Aside from being the largest organ in our bodies, the skin also acts as a window to your body that tells the stories of your life, from your teenage acne breakouts to your pregnancy’s radiant glow and the wrinkles and sunspots of old age. Your skin reflects both your age and your health. A healthy skin is smooth, without breaks on the surface, warm and neither moist nor wrinkled nor dry and flaky. When your skin is compromised, its ability to function as a protective barrier is weakened. Therefore, it is important to practice proper skincare in order to help it maintain its protective role.
Why do many people get dry, cracked skin?
Dry skin is an agonizing condition characterized by itching, scaling and cracking. Our bodies generate sebum, a natural moisturizer, which safeguards the skin and hair from water loss and external pathogens, maintaining a nice, smooth skin. Sebum is made up of wax esters, cholesterols and fatty acids. However, the chemical makeup of each individual’s sebum varies the same way everyone’s skin is unique. Oily skin means overproduction in sebum and dry, flaky skin means there is limited production of sebum to your skin.
Your hormone levels largely affect your sebum levels within your body. There are various factors that can limit your skin’s production of sebum thereby causing your skin to dry. For example an underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, stress and eczema or, bathing habits or aging. Dry skin can affect anyone regardless of whether you have normal skin or oily skin. Having dry skin means your skin is prone to pathogenic infections, environmental damage, dehydration and it can aggravate signs of aging. The good news is dry skin is treatable and there are great remedies in the market to help soothe and alleviate dry skin.
Why are natural moisturizers the best remedies for dry cracked skin?
The main function of sebum, together with hyaluronic acid, is to lock water in the skin. Therefore, if you are experiencing dry skin, chances are that you are also experiencing dehydrated skin. There is a fine line between dryness and dehydration- when you are suffering from dehydration, it means that there is limited water to plump up your skin cells to enable them absorb the oil you apply to your skin. The work or moisturizers is to act as balanced sebum production to maintain a moisturized, hydrated and protected skin. First, you need to hydrate then apply your moisturizer to ensure you are providing your skin with what it requires to keep it soft and healthy.
Natural moisturizers are the best when it comes to selecting the right moisturizer for you. This is because natural moisturizers are made from natural ingredients that wield powerful vegetable and fruit oils essential oils and butters, which offer proper nourishment hence more effective. Moreover, they are also free of harmful ingredients and chemicals. Moisturizing is very important especially if you have dry skin in order to improve the health of your skin, minimize aging signs, and most importantly restore your skin’s natural, glowing radiance and beauty.
6 Natural Moisturizers for Healing your Dry Cracked Skin
Jojoba comprises of wax esters and fats which mimics our skin’s natural oil. It is highly beneficial to dry cracked skin since the rich texture of the oil takes a while to soak into the skin hence really soothing the top layers of the skin. It also has high levels of antioxidants which help fight against environmental stressors. Since jojoba oils is very mild, you can apply it directly to your skin, add it to your daily moisturizer, or combine it with Vitamin E, grape seed or tea tree oil for added nourishing.
Unlike jojoba, avocado oil penetrates the skin nicely, helping it lock in the moisture. Avocado helps boost moisture from within. It is rich in omega fatty acids, which are building blocks for healthy cell membranes, and provide an incredible boost of vitamin E. You can eat your avocado, or make a face mask by mixing avocado pulp with cucumber juice, honey or olive oil then apply to your face, leave it for 20 minutes them wash it off using look warm water.
3. Shea butter
Its creamy and super moisture qualities make Shea butter perfect for dry cracked skin. It is perfect for variety of skin types including sensitive skin and baby skin. In its pure form, its rich vitamin content and smooth texture makes it the gentlest natural moisturizer there is. You can apply Shea butter directly to your skin or make a blend using a little bit of pure grape seed oil or avocado for perfect results.
Most of us love it for its sweetness, but you’ll be happy to know that honey is also packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties, which help unclog pores and nourish the skin with moisture. Apply honey directly to the skin as a face mask or combine it with lemon or milk as stated in the Ayu, Ayurvedic research journal.
Ayurvedic treatment for skin care is a primordial healing tradition impacting the world of natural skin care. Aryuvedic formulations often comprises of compound combinations of various types of herbs that provide both balance and synergy. The first step to the ayurvedic skin care approach is to know your ayurvedic skin type- Vita, Pita and Kapha. Vita skin generally describes dry skin. The aryuvedic remedy to vita skin includes use of herbs or essential oils such as sweet orange or geranium in combination to nourish and rehydrate your skin.
5. Aloe vera
It’s soothing anti-inflammatory attributes, and minimized side effects makes aloe vera a great remedy for dry, cracked skin. Aloe vera can be applied directly to the skin, add it to your daily moisturizer or mix it with honey or lemon to make a face mask.
Moisturizing dry skin from the inside-out
Moisturizing solutions for dry skin are not only limited to extern application only. Our skin requires specific nutrients to aid it in healing and repairing itself, as well as keep it fully functional, just like the rest of our body. Therefore, aside from the “8-glasses daily” drinking water rule, there are some foods and drinks one can consume to boost your skins moisture and elasticity internally. These include herbal drinks such as chamomile, rose, oat straw, and burdock that are rich in hydrants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Besides keeping you hydrated, healthy foods also work on a cellular level to maintain a smooth and supple skin. So next time you go grocery shopping, stock up on foods that are rich in silica, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant rich. Examples of these foods include fish, nuts, avocado, oysters, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and olive oil.
Some of these remedies can be applied by themselves or mixed with others for maximized results. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is advisable to use only one type of natural moisturizer at each time to see how it responds to your skin. Also, consistency in use ensures effectiveness so you need to be consistent. Remember, it will take some time before you start noting the changes, so patience is key.