Sometimes we don’t pay much attention to caring for our skin, even though it’s the largest organ in the body. Skin suffers from dryness due to winter weather, hot showers and vigorous scrubbing with a towel when we dry ourselves.
You don’t have to head out to buy expensive lotions and potions to rehydrate your skin – your kitchen may already contain all the ingredients you need. Natural remedies are also better for your skin, as they don’t contain all the extra chemicals that manufactured skin creams have in them.
Here are 10 simple and all-natural remedies for dry skin:
1. Olive Oil Cleanser
Olive oil works as a natural cleanser and moisturizer, says Brandy Crompton, licensed aesthetician and salon manager. She says all you need to do is rub the oil on your skin and drape a warm, damp cloth over your face until it cools. Wipe away any excess oil and you’re done. Olive oil is a good choice for a skin cleanser because it doesn’t strip away your skin’s natural oils.
2. Rich Avocado Mask
The creamy richness of avocado works well to soothe dry skin, says Crompton. She suggests pureeing half an avocado and mixing it with a teaspoon of olive oil. If your skin is very dry, add a tablespoon of honey too. Apply the mask and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. For an extra moisture boost, apply your regular moisturizer after you have removed the mask.
3. Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub
This combination makes a great exfoliating scrub with moisturizing benefits. Mix half a cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. You can also add an essential oil, such as lavender, to give a soothing fragrance.
Rub the mixed ingredients into your skin, and then wash off. Apply a moisturizer to double up on the benefits of exfoliated skin.
4. Oatmeal Bath Soak
Add a cup of oatmeal to a warm bath, and enjoy the benefits of rehydrated skin. The oat product has skin-soothing properties, and it also helps your skin to retain moisture from the water.
5. Homemade Oatmeal Honey Mask
Oatmeal also makes a good mask or exfoliator, says Crompton. Mix 2 tablespoons of oats with a tablespoon of honey and a dash of water. Gently warm the mixture, then rub it onto your skin. It can be used as an exfoliator and washed off straight away, or you can leave it on for around 15 to 20 minutes as a hydrating mask.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil isn’t just useful in the kitchen – use it as a moisturizing cream at bedtime, says Tsippora Shainhouse, MD. Because it is solid at room temperature, it can be applied easily. If you have chapped hands and feet, apply the oil, then cover with thick socks or non-latex gloves.
7. Add Oil to Your Bath
Natural oils such as olive, coconut, argan and avocado oil can be used as a bath soak to moisturize skin and protect the natural skin barrier, which is often stripped away by washing with drying soaps that remove the natural oils from the skin.
Add a few tablespoons of oil under running bath water. If you don’t fancy scrubbing the oil slick off the bath after you’ve finished, rub a small amount of oil to your skin after your bath instead.
8. Milk Compresses
Milk has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and it contains lactic acid, which works as a mild, natural exfoliant, says Shainhouse. Apply milk compresses to your skin for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. It’s great for irritated, itchy skin too, but lactic acid can sting cracked skin, so use with caution.
9. Fruit Enzyme Cleanser or Exfoliant
Fruit enzymes can really help your skin during cold weather, says Shainhouse. The alpha-hydroxy acids exfoliate the top layer of dull, dead skin cells on the face and body.
Use a pineapple, pumpkin or papaya fruit-enzyme face mask twice a week for bright skin.
10. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel isn’t just for treating sunburn. It can help your skin during the winter months by reducing redness and irritation due to dryness.
Some people can develop allergic contact dermatitis from aloe, so do a patch test first before applying it to a big area of skin.