The dual nature of being the largest organ in the body and also forming the outermost protective layer of the body makes the human skin extremely vulnerable to environmental factors. Changes in temperature, humidity and precipitation have a direct impact on the skin. Dry skin is one such disorder that is fairly common during the winter months. The drop in temperature lowers the humidity levels which in turn draw out the moisture from the skin leaving it dry, flaky and causing it to itch. Despite being an extremely common condition, having dry skin does not have any long-term detrimental impact on an individual’s health. Although, it can be a side effect of dermatological conditions such as eczema or ichthyosis. However, since dry skin is caused primarily by environmental factors, the solutions to combat it are extremely straightforward. Listed below are some natural topical remedies that can be used to combat dry skin.
- Natural oils. Refer primarily to grapeseed, almond and jojoba oils that are readily available in many health stores worldwide. Usually found in bottles that are plain and basic-looking, they don’t contain extra chemicals and they offer the same moisturising benefits as those expensive, fabricated moisturisers. And there’s no denying these oils soften your skin, provide a protective barrier against the wind and cold weather, and smell nice without any of that mysterious artificial “fragrance” that pops up in so many beauty products.
- Olive oil. If you really want to save money or just don’t have time to get to the store, you can find a soothing oil right on your kitchen shelf. Olive oil is a great natural moisturiser that can be used to soften your skin or condition your fly-away, winter-ravaged hair. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can soothe reddened skin and some types of outbreaks and rashes; there have been claims it can protect against skin cancer too, although these claims are still under investigation.
- Shea butter. Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the shea tree found primarily in Africa where it’s long been used to treat dry, sore skin, for other purposes. Shea butter melts at skin temperature so it’s easily absorbed, and it contains vitamin A, which is beneficial in repairing parched cracked skin. However, since gaining in popularity and being used as the basis for many beauty products, shea butter based lotions and moisturisers may contain a host of added chemical compounds. In order to get the best results, therefore, it is advised to seek a pure version of shea butter in order to get its maximum effects.
- Edible Remedies: There are also numerous products in the kitchen that can be used to treat dry and itchy skin. Some of the things that boost your skin’s health and appearance from the inside also do so when applied on the outside. A couple of the best are honey and milk-based products including yoghurt and cream. When added to tea, honey acts as an antibacterial and antioxidant to boost your immune system and fight off seasonal bugs. When slathered onto your body and face, left on for about ten minutes and showered off, it offers unparalleled softness and smoothness. Yoghurt is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can take the edge off itchiness and loosen the tightness you feel when your skin dries out. As with honey, rub it in, let it soak in and rinse it off. You can mix and match these edible ingredients along with others such as cream, avocado and oatmeal to create a personal solution to your skin’s particular needs.
- Water: The most basic, and yet the most important way to combat seasonal dry skin is to ensure that you are always well hydrated. Drinking water helps replenish the moisture that is lost by your skin and prevents it from becoming flaky and cracking. Furthermore, placing buckets or pans of water in certain locations in your house can help counteract the dryness that results from the excessive use of heaters in the winter.