The Best Natural Ingredients for Dry Skin
The Best Natural Ingredients for Dry Skin
Dry skin is actually one of the easiest concerns to treat with natural ingredients, since there are so many plants in nature that offer both hydration and moisturization. That’s the magical - yet simple - combination to cure dry skin: hydration and moisturization. We will discuss what particular products are best for solving this issue in a future blog post, but for now, let’s talk about what ingredients we should keep an eye out for to help soothe dry skin.
Best Solutions for Dry Skin
Before we get into actual ingredients, let’s talk about a few ways to help prevent dry skin in the first place as much as possible. An important reminder is to never shower in super hot water if you already struggle with dry or itchy skin. While an obvious tip is to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized on the outside, drinking plenty of water every day (between 9-13 cups a day depending on your size) and eating healthy fats that are found in foods like avocados, salmon or nuts will also greatly help keep your skin healthy. It’s true what they say: You are what you eat! A final helpful tip is to moisturize your skin while it is still damp, directly after a shower or washing your face. (This can also be achieved using face and body hydration mists!) Oh, and people with dry skin are the perfect candidates for exfoliation. Sloughing off dead and dry skin cells will definitely help your skin be less tight and itchy and will prime your skin to be extra receptive to the hydration and moisturization you offer it. The cellular turnover effect of exfoliation is extremely helpful when you are looking for a fresh, plump, hydrated complexion.
Anti-Inflammatories Treat Dry Skin
Always begin at the beginning and for skincare, that means first treating any concerns you are seeing with your skin. In the case of dry skin, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are the perfect place to start when trying to work out any underlying issues that may be causing the dry and itchy skin in the first place.
Full of anthocyanins that contain antioxidants, blueberries are excellent at fighting free radicals that damage your collagen. They also protect your skin from environmental damage that can age and dry it. Blueberries are also anti-inflammatory.
Oats are full of polyphenols called avenanthramides that contain both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When you see oats in the ingredient list you know the focus is improving dry skin. Colloidal Oatmeal specifically has long been known to soothe dry, itchy skin and even help treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Accordingly, research shows that lotions containing oatssignificantly improve dry skin.
In addition to being full of antioxidants like blueberries, red raspberry oil also shares their anti-inflammatory traits. This can help soothe skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis that are caused by inflammation but often result in extremely dry and itchy skin. Treating the underlying cause of dryness can be the ultimate solution for many people. Red raspberry is also a UV blocker and sun damage not only ages and wrinkles your skin, it also dries it out over time.
Dry Skin Needs Balancing Too
We commonly think of balancing our skin when it is too oily or even combination skin. However, dry skin needs balancing too and there are ingredients found in nature that do just that.
Lavender is excellent at reducing inflammation, which means it can help keep eczema and psoriasis (two very common conditions that cause extremely ry, flakey, itchy skin) at bay. It also relieves irritation and redness, which again helps soothe symptoms that can result from dry skin. Lavender is also wonderful at balancing the skin’s moisture barrier so that in treating the dryness, you don’t end up with oily skin, but instead a perfectly balanced and healthy complexion.
Nature really outdid itself with the creation of the uber healing aloe vera plant. This soothing plant full of enzymes, antioxidants and vitamins C and A, can treat everything from burns to acne so it’s not shocking to discover it is also extremely beneficial for dry skin. Aloe vera can be used on even the most sensitive skin (and when dealing with dryness, most skin becomes sensitive) and will help balance and calm your skin so that you can properly hydrate and moisturize it.
Hydrate Dry Skin Before Moisturizing
Like we spoke about in the beginning of this post, the two key factors to ending dry skin are hydration and moisturization. You truly need both and while applying them at the same time is an option (in the form of a cream, which typically includes water and oil combined in some manner) it’s even better to moisten skin first with water or some sort of hydrating mist and then apply your oil combinations. Just remember that hydration always comes before moisturization!
Rose or rose oil is full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that are wonderful for treating dry skin. Rose water is also a fantastic way to hydrate dry skin. Rose water maintains a pH balance of 5.5, which matches perfectly with our natural pH that ranges between 4-6 and this helps it hydrate our skin very efficiently.
Honey is an incredible humectant, which means that it literally draws water to your skin. Not only will it bring more hydration to your skin, but it will help preserve that level of hydration. The change from dry and itchy to soft and supple is mind blowing when you begin adding honey to your skincare routine.
Another helpful humectant is glycerin. Again, glycerin will truly pull moisture toward your skin and then helps your skin maintain its moisture barrier, keeping the hydration on your skin. Glycerin can hold several times its weight in water and in hydrating your skin so efficiently it not only makes your skin moist and bouncy, but can help protect it from the elements like pollution and cold, dry air that will damage and dry out your skin further.
After Hydration Comes Moisturization for Dry Skin
The final step is probably the most important of them all and that is to actually add an effective moisturizing agent to your skin. Prepping and hydrating your skin will greatly help truly get rid of dry skin, but of course you ultimately need some type of oil or butter to do the moisturizing itself.
The high levels of vitamin E and essential fatty acids (especially oleic acid and linoleic acid) in argan oil make it a superbly effective moisturizing oil for dry skin.
Another way to deeply moisturize your dry skin is with avocado oil. Full of minerals like potassium and vitamins A, D, and E, as well as necessary fatty acids, this oil does a beautiful job of boosting moisture and combating dryness and dullness.
Sunflower oil is very beneficial for the symptom itself of dry skin, as it is a wonderfully moisturizing oil. It shines in that it also can help combat the skin concerns that can often cause dry skin in the first place due to its high concentration of linoleic acid and its anti-inflammatory properties.
This well known oil definitely has its role in moisturizing dry skin, but many dermatologists will caution you against using it solo or using it on your face if you are acne-prone, as it is a comedogenic (pore clogging) oil. (Yes, many people with dry skin also suffer from acne!) When using a product with coconut oil, be extra certain to hydrate skin before moisturizing and if possible, use a different base layer moisturizer prior to the coconut oil. The coconut oil is especially helpful as a top layer that will properly seal in moisture and also protect your skin from the elements.
Sandalwood contains 90 percent santanol which is known for its moisturizing and viscoelasticity properties - perfect for adding moisture to dry, flaky, itchy skin. It is also highly soothing which allows it to calm skin concerns like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema or just generally irritated skin. A non-physical exfoliator, this oil really treats dry skin from several angles.
Follow These Steps to Heal Dry Skin
Hopefully this list will help guide you as you seek out ingredients and products to help you with dry skin. No matter which ingredients you end up going with, don’t forget to follow this order in order to have the most success leaving dry skin in the dust: Treat, Balance, Hydrate, Moisturize. Using some of the ingredients above in the order listed, along with the tips given at the beginning of this post should really help anyone with dry skin. If you are looking for additional guidance about which specific products contain these ingredients and how to use them to achieve the best results, check out this blog post about products that help heal dry skin. Let us know in the comment section below if this post helped you finally turn dry, itchy skin into a moist, radiant skin with ease!