Dry Skin Remedies - At Home
Home Remedies for Dry Skin
Do you have a problem with dry skin? Sometimes I do, and I’ve used several home remedies for dry skin. My problem usually occurs in the winter months, when the air is cold and dry. The problem rears its head again in the summer. Even though I live in an area with extreme heat and humidity from June through August or September, I swim, fish, and sunbathe a lot. The sun, the wind, and pool chlorine take quite a toll on my skin, often leaving it dull and “ashy.” To address the problem, I talked to my doctor, did some research on my own, and used some home remedies for dry skin.
Dry Flaky Skin
In the summer months, I often have dry flaky skin. This occurs most often on my arms and legs, and the most affected body part is usually my hands. Sometimes my hands actually look like they’re peeling because the skin contains cracks. Of course, this condition makes my hands look much older than they really are. Who needs that?
This past spring, when I first began getting large doses of daily sunshine for the year, my hands got pretty bad. As I mentioned, my lotion candle helped, but I had to do some serious skin exfoliation to get my “paws” fully rejuvenated. If you have dry flaky skin, get rid of it with some exfoliating products, or make your own. I’ll provide more details about this dry skin treatment later in this article.
Dry Itchy Skin
In the winter, the problem is usually dry itchy skin. For some reason, my legs seem to be more affected than any other area. I suppose it’s the typical “winter itch.” I get it mostly on my shins, and the itch can be really aggravating. Scratching the itch just makes the problem worse, but sometimes it’s hard to resist the natural impulse. Unfortunately, excessive scratching can also lead to infections. Moisturizers and creams help, but sometimes I have to turn to cortisone ointments. Some sufferers have to take antihistamines before hitting the sack
Other treatments for dry itchy skin include cold compresses applied to the affected area. I use cold, damp towels on my legs sometimes, and this “quiets down” the itch. Adding some oatmeal to a warm bath can also help relive the itch. You might also want to think about turning down the heat in your home and adding a humidifier.
Best Lotion for Dry Skin
What’s the best lotion for dry skin? Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Most people have their favorite brands and products, and there are literally hundreds on the market from which to choose. I haven’t tried every product for the problem, but I can honestly say that I’ve tried a large number of lotions and creams. From my personal experience, the best lotion for dry skin is a candle. Yes, it’s a lotion candle I purchased a couple of months ago at the Georgia Renaissance Fair, near Atlanta. It’s called “Fairy Secrets” and is available in several scents. I chose Georgia Peach.
When the candle is burning, it fills the room with a wonderful aroma, but even better, the liquefied lotion can be used as a great moisturizer. The warm oil feels great on my dry skin, and it made a quick turnaround to the skin on the backs of my hands. It’s the best lotion for dry skin that I’ve found, and I’m not alone in this opinion. My best friend bought one of the candles, too, and she loves it!
Many dermatologists agree that the best lotion for dry skin and for protecting and enhancing the general health of the skin contains CoQ-10, antioxidants, green tea, and retinoids. Some retinoid-enhanced medications are available only through a prescription from a physician, while others are available over the counter. Retinoids are chemicals that are similar to vitamin A. They support healthy skin cell growth and can help reduce wrinkles and lines. Retinoids can also help even out skin tone by reducing blotching and dark spots. According to many users, Neutrogena Dermatologics Retinol NX Serum is touted as the best lotion for dry skin and the effects of aging and damage. It contains retinol and is available without a prescription.
Of course, you might not need all the high powered ingredients found in some moisturizers. It depends on your skin type, your age, and the amount of damage you have. A simple lotion or cream might be all you need. If you prefer a little color with you moisturizng lotion, try Jergen's Natural Glow. The color is subtle, so you won't have to worry about streaking or about the dreaded orange tint. This lotion is light, and it dries quickly. You can deepen your "tan" by using the product frequently.
Best Lotion for Dry Skin:
Best Soap for Dry Skin
You might also want to think about the best soap for dry skin. The shower or bathtub can lead to dry skin, and using a harsh soap will just exacerbate the problem. A really hot shower might feel great to your muscles, but your skin won’t like it. The hotter the water, the more natural oils are stripped away. Also, consider how long you stay in the shower. It’s best to stay under the running water just long enough to get clean. When you dry off, don’t scrub yourself with a rough towel. Instead, blot away the excess water gently.
Okay, back to the best soap for dry skin. First of all, it’s usually best to avoid using scented soaps and deodorant soaps because added fragrances can be drying agents. Instead, choose soaps that are rich in fats. Dove is a good, inexpensive choice. Other good examples include Oil of Olay Soap for Sensitive Skin, oatmeal soap, goat milk soap, coconut milk soap, and pine tar soap. In general, body washes and shower gels are easier on the skin than bar soaps, so you might want to make a switch.
If you have extremely dry skin, you might want to toss soap completely – at least for your problem areas. Try using Cetaphil, instead. Cetaphil is a gentle skin cleanser that cleans and refreshes skin without removing the skin’s natural oils. It’s available in body washes, facial cleansers, bars, lotions, and creams.
Best Soap for Dry Skin:
Dry Skin Remedies
There are numerous dry skin remedies that you can try without spending big bucks on expensive commercial products. Granted, they won’t work as well or as quickly at the molecular level as products that contain retinoids, but they’ll definitely help in the long run.
Another important aspect of dry skin remedies is to remember that your skin is a living organ, and as such, it needs to be nourished from within. Drinking an adequate amount of water each day will help your skin stay hydrated. Your skin also needs nutrients, including protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins. When it comes to fats, be sure to include foods rich in omega-3s, like salmon, shrimp, tuna, mackerel, sardines, halibut, grass-fed beef, dairy products from grass-fed cows, kidney beans, eggs from free range chickens, walnuts, soy, and flaxseed. Decreasing free radicals is important, too, as they can cause damage to skin cells. Your best defense against free radicals is to consume foods that are high in antioxidants. Some of the best are fresh fruits and veggies, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, citrus fruits, artichokes, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and peppers.
Make a special effort to get enough vitamin C in your diet. Not only is it an antioxidant – it also helps your body produce collagen, which skin needs in order to be supple and firm. Citrus fruits and citrus fruit juices are the best sources for vitamin C.
Another nutrient needed for healthy skin is biotin, also referred to as “vitamin H” and “vitamin B7.” Biotin helps break down consumed fats so that the body can utilize them, so it can really help with dry flaky skin. Good sources of biotin include peanuts, wheat germ, whole wheat bread, chicken, eggs, beef liver, nuts, salmon, and leafy greens.
Beta-carotene is important for skin, too, so be sure to consume foods high in this organic compound. Good choices include carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, pumpkins, cantaloupes, papayas, spinach, broccoli, collards, and turnip greens.
Your skin needs an adequate supply of blood, so you need to get your circulation going with regular exercise. Of course, this isn’t just good for your skin. It’s also great for your heart, your muscles, your bones, and your mental and emotional wellbeing. Exercise is a great stress reliever!
Proper rest is just as important as getting enough exercise. Your body needs some “down time” in order to heal and repair itself, and that includes your skin cells. Do your best to get eight hours of shuteye every night.
Common sense should tell you to avoid the damaging rays of the sun, as much as possible. When you are out, be sure to use a good sunscreen and reapply often. After a day in the sun or wind, take a quick shower and apply a moisturizer while you’re still damp. This will help trap some of the water, making your moisturizer even more effective.
Simple moisturizers don’t have to be expensive. In fact, you probably already have a couple on hand. Mineral oil is actually a good skin moisturizer, and it’s cheap. So are baby oil, glycerin, and cocoa butter. Believe it or not, many people swear by peanut oil!
Nothing dulls your skin’s appearance more than a covering of dry, dead skin cells. Skin is made up of several layers, and new cells begin their lives in the dermis. In about the course of a month, the new skin cells rise to the epidermis and die. The dead cells can become rough, scaly, and totally unattractive. To get rid of them, use skin exfoliation, which will leave your skin positively glowing!
Skin exfoliation can be done in several different ways, but at home, you’ll probably be using manual exfoliating products, like an exfoliating scrub. My husband jokingly calls this “skin sandblasting.” While that’s a bit extreme, there’s some truth in hubby’s remark. An exfoliating scrub works in much the same way as sandblasting and sandpaper work.
You can buy all sorts of fancy exfoliating products, and some are pretty expensive. You might prefer to do what I do, instead, and save money by making your own exfoliating scrub. My favorite homemade body scrub is a simple salt scrub.
Skin Exfoliation Products:
Body Scrub – Make Your Own
Don’t spend a lot of dough on a body scrub. You can easily make your own, using common ingredients that you have in your cabinets. These might include salt, sugar, brown sugar, ground coffee, ground nuts, pulverized seeds, oatmeal, honey, herbs, spices, oils, and fruit peels. Basically, a body scrub has three parts: the rough ingredient that serves as an abrasive, a soothing oil or fat, and a fragrance. Use the table below to make your own homemade body scrubs:
Body Scrub Recipes - Ingredients
ground apricot pits
ground raspberry seeds