Beat “Winter Skin” on a Budget

When I got out of bed this morning, there was frost on the ground. Three days ago it was 80 degrees. Ahh, November in South Jersey. As long as it’s not snowing yet, I’m okay with it!

I’ve always suffered from a bit of dry skin. When I was overweight, I rarely noticed it, but I did have very dry elbows in the winter. During my weight loss journey, I developed a rash over 60% of my body. It was red, patchy, itchy and AWFUL. My doctor thought it was ringworm, so I got anti-fungals. I went to a dermatologist who thought it was eczema and prescribed prescription moisturizer and bleach baths. None of it worked. Finally, I went to an allergist, had a patch test. It was discovered I was allergic to NOTHING. (Okay, I was allergic to nickel but something like 96% of the world is allergic to nickel.) The allergist looked at me, looked at my skin, and said, “I think you just have really dry skin!” She told me about an over the counter jelly called Vaniply to apply after showering, and within two weeks my rash was GONE and hasn’t come back. Since then I’ve been really diligent with moisturizing my legs and arms after showering. Here are some other tips I use to beat the winter parch:


I washed my hair with conditioner only this morning. My hair is being a jerk about it and trying to tell you I'm older than I am.
I washed my hair with conditioner only this morning. My hair is being a jerk about it and trying to tell you I’m older than I am.

My hair is another thing that suffers in the winter. I keep it longer, and it gets drier and curlier every year. In the summer it’s not much of a problem, barring frizz, but in winter, my hair starts feeling like straw. A solution I found a few years ago was Co-Washing, or washing your hair with only conditioner. There are a TON of resources on the net if you’re interested, but my process is simple and CHEAP. I use Suave Naturals conditioner in, what else, coconut scent!

IMG Courtesy of
IMG Courtesy of

I wet my hair, squeeze out the excess, and pour a handful of conditioner into my hand. I focus on massaging it deeply into my scalp, let it sit for a few minutes while I shave or wash my face, then slowly add water, a little at a time, making sure to massage my scalp thoroughly with my fingertips. You have to rinse very well, taking extra care, but when your hair is fully dry, it’s much softer and smoother than regular shampooing.

Vinegar Rinse for Hair

IMG Courtesy

Using apple cider vinegar helps smooth the exterior of the shafts of hair to make your hair smoother and softer while helping it retain moisture. It really helps your hair feel less “crunchy” in the winter months, and can stave off dry, itchy scalp. Mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and pour over your hair after shampooing. Leave it in for about a minute, making sure not to get it in your eyes, then rinse with clean water. The vinegar scent will fade when your hair dries. I do this once a week max, but it really helps.

Coconut Oil Brown Sugar Body Scrub

This is what I use when I want super silky, touchable legs. It’s the easiest thing in the world. Mix brown sugar with just enough melted coconut oil to make the brown sugar look like damp sand. Then, after shave your legs, use small handfuls to scrub your legs and feet, then rinse under warm water. The coconut oil will leave your skin super soft and smelling great.

Brown Sugar, Honey & Olive Oil Lip Scrub

When I saw this on Pinterest I just had to try it. A cheap lip scrub that’s hard not to eat when you’re scrubbing your lips! It left my lips soft and smooth, and will be great for the great dark winter to come.

IMG Courtesy of That’s So Cuegly (click image to take you to the site)

Do you have any frugal tips and tricks for dealing with dryness in the winter months? I’d love to hear them!

13 thoughts on “Beat “Winter Skin” on a Budget”

  1. I have an add on to your brown sugar/coconut oil scrub. Shave your legs normally. Apply scrub and gently work it all over your legs. Rinse…then run the razor over your legs again. Don’t add soap or shaving cream…the left over oil on your legs will be more than enough lubrication for shaving. This will give you the softest legs in the world. I swear! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gone from washing my hair every day, to every other day, to maybe twice a week. The other days I just wet it while I’m in the shower. Maybe once a month I’ll wash it with just conditioner. I’ve also stopped using a hair dryer and I just let it air dry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wash my hair 3x a week, and have been doing that for years. But the amount if working out I do insists that I do it no less than that. Some days I do just rinse it really well with water, and I rarely blow dry. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. To an older lady, these tips are new and great! (The only one I knew of was washing hair with conditioner, as
    that’s how my daughter does my extra-curly-locks grandson’s hair. Certainly helps with any tangles too.) I’ll
    be going to the drugstore today and Vaniply is now on my list! So glad it helped you and hope it will help me too. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t know that about Apple cider vinegar, but it’s also great for psoriasis. I’ve Bern using ACV daily as my conditioner of choice for years, and well, why I switched is a long story, as you know, but my scalp is grateful for it. Genetics being what they are, psoriasis on the scalp runs in my family. I haven’t had a major flare up since the switch though, so that’s some other fun trivia.

    It’s also super easy to make your own chapstick with beeswax and the oil of your choice. You just need a double boiler (I use a Pyrex measuring cup inside of a pot). I don’t make my own often because chapstick always ends up in stockings and goodie bags around the holidays, but it’s stupidly easy to make when I run out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have special chapstick needs. Lol. But, I usually end up with a tube or two of the good stuff mid-winter. I make my own sometimes, though. The ones I would buy are not cheap, and beeswax has several household uses. Last year I mixed it with olive oil to make an intensive care gel for my sandpaper elbows to throw in my purse.

        Bar soap and ACV is my hair routine, but I veer closer to the oily than dry end of the hair spectrum. No idea how that would go for someone prone to frizz. All conditioner ever did for me was act as a detangler, and I find the ACV works just as well in warding off tangles, without the itchy scalp. Besides, my shower looks awesome with almost nothing in it. I put the ACV in a squeeze tube (one of those empty condiment bottles you buy at the dollar store intended for ketchup), which works really well.

        Liked by 1 person

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