Understanding Dry Skin
Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Some of us face the problem where our skin gets all dry and flaky. Dry skin or Xerosis as it is also known as, is a common problem for people of all ages. Having dry skin is normal but if the problem persists and is out of control then it is a cause of concern.
So how do you know if you are suffering from Xerosis? If your skin is rough, it looks dull and flaky, if you see fine lines and your skin is chapped or at times bleeding in extreme cases, if you see fishnet like cracks on your hands, feet or lips, if your skin feels tight after washing your face or taking a bath and is itchy, then you might be suffering from excessive dry skin.
So, now the question arises that what causes dry skin? The surrounding atmosphere adds a lot of moisture to the skin and when the top layer of the skin or the epidermis is not able to retain that moisture then it causes dry skin. You will see old people, babies or young adults all complaining of dry skin. Having dry skin is nothing to worry about usually as hot or cold weather, low moisture in the air or taking hot water baths can cause dryness of your skin.
Other than that, the following factors may also cause dry skin:
- Age plays an important role when it comes to skin. As we grow older the skin becomes thin and loses moisture which leads to dry skin in old age.
- Weather is another factor which causes dry skin. If you live in a dry region, you might suffer from dry skin more than the people who live in other areas. If you live in colder regions, then due to the fireplaces or stoves you could have dry skin issues.
- People with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis or psoriasis may suffer with dry skin.
- Your work conditions may also trigger dry skin issues. People like nurses, plumbers or swim coaches tend to suffer with dry skin as they immerse their hands in water often, which leads to dry and itchy skin.
- If you like to take long hot baths then you might end up having dry skin. People who wash hands too much or use harsh soap or shampoos also have dry skin problems.
- Foods that are fat free can lead to deficiency of essential fatty acids and do not let your skin receive enough moisture from food. If you are drinking too much alcohol or large doses of strong medications then you may suffer with dry skin as well.
Although dry skin is not a serious condition and you can use a lot of home remedies to fight it out, but if the condition worsens then you should see a doctor if after all efforts your skin remains dry and is red and it is itchy especially at night. If you see your skin peeling off, you should consult a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Best Home Remedies for Dry Skin
Coconut oil is magical in its versatility. It has tons of medicinal properties and has been used from ancient times in various ways. It works wonders on skin, especially when it comes to treating dry skin. Coconut oil is a wonderful combination of natural fats like linoleic acid and around 50% of lauric acid which works in hydrating the skin and it is antimicrobial as well.
If you are suffering from dry skin you can simply apply coconut oil before going to bed. You can also use it in making a skin healing mask. This mask is great in treating dry skin and it is easy to make it.
You Will Need:
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- Take all the ingredients and mix it forming a paste
- Apply it generously on your face and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Focus on the problem areas which are dry patches on the skin
- Rinse your face with warm water
If you wish to see the magic of coconut oil working on your dry skin, use this mask 2 to 3 times in a week.
If you think that oats are good for your health only when you eat them, think again. Oats are another great grain for your skin. It is a grain from the cereal plant called Avena Sativa/Oats. It is used as a healthy source for animals, food and skin. You must be aware of the benefits of eating a bowl of oats for breakfast to stay healthy and for weight loss because it is loaded with dietary fibre and minerals. It prevents heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Oats can be used to treat many skin ailments as well. It soaks up excess oil from the skin and treats acne in no time. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which removes dead skin cells and rejuvenates it.
It also has compounds known as saponins which is a natural cleanser. The mild pH helps in cooling down the inflamed skin which usually causes dry skin. You can start by taking an oatmeal bath.
- Cook oats and mix it with baking soda
- Add it in your bath water and soak take a bath with it, it will be better if you can soak yourself in it for 20 minutes or so.
- Pat yourself dry.
Another way to use oatmeal is to make a moisturizing facial mask for dry skin Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Mix oats, lemon juice and honey together and apply it on your face.
- Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water
- You can use this remedy a couple of times in a week for best results
Petroleum jelly does not need an introduction. It is an age-old remedy for dry skin. Petroleum jelly is a combination of mineral oils and waxes. It was invented by Robert Augustus Chesebrough in 1859 after observing the oil workers using it to heal their cuts and wounds. He started it as Vaseline Petroleum jelly. It creates a water protective barrier which seals the moisture of the skin.
Petroleum jelly can be used by the entire family and it heals dry skin, lips and eyelids overnight. The best way to use it is when your skin is damp. You can also use it for dry nose during cold or allergy. It works wonders on cracked heels. Simply soak your feet in warm water with salt. Pat dry it and apply petroleum jelly. For best results use it at night and wear cotton socks over it.
If you are suffering from dry hands you can use a generous amount of petroleum jelly and put on a clean pair of gloves to lock in the moisture. You can also use it for chapped lips or even for bleeding lips.
Omega-3 is a great way to nourish your skin. You can get it through foods like walnuts, seafood, fatty fish and various seeds and plant oil. Omega-3 is divided into three types: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
It is known for its powerful health benefits, it helps in fighting depression, inflammation and heart disease not to mention its benefits for skin and hair. It won't be wrong to call it a miracle drug. It is an important part of the skin's lipid content which works as a seal to keep the moisture intact. You can take Omega-3s and Omega -6s through food and you can apply it directly on your skin as well. Applying these fatty acids on the skin works as a barrier and smoothens the skin. It may be difficult to find these two labelled on the products but if you look for products with plant oils rich in these fats like flaxseed, safflower, sunflower oil and olive oil you can use it on your skin. You will see the difference in a few weeks.
Another great home remedy for dry skin is the Aloe Vera plant which was discovered in ancient Egypt. It was known as the plant of immortality back then. Aloe Vera is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants for the skin and works wonderfully as a spot treatment for acne as well. It is extremely hydrating and you can use it directly on the skin right after plucking it from the plant.
You will find Aloe Vera on millions of different beauty products as a key ingredient. It is a soothing gel that hydrates and nourishes the skin and is it easy to find. You can also make a mask with Aloe Vera and use it to heal your dry skin in a few weeks. You will need:
You will need:
- 2 tbsp aloe vera gel
- 8-10 almonds
- Soak almonds in water overnight.
- Grind them into a paste in the morning.
- Add Aloe Vera gel in it.
- Apply it on the face and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Wash it off with cold water and watch your skin glow.
Raw Organic Honey
If you are suffering from dry and itchy skin, you can use honey. Honey works as a great hydrating agent on your skin. It is a great humectant, which helps in preserving the natural moisture of your skin. The best honey to use for skin is raw organic honey. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has loads of antioxidants in it. You can also use Manuka honey for better results.
- You can simply apply raw honey on your face and leave it for 30 minutes then wash it off with water. It works like magic on dry spots.
- You can also make a face pack using honey.
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon organic honey
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (use powder or raw turmeric paste)< >
- ½ teaspoon glycerin
- Mix 2 tbsp of honey with 2 tbsp of melted cocoa butter and 1 drop of lavender or tea tree oil. Make a paste and apply it on your face, leave for 20 minutes and wash it off. You can make this paste and store it in an airtight container to use it again.
Simply mix all of it together and apply it on your face for 20 minutes then wash it off with water.
Dry skin problems occur during summers especially when you are indoors with your AC on for a long time. Staying in an air-conditioned room can draw moisture out from your skin and make it dry and flaky. Milk can help you fight this problem easily. It helps in replenishing the lost oils from the skin and makes it smooth in no time.
Milk is loaded with vitamins and minerals which is great for your skin. It also has an ample amount of Vitamin A which is great in treating dry skin. Milk also has Vitamin D which boosts collagen production and increases the elasticity of the skin making it youthful longer. It also helps in preventing fine lines and wrinkles which avoids premature aging. Another property of milk is biotin, which revitalises dry skin and the lactic acid present in it moisturises hydrates the skin to the max. There are a number of ways you can use milk for your skin.
- You can take a cotton ball, dip it in milk and apply it on your face. Leave it for 20 minutes and wash it with cold water. You can also add mashed banana in it and leave it on for about half an hour.
- Take 2 tbsp of honey and add it in milk. Mix it well and apply it on the face. Leave it for 20 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.
You can use both these remedies as many times as you want to heal your dry skin.
Ways to Avoid Getting Dry Skin
Using simple home remedies to treat dry skin is a good way of taking care of your skin and keep it young for a long time. You can also try other ways to prevent dry skin overall.
- We love taking a long, hot bath during the winters but it is not very good for our skin. It dries up our skin and so, it is good to shower with lukewarm water. Try using a mild soap to avoid extra dryness.
- It is always a good idea to exfoliate your skin. You can either buy expensive scrubs or make some at home. You can use sugar and salt mixed together to exfoliate dead skin and create new fresh skin.
- Most of us use a moisturiser after drying ourselves but the best way to use it is right after shower when your skin is still damp. It will help lock in the moisture in your skin. You should apply a thick layer of moisturiser at night and let it work on your dry skin.
- A great way to fight off dry skin is to take a long bath right before bed time. Soak yourself in water till your skin starts to wrinkle and apply a thick layer of oil right after that. You can use any oil like coconut or olive oil. Put on your pajamas and sleep well. You will find smooth and supple skin in the morning.
- Make sure you cover your body well during winters as cold tends to suck out the moisture from your skin. Always apply a good amount of moisturiser on your skin during winters to avoid dry skin.
- Find milk soaps and shampoos. Synthetic products are harsh on your skin and damage it. Look for natural skin products.
- Drink water. Your skin gets dry when your body is dehydrated. Drink the recommended eight glasses of water each day to stay glowing.
Healthy Diet for Better Skin
Apart from taking all the measures mentioned above, and applying healing remedies on your skin, you should also try maintaining a healthy diet which contributes to the health of your skin. Eating unhealthy food also results in breakouts and oily skin and lots of other skin problems. Taking care of your skin is important as it is an important organ of your body, and the face has the most sensitive skin, which needs utmost care. Take good care of it.