Dry skin is an annoying winter visitor at our house. My husband and I call it "itchy-back syndrome". (haha)
But it's unfortunately not limited to my back; my legs are what really seem to itch - and no amount of lotion really seems to help. This terrible, annoying, itchy-dry skin, mostly due to hot showers and cold weather, coupled with indoor heating - that just makes for an uncomfortableness in your skin - CAN be treated and improved dramatically by natural means.
The funny thing is though, we can do better for our bodies by treating the dryness from the inside out! Not just with topical creams, lotions and body butters. Below is my dry skin remedy regiment. It's working for us, let's see what it can do for you and your family! ;)
Healthy Fats for Healthy & Lubricated Skin:
- begin by taking it everyday for two weeks without fail (this builds it up in your body)
- 1-3 tsp is preferable of fish oil or cod liver oil before a meal
- 6-10 capsules if you go that route (I prefer liquid, more bang for your buck!)
- choose the above links for a few of my favorite brands.
When we ingest quality healthy fats, we are literally lubricating every cell of the body which can help with every sort of dryness; mucus membranes of the nose and eyes, skin, scalp (flakiness), and even our nether-regions (yes, it can help with vaginal dryness too). Once you have ingested it everyday for 2 weeks, you may not have to be as diligent about it. I've been maintaining pretty well with only taking it three times a week or so. But at first I was very diligent. Other benefits include better cognition, mood, improved bowel movements and healthier bones and teeth. These are absolutely FABULOUS for children who need the healthy fats for calm demeanors, improved focus and attention at school and for healthy development. It's a NO brainer!
Cell Salts are homeopathically prepared minerals that help to bring balance to the body. Kali Sulph is a "fat distributing or oil distributing cell salt". Which means that if the skin is too oily or by contrast too dry, it will help to distribute oiliness if necessary and correct the imbalance if dryness is present. 4 tablets under the tongue 2-3 times daily or placed in your water bottle to go. They are inexpensive and very effective.
Nat Mur is called the "water balancing cell salt" so again, its helping to redistribute moisture in the body. Runny noses, allergies, dry skin - all can be treated with Nat Mur. Nat Mur, should be taken daily for 2 weeks and then only intermittently from there. 4 tablets under the tongue 2-3 times daily or placed in your water bottle.
On the subject of water it, it is crucial to drink the highest quality Reverse Osmosis water with added minerals that you can for health. Half your weight in ounces of purified water daily is recommended. It will go a long way to improve itchiness!
Bone Broths are also really wonderful for dry skin. If you're already doing this - Great! Bone broths are nutrient rich and also rich in moisturizing and healing fats. I've got several posts on the benefits of bone broth but here is one that comes to mind. Bottom line, preparing soups with bone broths will help you ingest the fats needed to have healthy skin, connective tissue, bones teeth and brains.
Avoid Refined White Sugar as much as earthly possible!
I know - what a season to do that!? Sugar dehydrates your skin - really, it ages us like no other thing (besides alcohol I suppose). So if you are looking to try to rid yourself of dry skin, take a few weeks off (before christmas is a good time to do this), from your nightly sweet treat or glass of wine or two. It will help your skin regulate and adjust to the dryness.
If you're doing the above combination of internal moisturizing nutrients, begin to address the body with the topical treatments and rituals that can help keep your skin free from the clutches of jack frost! Here's what you'll want to do that is natural and topical.
One thing I realized about a month ago (as my skin was shedding a layer like a full-on reptile), is that I wasn't exfoliating my skin! No wonder I have leg dandruff! Doh!
I immediately started in with my Scrubby Shower Mitt (or gloves) in the shower for 3 days in a row. This helped a TON!
Exfoliating the dead skin away to make way for brand-spanking-new skin cells will go along way to improve dryness and flakiness. Once you exfoliate for several days in a row, you can back of to 2-3 times per week.
Select an Exfoliating Glove or Mit that QUITE abrasive. Borderline too much for your skin at first. Those fluffy shower balls really don't do much for exfoliating in my opinion and they harbor bacteria like no other. Dry brushing prior to the shower is also beneficial and is wonderful for stimulating movement of the lymphatic glands which is wonderful for your immune system and preventive of major diseases like cancer.
ONE WORD OF CAUTION THOUGH - Don't begin your scrubby glove protocol until you have the best moisturizer in hand that you possibly can; because immediately after showing, while your skin is still damp, you'll need to apply a lotion, balm, cream or salve that is natural and very emollient for the skin.
Lotions, Balms, & Butter's I Love for Dry Skin:
What I've been using lately is straight up shea butter. It's super thick, and very rich in minerals with moisture GALORE for your skin. However it is so thick, that it must be rubbed in the hands first before applying (to warm up the product) so that it can be applied to the skin. It's not the easiest thing to apply - but for me it was worth it. You might start here with the shea butter and then once the dryness is under control, switch to something that is easier to apply. And keep the shea butter for a once in a while treatment for the skin.
For an everyday lotion my suggestion would be Everyday Shea Lavender Lotion from the makers of Alaffia. It's the best natural lotion for the money that I've found. It's effective, contains shea butter and other emollients in it and you get a nice big bottle that lasts quite a while. Apply liberally with the skin still wet for best results.
For Dry Mucus Membranes & Noses (and for frequent colds or respiratory problems:
I highly recommend getting a good humidifier for the bedroom at night. This will help to keep your nasal passages hydrated, making you less susceptible to colds and flus that can be encountered via the nasal passageways, it will also help to add that little something extra to the general dryness in the house. Also turning your heat down at night will help with this.
That's all for now - thanks for reading!
Got tips on dry skin? Reach out or comment here on the blog. I love to learn what others are doing naturally for dry skin! ;)