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The list of culprits that can cause dry skin is long: from daily bathing habits (think hot showers and scrubbing with a towel) and bad winter weather to a lack of natural oils in the skin as you gets old.
The good news is that you don't need to visit a dermatologist to heal your dry skin. Instead, consider adding a natural remedy to your home skincare routine. In fact, the ingredients for these dry skin remedies may already be in your kitchen.
Why go for a natural remedy for dry skin
Given the myriad skin products that are available, a natural remedy may be worth a try, says Christine Lopez, MD, a dermatologist and vice chair of the dermatology department at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Natural oils and remedies tend to be pure, says Dr. Lopez, making them a better option for many people. "Other OTC products can have a ton of ingredients in them - not only do they contain the hydrating actives, but they also have preservatives." That is often the case with water-based products. These, along with products that contain alcohol and fragrances, can cause irritation or an allergic reaction, or dry out the skin.
It's often a good idea to keep it simple when it comes to beauty care, especially for people with allergies or a very sensitive complexion. Unlike lotions and creams based on water or those that contain preservatives, pure oils have a natural base, making them excellent remedies for dry skin.
The basics of natural remedies for dry skin
Your skin produces oil (sebum) naturally, which helps protect skin from moisture loss, but the actions people take every day - forgetting to get wet or washing their hands with a desiccant soap - can remove the natural oils from your skin. Using beauty oils can help restore your skin's glow and re-add that protective barrier against the elements to prevent your skin from losing its own natural moisture.
There are many ways to use natural oils, either on their own, as a simple moisturizer, or mixed with other ingredients to make a nourishing or exfoliating mask. Castor oil, lavender oil, and avocado oil are good natural remedies for dry skin, Lopez says.
A natural oil that you could have in your kitchen cupboard is another good option. People with atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin condition characterized by dryness and itchiness, had excellent results when they used virgin coconut oil on their skin, according to research published in January 2014 in the International Journal of Dermatology.
A plant with natural healing properties, it can also be infused in oils and used as a natural moisturizer.
A simple way to use your favorite oil (in its purest form) is to spray the oil in warm bath water and treat yourself to a short bath; Gently pat your skin dry afterward to avoid rubbing off all the oil.
You can also try these natural remedies:
Olive oil cleaner
A great natural oil to use is olive oil, which works as a natural cleanser and moisturizer, says Brandy Crompton, a licensed esthetician and manager of LeBliss Salon and Spa in Louisville, Kentucky. "Just rub the oil on your skin and cover your face with a warm, damp cloth until cool," says Crompton, "then wipe off the excess oil." Olive oil is a good choice as a cleanser because it won't strip the natural oils from your skin, but it will cleanse your skin, he adds.
Creating a homemade avocado mask is another natural way to soothe dry skin. Crompton suggests mashing half an avocado and mixing it with a teaspoon of olive oil; You can also add a tablespoon of honey for very dry skin. Apply the mask to your face, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and then wash it off. Your skin should feel hydrated, but you can double the hydrating effects by applying your regular moisturizer as well.
Olive oil and sugar scrub
Create a naturally hydrating exfoliating scrub using a combination of olive oil and sugar. Combine ½ cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, Crompton says. If you like, you can also add an essential oil like lavender, which adds a natural fragrance and promotes relaxation. Gently rub the scrub into your skin and then wash it off.
Easy oatmeal soak
Adding a cup of oatmeal to a warm bath can naturally rehydrate dry skin, Lopez says. “The oatmeal product itself is soothing,” explains López, and helps your skin retain moisture from the bath water.
Olive oil cleaner
A great natural oil to use is olive oil, which works as a natural cleanser and moisturizer, says Brandy Crompton, a licensed esthetician and manager of LeBliss Salon and Spa in Louisville, Kentucky. Olive oil is a good cleanser option because it won't strip the natural oils from your skin, but it will cleanse your skin, he adds.
Easy oatmeal soak
Adding a cup of oatmeal to a warm bath can naturally rehydrate dry skin, Lopez says. "The oatmeal product itself is soothing," explains López, and helps your skin retain moisture from the bath water.
Oatmeal honey mask
Oatmeal also makes an excellent scrub or mask. Mix 2 tablespoons of oatmeal with a tablespoon of honey and a splash of water. Crompton suggests heating the mixture and then rubbing it into your skin. You can use it just to exfoliate and wash it off right away, or leave it on for 15-20 minutes as a hydrating and soothing mask.
How to avoid a relapse of dry skin
There are other steps you can take to protect your skin and prevent it from drying out. For starters, be sure to make hydration a part of your daily skincare routine every day - as soon as you step out of the shower, slather your skin from head to toe with a rich, creamy product (the more thicker, richer). You should also avoid hot showers, limit baths to 10 minutes, and opt for a gentle body wash rather than a drying bar soap. Lastly, increasing your water intake helps hydrate your body and moisturize your skin from the inside out.
By Diana Rodriguez
Medically reviewed by Meeta Shah, MD
Original article (in English)