How to heal dry skin

How to Heal Dry Skin: 4 Things You Haven’t Tried

by Medical Review Board

Do you often find your skin feeling tight, especially after showering or washing your face? Do you have flaky patches, or does your skin generally look dull and lackluster? If so, you may be dealing with dry skin. While it’s possible to have dry skin all over your body, it’s most common on the face, hands, and legs. And if you’re looking for solutions to dry skin, you’ve come to the right place.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Understanding the root cause of your dry skin is the first step in finding the best way to heal it. Then, depending on the cause, a variety of things can help. Here are some of the most common causes of dry skin:

  • Dehydration – This is one of the most common causes of dry skin. When your skin is dehydrated, there is not enough water in the outermost layer of your skin, causing it to look and feel dry. Dehydration can be caused by various things, including not drinking enough water, exposure to wind or cold weather, use of certain medications, and more.
  • Environmental Factors – One of the most common causes of dry skin is exposure to environmental factors, such as wind, cold, and sun. These elements can strip away the natural oils that protect the skin, leading to dryness, redness, and irritation. Additionally, indoor heating and air conditioning can contribute to dry skin by sucking moisture out of the air.
  • Harsh Cleansers and Excessive Exfoliation – Keeping your skin clean is essential, but using harsh cleansers or soaps can be detrimental. These products can strip away the natural oils that protect the skin, leaving it dry and irritated. Additionally, exfoliating the skin is essential for keeping it healthy, but exfoliating too often or aggressively can damage the skin and cause dryness.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies – Certain nutritional deficiencies can also lead to dry skin. For example, a lack of vitamin A can make the skin more susceptible to environmental damage, while a lack of omega-3 fatty acids can make the skin less able to retain moisture. 
  • Hot Showers and Baths – While it feels good to relax in a hot shower or bath, this can actually be one of the causes of dry skin. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness, itching, and irritation. Therefore, it’s best to take showers or baths in lukewarm water and limit your time to 10 to 20 minutes. If you absolutely must take a hot shower or bath, be sure to moisturize immediately afterward.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions – Lastly, dry skin can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as eczema, psoriasis, or hormone imbalance.

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Goodbye, Dry Skin — Hello, Healthy Glow

Now that you know some of the most common causes of dry skin, it’s time to find out how to heal it. Of course, we all know that staying hydrated and using a high-quality moisturizer is essential. Still, you can do a few other things to give your dry skin the TLC it needs.

Here are four things you probably haven’t tried yet, but definitely should.

1. Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal baths have long been a natural remedy for dry, irritated skin. The avenanthramides in oats have anti-inflammatory properties, and the oat bran helps to slough off dead skin cells. Oats also contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has been shown to help heal wounds and protect against infection.

To prepare an oatmeal bath, grind one to two cups of oats into a fine powder using a food processor or blender. Next, add the oats to a tub of warm water (not hot) and stir gently to allow the powder to disperse evenly. Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

2. Eat Food with Antioxidants and Omega-3s

Antioxidants are essential for keeping our skin looking young and healthy. These nutrients help to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause inflammation and premature aging. Omega-3 fatty acids are an antioxidant that is especially beneficial for dry skin. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot produce omega-3s on their own, so we must get them through our diet. 

Fortunately, many delicious foods are rich in antioxidants and omega-3s. One of the best diets for including these in your life is the top-rated Mediterranean diet. It has plenty of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and omega-3-rich fish. Other good sources of antioxidants and omega-3s include green tea, dark chocolate, and nuts.

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3. Embrace the Power of Olive Oil

When used topically, olive oil can help to soothe and heal dry, irritated skin. It is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that nourish and protect the skin. In addition, and contrary to popular belief, olive oil has a low risk of clogging pores, with a low comedogenic rating.

There are many ways to incorporate olive oil into your skincare routine. You can use it as a standalone product or with other natural ingredients. Here are two simple strategies for using olive oil to get rid of dry skin:

  • Olive Oil Cleansing Mask – Olive oil makes an excellent cleansing mask. First, rub a generous amount of olive oil into your skin. Then, drape a warm, damp cloth over your face and let it sit until it cools (10 to 15 minutes). Finally, gently wipe away the excess oil with the cloth. Your skin will be soft, radiant, and moisturized.
  • Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub – Looking for a naturally moisturizing exfoliating scrub alternative? Look no further than olive oil and sugar. Combine a quarter cup of sugar with one tablespoon of olive oil. Then, gently rub the mixture into your skin in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water when you’re finished. Your skin will be soft, smooth, and healthy-looking.

4. Hormone Replacement Therapy

If you are dealing with dry skin and hair loss due to the natural decline of hormones as you age, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help. HRT can replenish the hormones your body is no longer producing, improving dry skin and hair loss. It might sound complicated, but it’s a straightforward process that begins with hormone testing from the comfort of your own home. Once you have your results, you can work with a healthcare specialist to create a personalized HRT plan. And don’t worry – you won’t have to travel long distances for treatment. Instead, HRT can be done entirely online through telemedicine appointments.

Final Thoughts

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for dry skin, these four tips are a great place to start. By incorporating some (or all!) of these strategies into your skincare routine, you can get rid of dry skin, keep it at bay, and achieve healthy, radiant skin.