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Ah, winter skin. Often parched, red, and rough to touch — not typically ideal. We’re preparing for seasonal hibernation with Pinterest-friendly, natural concoctions for DIY lotions. So when you’re in no mood to leave the house, look no further than your fridge or pantry for these fun, softer skin-approved foods.

up close shot of oats

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Colloidal Oatmeal

Ground oatmeal is the kind you want to eat. Colloidal oatmeal is the kind your skin wants to eat.

When something is colloidal, it means a substance has been evenly dispersed throughout a subsequent substance, typically water or gel. In the case of colloidal oatmeal, it’s typically an even mixture of finely ground oatmeal and water. 

Colloidal oatmeal is a natural humectant, meaning it holds onto water from the air and brings it to your skin, helping to retain natural moisture. When combined with liquids, the polysaccharides in oats create a natural type of salve that are said to act as a skin barrier. Topically used, colloidal oatmeal is said to exert emollient and nourishing effects, and is thought to protect your skin from dry air through its lipid and protein content.

Colloidal oatmeal can be applied either as a mask or bath. Whether you’re applying colloidal oatmeal as a mask or soaking it in through a bath, let the mixture rest on your skin for about 10 to 15 minutes. The short wait will be worth it — once you’ve washed it off with lukewarm water, you’ll be left with softer-feeling skin. 

a bottle of olive oil with olives and plants around it

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Olive Oil

It contains healthy fatty acids that are said to plump, moisturize, and condition dry skin all over the body.

Similar to colloidal oatmeal, olive oil is a natural humectant that’s also full of nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, which offer a combination of moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. Vitamin E, for example, is said to help create a barrier between your skin and its external surroundings, so your skin can retain moisture and potentially be protected from drying, harsh winds or freezing temperatures. 

Olive oil is also rich in squalene, an ingredient found in human sebum (the oil naturally produced by skin). In fact, squalene is said to make up 10 to 12 percent of human sebum. By applying an oil that’s rich in this skin-identical component, you’ll restore your dry skin to its normal, healthy, and moisturized state. Make sure you’re also applying it to slightly damp skin, so that your skin’s natural moisture can help soak in the helpful hydrating benefits. There’s a reason Mediterraneans have used olive oil as a moisturizer for centuries.

Pro Tip

Olive oils with labels that read organic” and extra virgin” can indicate the product has not been synthetically treated.


Pies don’t need all the attention. While moisturizing your skin is an obvious step to combating dryness, exfoliating is also key. By naturally buffing away dry skin, you’ll create a smooth canvas for moisturizers (like agave nectar and olive oil) to better do their jobs.

Pumpkin contains naturally-occurring, exfoliating acids and enzymes that dissolve and remove dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new ones. This natural and gentle exfoliation can create a natural glow. 

When using pumpkin topically, choose canned pumpkin that’s organic and 100 percent pumpkin, or organic pumpkin purée. Try using it on your body as an exfoliating mask. Let the pumpkin sit on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes to work its magic, before rinsing off in the bath or shower.

Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.