You’ve tried product after product, raiding the drugstore shelves for something, anything, to bring relief to your dry, flaky skin. Whether you just have seasonal struggles in the winter and fall months when the humidity levels in the air are lower, or you constantly battle against conditions like eczema or psoriasis, the answer to soothing your dry skin may be closer than you think…in fact, it may be in your home already. Here are a few of our favorite remedies for flaky skin that may seem strange but actually work.
There’s a reason why oatmeal is often a primary ingredient in skin-soothing moisturizers. It is gentle, yet effective and nourishes dry skin, restoring moisture and reducing itchiness and flaking. Studies show that oatmeal actually has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a secret weapon in the fight against dry skin. Purchase powdered oatmeal for topical uses or simply grind old-fashioned oats in a high-powered blender or coffee maker. Add ¼ cup of these powdered oats to a warm bath to rejuvenate skin. When purchasing lotion for moisturizing, look for organic, chemical-free products that contain oatmeal.
Naturally, dry skin is a result of a lack of natural oil and can come from using harsh products or drying agents on your skin or dry fall and winter weather. The best way to combat this is to restore oil directly by slathering coconut oil over your whole body. In fact, in one study, people with eczema used coconut oil and noticed a notable reduction in eczema symptoms.
Unfortunately, many people are turned off by this remedy because they believe that it is messy and difficult to apply. While that may be true for standard coconut oil, whipping it for about 10 minutes with a high-powered hand or stand mixture will create a delightful, fluffy texture that will remain as long as it is kept at room temperature. Add your favorite essential oils while whipping to create an incredible lotion-like product that is easy to rub into your skin after a shower to lock in moisture. When applied while your skin is still wet, coconut oil will soak in quickly and keep your skin radiant and moisturized. For extra intensive healing on cracked heels or hands, apply a thick layer before bed and cover with socks or gloves.
Another great oil for your skin, olive oil is loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids that brighten and tone skin while restoring moisture and giving you a healthy glow. Use it all over your body including your face, but if you have acne-prone skin, you may want to avoid sensitive areas as any oil can clog your pores and lead to a breakout. Olive oil is also an excellent addition to the bath and will leave your skin feeling silky and smooth.
If you’re looking for a moisturizing cleanser and exfoliator that will help slough off dry skin without making the problem worse, simply mix some olive oil and sugar to form a paste and rub in circles over your face. Rinse off with warm water and follow with a hydrating face lotion.
If you’ve ever had a sunburn, you’re probably no stranger to aloe vera. However, this incredible plant isn’t just useful when your skin is baking after a day in the sun. Aloe vera contains mucopolysaccharides, which help lock in moisture and restore the protective barrier of your skin.
Though it may seem unlikely that a humidifier could make much of a difference for dry skin, installing one of these handy, inexpensive units in your bedroom could be the answer you have been searching for. If you live in a dry climate or experience harsh winter weather, your skin is likely crying out for moisture. Keep a humidifier running throughout the night and you’ll notice an incredible reduction in dry skin and other symptoms like allergies, asthma, and nasal congestion.
Tips for preventing dry skin
Drink lots of water: Your skin responds directly to the balance of moisture in your body. Therefore, staying hydrated and drinking an appropriate amount of water each day will nourish your skin from the inside out.
Ditch harsh products: Those heavily fragranced creams, lotions, and serums are nothing but snake oil and can actually cause more harm than good and strip your skin of natural oil. Yes, you may smell incredible, but your skin will suffer. Ditch chemical-laden beauty products and makeup and switch to moisturizing natural lotions that work with your body rather than against it. Anything water-based, alcohol-based, or fragranced should be avoided if you have dry or sensitive skin.
Avoid showering with hot water: Use lukewarm water instead and try to keep your showers short. If you can, shower every other day instead of every day and use a moisturizing soap followed by a rich lotion or oil directly after the shower.
Note: Chronic dry skin is no joke and if you have been unable to get it under control with home or over-the-counter remedies, it may be time to make an appointment with your dermatologist.
– The Backyard Garden Team