First, you gotta get rid of the dead skin, plain and simple. I've been really digging the look of this sugar scrub by Althea Saps because it boasts the claim that it doesn't separate like other oily scrubs. The bonus of scrubs like this is that they usually include an oil, which is really one of the most essential things you need to get your skin feeling good again- your body's natural layer of "sebum," the stuff that keeps your skin lubed- gets depleted seriously in dry weather, so you want to try to replenish that! If you're more of a do-it-yourself type, you can even make your own sugar scrub, but of course I always advocate buying it from Etsy.
The next step, the first to actually getting the moisture back in your skin, as I read in an online article, is to try to get the oils back into your skin. What better way to do this than by using these butter beans from the Vintage Body Spa. I received a sample of these in the super-posh Little Black Box and I haven't been able to use them since I only have a shower, but after dissolving one in a sinkful of water to experiment, they are wonderful. Best way to use them? Let yourself soak in the water for about 10 minutes, THEN drop in the butter beans. This'll "plump" your skin with water and allow the oils to absorb better.
What next? Well, you wanna moisturize. The biggest thing I've seen in all my research and struggles to find ways to make my skin better is to stay away from anything commercially produced that contains any kind of alcohol- this will dry you out in the long run. The other thing i've noticed is that natural plant fats like shea butter and cocoa butter are KING at not only keeping your skin moist, but they also supposedly speed healing and help with 'problems' like stretch marks and other skin blemishes. Thats where this great whipped shea butter comes in. SudsMuffin has a great line, but this is probably the one that attracts me most. It comes in three scents and is nothing but pure, natural, GOOD shea butter. The peppermint/tea tree combo would be excellent for sore, cracked, winter feet.
What about locking in all that moisture? Well, shea butter will do a good job but I like to have something that I can take with me on the go, something that provides a pretty good coating to keep my skin protected. These vegan lotion bars are the perfect answer. I have loved lotion bars for nearly a year now, and I have found a lot of good ones on Etsy. These look especially promising.
You know what the WORST thing for me is in the winter? Its having to wash my hands. My hands get SERIOUSLY dried out, even with all the moisturizing I do, such that I have to literally slather myself with the shea butter EVERY TIME I wash my hands. Well, THIS SOAP is just what you need, especially if you wash your hands a lot. Its loaded with cocoa butter and jojoba oil, and despite the name it doesn't have any actual "Silk" in it, so its vegan, for those of you who prefer to be without the animal products. I hear it also makes GREAT shaving soap.