Dry skin tends to be itchy, scaly and flaky, with the most affected regions being the lips, the area around the eyes, chest, lower arms, abdominal sides and thighs. If you have this condition, it also predisposes you to serious skin diseases such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. Over the counter skin products like lotions and moisturizers sometimes do not work and may even aggravate existing skin conditions. In treating dry skin, however, you need not spend money on high-priced cosmetics or medications. Just look around the kitchen and you will find natural and inexpensive ways to deal with your dry skin.
1. Drink Water
Keep your skin hydrated by increasing fluid intake. While it is a norm to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water and juices daily, it may be necessary to drink even more for adequate hydration. Lessen your intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, because these only reduce oil secretion by the skin's sebaceous glands.
2. Watch Your Diet
A diet rich in meat may hamper the skin's ability to detoxify. In fact, toxins that have accumulated within the dermis aggravate dry skin. Instead of meat, eat more oily fishes, such as salmon, trout, herring and tuna. The omega-3 fatty acids in these fishes help to repair, nourish and hydrate damaged skin. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables containing vitamins A, B and C, because these will help in nourishing and repairing dry, damaged skin.
3. Open Pores
One reason for dry skin is because the skin pores remain closed or are clogged with congealed oil and dirt. To open up skin pores, exercise daily. A good workout will help open up the pores, causing an increase in secretion of skin oils. You can also add some spices, such as cumin, turmeric and coriander, to your diet to induce the pores to open up and increase skin oil secretion.
Always wash your face or take a bath using lukewarm water. The warmer water will promote an increase in secretion of oils by the sebaceous glands.
Because dry skin can be scaly and flaky, it is good to exfoliate regularly. Excellent natural exfoliants include pastes made from oatmeal, avocados or bananas. Cook oatmeal, and mash avocados or ripe bananas, and then massage gently on your dry skin.
5. Moisturize before Bath Time
Honey and peanut butter are effective pre-bath moisturizers for the skin. Just massage honey or peanut butter all over your body, and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to wash it off while bathing.
6. Pamper Your Skin
A milk bath once a month has been found to be effective in hydrating and nourishing the skin. To retain skin moisture, rub on a soothing aloe vera gel after bathing.
7. Moisturize before Sleep Time
Massage dry skin with natural oils, such as almond oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil or coconut oil, before bedtime. Coconut oil has been found to be particularly helpful in relieving skin irritation, including itchiness. For severe skin dryness, use avocado oil or castor oil.