Dry skin (xerosis) is a condition which occurs when the skin cells are unable to maintain the moisture balance which keeps the skin feeling smooth and soft. Dry skin often occurs in cold climate and can be resultant of several environmental and medical factors. Known reasons for dry skin besides winter are - excessive medication usage, excessive exfoliation of skin, hereditary, smoking and drinking, ageing, addiction to drugs and sensitive to sun exposure.
While most of these are treatable habits, prolonged negligence of skin can lead to extreme dryness which can become untreatable in the long run. There are several remedies and tips that can help in retaining skin moisture and treating xerosis from the comfort of one’s home. All you need are some natural ingredients from your pantry and awareness to get kick-started on the journey to maintaining a smooth and supple skin. It is the key to looking young and beautiful.
Best Natural Home Remedies For Dry Skin
There are plenty natural solutions to treating dry skin without splurging on high-end moisturisers and night creams. These solutions are natural fixes which do not have any harsh chemicals or toxins that can irritate and inflame the skin. However, some people might be allergic to certain ingredients, so it is better to conduct a patch test before application. Below are some home remedies for treating dry skin (xerosis) from the comfort of your homes:
1. Coconut Oil
Apply extra virgin coconut oil on the dry areas of the skin to retain the remaining moisture. The fatty acids present in the oil provide hydration and replenish the reserves of moisture in the skin cells. Apply it twice daily and let it sit for a while until it gets absorbed.
2. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil holds the closest resemblance to sebum - the natural oils present in the body. Jojoba oil cold pressed extracts can be slightly costlier than mainstream oils such as coconut and olive oil. Hence, it should be applied in small amounts. First, soak a warm washcloth and let it sit on the face or soak the face with steam. This will open the pores of the skin. Then apply a thin layers of jojoba oil on the face. Wipe off the excess with a washcloth.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acid provide the necessary fat reserves for retaining moisture in the skin cells. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are fish, eggs, chia seeds, flax seeds, avocado and nuts. These foods should be consumed on daily basis in order to maintain a healthy and nourished skin.
4. Warm Milk
Milk has lactic acid which balances the skin tone and nourishes the skin cells. It has fatty acids, amino acids and minerals which are proven to moisturise the skin. You can either drink warm every night before bed or dab it on the dry areas using a cotton ball. It is best to use full fat milk instead of low fat.
5. Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is known to improve dryness or xerosis significantly. Vitamin E is mostly available in capsule form. The capsule has to be squeezed to extract the oil. Apply the oil to dry areas on the skin and let it sit overnight for best results. It has antioxidants which act against dryness and provide hydration to the skin. Vitamin E is also considered one of the best remedies for delaying aging of skin.
6. Lacto Calamine
Lacto Calamine contains zinc oxide which smoothens the skin and locks in moisture. It is also a suppressor for skin irritation and inflammation. It is usually recommended by dermatologists to people with sensitive and allergic skins. Lacto Calamine lotion is easily available over-the-counter. Apply it twice daily - in the mornings and night.
Glycerin is a wonderful emollient that locks in moisture and keeps the skin smooth. It It works best during chilling winters as well. You can also apply it to chapped lips. Just mix a tablespoon of glycerin with 2-3 drops of rose water before applying. Use it twice a day for best results.
8. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil has the necessary antioxidants that help in locking the moisture inside the skin cells. It has both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that tighten the skin pores, removes excess dead skin cells and clear acne scars. Few drops of grapeseed oil should be applied as a moisturiser before bed. It should be best left overnight. You can also make your own homemade moisturiser using grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and Vitamin E oil.
9. Avocado Oil
There are antioxidants present in avocado oil which lock in moisture, clear and provide elasticity to the skin. It has anti inflammatory properties which resolve acne, itchy skin, dryness and redness. It is a highly concentrated lubricant which shields the skin from ultraviolet rays and provides extra moisture during the winters. Apply it before bedtime or early in the mornings for best results. You can also make a homemade mask from the avocado oil and pulp.
Ubtan mask is a mixture of almonds, fresh cream and oil. Grind 7 almonds, fresh cream and olive oil together. Apply as a mask or use as a gentle scrub. The almonds, cream and oils are all natural moisturisers. Almonds also have vitamin E which is essential for maintaining young-looking and hydrated skin.
11. Almond Oil
Almond oil helps in treating dry skin and dark circles. It works on improving the complexion, tone and elasticity of the skin, resulting in an even skin tone and smooth skin. You can either use almond oil or combine it with other essential oils to reap full benefit after application. Use it every night before bedtime.
12. Multani Mitti
Multani Mitti or Fuller’s Earth is a clay face mask which provides cooling and soothing effect to dry and irritated skin. The clay mask is easily available in Indian market. You can mix the clay powder with few drops of rose water, cucumber juice or lemon juice before applying it to the face. Let the mask sit for 10-15 minutes before cleaning it off your face.
13. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is known to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which help in clearing the skin of acne, scars, dry patches and uneven tone. Aloe vera gel can be naturally extracted from a leaf of aloe vera plant. The extract can be applied topically or mixed with other oils or your favorite moisturizer.
Eating fruits and vegetables which provide natural antioxidants to the body help in clearing and soothing the skin. Fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and cherries have antioxidants which keep the skin hydrated and nourishes. Include as many antioxidant foods in your daily diet as possible. Also drink lots of water to keep the skin hydrated.
15. Turmeric Face Mask
Turmeric has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which soothe dry and irritating skin. It can work miraculously on xerosis and eczema. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with yogurt and a tablespoon of besan. Apply it as a face mask or use it as a gentle scrub. Leave the face mask on for 15-20 minutes.
Yogurt has lactic acid which treats the dry patches and moisturises the skin. It leaves the skin feeling soft and supple. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt with honey and apply on the face as a mask. Leave the face mask on for 15-20 minutes.
17. Rose Water
Rose water is both soothing and calming for dry and irritated skin. The rose water helps in maintaining the pH balance of the skin. You can either applying it alone as a toner with spritz bottle or mix it with face masks. You can also apply it using a cotton pad.
18. Egg Face Mask
Eggs have protein, vitamin A, B, E and D, omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids which keep the skin moisturised. Add honey, rose water to one egg and stir it well. Apply the mask to the face and leave it on fr 15-20 minutes. The mask will leave the skin feeling soft and supple.
19. Honey Face Mask
Honey is a natural moisturizer which unclog the pores and soothes the inflamed skin. It is best used as a face mask. You can mix it with other ingredients such as turmeric, cinnamon, yogurt and eggs for providing more benefits to the skin. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes for best results.
20. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has the necessary acid that balance pH level of the skin and maintains the production of natural oils. However, it is recommended to diluted apple cider vinegar before using it on the skin.
21. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly has a greasy residue which leaves stain marks on pillows and clothes. It is best used for retaining moisture and locking in the water content of the skin cells. It should be used as an overnight treatment to avoid shine and greasiness during day time.
22. Papaya Face Mask
Papaya enzymes are known to have wonderous effects on the skin. Majorly known for its anti-aging properties, papaya also hydrates the skin and locks in the moisture. You can can apply papaya pulp on the face, make it into a gentle scrub or simply rub a slice of papaya on the face.
23. Sandalwood Face Mask
Sandalwood, also known as Chandan, has miraculous effects on the skin. It has been used by Indian women for centuries to nourish and hydrate the skin. Mix sandalwood powder with rose water and apply the paste to the face as a mask. Keep the face mask on for 15-20 minutes.
24. Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal bath is prepared by grinding oatmeal and adding it to the bath or making it into foot soak. Oatmeal is a natural moisturizer and cleanser. It has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which nourishes the skin and resolves dry patchy areas.
25. Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is extracted from the marigold flowers. The oil has magical effects on the skin. It moisturizes and nourishes the dry skin. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which protect the skin from any irritants and allergies. You can simply use calendula essential oil topically after diluting it with other oils such as olive and sweet almond oil. It is also easy to prepare calendula infused oil at home.
Tips To Soothe Your Dry Skin
1. Use Warm Water
It is recommended to use room temperature water while washing or cleaning the skin. Hot water has the tendency to irritate and dry out the skin.
2. Gentle Cleansing
While cleansing the skin using a exfoliant or scrub, make sure to perform gentle movements. Do not use coarse ingredients that can irritate the skin. Deep cleansers, harsh chemical and over-exfoliation can cause further dryness.
3. Take Precautions While Shaving
Be careful while shaving the skin. The sharp razor can hurt and scar the skin. This can cause skin irritation and inflammation. Always use a good shaving cream and make sure to wet the area before using the razor. Apply a layer of moisturiser or body lotion after shaving as the razor strip away the natural oils from the skin.
4. Use Sunscreen
Post moisturising, it is recommended to use a good sunscreen to cover up and shield the raw skin from sun exposure and damage. Sometime the ingredients in the moisturiser may react negatively to sun exposure. Hence, it is best to add a layer of sunscreen over the moisturiser.
5. Follow Proper Moisturising Steps
Always follow proper moisturising steps. First cleanse the skin, then use a gentle scrub to exfoliate the dead skin cells. After that apply a toner to balance the pH level and soothe the pores. You can apply a face mask after toning the skin. At the end apply a moisturiser to lock in the water and natural oils of the skin. Choose a moisturiser depending on your skin type. If you have a dry skin, use a oil moisturiser. If you have an oily skin, stick to a get moisturiser.
6. Provide Humidity In Winters
Cold air can further dry out the skin. Hence, use a humidifier in winters to keep your skin warm and hydrated.
Tips For Dry Skin Care
1. Best Hydrating Moisturiser
A moisturiser which is suitable for someone may not be suitable for you. Hence, it is recommended to conduct a patch test before purchasing or investing in a moisturizer. Try to experiment with various moisturizing ingredients so that you can figure out what works the best for you. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration. The biggest factor is your skin type and skin irritants. Some natural ingredients may cause irritation or allergy, so do a patch test in order to determine further action.
2. Set Bathtime Rules
If you have a dry skin then it is suitable to set bathtime rules in accordance with your skin type. Rules such as - NOT using a scrubber, using natural soaps, cutting down on harsh chemicals, etc. It is also recommended to set a time for the bath. Use products and ingredients that don’t dry out your skin and instead provide the needed moisture.
3. Post Shower Precautions
Always use a natural moisturiser or body lotion after taking a shower. A shower or bath can strip the skin off its natural oils and moisture. This can lead to dryness and skin irritation.
4. Say No To Anti-Aging Products
Some anti-aging products have harsh chemicals such as retinol-A. These chemicals cause peeling of skin and may further inflame the dry patches. Hence, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist before using the product.
5. Consume Fish Oil Pills
Fish oils have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help in maintaining the fat reserves of the skin cells. The fatty acids provide the needed nourishment to the skin.
6. Include Hands And Feet
The skin on the hands and feet dries out quickly. Always use a good body lotion, hand cream or foot cream to keep these areas moisturised.
7. Do Not Ignore Lips
Lips have a really sensitive skin which gets chapped really easily. Always use a lip balm, vaseline or lip cream to keep the lips hydrated.
Always protect the skin from sun damage by using a good sunscreen. Apply a layer of sunscreen every 3-4 hours when you’re outside under direct sunlight.
9. Consult A Dermatologist
Before taking any steps in relation to your dry skin, consult a dermatologist to learn the required precautions that need to be taken to protect the skin from damage.
10. Gentle Exfoliation
Perform gentle circular motions while exfoliating the skin - either using a scrub or facial massager. Over exfoliation causes dryness.
Dry Skin Prevention
In order to prevent the skin from drying out, incorporate healthy habits such as:
- Following a balanced diet that includes omega fatty acids, essential vitamins and antioxidants.
- Using a good moisturiser that suits your skin type.
- Using a good sunscreen that provides protection from ultraviolet rays.
- Using gentle cleanser and exfoliator in your skin care regime.
- Conducting a patch test before applying any homemade recipe on the skin.
- Consulting a dermatologist before using a product.
Author Name: Mariam Shareef
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