Five natural remedies for skin dryness
In clinical practice skin dryness is one of the most common conditions that I come across in winter. As the temperature drops and the air becomes cold, our skin can become dry, flaky and irritated. Besides the change in temperature, other causes of dry skin include poor circulation, nutritional deficiency, the use of harsh chemicals, beauty products and hot showers.
There are many natural remedies and treatments that can help alleviate and prevent dry skin. Here are my top five natural remedies and tips to promote healthy and vibrant skin health and soothe skin dryness.
1. Wholefood Diet
Winter can see a shift towards a diet high in stodgier, processed and high carbohydrate foods such as pizza and pasta. Although, we might crave warmer, heartier foods, the most effective way to combat skin dryness is to avoid processed foods. Nutrients that are essential for skin strength, repair and health are collagen, vitamin C, zinc and essential fatty acids and should be considered the first line of defence in in preventing and treating skin dryness. Enjoying daily cups of collagen and mineral-rich bone stock is my first wholefood recommendation. It is high in the nutrients and proteins that build strong skin, and protect against ageing. These nutrients can also be found in the following food sources:
- Zinc: red meat, seafood, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy greens
- Essential fatty acids: flaxseed, walnuts, avocado, fish
- Vitamin C: citrus, kiwi fruit, Kakadu plum
There are some fantastic natural supplements and herbs that can be useful in treating dry and inflamed skin. Below are some of the supplements that I recommend for skin dryness and irritation.
- Evening primrose oil: It can be useful in improving skin quality and reducing dryness. Always opt for a cold pressed, chemical-free option.
- Fish Oil: Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory in the body.
- Zinc: I recommend zinc in the citrate or piccolinate form. Zinc plays an essential role in skin repair and has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Vitamin C: Can contribute to improved skin health and faster healing. I always choose a natural source like Kakadu Plum.
3. Skip the long showers
Steaming hot and long showers can be another contributing factor to skin dryness and irritation as they strip the skin of its natural oils and moisture. Limiting your shower time to 5 minutes and turning the temperature down (as difficult as it may be in winter) will help retain skin moisture.
4. Enjoy Natural Oil Moisturisers
When alleviating dry-skin, it is always best to opt for natural and chemical-free moisturisers and products, avoiding products with petroleum, petrochemical or parabens. I always recommend using organic cold-pressed oils such jojoba, olive, macadamia, coconut oil or shea nut butter as a moisturiser to help prevent skin dryness.
6. Oat Meal and Calendula Flower Baths
When skin is dry, inflamed or irritated a soothing oatmeal bath is a fantastic natural remedy to calm the skin. Oats (Avena Sativa) are naturally hydrating to the skin and have are a natural emollient. Simply add two cups of organic whole oats (you can blend them to a powdered form in the food processor) and one cup of organic calendula flowers to a hot bath and soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes.
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