I did a rotation in medical school with a dermatologist with a sense of humor. We saw a patient one day who had terribly dry and cracked skin, which prompted the dermatologist to ask her: “Do you know what the leading cause of dry skin is?” Confused, the patient said she wasn’t sure…”weather maybe?” No, he said, “the #1 cause of dry skin is…towels.” Get it? You dry your skin with towels. Stupid joke, I know. But it broke the ice, and we went on to examine and discuss her dry skin, the causes of the problem, and the treatment options. A conventional dermatologist (like the jokester in this story) will typically recommend a variety of OTC or prescription moisturizing creams for dry skin. Thankfully, there are lots of safe, inexpensive, and effective solutions for dry skin that don’t require a dermatologist…and that’s what this article is all about.
Be well…and moisturize,
Tis the season, winter, cold, wind, and in many places dry air, can beat down hard on your skin. Depending on where you live, winter can be a pretty tough season, and your skin can quickly become dry and sore. If you suffer from dry skin, also known as xerosis, any time of the year, it can lead to cracks and infections. The good news is, there are some very effective all-natural remedies that can not only ease sore and chapped skin but also help prevent skin conditions from occurring.
There are a lot of products out there that promise to ease dry and sore skin. Although some are great, many are full of fillers, dyes, synthetic fragrances, and other unpronounceable ingredients that can worsen the dry skin syndrome. The good news is there are several home remedies that are easy to make and feed your skin.
Your skin is very special
Keep in mind that your skin is your largest organ, averaging about 8 pounds and 22 feet long. The skin is your first line of defense, providing an airtight, watertight, and flexible barrier between the things outside and the tightly regulated systems of the body. Also, it also helps keep your body temperature optimal, provides immune defense, promotes vitamin production, and sensation. Yes, your skin is an extraordinary and vital organ that deserves your full attention from a health perspective. There is a lot of attention paid to how your skin looks – fewer wrinkles etc…However, what is most important is the health of your skin. Unhealthy skin can cause your entire body to be unhealthy, so it is a good idea to do the best you can to look after it!
Natural treatments for dry skin
Here are some effective, safe, and easy ways to love your skin.
Sunflower seed oil
A study conducted in 2013 found that sunflower seed oil had a positive impact on skin hydration when used on participant’s arms. In the same study, it was found that olive oil actually damaged the skin barrier showing that not all natural oils are good to use as a moisturizer. Apply sunflower oil liberally to skin.
Coconut oil is a revered tropical prize that can help to remedy dry skin. In a 2014 study, coconut oil was found to be as safe and effective as petroleum jelly for easing dry skin. It was also found to significantly improve skin hydration and increase the number of healthy fats on the surface of the skin. According to research, coconut oil contains healthy saturated fatty acids that have emollient properties that moisturize by filling in gaps in dry skin. Apply coconut oil to soothe and protect your skin. It is a great all-over moisturizer. Hint: A little goes a long way.
The beautiful sweet liquid brought to us courtesy of the hard-working honeybees is not only delicious and nutritious but also great for your skin. A review of research conducted in 2012 found that honey has many benefits for several skin conditions. Healing benefits of honey for skin include moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. For relief, apply raw honey directly to your skin.
Avocado face mask
Avocados are rich in healthy fats that can nourish tired and dry skin. Puree half an avocado with a little coconut oil and raw honey. Apply to your face for 15 minutes, wash with warm water and pat dry. Follow up with a small amount of coconut oil as a moisturizer.
Research shows that a gooey liquid found within an aloe vera plant can help keep skin soft and healthy. You might be familiar with using aloe vera on burns; however, the therapeutic benefits extend to protection and healing of dry and chapped skin. For optimal benefit, apply pure aloe vera gel to your hands and feet and cover with gloves and socks overnight.
Oatmeal contains extracts that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help remedy dry skin. Add powdered oatmeal to a warm bath or search out an organic skincare product containing oatmeal to soothe your skin.
Milk contains natural anti-inflammatory properties as well as lactic acid, which acts as a natural exfoliant. If you have dry and itchy skin, apply a milk compress for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Avoid placing the compress on cracked skin as it will sting.
Other ways to prevent dry skin
- Bathe or shower only a few days a week
- Use lukewarm water in the shower instead of overly hot water
- Pat skin dry rather than rubbing it
- Drink at least eight glasses of water daily
- Moisturize daily with an all-natural product – even when your skin feels soft
- Avoid exposing your skin to harsh chemicals
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet loaded with fresh veggies, fruits, and healthy fats
- Avoid excessive air conditioning
- Always use a shower gel when you shave
- Avoid using any lotions that contain alcohol
- Avoid using heavily fragranced laundry detergents
- Cover skin when outside in windy and/or cold conditions
-The UpWellness Team