Every season comes with it's skin challenges and this time of year we're all trying to get rid of dry skin. It can be even worse for those of us with a Vata body type (if you're not familiar with Ayruvedic Dosha's, you can find out more about your body type here). If you are like me and have had dry skin your whole life I'm sure you've been told to use petroleum products like Aquaphor, Vaseline, or Eucerin. While these products may seem to work, they are not really healing your skin and they contain potentially harmful chemical additives.
In this article, you'll read that creams that contain mineral oil, like Eucerin, can increase the rate at which skin tumors form. Just a quick search on the Environmental Working Group will show you that Aquaphor contains a level 8 chemical additive called oxybenzone which has a long list of potential risks. It's clear these products aren't safe options for you or your family. The good news is there are many natural alternatives that work with your body's ability to heal itself.
Here is how you can prevent and sooth dry skin with all natural ingredients:
Use Gentle Natural Exfoliation
Exfoliation helps to take off dead skin cells and keep the skin surface smooth. The other benefit is that moisturizers can penetrate the skin better when the dead skin cells are sloughed off. Making exfoliation a part of your regular skin care routine will help to prevent severe dry skin. Here's a post I wrote about exfoliation options for your face, in that article I mentioned two of my favorite options which is the Konjac sponge and my Orange Facial Scrub.
There are similar methods you can use to get rid of dry skin on your body too, like this natural body loofah or a natural sugar scrub like this one. You can even mix your own with some organic sugar and almond oil for a quick solution. The added benefit to using a body scrub that contains oil is that it's perfect to use just before shaving your legs, you won't even need shaving cream.
Natural Oils & Butters Get Rid of Dry Skin
There are many natural oils and butters that will work all on their own to help soothe dry skin and many are even better when combined with other oils. Some of the best oils you can use for your body include coconut oil, shea butter, and almond oil. I started experimenting with these oils when I made the switch to natural skin care and I found they were amazing when all combined together – which was the start to my current Body Butter recipe that I now sell in Whole Foods Market and online.
Natural oils that work well for face include olive oil, rosehip seed oil, hazelnut oil, and shea butter. My absolute favorite single oil for your face is a high quality organic first cold pressed olive oil. If I'm all out of my serum or face cream, then this is my simple go-to oil. It's also a good trick if you are traveling and forgot your moisturizer.
Remedies for Severe Dry Skin and Eczema
There are times when skin can get extremely dry and even to the point where it's an inflamed red rash or eczema. In this case, some more intense moisturizing and healing is needed. My son had problems with eczema as a baby and at that time it was totally new to me. I'd never dealt with that before. In my herbalism studies, I read a lot about herbs that can be helpful for severe skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Some herbs that helped my son were chickweed, calendula, and chamomile. If you like to DIY you can make your own herbal salve – here is my recipe. This same exact salve can also be bought in my shop if you don't have time to make it.
As you can see, there's no need to use products with chemical additives that could be harmful to your family. I gave up all of that drugstore junk almost 10 years ago and I've never found the need to go back. Nature can provide all of the things we need to maintain healthy skin!
What natural ingredients and practices do you use to get rid of dry skin? Share in the comments below!