Everybody experiences dry skin every once in a while due to varied reasons. It’s not a serious condition but if it’s particularly annoying or a perennial problem for you, you’re probably looking for a lasting solution. Mother nature offers the best essential oils for dry skin that will make dealing with this menace a thing of the past.
Dry skin is characterized by a feeling of tightness of the skin, scaling, flaking, itchiness, peeling, fine lines or cracks, and ashy skin. If not dealt with on time, it may lead to eczema or infections. Dry skin can occur anywhere on the body but is more common on the arms, hands, and legs. It doesn’t only affect people with naturally dry skin but it can also happen if you have oily skin.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Causes of dry skin are usually environmental but some of these case could also be biological:
Your skin tends to be drier when there’s low humidity in the atmosphere like in winter. The little moisture that is in your skin is quickly absorbed by the moisture-deprived air causing it to dry up.
During cold seasons when you keep wood stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters on, it reduces humidity in the house and you end up with dry skin.
Harsh Soaps and Detergents
A lot of soaps, shampoos, and detergents strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture. So if you frequently use them, you’re more likely to have dry skin.
Hot Showers and Baths
Hot water, just like soap, strips the skin of its natural oils and moisture. If you take long baths or showers, you’re more likely to have dry skin.
Some skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis cause you to have dry skin. In the case of eczema, the skin lacks the protein filaggrin that is a barrier against loss of moisture. Psoriasis is characterized by dry and scaly patches of skin that occur because of a high turn over of skin cells.
As you age, your skin loses its suppleness and lipids which are barriers against water loss. Older people are, therefore, more likely to have dry skin.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dry Skin
There are steps you can take at home to eliminate and avoid having dry skin:
- Moisturize your skin often especially after a shower or bath to keep it from drying up
- Use gentle shower gels and cleansing creams with moisturizers instead of soap that dries your skin
- When it’s cold and windy, cover as much skin as you can so that moisture is not absorbed out of it
- Limit your shower/bathing time to 10 minutes or less and do it no more than once a day
- Use warm water to bathe instead of hot water
- When doing chores that expose you to harsh soaps and detergents, wear rubber gloves to guard your skin
- Pat your skin dry with a soft towel instead of vigorous rubbing
- Drink lots of water
- Use a humidifier in your house
- Avoid scrubbing or itching dry patches on your skin
- Apply hydrating ingredients on your skin such as coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, and honey
Best Essential Oils for Dry Skin?
Essential oils contain anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that make them excellent for the treatment of skin complications. They are absorbed through the hair follicles into the skin where they do their magic of brightening, smoothening, and moisturizing the skin.
Essential oils are even antioxidants so they prevent the accumulation of toxins into the skin which causes damage to cells. The damage of cells is what causes the appearance of signs of aging among which is drying of the skin.
When applying essential oils on your skin, remember that they are usually concentrated so they need to be diluted in a carrier oil. Using them in concentrated form will dry out your skin which is counterproductive.
Some of the most popular carrier oils include coconut, jojoba, hemp seed, almond, olive, rosehip, Shea butter, and apricot kernel oils.
Some of the best essential oils for dry skin include:
It’s a natural analgesic so it soothes irritated, dry, and rough skin. Lavender also promotes the healing and regeneration of new skin cells, eliminating flaky skin, and making way for smooth skin.
To use lavender, add a drop of lavender into your hand and mix it with a facial moisturizer before massaging your face gently. You can also make a body scrub by mixing a few drops of lavender with sugar, and coconut oil. To use it in your bath, add 4 drops of lavender and Epsom salts to your bathwater.
It has been used since ancient times for its moisturizing and smoothening effects on the skin. Frankincense also promotes the rejuvenation of new skin cells so it reduces flaky skin. It also reduces inflammation and gives you an even skin tone.
You can use a drop of frankincense to massage your face or add a few drops to your body cream and apply it on your skin.
It’s very good at balancing the oils in the skin so it works for both people with oily and dry skin. Geranium also has moisturizing effects to keep the skin from drying out. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it soothes dry and irritated skin.
You can add a few drops of geranium in your face mask or add a few drops in a water bottle and sprinkle it on your skin to revitalize it.
It’s very good at moisturizing and revitalizing the skin. Ylang-ylang is also very good at balancing the levels of oil in the skin so it’s suitable for all skin types.
Add a few drops of Ylang-ylang into a carrier oil and use it to massage your skin at the end of every day. You can also add a few drops into your bathwater or in your facial/body cream to apply it directly to your skin.
Tea Tree Oil
It’s very soothing to dry, irritated, and itchy skin. It’s especially suited for oily skin because of its cleansing properties.
You can use tea tree oil by adding a few drops into a moisturizer and applying it to your skin a few times a day. You can also dip a cotton ball in it and dab directly to the dry parts of your skin.
It prevents the loss of water from your skin and improves its texture and tone. This helps in keeping the skin looking younger for longer. Rose essential oil also has antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds that reduce irritation and inflammation.
To use rose oil, apply it directly to your skin or add it to your face or body cream and massage it gently.
Essential Oil Recipes for Dry Skin
Here are two recipes you can use to hydrate your skin and to soothe dry and irritated skin:
Hydrating and Firming Oil
- 20 drops of frankincense
- 10 drops of rose oil
- 10 drops of helichrysum essential oil
- Jojoba oil
- Add essential oil into a 10ml roller bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with jojoba oil or any other carrier oil and close the lid.
- Shake the contents of the bottle then roll it gently all over your skin
Soothing and Calming Salve
- 10 drops of frankincense
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 5 drops of lavender oil
- 2 tablespoons of beeswax
- 2 teaspoons of vitamin E oil
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil or almond oil
- 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil
- 1 glass container
- Place the beeswax in a double boiler until it melts
- Add the coconut or almond oil, vitamin E oil, and grapeseed oil on the melted beeswax and let them all melt together. Once it’s one mixture, remove it from the heat and let it cool
- Add the essential oils to the cooled melted mixture and stir well. Let it sit for 2 hours
- The salve is ready and you can apply it on dry and irritated skin.
You can choose any of the above essential oils or combine a few and you’ll have smooth and radiant skin within no time! Let your doctor know what essential oils you are using so that you can get a go-ahead that it’s safe for your use.