Natural Remedies to Moisturize Dry Skin
A great natural oil to use is olive oil, which works as a natural cleanser and moisturizer, says Brandy Crompton, a licensed aesthetician, and former manager of LeBliss Salon and Spa in Louisville, Kentucky. "Just rub the oil into your skin and drape a warm, damp cloth over your face until it cools," Crompton says, "then wipe away the excess oil." Olive oil is a good choice as a cleanser because it won't strip your skin’s natural oils, but it will clean your skin, she adds.
Creating a homemade mask of avocado is another natural way to soothe dry skin. Crompton suggests pureeing half an avocado and mixing it with 1 teaspoon (tsp) of olive oil; you can also add 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of honey for very dry skin. Apply the mask to your face, leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off. Your skin should feel moisturized, but you can double up on the hydrating effects by applying your regular moisturizer as well.
3. Make a Natural Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub
Create a naturally moisturizing exfoliating scrub using a combination of olive oil and sugar. Combine ½ cup of sugar with 2 tbsp of olive oil, Crompton says. If you want, you can also add an essential oil like lavender, which adds a natural fragrance and can promote relaxation. Gently rub the scrub into your skin, and then wash it off. Last, use a soothing moisturizer to lock in the benefits of freshly exfoliated skin.
Adding a cup of oatmeal to a warm bath can naturally rehydrate dry skin, Poblete-Lopez says. "The oat product itself is soothing," she explains, and it helps your skin retain moisture from the bathwater.
5. Exfoliate Your Face With a Homemade Oatmeal Honey Mask
Oatmeal also makes a great exfoliator or mask. Mix 2 tbsp of oats with 1 tbsp of honey and a dash of water. Crompton suggests warming up the mixture, then rubbing it into your skin. You can use it just to exfoliate and wash it off right away, or leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes as a soothing, hydrating mask.
“Coconut oil becomes a solid at room temperature, so use it as a moisturizing cream at bedtime or anytime,” recommends Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at SkinSafe Dermatology and Skin Care in Beverly Hills, California. “For chapped heels and hands, apply the oil, then layer with thick socks or non-latex gloves.”
7. Add Your Favorite Oil to Your Bath
“Natural oils are great for moisturizing the skin and helping to re-create the natural skin barrier, which is often damaged by frequent hand and face washing with water and drying soaps that strip the skin of its natural protective oils,” Dr. Shainhouse says. Aside from olive oil or coconut oil, you can test out other natural oils that are free from irritants, including jojoba, argan, and avocado oils. To use, Shainhouse recommends adding a few tablespoons of the desired oil under running bathwater. Treat yourself to a short soak and gently pat your skin dry afterward to avoid rubbing all the oil off. You can also apply a small amount of your preferred oil to your skin post-shower to keep it soft and moist.
8. Use Milk Compresses for Irritated Skin
“Milk has natural anti-inflammatory properties,” says Shainhouse. "It also contains lactic acid, a mild, natural exfoliant.” To make a milk compress, Cincinnati Health Institute advises soaking a clean cloth (like a washcloth or a towel) in a bowl of cool milk and holding it in place over any dry areas. Shainhouse recommends using these compresses on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. It’s especially helpful for irritated skin that’s itchy, too. Lactic acid can sting cracked skin, though, so use with caution, per Harvard Health Publishing.
9. Consider a Fruit Enzyme Cleanser or Exfoliant
Fruit enzymes can be lifesavers during the dry-skin season. “These alpha-hydroxy acids are great for gently exfoliating the superficial layer of dulling dead skin cells on the face and body,” says Shainhouse. She recommends using a fruit-enzyme-infused wash or mask twice per week. Some good fruit enzymes to look for include pineapple, pumpkin, and papaya.
Now that you have these precious natural nourishers, all you need to do is start using them and see how your skin comes back to life and becomes super soft in minutes. Natural skincare is effective and easy.
Until next time, make your skin happy naturally.