Though it can look good to the observer, dry skin is often problematic to a person who has it. It feels tight as well as dry, especially after it’s washed and is subject to flaking and premature wrinkling.
Dry skin reacts badly to the chlorinated water of swimming pools, the dry, cool air of an air conditioner and the cold winds of winter. Not only that, but women tend to have drier skin than men, especially if they’re fair.
Here’s a list of seven home remedies for dry skin:
1. Honey Mask
Some people are surprised to learn that people use honey for dry skin. But honey is an excellent way to get moisture back into the skin. It can be combined with a variety of other natural substances.
Here are the ingredients of a honey and tomato mask:
1 ripe, medium sized tomato
1 tbs. honey
Chop the tomato, and put it in a blender until it makes a paste. Add the honey and blend thoroughly. Then, apply to the face, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water, and pat the skin dry.
This mask should be applied about twice a week. A tomato is used in this particular mask because it has lycopene. Lycopene is a phytochemical that protects the skin from the sun’s UV rays, which dry and coarsen the skin, and damage it in other ways.
Honey can also be blended with turmeric, olive oil, rosewater, and oatmeal. Ideally, use raw honey. Don’t use too much, for it can clog the pores. Rinsing the face with warm water before applying the mask helps to open the pores.
2. Toner for Dry Skin
2 oz. Aloe Vera gel
2 oz. orange blossom water
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
6 drops of geranium essential oil
4 drops of sandalwood essential oil
1 drop of chamomile essential oil
1 drop jasmine essential oil
800 I.U. of vitamin E
For the vitamin E, pop open two 400 I.U. capsules.
Combine all the ingredients in a jar, shake well, then apply to the face.
3. Dry Skin Scrub
2 tbs. oatmeal
1 tbs. cornmeal
1 tsp. chamomile, or lavender flowers
6 drops lavender essential oil
Put the ingredients in a blender, then add the essential oil, and blend well. Store in a closed container in a cool, dry place.
To use, moisten about a teaspoon of the scrub with water to make a paste. Mist the face with plain water, and apply the scrub. Rinse with lukewarm water.
4. Another Dry Complexion Mask with Honey
1 tbs. ground oatmeal.
1 tbs. rosewater.
1 tsp. castor oil.
1 tsp. honey.
2 drops of geranium essential oil.
Mix ingredients, and apply to the face. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes then rinse. Place leftover mask in a covered container, and keep in the refrigerator.
5. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Antioxidants
Don’t simply mash tomatoes to put on the face. Eat them regularly. Other foods that can help hydrate the skin and protect it from the damage caused by UV rays and pollutants are blueberries and vegetables.
Foods that are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids include cold water, fatty fish such as herring, sardines, mackerel, and salmon. Flaxseed oil also has lots of omega-3s.
6. Milk Mask
Milk contains lactic acid, which is hydrating. All that needs to be done to make a milk mask is to boil a cup of milk until it’s thick, allow it to cool, and apply it to the skin. Let it dry thoroughly, then rinse it off.
7. Set up a Daily Regimen to Keep Skin Hydrated and Healthy
There are many home remedies for dry skin that involve lifestyle changes.
Here are a few:
• Wear Gloves When Washing Dishes
Dishwashing detergents, soap, and the weather can dry out hands that are already dry. Wear lined gloves when doing work in the home and heavy, waterproof gloves for yard work.
• Don’t Take Hot Showers
Hot showers can be soothing, but people with dry skin should avoid them. They should avoid hot water on their skin altogether, for they can scald skin that’s already sensitive.
People with dry skin should bathe in lukewarm water. Shut the bathroom door during the shower. Afterward, don’t rub but pat the skin dry, and put on moisturizer right away. Moisturizer locks water into the skin.
Men should shave right after the shower when the hairs are softer. Make sure that the razor is sharp, that shaving gel or cream is used, and shave along the direction the hair is growing.
• Buy a Humidifier
The rooms in many houses are dryer than the driest desert. Humidifiers remedy this by getting moisture into the air of the room. If a person can’t afford a humidifier, a pan of water on the radiator or on a stove burner set on low is also good.
• Be Careful with Soap
Most soaps dry out the skin and can cause reactions in people who are allergic to the chemicals found in them. Use glycerine-based, fragrance-free soaps.
A person with dry skin should opt for creams and ointments over lotions, for lotions can irritate the skin. The ointment or cream should contain olive and/or jojoba oil and ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerine, lanolin and lactic acid.
• Wear Clothes That Don’t Irritate the Skin
Wear soft fabrics that feel good against the skin such as cotton. Avoid rough fabrics like wool. When washing clothes, use a hypoallergenic detergent.
• Cover the Skin When Going Outside
As seen, the sun’s ultraviolet rays play havoc with dry skin. Put on sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor, or SPF of 30 when going out in the sun, even in the winter.
In the summer, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and a broad-brimmed hat. During the winter, wear layers to prevent heavy sweating, and use a lip balm with sunscreen.
Susan Hamilton is a food engineer and a health advocate. She tries to improve her life by using home remedies whenever possible and she writes about it on HomeRemedyBook.