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Winter can be rough on your skin, hair, and nails, but there are a range of all-natural ingredients that can help. One often overlooked option is peppermint. Peppermint is seemingly everywhere in the winter – it’s in warm winter drinks, candy, chocolates and candles. It’s also an herb that many of us have growing wild in our gardens year-round.

But believe it or not, peppermint is more than just a tasty wintertime flavor. It’s also great for your skin and hair, and it can help fix many unique winter-time skin problems, like redness and itchiness.

Here are 5 excellent ways to incorporate this wonderful herb into your routine.

Soothe itchiness.

If your skin or scalp is dry and flaky due to the harsh winter air, try adding a product with peppermint oil to your routine. Peppermint has an immediate cooling effect that makes the itchiness completely go away, which makes it easy to avoid scratching your skin and making the flakes worse.

Repair chapped lips.

There’s a reason that so many lip balms contain peppermint, and it’s not just because of the minty fresh smell. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps soothe chapped, burning lips – a must in the wintertime, when chapped lips seem to happen as soon as we step outside!

Refresh and tone skin.

For those who deal with oil, sweat, or grime in the winter time, peppermint has a lovely refreshing effect on the skin. It naturally cleanses clogged pores, soaks up oil, and tones the skin.

Cool red or inflamed skin.

If your skin has become red or inflamed, a bit of peppermint can help gently cool it off. Peppermint reduces inflammation and balances the skin, so it’s great for treating redness or even acne. (And if you have aching muscles, peppermint’s cooling effect is helpful for that, too.)

Stimulate hair growth.

Ever wonder why peppermint makes your skin tingle? That’s because it’s a natural stimulant. When you apply it to your scalp, it causes more blood circulation in that area, which in turn stimulates hair growth. Magical!

For the obvious reason I left off aromatherapy. We all know it smells oh, so good. But it’s worth a mention, because it’s hard to fight off the winter blues, especially when it gets dark at 4pm. Peppermint oil wakes up the senses and reduces stress, making it easier to focus. It also helps to reduce headaches, and it can even fix a stuffy nose. Try peppermint for all the wonderful benefits!

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The Truth About Hand Washing

Does hand washing really kill germs and keep you healthy? You probably remember your mother saying, “Wash your hands.” Millions of mothers can’t be wrong! Hand washing is an easy, inexpensive way to stay healthy. It kills germs. It can increase your chances of warding off colds, the flu, respiratory infections, skin and eye infections, and infectious diarrhea.

How to wash.

Women who farm are always washing their hands. But like anything else, it has to be done correctly. To receive the full benefits of hand washing, remember to use soap and scrub every part of your hand. Be sure to include the palms and backs and wash thoroughly between your fingers and even under your fingernails. If working in a short-sleeved or sleeveless top, wash past your wrist too. Continue the washing for twenty seconds.

You pick up germs all day long from the farm, other people, surfaces you touch inside your home, pets, etc. So you have no choice but to make hand washing a habit throughout the day. This can become so routine that you think it is automatic and that you’re good to go. But all too often we skip washing when going to the bathroom, help a child use the bathroom, or even change a diaper. And what about after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose? Of course you wash your hands before eating as well as before and after you prepare food. But what about after disposing of any kind of garbage, tending to cuts and injuries or taking care of someone who is sick? These small things are not to be taken lightly. You are at the center of your family, the reason why they’re happy, healthy and thriving.

How to dry.

A study on hand-drying methods indicated there is no major difference in the effectiveness of one above the other. However, it is important that you dry your hands thoroughly. If they are damp after washing and drying, bacteria can still remain. If you are away from home and have to use an air dryer, do not rub your hands together. Doing so can bring bacteria in your pores up to the surface of the skin. If possible, fight against potential germs by using a paper towel to turn off the water faucet and open the door. It’s quite possible to pick up more germs on your way out of a public bathroom.

Sometimes you need to wash your hands, but you don’t have access to soap and water. Hand sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, but they can certainly help. Use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to apply the it to every part of your hands, palms, back, fingers, and between fingers.

Whew! Now aren’t you glad you listened to your mother and washed your hands? Always remember that washing your hands correctly increases your chances of enjoying good health.

 


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