Winter is famously rough on dry skin. Mine is fairly parched most of the year, but becomes painfully dry during the winter--rough, flaky, red, and blotchy. Dry skin is often also sensitive, and many products (even ones formulated for "sensitive skin") can irritate it further. So, I've been hanging out in the kitchen. The scrub recipe comes from my mom (also a dry-skin-sufferer). It is quite simple--just mix a bit of plain sugar and enough olive oil to make a paste. I take this into the shower with me and very carefully exfoliate my face. Pressure is key here--very gentle circular strokes. The idea is to polish away the dead skin, not sand off your epidermis.
I follow the scrub with a homemade mask. I did a bit of research, looking at ingredients found in products formulated for dry skin, and I found that oatmeal, honey, and chamomile were mentioned frequently. So, here is what I put together:
1 tbs brewed chamomile tea
1 tbs oatmeal
1 tsp honey
Mix the three ingredients together in a small cup and microwave 10-15 seconds. Stir and let sit until it looks like the kind of oatmeal you would eat. Apply to face and wait 30 minutes before removing.
I didn't want to be brewing chamomile tea every few days, especially if I only needed a tablespoon of it. So I brewed two cups in a mason jar that I keep in the refrigerator. When I want a mask, I just splash out a bit into a tea cup, add in the oatmeal and honey, and microwave.
The mask can be a bit tricky to apply--if the mixture is too runny, it will slide off your face; to thick and it won't spread. While wearing it, you will look a bit leprous, but the results are worth it. My face is smoother and less red. I follow up with a good moisturizer (currently the Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer).