WOW | Beauty

10 Natural Dry-Skin Remedies you can DIY at home

Your kitchen may hold the secret to achieving healthy, vibrant skin.

The list of culprits that can cause dry skin is a long one, from daily bathing habits (think hot showers and scrubbing yourself dry with a towel) and wicked winter weather to a lack of natural oils in your skin as you age. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to visit a dermatologist to heal your dry skin. Instead, consider adding a natural remedy to your skin care routine at home. In fact, the ingredients for these dry-skin remedies might already be in your kitchen.

Why Opt for a Natural Dry Skin Remedy Rather Than Buy a Product

Given the countless skin products available, a natural remedy may be worth trying. Natural oils and remedies tend to be pure which makes them a better choice for many people. Other over-the-counter products can have a ton of ingredients in them; they not only contain the active moisturising products, but they also have preservatives. That’s often the case for water-based products. These, along with products that contain alcohol and fragrances, can cause irritation or an allergic reaction, or dry out your skin.

It’s often a good idea to keep it simple when it comes to beauty care, especially for people with allergies or a very sensitive complexion. Unlike water-based lotions and creams or those containing preservatives, pure oils have a natural base, making them great dry-skin remedies.

How Natural Remedies Can Help Soothe Dry, Irritated Skin

Your skin naturally produces oil, called sebum, which helps protect the skin from moisture loss, but everyday actions — such as forgetting to put on moisturiser or washing your hands with a drying soap — can strip natural oils from your skin. For people without acne, which involves overproduction of sebum (and for whom extra oil would provide the opposite of the desired effect), using oils can help restore skin’s sheen and protective barrier.

There are many ways to reap the moisturising benefits of oils, either on their own or with other ingredients, to make a DIY nourishing mask or an exfoliating rub. Experts recommend that castor oil, lavender oil and avocado oil may be good natural remedies for dry skin, again, so long as you do not have acne. Coconut oil is another oil you may have in your kitchen cabinet and may also be good choice for those not prone to acne. People with atopic dermatitis — a type of eczema and an allergic skin condition characterised by dryness and itching — saw excellent results when they used virgin coconut oil on their skin. Aloe vera, a plant with natural healing properties, can also be infused in oils and used as a natural moisturiser.

10 Natural, DIY Remedies to Moisturise Dry Skin

A simple way to use your favourite oil (in its purest form), is to drizzle the oil into warm bath water and treat yourself to a short soak; gently pat your skin dry afterward to avoid rubbing all the oil off. You can also try these natural remedies:

1. Whip Up An Olive Oil Cleanser To Soothe Dry Skin

A great natural oil to use is olive oil which works as a natural cleanser and moisturiser. Just rub the oil into your skin and drape a warm, damp cloth over your face until it cools, then wipe away the excess oil. Olive oil is a good choice as a cleanser because it won’t strip your skin’s natural oils, but it will clean your skin.

2. DIY a Rich, Creamy Avocado Mask

Creating a homemade mask of avocado is another natural way to soothe dry skin. Puree half an avocado and mix it with a teaspoon of olive oil; you can also add a tablespoon (tbsp) of honey for very dry skin. Apply the mask to your face, leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash it off. Your skin should feel moisturised, but you can double up on the hydrating effects by applying your regular moisturiser as well.

3. Make a Natural Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub

Create a naturally moisturising exfoliating scrub using a combination of olive oil and sugar. Combine ½ cup of sugar with 2 tbsp of olive oil. If you want, you can also add an essential oil like lavender, which adds a natural fragrance and can promote relaxation. Gently rub the scrub into your skin, and then wash it off. Last, use a soothing moisturiser to lock in the benefits of freshly exfoliated skin.

4. Create an Easy Oatmeal Soak to Calm Your Skin

Adding a cup of oatmeal to a warm bath can naturally rehydrate dry skin. The oat product itself is soothing and it helps your skin retain moisture from the bath water.

5. Exfoliate Your Face With a Homemade Oatmeal Honey Mask

Oatmeal also makes a great exfoliator or mask. Mix 2 tbsp of oats with a tablespoon of honey and a dash of water. Warm up the mixture, then rub it into your skin. You can use it just to exfoliate and wash it off right away, or leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes as a soothing, hydrating mask.

6. Apply Coconut Oil Before Bedtime

Use coconut oil as a moisturizing cream at bedtime or anytime. For chapped heels and hands, apply the oil then layer with thick socks or nonlatex gloves.

7. Add Your Favorite Oil to Your Bath

Natural oils are great for moisturising the skin and helping to recreate the natural skin barrier, which is often damaged by frequent hand and face washing with water and drying soaps that strip the skin if its natural protective oils. Aside from olive oil or coconut oil, you can test out other natural oils that are free from irritants, including jojoba, argan, and avocado oils. To use, add a few tablespoons of the desired oil under running bathwater. You can also apply a small amount to your skin post-shower to keep is soft and moist.

8. Use Milk Compresses for Irritated Skin

Milk has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains lactic acid, a mild, natural exfoliant. Use these compresses for your skin for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. It’s especially helpful for irritated skin that’s itchy, too. Lactic acid can sting cracked skin, though, so use with caution.

9. Consider a Fruit Enzyme Cleanser or Exfoliant

Fruit enzymes can be lifesavers during dry-skin season. These alpha-hydroxy acids are great for gently exfoliating the superficial layer of dulling dead skin cells on the face and body. Use a fruit enzyme–infused wash or mask twice per week. Some good fruit enzymes to look for include pineapple, pumpkin and papaya.

10. Apply Aloe Vera to Dry, Irritated Skin

While often thought of as a remedy for sunburn relief, aloe vera gel can be helpful during the dry winter months, too. It works by alleviating redness and irritation related to excess dryness, and it can even decrease signs of aging, as well as acne breakouts. But be cautions as some people can develop allergic contact dermatitis to aloe, so you may want to perform a patch test first before applying it to a large area of skin.

5 Expert Tips for Avoiding a Dry Skin Relapse

There are other steps you can take to protect your skin and help keep it from drying out.

Make moisturising a part of your daily skin care routine. As soon as you step out of the shower, slather your skin from head to toe with a rich, creamy product – the thicker it is, the richer it is.

Develop other skin-friendly bathing habits. You should also avoid hot showers, limit baths to 10 minutes and opt for a mild body wash rather than a drying bar soap.

Avoid exposing your skin to harsh chemicals. That includes alcohol and apple cider vinegar. These ingredients can worsen dry skin and even cause burns in some cases.

Drink plenty of water. Boosting your water intake helps hydrate your body and moisturise your skin from the inside out.

Dress appropriately for the weather. This goes beyond wearing sunscreen in the summer to help protect against not only sunburns but also skin cancer.