When you need a home remedy for dry skin, use these tips to soothe and protect your skin and restore moisture naturally.
Surprisingly, many expensive skin products and creams contain ingredients that are hard on your skin, like alcohol, which is very drying.
So, when you choose a moisturizer, be sure to read labels and select one that is all natural, organic and contains no alcohol or petrochemical ingredients – or they will dry out your skin again.
Here's a list of natural oils that lubricate and heal your dry skin. Each one has slightly different healing properties and they vary in terms of scent and viscosity (thickness.)
You can use them directly on your skin or mix them with your favourite natural moisturizer to make your own personal home remedy for dry skin. Don't use oils from foods that you're allergic to.
Argan oil – has an anti-aging effect. This study showed that argan oil improved skin elasticity in postmenopausal women. Argan oil feels great as a bath oil, too.
Coconut oil – contains anti-microbial lauric acid and has been used for centuries as a moisturizer for beautiful skin. One caution with coconut oil is that it makes some people feel anxious, so make sure you’re not sensitive to coconut. Remember, putting something on your skin is almost the same as eating it, since your body absorbs it.
Almond oil – a sweet-smelling oil with a lovely texture – great for face and delicate skin. Personally, I love almond oil. There is some evidence that almond oil reduces post-operative scarring.
Avocadoes and Avocado oil – Avocadoes contain skin-supporting minerals, help with skin elasticity and protection from UV rays. To improve dry skin, eat avocadoes and use the unrefined oil on your skin.
You can also mash up ripe organic avocado and spread it on your face for a skin-reviving mask. Add some raw honey to make it even more moisturizing.
Grape seed oil – helps with repair of broken capillaries that show up in your skin and is used to prevent varicose veins.
Grapeseed is anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and improves circulation. It's a fantastic bath oil - just add a couple of tablespoons (more if you like, but a little goes a long way) and let its healing qualities absorb through your skin.
Sesame oil – nourishes skin with vitamin E and helps to draw out impurities. Sesame oil blocks 30% of UV rays so it makes a good natural sunscreen.
Besides being a home remedy for dry skin, sesame oil is popular for oil-pulling - to cleanse bacteria from your mouth and teeth.
Sunflower seed oil – has proven to improve the moisture level of your skin (skin hydration) and preserves the integrity of your skin barrier which helps to prevent dryness and redness.
Neem oil – is anti-bacterial, so it’s good for healing blemishes and infection. Because it has quite a strong and distinctive scent, you will probably want to use it in small quantities. Or enjoy the healing effects by mixing it with another, less strongly-scented oil such as almond oil, or a good natural moisturizer.
Neem has been used for centuries to heal many skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, acne, warts, and ringworm.
Neem leaf extract is a moisturizer ingredient that also benefits skin.
Wheat germ oil – contains high levels of antioxidant vitamin E that protect and repair skin. Wheat germ oil keeps skin from losing moisture.
Do not use olive oil on your skin or your baby’s skin.
While olive oil is fabulous for eating, it is NOT a good home remedy for dry skin because it can damage your skin barrier and worsen atopic dermatitis.
For an intensive treatment when your skin is especially dry, choose your favourites from the list above and mix two or three of these oils together to make your own special home remedy for dry skin.
Apply when skin is warm and slightly damp for best absorption. Or put ¼ - ½ cup into your bath water and let it soak into your skin.
Do you ever get small, painful cracks in the skin of your hands or tips of your fingers, especially in winter? I live in a cold climate and I do!
Vitamin E is my favourite home remedy for dry skin cracks and cuts, because it’s very healing. Here’s how I apply it...
I find the best time to do this is before going to bed, but, if your skin is in pain, don't wait!
1. Get an adhesive strip ready to put over the area.
2. Cut open the end of a capsule of natural vitamin E or use a clean pin or needle to poke a hole in one end. Squish a few drops of vitamin E directly onto the crack or cut.
3. After applying the vitamin E, lightly cover with the adhesive strip and if possible, seal the edges of the strip around the injury.
4. Leave it all night and the next day as well. I usually find that, depending on how deep the crack is, it’s usually healed within a day or two. If the adhesive strip gets wet and falls off, you may need to repeat the process.
You can re-use the cap of vitamin E if you haven't used it up.
When there’s only a very small hole in the end of the capsule, it tends to re-seal itself. So I use the same capsule several times for these little skin cracks until the capsule is used up. I keep it in a tiny container in the bathroom cupboard.
Raw honey is a natural “humectant” (moisturizer.) It attracts moisture and holds onto it, which makes it a wonderful home remedy for dry skin.
Use it directly on your skin or mix a tablespoon of raw honey with one to two tablespoons of almond oil or one of the other oils listed above. Spread it on your skin and leave it for 20 minutes to do its work of repairing and lubricating.
If you find the oil and honey mixture difficult to spread, wet your skin first with warm water. After 20 minutes, rinse with warm water.
One or two cups of honey in your bath water has a luxurious, skin-softening effect.
To remove impurities and unclog pores, mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1-2 tablespoons of ground oats. Spread the mixture on your face and leave it for 15 - 20 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
This makes a good facial scrub, too. To finish, squeeze half a lemon into warm water and splash on your face.
Why do I emphasize raw honey? Because many commercial honeys are cut with corn syrup or contain antibiotics. The best honey to use as a home remedy for dry skin comes from small, local, organic or biodynamic bee keepers.
How to Prevent Dry Skin - Protect your amazing skin from drying out and aging too quickly with these 7 natural tips.
10 Home Remedies for Dry Skin - Juice up your skin from the inside with these vital nutrients - because what you put IN your body affects your skin even more than what you put ON it.
How to Have Gorgeous Skin - a conversation with Wendy Gardner, natural skincare expert.
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The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity. Boucetta, et al.
Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skin care. Danby, et al.
Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Dreher, Davenport. The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Werman, et al.
Neem (Azadirachta indica): Prehistory to contemporary medicinal uses to humankind. Kumar, Navaratnam.
Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. Korac, Khambholja.
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