Winter is coming! This means the weather is going to get colder, meaning your skin will tend to get dry. Dry skin or xerosis is a common condition with many causes. Dry skin can be a symptom that indicates a more serious diagnosis. But in most cases, dry skin is caused by environmental factors that remove moisture from the skin. Heat, hot showers, arid climates, and harsh soaps can all trigger dry skin. Fortunately, you can use home remedies to address dry skin symptoms and restore moisture. Listed below are a few items in your household that you can also use to heal your dry skin:
- Coconut oil. Coconut oil has emollient properties. Emollients fill the spaces between skin cells, creating a smooth surface. That is why the saturated fatty acids that occur naturally in coconut oil can hydrate and smooth the skin. You can use coconut oil daily on even the most sensitive parts of your body. These include the area underneath your eyes and around your mouth. Another advantage of coconut oil is that you don’t need to mix it with anything. Coconut is gentle enough for substantial everyday use.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is common folk remedy for irritated skin. A 2015 study showed why grandmothers and great-grandmothers have been recommending this home remedy for centuries: It works. Colloidal oatmeal has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritation. This remedy is especially effective if you are seeking to relieve itching. After you have taken an oatmeal bath, make sure you moisturize your skin to lock in the barrier. You can make an oatmeal bath at home. Use a food processor to chop oatmeal into a fine powder, then stir it into warm water. You can also try one of the many commercial products available to make an oatmeal soak.
- Petroleum jelly. According to a study, petroleum jelly products can heal skin in older adults. Petroleum jelly, also known as mineral oil, covers the skin in a protective layer. It traps moisture underneath. This helps heal dry, irritated skin patches.
- Honey. Honey speeds up your skin cells’ healing processes. If you have blemishes or an eczema outbreak, honey that is unpasteurized could speed healing and reduce inflammation. Manuka honey is so effective at healing wounds quickly that it is now used by doctors in clinical settings. Raw honey is also a natural exfoliator, which means applying it to your face takes off dry, dull skin and reveals new skin cells underneath.
- Olive oil. When using olive oil for dry skin, some people prefer to consume it, mixing it in with their food or just swallowing a spoonful by itself, while others choose to apply it topically, rubbing it into their skin for extra moisturizing benefits. You do not need to consume too much on a daily basis. Just a tablespoon is sufficient and can mixed into a salad or with the rest of your dish. If your skin is sensitive and tends to break out easily, be careful when applying olive oil on your face.
How to prevent dry skin during the winter:
Use a humidifier. Keeping a humidifier in your home can help minimize the dryness caused by home heating systems. Though gas and electric heat strip moisture from the air, a humidifier set to 60 percent is enough to offset this effect.
It is important to preserve healthy skin. Your skin is the first line of defense against bacteria and viruses. When your skin is compromised by itching, an infection can occur. You may want to incorporate a good moisturizer into your daily routine, even when your skin is not bothering you.
In fact, maintaining a healthy skin barrier daily is one of the best ways to prevent outbreaks of dry skin. Another essential skincare tip is to use a moisturizing sunscreen every day to prevent skin damage and dryness.
Make sure to wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing that draws sweat away from the skin when you are exposed to high temperatures or skin-irritating conditions.
Remember that extremely dry skin can be an indication of a more serious condition. If home remedies are not helping, you may need to see a doctor to get a prescription treatment to relieve your dry skin.