minutes for hydrating new-like feet. Don't worry about the smell, as it will do wonders for cracked, rough, smelly feet
- Coconut oil
Rub a small amount of coconut oil between the palms of your hand and lightly pat down the top of your head. "Just the tiny bit of moisture will tame fly-aways and hydrate tresses without leaving hair greasy looking," says Dr. Stuart.
Rough elbows and heels
-Hardened coconut oil (optional if you choose to make a more aggressive scrub).
Take ripe figs and mash or blend then in a bowl. Add coconut oil. This mixture will gently exfoliate, as the fig seeds will lightly clean and remove dead skin. According to Dr. Stuart, "Coconut oil is highly nutritious and moisturizing. Make sure the coconut oil is not melted. Place in fridge if you have to solidify, because if you are like me and prefer more exfoliation, add some sugar to this and create a dry scrub. Once this touches your skin, the coconut oil and sugar will melt." Apply while you're in the bath tub or shower and be careful as it may cause a slippery surface.
Vanilla Lip Scrub
-2 parts sugar
-1 part olive oil
-vanilla extract to taste
This scrub will get rid of rough, dead skin on and around the lips. No one wants chapped lips where you can see the lines under your lip color, so this scrub is perfect!
About Dr. Susan Stuart
Dr. Stuart is co-founder of La Jolla Plastic Surgery Dermatology.
Susan Stuart, M.D. received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed a highly competitive one year internship at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in San Diego followed by a residency at Emory University, one of the most highly respected dermatology training programs in the U.S. She also completed a one year postgraduate dermatology fellowship in pediatric dermatology at Stanford University Medical Center.
Dr. Stuart's career began with her undergraduate education where she received her B.A. degree from Duke University and was elected into Phi Beta Kappa, an elite academic honor bestowed upon a small percentage of undergraduates who have achieved the highest standards of scholarship in the U.S. In addition, Dr. Stuart is the founder and past president of a nationally recognized organization for children with physical and emotional disorders at Duke University.
After completing 8 years of postgraduate medical education, Dr. Stuart began offering San Diego skin care services and has remained in the area ever since. She has worked with several internationally respected dermatologists and laser experts while continuing her academic endeavors as a faculty member at UCSD Medical Center, where she has instructed interns and residents. She maintains active staff privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.
Dr. Stuart is considered one of San Diego's leading experts in dermatology and lasers and has been selected as one of American's top physicians in dermatology. She has been featured regularly on news shows including NBC, ABC, and KUSI for her expertise on a variety of dermatology topics and procedures, including San Diego Fraxel® laser skin rejuvenation and BOTOX® Cosmetic.