Frugal Summer Skin Care

by Kelly · 4 comments

in Living Frugally

beachI’m not a big fan of summer– too hot for my tastes. This is surprising, since I’m a Los Angelena by birth, and lived there for 18 years*. I was even a lifeguard for a few years.

But I think that now summer knows how I feel about it, and has decided not to like me back. As soon as it gets hot, I start getting a whole bunch of skin complaints– scaly hands, contact dermatitis on my ankles and behind my knees, itchy upper arms. So what’s an (almost) frugal girl to do?

Well, find alternatives to high priced lotions and creams, which in my experience don’t really relieve the itch anyway.

Solution 1. Don’t let your skin dry out. Soap is actually quite drying, so in the summer I use less soap. And no, it’s not because I live in France! I just make sure to use soap less often on the dry and itchy areas. I also really like the non-soapy cleaners like cetaphil… the generic version of course!

Solution 2. Keep cool and dry. Just like licking your lips in the wintertime is the best way to make them chapped, so is not drying off really well in the summer. So I make sure to dry my hands really well, with a nice dry kitchen towel, especially when I’m doing a lot of cooking all at once.

Solution 3. Over the counter remedies. Two of the treatments that I have found to help the most are over the counter antibiotic ointment and over the counter anti-itch cream. I slather my hands in the former, and my ankles and knees in the latter before I go to bed at night, and they do seem to help.

Solution 4. Natural solutions. If the itching gets really bad, I put some finely ground oatmeal (about 1/4 cup) into a washcloth, dip it into some warm water and then dab on the dry spots. Like your mom used to do with oatmeal baths, when you had the chicken pox, just not so hard on the drains! I’ve heard that a lot of people have good luck with things like tea-tree oil or lavender oil, but I tend to break out even worse with those.

Solution 5. Cover up. Or rather, stay out of the sun. I can think of little that I would like less than to go hang out in the sun or at the beach for the afternoon. Even when I take my kids to the pool we make sure to go to the neighborhood pool that has a nice grassy lawn and lots of trees to hide under. Not only does this help me avoid immediate skin complaints, but with my fair skin and history of bad sunburns, I figure it’s best to avoid tempting fate when I can.

Any advice? Of frugal tips? How do you solve skin complaints?

*Actually, I grew up in the Valley, and can do a mean Valley Girl impression- even in French!


1 Jerry June 5, 2009

Will your insurance cover you going to a dermatologist to find out exactly what you have? You might have done so already. It could be something simple that you could do. But, that stinks to not like summer! Spring and Fall are my favorite for similar reasons. I’m not crazy about the heat either. It usually leads me to stay indoors more than I’d like.

2 Nancy June 5, 2009

I think it’s tragic (almost) to not be able to enjoy the summer sun. I love it! As a kid I spent every day at the pool and that was in the years before the invention of sunblock so I know I did damage to my skin. In my early teen years I did begin caring for my skin by keeping it moisturized daily. Something I still do. Now I still spend plenty of hours poolside but I use SPF 30 regularly and so do my girls. Nothing makes me feel better in the summer than a nice tan.

Nancy\\\´s last blog post..Scenes from a Lunch Hour

3 Amy Reads Good Books June 6, 2009

My biggest problem is my feet. All those sandals do a number on my heels. I used to buy expensive lotion, but now I just use our everyday lotion at night and wear cotton socks. It really helps!

Amy Reads Good Books\\\´s last blog post..Booking Through Thursday

4 Teresa June 8, 2009

I stopped washing my face a year and a half ago and my skin is much nicer for it! I ditched the facial cleanser from my shower routine. I just let the water of the shower clean it off. I have fewer zits and my skin doesn’t dry out like it did before. Mark that down for one less thing to buy. Well, two because I don’t need moisturizer anymore either.

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