Why Opt for a Natural Dry-Skin Remedy Rather Than Buy a Product?
The list of culprits that can cause dry skin is a long one, from daily bathing habits (think hot showers and scrubbing yourself dry with a towel) and wicked winter weather to a lack of natural oils in your skin as you age.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to visit a dermatologist to heal your dry skin. Instead, consider adding a natural remedy to your skin-care routine at home. In fact, the ingredients for these dry-skin remedies might already be in your kitchen.
Given the countless skin products available, a natural remedy may be worth trying, says Christine Poblete-Lopez, MD, a residency program director and vice chair of the department of dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Natural oils and remedies tend to be pure, Dr. Poblete-Lopez says, which makes them a better choice for many people. “Other over-the-counter products can have a ton of ingredients in them — they not only contain the active moisturizing products, but they also have preservatives.” That’s often the case for water-based products. These, along with products that contain alcohol and fragrances, can cause irritation or an allergic reaction, or dry out your 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 water-based lotions and creams or those containing preservatives, pure oils have a natural base, making them great dry-skin remedies.
Your skin naturally produces oil, called sebum, which helps protect the skin from moisture loss, but everyday actions — such as forgetting to put on moisturizer or washing your hands with a drying soap — can strip natural oils from your skin.
For people without acne, which the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes involves overproduction of sebum (and for whom extra oil would provide the opposite of the desired effect), using oils can help restore skin’s sheen and protective moisture barrier. If you do have acne-prone skin, there is some evidence to support the idea that tea tree oil may improve mild to moderate acne — including a previously published double-blind, randomized, controlled study and an August 2017 uncontrolled pilot study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology — though you’ll want to consult with a dermatologist before beginning a new acne treatment.
There are many ways to reap the moisturizing benefits of oils, either on their own or with other ingredients, to make a DIY nourishing mask or an exfoliating rub. Poblete-Lopez suggests that castor oil, lavender oil, and avocado oil may be good natural remedies for dry skin, again, so long as you do not have acne-prone skin.
Coconut oil is another oil you may have in your kitchen cabinet and may also be a good choice for those not prone to acne. People with atopic dermatitis — a type of eczema and an allergic skin condition characterized by dryness and itching — saw excellent results when they used virgin coconut oil on their skin, according to one randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial.
Aloe vera, a plant with natural healing properties, can also be infused in oils and used as a natural moisturizer. Per past research, aloe vera gel contains mucopolysaccharides, which help lock moisture into the skin and make this another naturally moisturizing skin-care ingredient you’ll want to try.