When your skin doesn’t retain sufficient moisture, it starts to dry out. This can be the result of many things, such as harsh products, frequent bathing, aging, or some medical conditions.
Dry skin occurs when skin cells produce less sebum than necessary. This lack of sebum results in the skin feeling tight with a dull or rough-looking texture.
“That feeling of your skin being tight can happen all over your body. Wherever you have oil glands, and there is less sebum being produced than necessary, your skin will feel dry and tight,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
No matter the cause, having dry skin is uncomfortable. The good news is that there are a few essential methods to treat dry skin at home.
Because dry skin lacks moisture in its outer layer, it can crack, wrinkle, or become infected, and it’s essential to support its hydration with additional moisturizers.
Without a change in your skincare routine, dry skin will make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable in time, and probably that’s not something you want.
Home Remedies for Dry Skin 100% Organic
Keeping dry skin hydrated is crucial, yet some products can even worsen the situation, be too expensive, or not effective at all.
The bright side? A variety of home remedies can be used by everyone to relieve dry skin.
Most of the ingredients below can be used as moisturizers or hydrating masks.
But before we start, remember that the best time to apply moisturizing ingredients is after a bath on damp skin.
Repleted with several essential antioxidants and vitamins, avocados can nourish your skin from within and give it a natural glow.
The pulp of avocado is a high source of B-carotene, lecithin, and linoleic acid that moisture the skin, while vitamin E helps keep moisture for longer periods.
Besides its high moisturizing qualities, avocado has anti-itching properties — another reason to apply it to dry skin.
Although the itchiness in dry skin is not fully understood, the clinical association between itch and dry skin is well established.
Stephanie Bredif published a study investigating the anti-itching and moisturizing properties of a patented natural extract, avocado peptides for dry, itchy skin, which confirmed the avocado’s hydrating qualities.
How to DIY? Puree half an avocado and mix it with one teaspoon of olive oil, and honey. Apply the mixture to your complexion and decolletage and leave it for 20 minutes before washing it off.
Try sticking to the habit, and apply the mask twice a week for extended results.
Sunflower seed oil
In 2013, Dr. Simon G Danby researched the effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier.
While Dr. Simon’s investigation concluded that sunflower seed oil preserved stratum corneum integrity, did not cause erythema, and improved hydration in the same volunteers, the use of olive oil for the treatment of dry skin and infant massage should be discouraged.
Rich in linoleic acid, vitamins A, D, and E, and having an excellent absorption capacity in the depth of the skin, the sunflower seed oil is an extraordinary idea to use for dry skin.
Able to maintain the skin moisturized, you can apply it deliberately over the whole body.
Dry Skin Remedy with Coconut oil
Another oil that does wonders for dry skin is coconut oil.
In 2004, a clinical trial study aimed to determine the effectiveness and safety of virgin coconut oil as a therapeutic moisturizer.
The researchers found that coconut oil shows effectivity through significant improvement in skin hydration and increases the level of lipids on the skin’s surface when used regularly.
Coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids, known humectants, as per this 2016 research explains, listing the coconut oil as an emollient.
We suggest you apply coconut oil on your body after bathing or before going to bed, every day, for long term results.
Tips: For chapped heels, or hands, apply coconut oil and layer with thick socks or non-latex gloves.
Remedies for Dry Skin with Oatmeal bath
The use of oat as a topical agent for soothing and cleansing the skin dates back to ancient times. It can be considered a “multifunctional” natural emollient containing lipids and fatty acids, polysaccharides, enzymes, vitamin E, proteins, and saponins.
The Avenanthramides are low-molecular-weight, soluble phenolic compounds produced by the plant, known to have vigorous antioxidant activity.
These compounds have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itching activity, which may provide additional protection against […] skin irritation.
Did you know that oatmeal is currently approved as an over-the-counter skin protectant drug?
Adding a cup of powdered oatmeal to a warm bath helps rehydrate dry skin. The oat is soothing, and it helps the skin to retain moisture from the bathwater.
Milk Treatment for Dry Skin
Milk has been known to offer luxurious properties to the skin even since Cleopatra times, and it’s still used today.
Maybe you won’t fill your entire bathtub with donkey milk, as Cleopatra used to, yet you can use milk in some other ways to treat dry skin.
Milk contains lactic acid, which can help exfoliate dead skin cells, and increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Also, the soothing nature of milk can preserve the skin’s delicate pH levels, and it can lighten the skin.
Masashi Morifuji carried research to confirm the improvement of dry skin by dietary milk phospholipids. He and other researchers found that a particular fat in the milk (phospholipid) can improve the skin barrier in mice if added to their diet.
However, further research is required to verify if drinking milk has the same outcome on human skin.
For your complexion, dip a cotton ball in milk and dab all over the face. Leave it to act for 20 minutes, and wash with cold water. Use organic, fresh milk.
For other parts of the body, soak a washcloth in cold milk and place it on your dry skin for 5-7 minutes. Then gently wash off the liquid with another cloth soaked in lukewarm water. In this way, the natural milk moisturizer will remain on the skin.
Repeat daily for visible results.
Treat Dry Patches with Honey
Historically, honey has been recognized worldwide for its healing properties, with records of its therapeutic use dating back to 2000 B.C., when ancient Greeks and Egyptians used honey to treat wounds on skin and burns by applying it topically.
Still used in many traditional medicines, some studies suggest that honey can be used as a home treatment to relieve dry skin.
Experiments and studies on honey have shown that honey is antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, […], antioxidant, healing, cleansing, and moisturizing. It promotes rehydration, is easily digestible, stimulates immunity, and is beneficial for all types of skin diseases.
All these results indicate that honey is the perfect home-treatment to use for dry skin.
Completely natural, it can be applied directly to the skin — best use organic honey.
Manuka honey is considered the best worldwide.
Petroleum jelly is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes, which form a semisolid jelly-like substance without changing much since it’s been discovered, in 1959.
The main benefits of petroleum jelly come from petroleum, the main ingredient, which helps seal the skin with a water-protective barrier.
In 2017, a group of researchers found that the skin barrier improved after using petroleum jelly on older people’s dry skin. This conclusion encourages the idea of using petroleum jelly to treat dry skin.
Moisturizes Dry Skin with Aloe Vera
With its antiseptic and soothing properties, aloe vera gel can help moisturize dry skin.
In 2003, a clinical trial conducted by Dennis P. West evaluated the aloe vera gel in the treatment of dry skin on 30 adult females. Dennis concluded that aloe vera gel improves skin integrity, helps decrease the appearance of wrinkles, and has a positive outcome in the management of dry skin and irritant contact dermatitis.
If you have a fresh aloe vera plant, cut open a leaf and squeeze the gel out of it, apply it on the skin, and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
It’s a simple remedy that will help you keep your skin moisturized and protected, by forming a shielding layer that will keep skin free of any impurities.
Also, for dry hands or feet, before going to bed, apply aloe vera gel, cover the area with a sock or glove, and let it act until the morning.
10 Ways to Combat Dry Skin
If repeated consistently, all these tips can help you combat dry skin:
- Try to “avoid excessive use of diuretics, such as alcohol, caffeine, and watch your salt intake,” facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Inessa Fishman, MD. told Insider.
- Don’t use heavily scented products, as they may further irritate the skin. Better opt for unscented or lightly scented products.
- Limit to a 5 minutes shower daily. If you spend more time bathing, it can strip away the skin’s oily layer, causing it to lose moisture. Also, use lukewarm water instead of hot water, as hot water can wash away natural oils.
- Always apply moisturizer right after bathing, on damp skin. This will help your skin seal in moisture longer and better.
- Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners, or look for skin-friendly ones.
- Never scratch the dry areas. Better apply a moisturizer to control the itch. If the irritation persists, try placing a cold pack on the area to relieve the feeling.
- Use a humidifier in the winter, when the skin tends to dry out more. Ideally, set it around 60% — it should be sufficient to replenish the skin’s top layer.
- Avoid wearing wool and other fabrics that can irritate the skin.
- In cosmetics and makeup, ensure the labels don’t consist of SLSs, Alcohol, Fragrance, Retinoids, Salicylic Acid, AHA Acids, and Ammonium.
- Try staying away from bath sponges, scrub brushes or washcloths, or use a light version of them. For the same reason, pat the skin dry when toweling, without rubbing.
When to see a doctor
If none of the remedies you ever tried at home worked, maybe you consider making an appointment with your dermatologist.
Severe cases of dry skin may require a medical prescription. Because dry skin can also be a sign of a skin condition, a dermatologist can examine you and explain the reasons for your dry skin and what you can do to reduce the discomfort.
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