Dry skin seems to be a bigger problem in the winter time, it can also affect us as any time of year. In a cold and dry environment, our outer layer of skin loses its ability to hold moisture. The skin becomes dry and brittle which can cause it to lose even more water. Often the result is cracked skin which is painful and left untreated can cause bleeding or infections. Not only is the air dry but we tend to take longer, hotter showers, and wash our hands more frequently to prevent illness. Winter time is a popular time to use a fireplace which is very drying to the air. Here are some great herbs to use to help restore moisture to our skin in a natural way that is also less expensive.*Burdock*Chickweed* Linden* Marshmallow*Slippery Elm* Licorice* Comfrey* Aloe* Mullein* Irish Moss* Fenugreek These herbs can be found online or in a natural food store. Using the powdered form or any, or a combination, of these herbs helps the skin to soak in the nutrients. If you can’t find the powder form using a food processor can help you make them into powder. Mix the powdered herb with hot water or warm aloe juice, the mixture should swell a little when you have mixed it thoroughly enough. Make sure you have a moist, creamy texture. Massage the mixture into your skin and leave it as you shower. The steam from the shower will help open your pores to soak in all the nourishment from the herbs. Rinse off any remaining herb mixture at the end of your shower. In addition to applying the herbal mixture to the outside of your skin make sure you drink plenty of water to hydrate yourself inside. A good goal is to drink half your weight or more in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150 pounds aim to drink 75 ounces or more of water each day. Not only will this help your skin but your joints as well. Drinking plenty of water is also a great way to stay healthy and to maintain energy. You can also make sure your home has enough moisture in the air by using a humidifier. Try to have the humidity at 50% or greater . Make sure to replace your filters in your humidifier often so they do not develop mold and mildew which may cause more health issues. When you do have to go outside be sure to wear gloves to keep moisture in. If you have the option of covering most of your face that is also a good idea. Also cut down on your salt intake. Your body needs fluids to flush out excess salt. If you are consuming too much talk your body will take fluids from other places to get rid of the salt. Eating unsaturated essential fatty acids found in cold water fish such as cod, haddock, mahi mahi, salmon, trout, and tuna, flax seeds, and walnuts. These essential fatty acids can also help your joints to stay soft and flexible. Minimize the use of soaps, perfume, and alcohol products. All of these products can strip away the natural oils found in your skin. When you do wash your hands, use lukewarm water rather than hot water. Cut down the amount of time spent in the shower and avoid drying your skin to much with a towel, rather pat or blot the skin. I also like to use some coconut or olive oil after a shower to help lock the moisture into my skin. It is also important to not scratch your skin, no matter how dry and itchy it may feel.