Keeping dry skin moisturized is important but some treatments can be expensive or ineffective and this has got me thinking: what are the best natural ways of treating dry skin?
Whether it is caused by aging, an underlying skin condition, or environmental factors having dry skin can be itchy and uncomfortable. So through research, I found that there is a range of natural treatments available to treat dry skin- but which are most effective?
Causes of Dry Skin
The general cause of dry itchy skin is lack of moisture. A dry skin condition, which is also called Xerosis, occurs when the skin barrier is impaired and the necessary healthy fats in the top layer of the skin are deficient.
Usually experiencing dry skin or xerosis cutis isn’t a big concern and it can occur in people of all ages and can also pop up anywhere on the body. But when the dryness is severe, that may indicate an underlying skin problem or health issue. Hence you will need to visit a dermatologist.
To find out the solution to dry skin it may be more beneficial to get to the bottom of what is causing the dryness in the first place.
1. Soap May Sap moisture From the Skin
It’s important to carefully select face washes, body washes, and laundry detergents as some soaps are formulated to remove oil and subtract moisture from your skin.
Using only moisturizing body wash is better than a bar of harsh bar soap and if you have dry skin you should go for gentle laundry soap.
According to a study, some people inherit certain skin conditions which cause dry skin. A mutation in genes that act to control the production of the protein filaggrin, which helps hydrate and form the skin barrier, can lead to a variety of skin conditions. People with mutations in their genes suffer from drier skin and also have a greater chance for the development of eczema.
In the event that you’ve always had dry skin or you have a family history of it, moisturizing daily is a must.
3. Long Hot Shower Can Lead to Dehydration
Although it might be tempting to stand under the steaming hot water for an extended period of time especially during the cold seasons. But this practice can end up creating issues with your skin. It can make your skin lose moisture. It’s advisable to keep the water temperature warm and not hot.
4. Aging Can Increase Skin Dryness
People tend to suffer from dry skin more as they age. Research has shown that adults over the age of 40 are much more likely to experience dry skin than individuals younger than this age group affecting about half of all adults in this group.
As people get older our skin produces less oil thus gets drier. In women, it could also be due to the hormone changes associated with menopause.
5. Certain Medical Conditions Can Cause Dry Skin
Skin problems like eczema can make your skin more prone to dryness. Sometimes dry skin could also indicate that something else is causing your dry skin something- something unrelated such as diabetes, kidney failure, or malnutrition.
So how might you know if the dryness is a result of something more serious? Be on the lookout for inflamed areas, intense itchiness, hyperpigmentation, or rough patches on the skin and that should be a sign that it’s time to visit the doctor.
Best Natural Dry Skin Remedies
A dry skin condition, which is also called xerosis, occurs when there the skin lacks moisture or there is little moisture in its outer layer. When dry skin is left untreated, it can crack and become infected.
Here are the best natural ways to treat your dry skin condition
- Avoid taking a hot shower
- Use essential ingredients as an exfoliant
- Moisturize immediately While Damp
- Milk and Honey Bath
- Apply honey and olive oil to your skin
- Apply Coconut oil or Olive oil before bedtime
- Take an Oatmeal Bath
- Apply Aloe Vera to Dry, Irritated Skin
- Antioxidants and omega-3s
- Drink Water
1. Avoid Taking a Hot Shower
Many people enjoy taking a steaming hot shower on a cold day. Your skin disagrees. Super-hot water dries the oil out from your skin to no end. Limit your bath time to five to 10 minutes and give it a lukewarm shower.
Choose mild soaps that have added oils and fats and make sure it is all-natural. Ensure to stay away from deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products. This can all strip away natural oils and when you are done blot your skin gently dry with a towel.
2. Use Essential Ingredients as an Exfoliant
Create a naturally moisturizing exfoliating scrub using a combination of different natural ingredients such as
Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub: combine a half cup of sugar with 2tbsp of olive oil to make a scrub. You can also add an essential oil like lavender this will add a natural fragrance and can promote relaxation. Gently rub the scrub into your skin and then wash it off. Lastly use a soothing moisturizer to lock in the benefits of freshly exfoliated skin.
Oatmeal Honey Mask: Oatmeal makes an excellent mask or exfoliator. Add 2tbsp of oats to a tbsp of honey, and a dash of water. Preferably warm up the mixture and then rub it into your skin. If you wish to exfoliate your skin right away, you can just wash it off, or you can leave it on for 15-20 minutes as a soothing hydrating mask.
This routine will help to remove dead skin cells and create fresh skin that will absorb moisturizers easily.
3. Moisturize immediately While Damp
Whatever your moisturizing routine might be, ensure you do it when you are fresh from the shower or bath. Ointments and creams work by sealing in the existing moisture in your skin. Look for a cream or ointment that contains one or more of the following ingredients: Jojoba oil, Glycerin, Shea butter, or Lactic acid.
4. Milk and Honey Bath
Legend has it that Cleopatra’s skincare routine included baths with milk and honey. Research has shown that honey is a humectant that soothes and moisturizes the skin and may also slow the formation of wrinkles while milk contains lactic acid and has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Hence a mixture of 2 cups of milk and a quarter cup of honey added to your warm bath can act as a mild and natural exfoliant.
Treat yourself to this short soak and your skin will feel plump and fresh afterward.
5. Apply honey and olive oil to your skin
Research has shown that honey has moisturizing, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for several types of skin diseases; olive oil does too. Combine them to pamper your skin. Mix one spoonful of honey and one spoonful of olive oil and squeeze a lemon juice. Apply this mixture to the dry areas and let it sit for 20mins. Wipe off with a warm washcloth.
It is completely natural and can be applied directly to the skin without causing any damage.
6. Apply Coconut oil or Olive Oil before Bedtime
When your skin is extremely dry this treatment can’t be beaten. Take a long tepid bath before bed. Pat yourself dry and immediately coat yourself in either coconut oil or olive oil.
Whatever your choice of oil is spread it all over then put on your pajamas. This oil will moisturize your skin and improve hydration and you will wake up feeling soft.
7. Take an Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal has been used to treat skin for a few thousand years as science has confirmed that it’s effective for its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, cleansing, and antioxidative properties while at the same time offering minimal occurrence of irritation.
Add a cup of blended dry oatmeal to your warm bath and soak in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes pat yourself dry when you get out. It is preferable to use plain instant, quick oats, or slow cooking oats. Depending on how dry your skin is, you can use this up to two times a day or more.
8. Apply Aloe Vera to Dry, Irritated Skin
Freshly pulped aloe Vera gel can be helpful during winter as it helps to alleviate redness and calm irritation related to excess dryness and it also decreases the signs of aging as well as acne breakouts.
If you have dry skin on your hands or feet you can apply aloe vera gel to the affected area and then cover it with a glove or sock. It may be preferable to apply the gel before going to bed and leave it on all night.
It’s advisable to perform a patch test first before applying it to a larger area of your skin as some people can develop allergic contact dermatitis to aloe.
9. Antioxidants and omega-3s
When your skin is dry, it’s an indication that you’re being exposed to elements that damage your skin cells faster than you can repair them. Certain foods can improve the appearance of your skin. They make your skin appear healthier.
By eating antioxidant-rich foods, you can minimize toxins and boost your body’s cell metabolism. Some of these foods that contribute to skin health include blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, beans, peas, and lentils. Foods that are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids like mackerel and salmon can also contribute to glowing skin.
10. Drink Water
Drinking water is very crucial to having good health however research on the effect of water on skin hydration is not yet conclusive. Nevertheless, staying hydrated is beneficial to you in general.
Why Opt for a Natural Dry Skin Remedy?
Natural remedy for skin disorders has been used for thousands of years. A natural remedy is a better option and a very useful treatment in dermatologic disorders considering some of the effects of chemical-based remedies.
Natural oils and remedies tend to be pure which makes them a better choice for many people with dry skin. Unlike over-the-counter products that contain tons of ingredients, alcohol, and fragrances which can cause irritation or allergic reaction or even dry out your skin.
When it comes to beauty care, keeping it simple is often the best approach, especially if you have allergies or a very sensitive complexion unlike water-based lotions and creams or those containing preservatives, pure oils have a natural base making them a great dry skin remedy.
Tips to prevent a dry skin relapse
There are steps you can take to protect your skin and prevent it from drying out
- Make moisturizing a regular part of your skin-care routine. As soon as you step out of the shower make sure you rub your skin from head to toe with a rich cream preferably one that contains lactic acid or glycerin.
- Develop a skin-friendly bathing habit. Avoid hot showers and limit your bath time to 10 minutes. Always use a mild cleanser or liquid body wash and ensure you stay away from soap that contains ingredients that are harsh on the skin.
- Dress appropriately for the weather. This goes beyond applying sunscreen in summer to help protect against sunburns but also skin cancer. Remember to always dress appropriately to suit the weather to prevent dryness and chapping.
If environmental factors or aging is not the cause of your dry skin then it could be a sign of a skin condition that needs treatment. If you suspect this is the case then consult a dermatologist to examine your skin and explain what can help reduce your discomfort.
Remember it’s important to keep your skin moisturized and to treat dry skin as soon as possible. If left untreated it can lead to red patches and bacterial infection.