Itchy Dry Itchy Dry
OMG is anyone else out there itchy!? Fortunately in the San Francisco Bay Area, we don’t have sub zero temperatures, snow storms or terribly gusty winds, but it’s still vata season. It’s been kinda chilly and it’s very dry here. Both are vata increasing and my legs are so itchy I think I might die. I’ve woken up in the night because of them and when I scratch it leaves red, dry marks. It’s just downright painfully itchy and I can take no more.
To make things worse, I have a space heater on at work most of the day, which is just adding dry, hot air to my skin. I bet it’s making it worse. SO! I have been on a mission to end the itchies and wanted to share some ideas with you, not only for itchies but for dry skin in general.
For Body! Oatmeal, milk & aromatherapy bath. Take instant oatmeal (when it comes to itch, I am impatient) flakes and put 1 cup into bathtub with warm water, 1 cup milk, and drops of calming aromatherapy (lavender, rose, geranium) and sit for at least 10 minutes. Hot water increases dryness AND you will end up with biggest bowl of oatmeal in the world!
If you don’t have a tub, you can use a bucket and just drizzle the oatey water on your legs. Also an option, when the oats get pastey, apply the paste to your legs and gently massage. Empty the oats into the toilet or garbage disposal cause if you dump them down the drain, you might clog it.
Epsom salts. Listen to Grandma! Salts have wonderful healing properties (swimming in the ocean will cure almost any skin problem!). Using epsom salts in a bath also calm down the itch.
Lavender Salt Scrub. Speaking of salts, I have this in my shower constantly (I realize I ran out over the past 3 weeks…could be why the “legs”) and it’s the bomb!
Soothing Skin Balm from Banyan Botanicals. This I could not live without! This balm has saved me many days at work and nights when I woke up from itchies. I’ve used almost the whole jar. It’s thick so it’s best used in a small area, but I’ve been putting all over my lower legs. The nice thing is that the herbs in here will begin to correct the root problem. I use it all the time!
Oils. You knew I was going to mention oil massage, didn’t you? Yippee if you did! Precede your shower by using oils Sesame oil is great in the winter for dry skin, but pittas beware. Sesame oil is warming and it might make your sensitive skin itch (mine does, at least on my legs). Almond oil is nourishing and lovely and so is safflower oil. Sesame (vata) is thickest, then almond (pitta), then safflower (kapha) is thinnest. Please buy these oils in the cooking section of your grocery store (they should be $4-$7) and make sure it says “cold-pressed” or “expeller-pressed.” You get a lot of good oils for little money and remember the rule, if you can’t eat it, it should not go on your skin.
Humidifier. We bought one today so that we get some moisture in the air! Even my husband is going around the corners of the room and itching his back on the walls like a desperate cat. :(
Almond & Milk Scrub. I LOVE this combo! 1 tsp almond meal to 1/2 tsp milk powder and a pinch of sugar (I made a batch big enough to fit in a jelly jar). I got the recipe from Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur and about three times a week instead of using cleanser or soap in the morning. Mix with a little warm water to make a paste and massage on the face. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
Only Wash at Night. If you have dry skin on your face, only wash your face at night to remove make-up, sweat, and dirt. In the morning clean the crud out of your eyes, give a nice lukewarm rinse and then moisturize. Over-cleansing will lead to drier skin.
Banana or Avocado Mask. I heart using fruits on my face! This is a great exfoliant for winter because it also moisturizes. Use a ripe banana or avocado. Mash up and put on your face. Kick your feet up above your heart and chill for 15 minutes. Rinse off.
***Confession*** Today I broke down and bought some Aveeno Baby fragrance free lotion (with oatmeal!) for my wee legs. It’s totally not Ayurvedic. I didn’t see any sinful ingredients because there was no listing of ingredients at all – um, is that legal? However, I kinda just needed some reprieve. It seemed to work – for the time being. I picked the “baby” version because I figure their skin is also sensitive. Anyway, I had to let you know that while I try my darndest to live Ayurvedically, despite baths, soaks, balms, and bucketsfull of natural remedies, I broke down at Target. And no, I don’t think I can eat it, so I’m breaking my own rule. It was either that or Monica goes seriously mental. If anyone knows of a good natural lotion (that I can eat! hah), I’m all ears!!! XOXOXO