Itchy, dry skin is very unpleasant. Winter makes it worse, and spending money on expensive over-the-counter remedies often doesn’t work. Easing your dry skin isn’t just about what you put on it. It also depends on how you clean your skin, the air around you, and even your clothes. For many of us, the cooler weather brings parched, flaky skin and flyaway. The culprit: lower humidity in the air, which dries your skin. Central air and heating, space heaters and fireplaces all contribute to lower humidity levels. To combat dryness, try these natural dry skin care treatments. There are lots of reasons why skin loses moisture. Sometimes you inherit the tendency to have parched skin–your skin may not be able to hold onto water very well or your sweat glands may not produce as much moisture as other people’s. And as you get older, your skin produces less oil, which means you can’t retain water on your skin as you once could. Dry skin is one of the more frustrating skin problems. Ideally, your skin gets saturated with moisture from your sweat glands and tissues that lie beneath the skin, and oil produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands seals the deal by holding onto that moisture. But when your body has trouble holding in the water and oil that it needs to keep skin moist, you end up with dry skin. Besides genetics and getting older, there are environmental reasons why skin gets so dry. These include:
The air out there is the main reason you get scaly skin is low humidity. Though Old Man Winter is the one to blame for most climate-related dry skin problems, he’s not the only culprit. Anywhere you encounter low humidity, you’ll encounter dry skin. Heating or air conditioning can both dry out your skin.
You aren’t Daffy. Water may roll off a duck’s back, but human skin doesn’t work that way. Too much water, especially from hot showers or baths or from hot tubs, can cause problems. The more you wet down and dry off, the less able your skin is to retain water. So if you take a couple of hot showers a day, you can remove vital oils from your skin that help keep your skin moist. Spending too much time in hot tubs can cause the same itchy, flaky skin problems.
Cleaning up can leave you dry. Harsh detergents, soaps, and household cleaners could give you a case of alligator hands.
To keep your skin and hair from bumming you out all winter, try these natural skin care treatments.
1: Dab on olive oil.
When it comes to strategies for natural dry skin care, Gabriel swears by olive oil, an amazing multi tasker. It instantly grooms dry cuticles, works wonders on hands and elbows, removes makeup, and soothes and conditions itchy, dry skin all over the body.( ”When your skin feels extra parched, you can dab a thin layer of organic extra-virgin olive oil under your moisturizer for an extra dose of antioxidants and good fatty acids,”).
You can find plenty of options for natural dry skin care in your kitchen, or in the produce and diary aisles of your supermarket. Yogurt, especially the plain Greek variety, makes an excellent cleanser with a mild exfoliating action that will remove dry skin and leave you feeling refreshed and comfortable. Gabriel says it’s a particularly safe exfoliant for very dry skin because it exfoliates using lactic acid, not scrubbing granules.
To add some oomph, try making Pecnikov’s Greek Yogurt and Papaya Enzyme Conditioning Mask for Face: Mix ½ cup of Greek yogurt with 3 tablespoons of mashed-up papaya, and apply to skin.Pumpkin enzymes are at play in her Pumpkin & Cinnamon Mask for Face and Body: mix one can of pumpkin and a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Leave either mask on face or body for 5 to 15 minutes.
3: Make a homemade skin scrub.
Economical and effective, a combo of sugar and any oil you may have around the kitchen makes a rich, nourishing body scrub for dry skin, according to Gabriel. Simply mix equal amounts of fine brown sugar and oil, and rub on using light circular motions. For an extra dose of vitamins and minerals, add a tablespoon of honey. Pecnikov adds lemon juice to her recipe. Make sure to shower thoroughly afterwards!
4: Harvest the healing power of honey.
Honey is a time-tested cure for chapped, cracked lips, according to Gabriel. Apply a little organic honey in the evening and wake up to smooth, yummy lips. This trick also works to soothe cracked heels and rough elbows.
5: Try natural remedies for dry hair.
For dry hair, mix one egg yolk and a tablespoon of liquid castile soap to shampoo your hair and condition your itchy scalp. Egg yolks, when massaged into the hair and left to work for 5 to 6 minutes may strengthen the scalp, and some believe it prevents hair loss, says Gabriel.
Or try Pecnikov’s Hydrating Mask for Dry Overworked Hair: Mix 1 avocado with 2 tablespoons each of lightly heated rapeseed and olive oil. Massage into hair, and put plastic shower cap on head to retain heat and moisture. Leave on hair for 15 minutes. Double the ingredients for longer hair.
6: And don’t forget to treat your skin from the inside out.
“A diet rich in magnesium, essential fatty acids, vitamin C, and beta-carotene naturally feeds your skin from inside and makes it less prone to dryness,” says Gabriel. She recommends feeding your skin with a meal plan that includes dark chocolate, salmon, and other fatty fish, oranges, mango, and carrots.