Natural Homemade Remedies for Dry Skin
You can stay out of the sun in summer, but there's no escaping freezing weather and central heating during the winter. They punish the skin, leaving it chapped, flaky and dry, which is unsightly, uncomfortable, and even painful. And the more severe the problem becomes, the more ineffectual regular skin care products seem. That's when you should consider homemade remedies; they often succeed where store-bought products fail.
All-Over Body Mask
If your skin is prone to dryness even at the best of times, you’re bound to suffer unmercifully during the cold season. Worst of all is the unbearable feeling of tautness, which may be accompanied by itching.
To make skin supple again, try this wheat germ body mask:
Beat one egg yolk with three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, stir in half a cup of wheat germ oil, and add a couple of drops of essential oil of rose.
Spread the mixture over your whole body and allow to work for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse under a warm shower.
The vinegar restores the skin’s pH balance, wheat germ oil is full of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that heals and repairs, and rose oil—apart from adding a summery aroma—is known for its valuable regenerative properties.
Tea for Thirsty Skin
This fragrant bath softens and soothes rough and sensitive skin, and is as easy to prepare as making a hot cup of tea on a cold winter’s night.
Just throw a few bags of lavender, chamomile, or rose-hip tea into a hot tub and add a little evening primrose oil.
You can use ordinary teabags for this, but filter bags made especially for bathing are also available; look for products labeled "Tub Tea" or "Tub Bags".
Another option is reusable muslin teabags with a drawstring, which can be filled with any herb or flower you'd like your infusion or bath to be flavored with. Or, if you're particularly frugal, an old pantyhose would do the job, too.
Carrot Face Mask
To apply foundation flawlessly your face must be well hydrated. But during the cold season when skin is particularly dry and flaky, regular moisturizers often prove inadequate. That's when you need an additional product that not only hydrates, but repairs and brightens, too.
Try this carrot mask before applying makeup:
Blend to a smooth paste three medium sized carrots, one egg yolk, and a tablespoon of wheat germ oil. Apply to the face, neck, and cleavage, and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.
Oils for Dry Skin
Dry skin can be a year-round problem. Sun damage, allergies, or aging may be to blame. But whatever the cause, there’s an oil to help.The versatile remedies above use wheat germ and evening primrose oil, but these can be substituted for an oil that addresses your skin problem specifically:
Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil
Heals sun damaged skin.
Because it resembles the oils found in the skin, almond oil can help restore an impaired barrier function—this is particularly beneficial for mature skin.
Wheat Germ Oil
Rich in vitamin E. Ideal for weather-beaten skin.
Soothes rashes and inflammations, relieves itchiness, and regenerates. Jojoba oil is also noncomedogenic, meaning it can benefit acne prone skin, especially if it tends to dryness.
An excellent antioxidant. Because of its light texture, elderberry oil absorbs easily making it suitable for daytime wear in place of serum.
Sea Buckthorn Oil (also known as Sallow Thorn or Sandthorn Oil)
Rich in vitamin E and beta-Carotene (pro-vitamin A) and renowned for its anti-aging properties.
Musk Rose Oil
Has a smoothing effect and is used to help diminish scars.
Evening Primrose Oil
Smooths and soothes rough and sensitive skin. Dermatologists may prescribe evening primrose oil as a treatment for neurodermatitis.
Oil in Water Cleanser
If your face is dry and sensitive, you need a cleanser that is gentle, hydrating and capable of removing every trace of dirt and makeup. So-called oil in water cleansers do the job perfectly, but there’s no need to buy one.
For the same effect, massage your face with an oil from the above table, add water, work into an emulsion, and rinse. Pat dry with a cosmetic tissue and spray with thermal water to clarify.
Lip balms contain beeswax, carnauba wax, or petroleum jelly, which are ideal to protect lips and keep moisture locked in. But they don’t hydrate. This is why lips continue to dry out in spite of multiple applications.
Some lip balms contain glycerin, which draws moisture up from the oil glands, but since lips have no oil glands it can have no positive effect.
If your lips are chapped, swap lip balm for pure lanolin or shea butter : these protect and moisturize, as well as providing UV protection.
For best results, dry and chapped hands should be treated overnight.
Before bed, heat virgin macadamia or coconut oil in a water bath, massage into your hands, and cover with cotton gloves.
Not only do these oils moisturize; with regular use they soften calloused skin and strengthen its protective barrier, making it less prone to dryness.
Macadamia and coconut oil are great for calloused feet, too.
© 2010 Jayne Lancer