Natural DIY Practices for Winter: Dry Skin & The Cold

Health & Lifestyle, Lifestyle

Rachel Holm is our resident JSHealth Expert on all things natural healing – essential oils, DIY beauty rituals, self-care, chakras, energetic recalibration – the list goes on! She is also the co-founder of HANAKO therapies, an all-natural range of organic essential oils that embrace the power of raw essences to support, balance and uplift the mind, body and spirit – making her the perfect person to share her DIY Practices for surviving the Winter cold! 


As the warmth starts to leave and the humidity starts to drop, the days become a little cooler and drier and so the change in our skin begins.


We tend to stay indoors a lot more, the heat gets turned on and up, the showers and baths become a little hotter trying to escape the cold not to mention our usual 1 to 2 litres of drinking water per day becomes a little more challenging – these elements leaving us with a situation of the moisture being sucked from our skin and we’re left looking flaky and dry.


So, to fight the good fight, here are a few DIY natural remedies for keeping you feeling good, hydrated and glowing in the cooler months:


  • Hydration is key: As hard as it may be, keep up the water intake and if you find it a struggle, try warm water with a dash of fresh lemon or opt for some herbal teas to keep hydrated.


  • Dry Skin Brushing: Our skin is the largest organ of the body and is an organ of elimination just like the kidneys and the colon and more than a pound of waste products are eliminated through the skin every day. If the pores of the skin become clogged by millions of dead skin cells, then impurities remain within the body putting more pressure on the eliminative organs such as the kidneys and liver. Dry Skin Brushing is great way of cleansing the lymphatic system, removing dead skin cells, strengthening the immune system, improving nervous system function, toning muscles, preventing premature ageing… Just to name a few. Dry brush before the shower to help stimulate blood flow to the surface so that the toxins can more easily escape. Starting from the feet and working up, use long sweeping strokes on the soles of the feet working up the legs and torso. Then from the hands, up the arms to the shoulders. Always sweep in an upward motion moving towards the heart.


  • Cold Showers: I know, I know – this may sound crazy but by taking a cold shower you open up the capillaries, you get the blood pumping, it leaves your skin looking radiant, it helps to flush the organs and it helps to keep the blood chemistry healthy and young. You are also stimulating the central nervous system and stimulating healthy secretion of the glandular system. I promise once you try it and get used to it, you’ll never look back and you’ll feel super energized and ready to take on the day and best of all… you’ll walk around with a youthful glow. What’s not to love about that! If you can’t manage to have a straight up cold shower, then start with a warm one then switch to cold at the end. Try and stay in for at least a minute but 2 mins is best. Good luck and enjoy!


  • Moisturise the skin: It can be as easy and simple as using organic coconut oil or organic sweet almond oil. Coconut oil is known for its anti-bacterial and antifungal properties but it is also an amazing moisturizer and smells delicious. Simply place into the hands rub together to warm then spread an even light layer all over the body. Organic Sweet Almond oil is a highly potent antioxidant and promotes heart and skin health. To personalize it, add a few drops of your favourite pure essential oils and apply to the body.


  • Lavender and geranium facial steam: Turn on the kettle and prepare yourself a real treat. Not only does lavender and Geranium pure essential oils act as a balancing agent on the skin this aromatic blend will help with stress reduction, anxiety and fatigue. Win, win. In a bowl place 3 cups of boiled water then place 3 drops of Lavender pure essential oil and 3 drops of Geranium pure essential oil. Drape a towel over your head, shoulders and the steaming bowl creating your own little tent. Closing your eyes and keeping your face about 10 inches from the steaming bowl begin to deeply inhale and exhale and allow yourself to relax. Stay here for about 10 minutes. When finished gently splash your face with some cool water then pat the skin. Note: this is delicious to do before bed.


  • Honey Mask: This is one of my personal favourites and leaves your skin super hydrated and GLOWING!!! All you need is 2 to 3 teaspoons of raw honey and remember we are dealing with sticky yummy honey so if you wish put a shower cap on or pull your hair up into a top knot for all the longhaired beauties, please do so. Using your fingertips gently start applying the honey evenly to the face, neck and décolleté. When the honey starts to warm on the skin it’ll start to bead. This one is best to do while laying down and relaxing so put on a beautiful candle and some relaxing tunes and let yourself soak up 15mins of nourishment. Inner and outer glow! In the last few minutes begin to tap your face with your fingertips giving yourself a little stimulating massage. To rinse off, use a warm washcloth and gently wipe away the honey.


Energetically the Winter months are for turning inwards and preserving and conserving the energy for bloom in the spring and fruition of the Summer.


These are all lovely ways of taking a little extra TLC for yourself during the down time, allowing yourself to feel loved, nurtured and nourished in the comfort of your own home. I hope you enjoy!


Rachel x


To find out more about Rachel and Hanako, visit or follow HANAKO on Instagram. 




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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.