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Natural Awakenings Austin

Keeping Skin Healthy and Hydrated During Winter

Nov 27, 2014 09:10PM

by Beth Carpenter, ND

As cooler temperatures return, our skin naturally seems drier. Sometimes it seems that no matter what we put on our skin, within minutes it is dry again. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and it’s referred to our third kidney. If our skin is not staying hydrated, taking a look at ways to remedy and hydrate thirsty skin will help us feel better and look younger, no matter the season or climate.



What are Four Tips for Healthy Skin?

1. Better hydration
2. Dry brush massage
3. Salt scrubs/baths
4. Natural and organic skincare products

When I ask my clients how much water they drink, they often reply “not enough.” I smile and ask them to define “not enough.” How do we define enough?

The standard way that you can determine if you’ve had enough water is to take your body weight and divide it in half. That total is the amount of ounces we need each day. I weigh 124 pounds, divided by two equals 62 ounces, which is just two ounces under two quarts.

Coffee, alcohol or sodas do not Keeping Skin Healthy and Hydrated During Winter by Beth Carpenter, ND qualify for daily liquid intake. Water, preferably filtered, coconut water and non-caffeinated teas, can all be added into the 62-ounce equation.

There are times when the body needs more water, such as hot summer days, working outside, physical activity and hiking in the mountains. A friend and avid hiker that lives in Colorado shared with me that when preparing for hikes at higher elevations, it’s vital to drink a gallon of water a day for a few days prior to the hike.

For additional hydration, try eating water-rich foods like salads, fresh fruits and raw juices. Some foods that people eat may have gravy and sauces and taste moist, but it doesn’t hydrate like raw foods do.

Second on my list is dry brush massage, as it helps our bodies in numerous ways. Here are three of my favorites:

1. Getting rid of dead skin cells, soap buildup and skin tags.
2. Increases circulation in our lymphatic and circulatory systems, thus strengthening our immune system.
3. Stimulates the hormones for better balance.

How do you start? Buy a good natural-bristle vegetable brush. The best place to buy one is on eBay. Just search for “dry brush massage brushes.”

Dry brush is always done before you get into the shower. Start at your feet and brush up to your torso, then move to your hands brushing up your arms moving towards the sternum, and be sure to brush your back and entire torso. Then take your shower.

This third one is easy: salt baths and scrubs help to detoxify our bodies and our auric field. Epsom salt is not the same as taking a salt bath; you can add Epsom salt in addition, but not in place of salt bath or scrubs. Use salt that is free from anti-caking agents and that has not been iodized. You can find a three pound box of kosher salt at most grocery stores for about $3, or you can go to and buy dead sea salts for less than you’ll find in the grocery store; just look under the wholesale button.

For baths, add two pounds of salt and a few drops of lavender essential oil, and soak for exactly 20 minutes. Drain the tub and quickly rinse in the shower. The salt bath will soften your skin and help you sleep better. Warning: if you have kidney failure, do not take the salt bath, but you can do the salt scrub in the shower safely.

We don’t always have the time to take a daily bath, so opting for a shower is the quicker choice. After the dry brush massage, you can use the salt scrub in the shower.

To easily make a scrub, take one cup of finely ground salt, add one-third to one-half cup of oil such as grape seed, jojoba or apricot kernel and a few drops of lavender, frankincense or any other essential oils to add to your body scrub. Store in a plastic container with a good seal and keep it in the shower.

Consider natural skincare oils and creams to lovingly massage into your skin daily. There are many good products available to choose from, but making your own can be fun and economical. I’ve made my own for years. With extra care and attention, your skin will return to a rosy, healthy and youthful glow.

Beth Carpenter is a naturopathic doctor offering natural wellness services and life coaching at her practice, Healthy Help 4 U, in Austin. For more information, call 512-707-9886 or visit

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