Dry skin can be a result of many factors. Usually we experience dry skin in the cold winter months when there is lower humidity. Central air and heating can also contribute to decreased humidity levels. Other causes include excess sun exposure, vitamin deficiencies, overuse of harsh soaps and lack of moisturizing. Regardless of the cause, dry skin occurs when your skin’s natural oil (sebum) is stripped away and moisture escapes.
To combat dryness the key is to moisturize and replenish your skin’s oil to combat the loss of moisture. Petroleum jelly or mineral oil work very well as a moisturizer, yet their purity and safety are very controversial and have been shown to have carcinogenic effects. Virtually any vegetable oil can also be used to safely prevent dry skin. They are effective, safe and inexpensive. However, all of them are greasy, which is a feeling not everyone likes. Below you will find some great tips on how to use natural ingredients from your pantry to prevent dry skin, and not all will leave you feeling greasy.
Say goodbye to dry skin with these 5 natural remedies for dry skin:
A great natural oil to use is extra-virgin olive oil, which works as a natural cleanser and moisturizer. It works wonders on hands and elbows, and soothes and conditions itchy, dry skin. You can dab a thin layer under your moisturizer for a little added antioxidants, or even rub the oil into your skin and drape a warm, damp cloth over your face until it cools, then wipe away the excess oil.
Dating back 1,000s of years, honey is a time-tested cure for dry skin and chapped or cracked lips. Before taking a bath, rub some honey on your body and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Or, apply a little honey to your lips before going to bed and wake up to smooth, moist lips. Another trick is to do the same but on your heels or elbows, and the natural moisturizing effects of honey will prove effective.
Keeping hydrated with plenty of water is a great start to alleviating dry skin. 8-10 glasses of water a day should do the trick, but if you are normally hydrated, you cannot possibly counteract or correct dry skin by drinking water alone.
Your diet can also play a large role in the appearance and condition of your skin. Ideally, you want a diet rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin C, magnesium and beta-carotene. Consuming salmon and other fatty fish, plus dark chocolate, oranges and carrots can help improve dry skin.
Try creating a mask of avocado to naturally sooth your dry skin. Puree half an avocado and mix in a teaspoon of olive oil or add a tablespoon of honey. Apply the mask to your face, and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then wash it off. Your skin should feel fresh and moisturized, but if not, as an extra measure finish the process by applying your regular moisturizer.
A 15 minute soak in a lukewarm bath can help hydrate your skin. Add a cup of oatmeal to the bath and you will feel the soothing, hydrating effects immediately. The nutrients from the oats, combined with the warm, not hot water, help the skin retain moisture.
Follow each bath, whether you use oats or not, with a moisturizer, especially if you bathe frequently. If not, all the moisture that soaked into the skin during the bath can evaporate. When drying yourself off after a bath or shower try to leave the skin damp. Moisturizers are more effective on damp skin opposed to totally dry skin.