Chapped cheeks, chapped chin, chapped knuckles, chapped skin. Oh, yes. It must be winter. I hate chapped skin. I hate how it snags smooth fabrics. I hate how it cracks open at the slightest bump. I hate how it snags on my beloved microfiber cleaning cloths. It’s akin to fingernails on a chalkboard for me.
When my oldest became a toddler, his cheeks were so constantly chapped and flaming red in winter that I thought he might scar. My friend’s toddler had such a ring of chapped skin around his mouth, it looked like he had tried to put on lipstick and missed. The hands on my 9 year old feel like 40 grit sandpaper. My personal battles are against cracked hands, a red face, and overall itchiness. Dr. Bronner’s can remedy all of these scenarios with a variety of products: the lip balms, the body balms, the coconut oil, and the lotions.
Cracked and Raw Skin
For cracked skin anywhere, there is nothing like the lip balm. Did you catch that? The lip balm. I recommend the lip balm over the body balm for getting into cracked skin anywhere on the body – especially when the cracks are so dry and hardened that they just won’t come together to heal. For me that’s my knuckles. The lip balm is thicker than the body balm, so it gets into the cracks and stays put to soften and nourish the skin. Go with the unscented Naked lip balm if you can. However, if all you have is a scented one (Peppermint, Orange Ginger, or Lemon Lime), you’ll still like the results. This lip balm remedy is good day or night, but you’ll definitely notice the most dramatic results overnight. Put on a good coat right before bed. Keep it by your bedside for just that purpose.
The worst thing for cracked skin is anything with alcohol. Alcohol is very common in lotions because it emulsifies oils, but on cracks it will burn like nobody’s business.
The best treatment for sandpaper hands is an overnighter: rub in a generous amount of body balm and wear cotton gloves or socks over them to bed. Another good option is a full squirt of the lotion with a good hand massage.
Dry, Red, or Itchy Faces
Quick and easy: an overnight mask of the coconut oil. This treatment feels heavenly. I absolutely love it. My skin in the morning feels fabulous – no redness, no flakes, no tightness, no itchiness. Just right. I don’t recommend coconut oil during the day because it takes a while to absorb and you can’t put make-up on over it, if that’s relevant to you. (A word on the “but I can’t put oil on my face” complaint: Oil is what moisturizes our skin. It just needs to be the right kind of oil.)
During the day, the Dr. B’s lotion is a perfect light moisturizer.
Overall Itchiness and Ashy-ness
My personal favorite again is the coconut oil, but the lotion works great, as well. The coconut oil is like a spa treatment for me. A little bit of the oil goes a long way, so it doesn’t take much for the whole body. (I say that about a lot of Dr. B’s products.)
Dry Skin Prevention
Now that you’ve got everything all healed up, grab yourself a bottle of the lotion. This is the best thing to prevent all of the above. It goes on fast and easy. It absorbs quickly. It provides a great protection against wind and dry air. Just two squirts will cover the whole body, so one bottle will last you quite a while. It is best to put it on right out of the shower, while the skin is still moist. Also, keep a bottle by your sink and apply a small pea-sized amount after hand washing.
So now you’re saying, “I have all of the above conditions, but buying all of these products at once would strain my budget.” If I had to make-do with just one, I would go with the coconut oil. It can be applied broadly, but also works for acute problems because it doesn’t have any essential oils or alcohol to burn cracks. After that, I can’t decide what I would buy. The other three are really great, so pick them up as you can.