Natural remedies for dry skin

Keepers of Cool

Nourish your skin with these DIY remedies that will sooth, restore moisture and get you glowing again.

Dealing with dry, flaky skin can be a struggle. And these problems aren’t just reserved for those who have naturally dry skin. Those with oily or normal skin can also develop dry patches for a variety of reasons. These vary from environmental factors to using harsh soaps, too many hot showers/baths, and swimming in chlorinated water. Dry skin occurs when the outer layer of your skin lacks hydration and moisture, and starts to break down. It becomes flaky and looses its natural glow. While a good skincare routine is important, give your skin a boost with these easy home remedies.

Have a milk bath
To soften and exfoliate dry patches, indulge in a milk bath. Milk is a highly effective moisturiser that soothes dry skin. It contains lactic acid, which has healing and anti-inflammatory benefits, helping the skin retain much needed moisture. It also helps exfoliates dead skin cells, while improving the skin’s natural moisture factor. Soak a washcloth in milk and then place it on a dry or irritated patch for 10 minutes. Then gently rinse off the milk. Use milk that’s heavy and thick for maximum hydration.

Lavender infused olive oil
This combo will give your skin some much-needed TLC. Mix 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 or 2 drops of lavender essential oil. Massage this mix into your dry skin before you to go to bed at night. Olive oil has great moisturising properties, including vitamin E and anti-oxidants, which help repair skin damage and hydrate dry skin. And lavender essential oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which will help relieve the itchiness and irritation. Plus, lavender essential oil helps to relax the mind and body, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

Whip up a hydrating avocado face mask
You might want to skip the avocado toast and reserve the fruit for your face instead. Avocados are packed with healing vitamins A, D, and E, natural oils that moisturise, as well as antioxidants and carotenes that promote healthy skin. Mash half an avocado so that there are no lumps remaining, and create a paste. Spread it all over the dry patches and massage it in. Keep it on for 15 minutes and then wash off with warm water. You can also add ¼ cup of honey to the avocado mash. Honey is a natural humectant, so it prevents loss of moisture thereby keeping your skin moisturised.
Photograph: Dashu83/

Fresh aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is an age-old home remedy for dealing with dry, flaky skin. An excellent natural moisturiser because of its high water content and light texture, aloe vera is full of vitamins and minerals that keep your skin hydrated and supple. It’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help soothe irritated skin and provide a cooling effect. Aloe vera also promotes collagen and elastin production, thereby increasing the skin’s elasticity and suppleness. All in all, aloe vera gel is a skincare must have! While there are aloe vera lotions and creams available, it’s best to use fresh aloe gel. Extract the gel from an aloe leaf and apply the fresh gel on to your skin. Massage it in so that it is absorbed into the skin. Do this at night before going to bed and leave the gel on overnight. Store the remaining gel in an airtight container in a cool place.

Reap the benefits of yoghurt for your skin
With its anti-inflammatory properties, high doses of calcium and zinc, and lactic acid, yoghurt has some great benefits for your skin. The nutrients in yoghurt keep the skin hydrated, protect it from damage caused from free radicals, help it retain moisture, aid in cellular regeneration, and promote healing. You can apply yoghurt on its own or mix it with other natural ingredients like honey, banana, avocado, or cucumber. Leave the paste on affected areas for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.
Photograph: Jin Zan/Creative Commons

Lead photograph: Nensuria /