Natural Remedies for Dry Skin
Temperature changes, pollutants, harsh elements, and heredity all play a part in the occurrence of dry skin, caused when the skin's level of sebum (natural oil) lessens. Sebum production slows down as we age, so taking care of the moisture level in your skin is important in any anti aging program.
If your skin is dry, you may notice it has a flaky or cracked appearance. Decreased moisture in the skin causes it to become thinner and can make wrinkles appear more pronounced.
Excessively dry skin and itching may be a sign of eczema. There are many products are the market to combat this condition. However, if the dryness and itching is recurring and persistent, you should seek the advice of a qualified dermatologist.
If your dry skin needs help, the first step is to use a rich, non-drying cleanser. Plain old soap won’t do it. Avoid hot water on your face as it can strip the moisture and essential oils from your skin. Lukewarm water is best when washing your face.
Try using hydrating honey for a soothing, natural cleanse with the added benefit of gentle alpha hydroxy acids.
The outermost layer of skin is made up of dead skin cells, so exfoliation followed by a good moisturizer (while the skin is still damp) is important. An exfoliant can remove or “digest” dead skin cells, uncovering the skin layer below. If you have sensitive skin, you want to use an exfoliant that will not harm or irritate your skin, so make sure to read the directions carefully! However, you do want to exfoliate so that the dead skin cells don’t sit on the skin, causing a rough appearance or magnifying the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Try a gentle scrub made by mixing baking soda with olive oil for a gentle scrub that won't strip your skin, and leaves it soft and hydrated.
Toning is an important step in any skincare regimen, because it balances the PH of your skin by adding an acid.
For a natural toner, 50/50 apple cider vinegar and purified water is good when you want just a little more alpha hydroxy acid action.
A more soothing toner for sensitive or dry skin:
Over-the-counter moisturizers come in two basic types, cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic moisturizers will make skin appear more hydrated, but therapeutic moisturizers have ingredients that are proven to actually create a barrier against further moisture loss from the skin. Remember, too, it’s important to smooth on a moisturizer as soon as you step out of the shower or bath to keep the skin on your body strong and supple.
For dry facial skin, a couple of drops of Olive Oil can work wonders, adding vitamin E for protection from free radicals. Castor oil and Jojoba oil are also a lovely moisturizers. Just a couple of drops smoothed over still damp skin will soon be absorbed for hydration that will keep your skin moist and dewy.
Tips to prevent dry skin:
Drink lots of water! Water helps to flush the system of impurities and fights dehydration, keeping skin moist from the inside. It’s recommended that we drink six to eight glasses of water a day. If you’re not used to drinking that much water, try working up to the level that works best for you; you may find that six tall glasses of water is all you can handle. And other types of drinks, such as soda, tea, coffee - really, any drink containing caffeine, even some sports drinks- don’t count as ‘water’!
Moisture in the air is equally important, so adjust your thermostat to a lower, comfortable temperature in the winter to avoid drying the air as much as possible. Sleep with a humidifier in the bedroom.
Natural soaps made of goat's milk or containing moisturizing ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter or glycerin will be more effective for dry skin. Try cleansing just with honey, and you may be surprised at the moisturizing results! Or - try an oil cleanse for extra softening.
Facial misting is great for pick-me-ups during the day. Pour distilled or purifed water in to a fine mister, add a couple of drops of essential oil and mist your face throughout the day. Try lavender or peppermint.
Get enough sleep. Our bodies use sleep time to repair, as well as rest. Adequate sleep (at least seven to eight hours a night) is ideal for allowing the body enough time to work against the effects of a day’s worth of exposure.
Try to limit or manage stress. Stress can wreak havoc on not only the skin, but internally as well, causing the body to produce more hormones and interfering with the production of healthy sebum. Stress has been proven to affect health, and skin is the window to health.
Don’t smoke. Smoking limits the delivery of oxygen to your skin. It also constricts blood vessels, robbing you of a healthy glow, and causes those fine lines to appear around your lips and eyes.
Yes, wrinkles have character and are an inevitable part of aging. However, many people are in their 50's or 60's before any wrinkles are even noticeable. This is because partly due to genetics, but also because they've taken good care of their skin.
Genetics aren't in your control, but good skin care is!