Just like your body needs fuel in the form of vitamins, minerals and other supplements to function properly, your skin needs moisture to maintain its health and natural beauty. Also, when the skin is hydrated, fine lines and wrinkles smooth out and aging signs are less likely to appear.
It is not only people with dry skin who need a moisturizer to nourish and revive their skin. Normal, combination and oily skin also requires moisturizing.
If your skin is not moisturized regularly, it will start looking dull and old. This is one reason why no skin care regimen is considered complete without emphasis on the moisturizing part.
In the market, you can find an endless number of moisturizing products, but many of them are likely to be loaded with harsh chemicals that harm your skin in the long run. However, there are many natural products you can use to keep your skin smooth and supple.
Here are the top 10 natural moisturizers for your skin.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is an effective natural moisturizer that you probably already have in your kitchen.
It contains linoleic acid, which creates a water barrier in the skin to retain moisture and promote smooth and nourished skin. Plus, the vitamin E in it neutralizes the oxidant effect of free radicals that damage collagen, one of the common reasons behind skin damage and dryness.
- Rub some lukewarm olive oil on your hands, legs and other areas of your skin.
- Massage gently using circular motions.
- Leave the oil on your skin for 30 minutes, then take a shower.
- Do this daily or several times a week, as needed.
2. Coconut Oil
Just like olive oil, coconut oil is also a good skin moisturizer.
The fatty acids in the oil provide deep hydration to keep dry skin supple and moisturized. Apart from locking in moisture, coconut oil also supplies the skin with essential nutrients for optimum skin health.
Another plus is that coconut oil is nongreasy and suits all skin types.
A 2004 study published in Dermatitis reports that coconut oil is as effective and safe as mineral oil when used as a moisturizer.
- Warm up some coconut oil in a microwave for a few seconds.
- Apply this warm oil on your skin.
- Massage gently so that the oil penetrates into the skin.
- Wait 10 minutes, then take a bath or shower.
- Do this once daily, or as needed.
If you have switched to honey to sweeten your tea or coffee, well you have made a wise decision for your health. Now it’s time to use that honey on your skin. Your dry skin will simply love it.
Being a natural humectant, honey helps retain moisture in your skin. Also, this natural emollient penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin to keep your skin moisturized.
- Mix together 2 tablespoons each of honey and whole milk. Apply it on your skin, then wait 10 minutes before taking a shower. Repeat daily, or as needed.
- To deal with extremely dry skin, apply a layer of honey on the affected area, and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Repeat 2 or 3 times a week, or more often if you have very dry skin.
If you use glycerin soaps during the winter season, then why not use glycerin to keep the skin moisturized throughout the year?
Glycerin is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts water and helps retain moisture on the skin.
A 2002 study published in the Acta Dermato-Venereologica found that a cream containing glycerin appeared to be a suitable alternative to cream containing urea and sodium chloride in the treatment of atopic dry skin.
- Thoroughly mix equal parts of glycerin and rose water (plain water will also do).
- Apply this solution on your skin before going to sleep.
- The next morning, take a lukewarm shower to rinse it off.
- Repeat daily, or as needed.
5. Aloe Vera
When it comes to keeping your skin hydrated, aloe vera is just the right ingredient that you might already have in your kitchen garden or balcony.
Aloe vera is rich in nutrients like vitamins E and A that can keep your skin soft and vibrant throughout the year. It also relieves itchiness and prevents flaking associated with dry skin.
A 2008 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology highlights the moisturizing effect of aloe vera in treating dry skin.
- Cut open an aloe vera leaf and scoop out the gel using a spoon. Apply the gel on your skin and allow it to dry for 10 to 12 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat every 2 or 3 days.
- Another option is to combine the gel from 1 aloe vera leaf and ½ cup of coconut oil (solid, not melted). Whisk the mixture with an electric or hand whisker for about 5 minutes, until you get a fluffy consistency. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use it once or twice daily, as needed.
6. Milk Cream
Milk cream is another great natural ingredient that helps you enjoy smooth, glowing and flawless skin.
It is an effective ingredient for hydrating all skin types. It quickly gets absorbed into the skin pores and keeps it moisturized for longer periods of time.
It also contains lactic acid, which helps exfoliate the skin to get rid of dry, dead skin cells. This in turn reveals fresher, younger and glowing skin.
- Apply milk cream generously on your skin.
- Keep it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
In addition to milk cream, whole fat milk as well as buttermilk are also beneficial for skin.
7. Shea Butter
Though a bit expensive, shea butter is a great option to naturally moisturize skin. It contains vitamins A and E as well as essential fatty acids that help keep the skin hydrated.
The nutrients in alleviating dry skin also ease eczema, dermatitis, sunburn and other skin issues.
When using shea butter, be sure to use pure, 100 percent shea butter to get the best results.
- Put a small dollop of shea butter in your palm, and rub it between your hands to melt it.
- Apply it all over your skin.
- Massage it for a few minutes so that it is absorbed into the skin.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, wash it off.
- Repeat daily, or as needed.
If you use avocados for making your favorite guacamole, now it’s time to use this superfood as a moisturizer for your skin.
Avocado works as an emollient, which means it lubricates the skin and restores natural moisture. It’s also rich in vitamins that protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
- Thoroughly mash a small amount of ripe avocado using a fork.
- Apply it directly on your skin.
- Wait 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off.
- Depending upon your skin dryness, you can use it daily or a few times a week.
9. Cocoa Butter
To keep your skin moisturized and prevent dryness, cocoa butter is very beneficial.
The saturated fat is easily absorbed into the skin and can help restore moisture in dry, cracked skin. In fact, it does more than just hydrate the skin. It heals the skin from the inside out, too.
The antioxidants in it aid in reversing damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure and have antiaging effects too.
- Put a little cocoa butter in your palm, and rub it gently between your hands.
- Rub the melted butter gently on your skin for a few minutes.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, wash it off while taking a shower.
- Repeat daily or a few times a week, depending upon the dryness of your skin.
10. Overripe Banana
An overripe banana also works as a great moisturizer for all skin types. The vitamins and antioxidants in it offer antiaging benefits to help you maintain younger-looking skin.
- Mash an overripe banana using a fork to form a thick paste.
- Optionally, add 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Apply the paste on your skin.
- Leave it on for about 30 minutes.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Do it 2 or 3 times a week.
- Turn down the heat of your hot shower, as it dries out the skin. Always use lukewarm water when you shower.
- To dry your skin, pat dry using a soft towel only.
- If you use soap, make sure it is all-natural and a mild one.
- For applying moisturizing lotion, the best time is right after a shower or bath.
- Avoid exposing your skin to cold outdoor air as well as overly hot indoor temperatures, as both can make your skin prone to dryness.
- Make sure to drink an adequate amount of water each day to keep the skin moisturized from within.