Winter is a season that brings many pleasurable experiences, but dry skin is not one of them. It is one of the most common problems that people have to deal with during the winter days.
The skin tends to become drier due to the drop in the temperature and also humidity. This causes the skin to become dehydrated, leading to dry skin patches as well as irritation or itchiness.
While weather is a major factor, there are also other reasons behind skin dryness.
Such causes include inadequate moisture in the body, exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, enjoying hot baths or showers, using harsh soaps and detergents, and certain medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, psoriasis, diabetes or dermatitis.
Dry skin needs an effective lubricant to rehydrate it. There are many natural ingredients that are very effective to treat dry skin problems.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to fight dry skin this winter.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the popular and effective treatments for dry skin during the winter months. It contains ample amounts of fatty acids that can compensate for any loss of moisture from the skin.
It also has protein as well as vitamin E that help retain moisture in your skin.
Also, its antioxidant property is good for your skin’s overall health. In addition, because this oil is non greasy, it is easily absorbed by the skin.
- Warm up some coconut oil in a microwave for a few seconds and apply it on your skin before bathing. Massage it gently so that the oil penetrates into the skin. Wait 10 minutes, then take a bath or shower. Repeat this remedy once daily.
- When suffering from extremely dry skin, you can apply coconut on your somewhat damp skin after taking a bath.
Honey is considered another natural moisturizer loaded with antioxidant, antimicrobial and humectant properties.
It helps lock in moisture to make your skin extra soft and smooth. Plus, honey has many essential vitamins and minerals that help improve your skin’s health and heal skin tissue.
Any of the following remedies can be used once daily:
- Before taking a bath or shower, rub some raw honey all over your body and massage gently using circular motions. Wait 10 minutes, then take a bath or shower.
- Mix equal amounts of honey and glycerin. Apply it on your hands, wait 10 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
3. Olive Oil
Another effective remedy for dry skin is definitely olive oil. Olive oil contains antioxidants such as vitamin E that help neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals that damage collagen, which causes skin dryness. It also works as a great natural moisturizer.
Plus, the healthy fatty acids in it can soothe and condition dry skin all over your body.
- For daily use, rub some lukewarm olive oil on your hands, legs and other areas with dry skin. Massage lightly using circular motions and wait 30 minutes. Take a shower to rinse it off, then apply a light moisturizer.
- For weekly use, add enough olive oil to 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to make a paste. Dampen your skin, then use this mixture as a gently scrub. Leave it for 15 minutes, then wash it off with lukewarm water.
4. Milk Cream
Another milk-based product that can combat skin dryness is milk cream. The high fat content in milk cream works as a natural moisturizer for dry skin.
The lactic acid in milk helps exfoliate the dry, dead surface of the skin and accelerates collagen production, too. It also helps maintain the proper pH balance of your skin.
- For daily use, rub some fresh milk cream on your dry skin. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it off thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Another option for daily use is to thoroughly mix 1 teaspoon each of milk cream and milk. Stir in a few drops of lemon juice. Apply the paste on your face, hands and legs. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then wash it off with water.
- For a weekly treatment, mix together 2 to 3 teaspoons of milk cream and 2 tablespoons of gram flour. Apply this paste on your dry skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
Avocados also make a natural remedy to combat dry skin conditions. Avocados are rich in vitamin E, which protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that easily penetrate deep into the skin to make up for any loss of moisture.
- Scoop out the pulp of ½ avocado.
- Using a fork, mash it into a smooth paste.
- Mix in 2 teaspoons of honey.
- Spread this avocado mask generously on your skin.
- Leave it for 20 minutes, then wipe it off with a damp washcloth and rinse your skin.
- You can do this several times a week to maintain smooth and hydrated skin.
6. Aloe Vera
When it comes to skin dryness, aloe vera is just the ingredient that you need to make your skin soft and vibrant even during the winter season.
It acts as a wonderful moisturizer and improves your skin tone. It also relieves itchiness and prevents cracking and flaking associated with dry skin.
A 2006 study published in Skin Research and Technology reports that freeze-dried aloe vera extract is effective at improving skin hydration due to its humectant properties.
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf.
- Apply it all over your body.
- Massage for a few minutes to help the gel penetrate deep into the skin.
- Wait 30 minutes, then rinse it off using lukewarm water.
- Do this once or twice daily.
Yogurt is another excellent kitchen ingredient that can keep your skin hydrated and fight dryness. It can even help soothe itchiness.
The lactic acid in it helps remove dead skin cells, hydrate dry patches and restore a shine and glow to your skin.
- Apply fresh yogurt on your hands, face and legs, and gently massage it into your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then take a bath or shower. Do this 3 or 4 times a week.
- Alternatively, thoroughly mix 3 to 4 tablespoons of plain, unsweetened yogurt (drain the whey beforehand), ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder and a little gram flour. Apply this paste on your face, neck and hands. Wait 10 minutes, then scrub off the paste using wet fingers. Rinse off with lukewarm water and apply a light moisturizer. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
Bananas can also help you combat dry, winter skin. Their rich water content keeps your skin moisturized. Plus, they contain vitamins and antioxidants that provide anti-aging benefits to help you maintain younger-looking skin.
Plus, this creamy, rich fruit gives you smooth and glowing skin.
- Slice ½ of a banana and mash it using a fork.
- Add 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt to it.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Spread this mask on your skin generously.
- Let it sit on your skin for 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
Due to its moisturizing and humectant properties, glycerin works as a great remedy to get rid of dry skin. It helps your skin absorb and retain moisture.
- Thoroughly mix equal parts of glycerin, rose water and lemon juice.
- Apply this solution on your dry skin before going to sleep.
- The next morning, take a lukewarm shower.
- Repeat this remedy once daily.
Oatmeal is another great healer for dry skin. It is a natural cleansing and exfoliating agent that helps combat dryness by removing dead skin cells.
Plus, the protein in it helps prevent water loss and keeps the skin moisturized, which adds a natural glow to the skin. It also helps soothe itching and irritated skin.
- Add 1 cup of oatmeal and a few drops of lavender oil to your bathwater and stir thoroughly. Soak yourself in this soothing water for at least 15 minutes, then rinse off with fresh water. Gently pat dry your skin and apply a light moisturizer. Enjoy this hydrating bath once a week.
- For topical application, thoroughly mix 1 tablespoon each of ground oatmeal and milk and 2 tablespoons of honey. Apply this oatmeal mask on your dry skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Use it once or twice a week.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body as well as skin well-hydrated.
- When shopping for soaps and detergents, choose those that are mild and fragrance-free. Avoid those that contain deodorant and antibacterial agents as they contain harsh chemicals.
- Avoid using harsh peels, masks and alcohol-based toners or astringents on your face. Such products can strip vital oil from your skin.
- Enjoy cool showers rather than long, hot showers.
- It is very important to use sunscreen daily, even during the winter months.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol, as they can dehydrate the body.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They have always been a great help to the skin as well as maintaining a healthy body.
- Remove flaky skin by exfoliating once a week.
- Use a humidifier to get more moisture into the indoor air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out.
- Regularly exfoliate your feet and apply some thick moisturizer daily to prevent cracked feet.