Dry face skin remedies


Dermatologists’ top tips for relieving dry skin

Simple changes can soothe dry skin

Following the same skin care routine year round may not work so well when the humidity drops. Without a change in your skin care, dry air can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. Dry skin can itch, flake, crack, and even bleed.

To help heal dry skin and prevent its return, dermatologists recommend the following.

  1. Prevent baths and showers from making dry skin worse. When your skin is dry, be sure to:

      Close the bathroom door
  2. Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes
  3. Use warm rather than hot water
  4. Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser
  5. Apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil, but avoid using so much that you see a thick lather
  6. Blot your skin gently dry with a towel
  7. Slather on the moisturizer immediately after drying your skin Dry skin is a common issue that can affect anyone. To help, dermatologists recommend following these bathing tips to get dry skin relief. Click the image above to download a PDF.
  8. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing. Ointments, creams, and lotions (moisturizers) work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within few minutes of:

      Drying off after a shower or bath
  9. Washing your face or hands
  10. Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion. Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Shea butter also works well. Other ingredients that help to soothe dry skin include lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum.


    Carry a non-greasy hand cream with you, and apply it after each hand washing. This will greatly help relieve dry skin.

  11. Wear lip balm. Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips. Some healing lip balms can irritate your lips. If your lips sting or tingle after you apply the lip balm, switch to one that does not cause this reaction.

  12. Use only gentle, unscented skin care products. Some skin care products are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin. When your skin is dry, stop using:

      Deodorant soaps
  13. Skin care products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) Avoiding these products will help your skin retain its natural oils.
  14. Wear gloves. Our hands are often the first place we notice dry skin. You can reduce dry, raw skin by wearing gloves. Be sure to put gloves on before you:

      Go outdoors in winter
  15. Perform tasks that require you to get your hands wet
  16. Get chemicals, greases, and other substances on your hands
  17. Choose non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent. When our skin is dry and raw even clothes and laundry detergent can be irritating. To avoid this:

      Wear cotton or silk under your clothing made of wool or another material that feels rough
  18. Use laundry detergent labeled “hypoallergenic”
  19. Stay warm without cozying up to a fireplace or other heat source. Sitting in front of an open flame or other heat source can dry your skin.

  20. Add moisture to the air. Plug in a humidifier. If you can check your home heating system, find out if you have a humidifier on the system — and whether it’s working.

When to see a dermatologist

Your skin should start to feel better quickly. If these changes do not bring relief, you may want to see a dermatologist. Very dry skin can require a prescription ointment or cream. Dry skin also can be a sign of a skin condition that needs treatment. A dermatologist can examine your skin and explain what can help reduce your discomfort.

Related AAD resources

  • Dry skin relief (video)

How to Get Rid of Peeling Skin on the Face, Fast

Peeling skin on your face can be addressed with home remedies and medication. Most home remedies emphasize prevention, while traditional medication and facial treatments can sometimes heal dry skin that’s already peeling.

You may choose to use home remedies in tandem with a prescription that you get from a doctor.

Home remedies

If your skin is already peeling, refrain from touching it as much as you can. While you may want to cover your peeling skin with makeup, chances are that piling makeup on top of your skin won’t make the peeling any less noticeable. Cosmetics can also dry out your skin and make the peeling worse.

  • Use fragrance-free and mild cleansers and soaps. Building a soap lather on your skin’s surface dries out your skin.
  • Avoid products that could make your skin drier. Antibacterial soaps, deodorant soaps, and skin care products that contain alcohol should be avoided, especially on your face.
  • After washing your face, apply a moisturizer. Washing your face can add moisture to dry skin, but you need a moisturizer to lock in the effects on your skin.
  • Use soft towels when you touch your face. Rougher towels can damage your skin.
  • Dermatologists recommend that you take shorter showers and try to use lukewarm to warm water instead of using hot water. The steam from a shower can open up your pores, but it can also dry out your skin.
  • Always pat the skin on your face dry instead of rubbing your face. This helps preserve the smoothness of your skin.
  • Exfoliate your face to get rid of skin that’s peeling, but do it the right way. If your skin is peeling, avoid using a cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids, alcohol, or perfume. Try using lukewarm water and a soft washcloth or shower mitt to gently rub the skin on your face and loosen any skin that’s flaking. Don’t ever peel your skin, especially when it’s wet.
  • Applying a topical anti-inflammatory agent, such as aloe vera, could help your skin to heal.

Medical treatment and acne medication

A dermatologist may treat peeling skin with a combination of medication and treatments administered in their office. If you have an underlying health condition that’s causing the skin on your face to peel, you may need to begin treatment or adjust your current treatment for that condition before your symptoms improve. Treatments for peeling skin on your face include:

  • acne medication like doxycycline (Oracea)
  • chemical peels
  • prescription corticosteroid creams

10 Natural Dry-Skin Remedies You Can DIY at Home

How Natural Remedies Can Help Soothe Dry, Irritated Skin

Your skin naturally produces oil, called sebum, which helps protect the skin from moisture loss, but everyday actions — such as forgetting to put on moisturizer or washing your hands with a drying soap — can strip natural oils from your skin. For people without acne, which involves overproduction of sebum (and for whom extra oil would provide the opposite of the desired effect), using oils can help restore skin’s sheen and protective barrier.

There are many ways to reap the moisturizing benefits of oils, either on their own or with other ingredients, to make a DIY nourishing mask or an exfoliating rub. Lopez recommends that castor oil, lavender oil, and avocado oil may be good natural remedies for dry skin, again, so long as you do not have acne.

Coconut oil is another oil you may have in your kitchen cabinet and may also be good choice for those not prone to acne. People with atopic dermatitis — a type of eczema and an allergic skin condition characterized by dryness and itching — saw excellent results when they used virgin coconut oil on their skin, according to a study published in January 2014 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

Aloe vera, a plant with natural healing properties, can also be infused in oils and used as a natural moisturizer.

RELATED: 6 Natural Oils for Smooth and Radiant Skin (That Aren’t Coconut)

10 Natural, DIY Remedies to Moisturize Dry Skin

A simple way to use your favorite oil (in its purest form), is to drizzle the oil into warm bath water and treat yourself to a short soak; gently pat your skin dry afterward to avoid rubbing all the oil off.

You can also try these natural remedies:

1. Whip up an Olive Oil Cleanser to Soothe Dry Skin

A great natural oil to use is olive oil, which works as a natural cleanser and moisturizer, says Brandy Crompton, a licensed aesthetician and manager of LeBliss Salon and Spa in Louisville, Kentucky. “Just rub the oil into your skin and drape a warm, damp cloth over your face until it cools,” Crompton says, “then wipe away the excess oil.” Olive oil is a good choice as a cleanser because it won’t strip your skin’s natural oils, but it will clean your skin, she adds.

2. DIY a Rich, Creamy Avocado Mask

Creating a homemade mask of avocado is another natural way to soothe dry skin. Crompton suggests pureeing half an avocado and mixing it with a teaspoon of olive oil; you can also add a tablespoon (tbsp) of honey for very dry skin. Apply the mask to your face, leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off. Your skin should feel moisturized, but you can double up on the hydrating effects by applying your regular moisturizer as well.

RELATED: 5 Causes of Dry Skin and How to Help Fight Them

3. Make a Natural Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub

Create a naturally moisturizing exfoliating scrub using a combination of olive oil and sugar. Combine ½ cup of sugar with 2 tbsp of olive oil, Crompton says. If you want, you can also add an essential oil like lavender, which adds a natural fragrance and can promote relaxation. Gently rub the scrub into your skin, and then wash it off. Last, use a soothing moisturizer to lock in the benefits of freshly exfoliated skin.

4. Create an Easy Oatmeal Soak to Calm Your Skin

Adding a cup of oatmeal to a warm bath can naturally rehydrate dry skin, Lopez says. “The oat product itself is soothing,” Lopez explains, and it helps your skin retain moisture from the bath water.

5. Exfoliate Your Face With a Homemade Oatmeal Honey Mask

Oatmeal also makes a great exfoliator or mask. Mix 2 tbsp of oats with a tablespoon of honey and a dash of water. Crompton suggests warming up the mixture, then rubbing it into your skin. You can use it just to exfoliate and wash it off right away, or leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes as a soothing, hydrating mask.

RELATED: 5 Reasons You Should Eat Oatmeal Every Day

6. Apply Coconut Oil Before Bedtime

“Coconut oil becomes a solid at room temperature, so use it as a moisturizing cream at bedtime or anytime,” recommends Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Los Angeles-based Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center. “For chapped heels and hands, apply the oil then layer with thick socks or nonlatex gloves.”

7. Add Your Favorite Oil to Your Bath

“Natural oils are great for moisturizing the skin and helping to recreate the natural skin barrier, which is often damaged by frequent hand and face washing with water and drying soaps that strip the skin if its natural protective oils,” Dr. Shainhouse says. Aside from olive oil or coconut oil, you can test out other natural oils that are free from irritants, including jojoba, argan, and avocado oils. To use, Shainhouse recommends adding a few tablespoons of the desired oil under running bathwater. You can also apply a small amount to your skin post-shower to keep is soft and moist.

8. Use Milk Compresses for Irritated Skin

“Milk has natural anti-inflammatory properties,” says Shainhouse. “It also contains lactic acid, a mild, natural exfoliant.” Shainhouse recommends using these compresses for your skin for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. It’s especially helpful for irritated skin that’s itchy, too. Lactic acid can sting cracked skin, though, so use with caution, per the American Academy of Dermatology.

RELATED: The Best Anti-Aging Creams to Add to Your Skincare Regimen

9. Consider a Fruit Enzyme Cleanser or Exfoliant

Fruit enzymes can be lifesavers during dry-skin season. “These alpha-hydroxy acids are great for gently exfoliating the superficial layer of dulling dead skin cells on the face and body,” says Shainhouse. She recommends using a fruit enzyme–infused wash or mask twice per week. Some good fruit enzymes to look for include pineapple, pumpkin, and papaya.

10. Apply Aloe Vera to Dry, Irritated Skin

While often thought of as a remedy for sunburn relief, aloe vera gel can be helpful during the dry winter months, too. It works by alleviating redness and irritation related to excess dryness, and it can even decrease signs of aging, as well as acne breakouts, according to previous research. But Shainhouse cautions that some people can develop allergic contact dermatitis to aloe, so you may want to perform a patch test first before applying it to a large area of skin.

RELATED: 5 Sunburn Treatments to Save Your Vacation

RELATED: Is the Ketogenic Diet Good or Bad for Your Skin?

5 Expert Tips for Avoiding a Dry Skin Relapse

There are other steps you can take to protect your skin and help keep it from drying out.

  1. Make moisturizing a part of your daily skin care routine. As soon as you step out of the shower, slather your skin from head to toe with a rich, creamy product (the thicker it is, the richer it is), notes the American Academy of Dermatology.
  2. Develop other skin-friendly bathing habits. You should also avoid hot showers, limit baths to 10 minutes, and opt for a mild body wash rather than a drying bar soap, per the academy.
  3. Avoid exposing your skin to harsh chemicals. That includes alcohol and apple cider vinegar. These ingredients can worsen dry skin, and even cause burns in some cases, Shainhouse says.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Boosting your water intake helps hydrate your body and moisturize your skin from the inside out.
  5. Dress appropriately for the weather. This goes beyond wearing sunscreen in the summer to help protect against not only sunburns but also skin cancer. “Remember to put on your gloves before you go outside into the winter air, to prevent dryness and chapping,” Shainhouse says.

RELATED: 7 Creative Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Your Diet and Beauty Regimen

Additional reporting by Diana Rodriguez.

At-Home Beauty Remedies That Really Work

Winter is coming! And so are the holidays. Look and feel your best this holiday season by skipping the spa and trying these natural, household products. You’ll be thrilled about how you look and feel… and about how much money you’ll save for everyone on your holiday list.

1. Baking Soda
Mix baking soda and water until it becomes a paste. Gently exfoliate your face and body with the mixture. The baking soda doesn’t only get rid of dead skin; it deep cleans your pores leaving your skin feeling completely clean and rejuvenated. Try some baking soda on your toothbrush too to get rid of bad breath and deep stains.

2. Olive Oil
Olive oil has many great uses outside of the kitchen. Our favorite is using it to soften cuticles. Another great use is mixing olive oil with sugar to exfoliate your skin without over drying it.

3. Lemons
Winter means dry skin! If you suffer from dry hands and skin, cut a lemon in half and rub it on your hands, elbows and knees. It works in seconds and your skin will come out baby soft. And it smells amazing! Squeeze some lemon in your water too to help flush out any toxins in your body.

4. Coconut Oil
This is another household ingredient with several uses. Try using it instead of shaving cream. It’s gentle and creamy, leaving your legs feeling silky soft and hydrated. Try it as a mouth wash too to help whiten your teeth and get rid of headaches.

10 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin

Come autumn and most people I know start to stock up their creams, moisturisers and other skin nourishing products. During this time of the year, the skin starts to feel stretched and leathery, especially for those people who have dry skin. And for others who have been neglecting a proper skin care regime also notice patchy and discoloured, dull looking skin. Coming to people with oily and combination skin types, the skin starts to look better, more porcelain and glowing, but remember even these skin types will feel a tightening and stretching of the skin and will require not just moisturising but nourishing too. So what’s the difference between moisturising and nourishing you’d ask? The simplest way to explain it to you would be comparing a dehydrated powdered soup available in packets as against a fresh, wholesome, home-made soup. You can never replace the goodness of pure fresh ingredients and products whether it is on your skin and hair or something you take internally.

So what are these winter skin nourishers that give you the goodness of natural ingredients? Do they just moisturise the skin or do they nourish and pamper it too? Most certainly the answer is in the affirmative. Let’s have a look at some of nature’s wonderful skin nourishers and see how you can use them to improve, soften, nourish and pamper your skin.

Natural Skin Nourishers

Here are 10 amazing home remedies for a glowing skin:

1. Honey

Honey when taken internally and externally is excellent for the skin. For combination to dry skin types, take one teaspoon of honey and massage on the skin daily. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then wash. Pat dry and you will see that not only is your skin softer but also glowing. Make sure you use raw honey both internally and externally in order to reap maximum benefits. Organic raw honey is easily available everywhere nowadays.
(Also Read: 7 Easy Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dandruff)

2. Figs

It is one of my all-time favourites. Take two figs (anjeer) and mash them. Mix in with a little milk and gentle rub on the face for one to two minutes. Wash the face with water and pat dry. This remedy will help remove all the toxins on your skin and help it glow better. the mildly abrasive nature of figs help keep the skin healthy. Make sure you use this face pack regularly to reap maximum benefits. Make sure it suits your skin. Try a sample of this pack on your hand and see if it does not react.
(Also Read: 5 Natural Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dark Circles)

3. Milk

I personally love this ingredient. Not only does it softens and nourishes the skin but also makes it sensuous and helps in de-tanning. Wipe your skin with full fat milk twice a day or just splash a small bowlful of cold milk on your skin and pat dry. Milk is known to be one of the best moisturisers for your skin. This one’s a great home remedy for those who have a dry skin. Ensure that you apply it regularly.
(Also Read: Home Remedies For Chapped Lips)

4. Avocado

The healthy fruit with aphrodisiac properties works wonders for dry skin. Mash an avocado and apply it onto a clean skin, slowly massaging it. Leave it on for a minimum of 15 minutes before you wash off with milk and then water. Full of healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants, avocadoes are great for your skin health. Using avocado oil is also one of the best options to keep your skin healthy. Eating avocadoes is also one way to help your skin glow.

5. Banana

A common man’s moisturiser and nourisher, never underestimate this fruit. Mash a ripe banana and massage the skin with the pulp. Even the driest of skins will thank you for it. Banana contains moisture, potassium and vitamins E and C, which are responsible for promoting clear skin. Use a ripe banana as it has more beneficial effects that unripe one.

6. Almond

Whether you are using pure almond oil or almond paste, both are excellent sources of Vitamin E, providing nourishment for your skin externally. For dehydrated and dry skin, first massage the face with one teaspoon almond oil and then make a paste of 10 almonds mixed with a little milk and scrub it gently onto the skin. Wash the face with milk and then water. Not only will this help patchy skin but will give the skin an youthful texture, something we are all in constant search of.

7. Olives

Olive is an excellent source of vitamins. Take three to four mashed olives and apply it onto the skin and let it dry. Wash off with cold water and pat dry. It will help restore the skin’s natural pH. Olives or olive oil has long been known for their health and skin benefits. Olive oil is packed with anti-ageing antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it amazing for hair and skin health along with nails.

8. Papaya

I am amazed at the goodness of this humble fruit and have used it time and time again on my skin in various treatments, and they have all given positive results. Take mashed papaya and massage it onto the skin for five minutes. Wash the skin with milk and then water and see how clarified and soft your skin feels in minutes. Papaya nourishes the skin; thanks to the presence of vitamin A and papain enzyme, it helps remove dead skin cells and inactive proteins, thus rejuvenating your skin.

9. Sugar

Sugar is an excellent skin softener. For best results, mix the grains with either curd or fresh cream to bring back life to the driest of all skins. Take one teaspoon of shakkar and mix with one teaspoon of malai and gently massage onto the skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash with cold water. Sugar scrubs have long been used for their abrasive nature that helps exfoliate the skin and help it to glow.

10. Aloe vera

This modest plant can be grown practically everywhere – gardens, pots, terraces, etc – and is an excellent rejuvenator for undernourished skin. Scrape out the gel from the leaf, mash it and massage onto the skin. Let it sit there for 10 minutes and wash the skin with cold water and pat dry. Your skin will be rejuvenated naturally. Aloe vera soothes your skin, especially in summers when it faces the sweltering heat.

Now that you have these precious natural nourishers, all you need to do is start using them and see how your skin comes back to life and becomes super soft in minutes.

Until next time, make your skin happy naturally.

About the author:

Suparna Trikha is a beauty expert based in New Delhi. She also teaches meditation through aromatherapy and organises corporate workshops for distressing. She has her own range of 40 beauty products and proposes to launch them very soon in the Indian market as well as abroad. With this crusade of moving back to nature, Suparna believes in making people healthier and more beautiful the natural way.


The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

10 DIY Beauty Treatments The A-List Swear By

Here’s our pick of the weird and wonderful homemade beauty remedies celebrities swear by…

The (Easy) Acne-Fighting Face Mask

Kendall Jenner has been open about her battle with acne in the past. But the 20-year-old supermodel has revealed on her website a very handy – and completely natural – spot treatment to help tighten pores and prevent breakouts. Just mix half a teaspoon of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of honey and apply to your skin overnight.

A Tea Steam Facial


Getting the supermodel glow just got a whole lot easier. Victoria Secret angel Miranda Kerr, reveals her crafty anti-ageing tip, which she uses as part of her weekly skincare regime: a homemade steam bath. ‘Fill your basin with a jug of freshly boiled water, add an organic green tea bag to the water, place your head over the basin and cover with a large towel,’ Kerr says. ‘Let the steam envelope your face for a few minutes to open your pores.’

The Natural Body Buffer


Halle Berry reportedly eschews expensive scrubs, in favour of ground coffee which she adds to her body wash. Coffee-based skincare brand, Frank Body, says that applying caffeine to the skin can stimulate blood-flow, which may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, stretch marks and other skin conditions.

Vegan Hair Conditioner


We will never stop loving Salma Hayek’s tresses. The volume, the waves, the shine. We want all of it. But, rather surprisingly, it’s what’s inside her fridge that provides her hair with the best nutrients. ‘You can put guacamole in your hair,’ she told Buzzfeed. ‘Not with the rest of the stuff, but you can take avocado and put it in your hair.’

Blake’s Beauty Basic


Blake Lively’s barnet, no matter how many times she bleaches it, always looks in the best condition. To banish split-ends she keeps things simple. ‘My mum taught me this really great beauty tip…She used to put oil or mayonnaise on the bottom half of her hair before she would shower,’ she told Byrdie. ‘That way, when she would shampoo, the soap wouldn’t strip the bottom of the hair and dry it out, making it brittle.’ Hmm, maybe don’t try this right before a big night out.

The Organic Teeth Whitener


Gwyneth Paltrow is no stranger to bizarre beauty regimes (bee sting facials, anyone?), but this one we can, almost, get on board with: oil pulling.‘You swish coconut oil around for 20 minutes,’ according to Paltrow. ‘It’s supposed to be great for oral health and making your teeth white.’

Vinegar Skin Elixir

Scarlett Johansson always manages to look flawless, both on and off screen. To get HD prepped 24/7, she raids her kitchen cupboards to keep the pimples at bay. ‘I researched natural skincare and found that apple cider vinegar is really effective,’ Scarlett says. ‘Using it as a toner can be harsh, but if you have breakouts it can be really healing.’

The Zit Buster


It’s always the night before a big do that nasty spots can strike. But when your job requires that you have close-up photos taken at red carpet events, like Gigi Hadid, what’s a girl to do? ‘I put toothpaste on pimples to dry them out,’ Gigi says. ‘It works.’

Superfood Exfoliation


Olivia Munn is a fan of Japanese sweet potatoes to keep her skin smooth and refined. ‘Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I love research,’ the actress wrote on her Instagram. ‘Japanese potatoes that are high in Hyaluronic Acid help keep wrinkles away. I think that the best way to get it in your system is by eating them in foods that naturally have them.’

*Stocks up in Sainsbury’s immediately

READ MORE: The Best ’00s Beauty Trends That Are Making A Comeback

READ MORE: Gigi Hadid Rocks The Coolest ’80s Curls In London

READ MORE: Bleach Is Back! The Hair Trend The A-list Are Obsessed With

Complementary and Alternative Treatments

Many people with eczema use products and practices that are outside Western, or conventional, medicine to help manage their symptoms. If you use these natural therapies with doctor-prescribed medications, you are using a “complementary” method to manage your eczema. If you are using natural therapies in place of conventional medicine, you are using an “alternative” method.

Before you consider any kind of treatment, it’s important to understand what triggers your eczema. Learning about the irritants in your everyday surroundings can help you better manage the condition whether you use traditional medications, alternative therapies, or both.

Combat eczema infections with coconut oil?

It’s true — some of the most powerful eczema remedies are already in your kitchen

  • Learn how natural remedies like coconut oil may reduce the amount of staph bacteria on the skin
  • See which alternative treatments are most effective
  • Learn about the benefits of mind-body approaches
  • Better understand the role of acupressure in treating eczema

Sign up to learn more about alternative eczema therapies

And you’ll also get the NEA “Eczema Basics” booklets for adults and children

The following complementary and alternative therapies have been studied and found to benefit certain symptoms of eczema in adults. Check with your health care provider if you are interested in trying alternative therapies on your child’s eczema.

Natural remedies for eczema

Coconut oil

Studies show that applying coconut oil topically reduces the amount of staph bacteria on the skin, which reduces the chance of infection.

Apply coconut oil once or twice a day to damp skin. Be sure to choose coconut oils that are “virgin” or “cold pressed.” This method of oil extraction does not use chemicals, which could further irritate skin.

Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil boosts the skin’s barrier function, helping it to retain moisture. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Apply sunflower oil to adult skin twice a day, with one of those times being shortly after bathing while skin is still wet.

Avoid using sunflower oil, if you have a known allergy to sunflower seeds.


Cardiospermum is a flowering tropical vine native to India and Africa. When extracted and put into a topical ointment, cardiospermum can help reduce inflammation, itch and bacteria on the skin.

Topical vitamin B12

Topical vitamin B12 has been shown to be effective on eczema symptoms in both adults and children. However, there is no commercial product as of this writing, and so it must be compounded. Dr. Peter Lio, a dermatologist at Chicago Integrative Eczema Center and member of the NEA Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Committee, shares this recipe for a B12 compound, Pink Magic.

Pink Magic

Pink Magic lives up to its name

  • 0.07 g cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12)
  • 46 g persea gratissima Oil (avocado oil)
  • 45.42 g water
  • 8 g TEGO® Care PS or methyl glucose stearate (an emulsifier)
  • 0.26 g potassium sorbate (a preservative)
  • 0.25 g citric acid

You can also mix 0.07 grams of vitamin B12 in a moisturizer base.

Mind-body approach

Stress is a known trigger for atopic dermatitis flares. Though the exact relationship between stress and atopic dermatitis is unknown, experts believe that when you experience a stressful situation, your body produces inflammation. And inflammation is an underlying cause of atopic dermatitis symptoms.

Training the mind

Some experts believe that there is a strong connection between the mind and skin disorders. In fact, some doctors practice what is known as “psychodermatology” to help the patient with stress, anxiety and other emotional disorders that may worsen his or her symptoms. Psychodermatology is more commonly practiced in Europe than the U.S.

Some techniques used include:

  • Hypnosis
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation

Read more about training to mind to combat eczema itch.


Acupressure is similar to acupuncture but with physical pressure applied to certain points on the body, rather than needles, to unblock “life energy.” Limited studies show that acupressure can help relieve the symptoms of itch and lichenification — thick, leathery skin.

Learn more about the connection between acupressure and eczema relief.


It is well known that massage helps relieve stress, which may then help reduce eczema flares. It’s important to go to a massage therapist who is accredited and experienced with working with people with non-contagious skin conditions. Prior to your appointment, check with your massage therapist to be sure the oils and lotions used will not trigger your eczema or make it worse. Bring your own, if you are unsure.

Read more about massage and eczema.

How to Get Rid of Dry, Flaky Skin Overnight

Anyone who’s experienced the discomfort of dry, flaky skin wants a fix, and fast. Below you’ll find a brief list of dry skin dos and don’ts, all supported by published research. Read on to find out how to get rid of dry skin on your face, body, and lips.

What to Do for Dry Flaky Skin

  • Know that dry skin is a skin type, not a temporary or seasonal condition. Because of this, you should use products designed to tackle dry flaky skin year round.
  • Know which skin care ingredients best help boost and/or retain moisture:
    • Hyaluronic acid is present in your skin naturally—plus, as a ski ncare ingredient, it’s proven capable of holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s an ideal hydrator for excessively dry skin (and can also help dehydrated skin).
    • Ceramides are lipids (aka fats) that naturally comprise over 50% of skin’s surface. One of their main functions is to prevent moisture loss, so—like hyaluronic acid—they’re virtually unmatched as skin care ingredients when it comes to helping get rid of flaky dry skin. Ceramides can literally smooth, revive, and secure surface skin cells that would otherwise look dried out.
    • AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid not only exfoliate to remove the top layers of dead, dry skin, but also increase skin’s ability to hold on to vital hydration, easing future signs of dryness.
    • Nourishing, non-fragrant plant oils like jojoba, safflower, and sunflower (among a long list of others) can work wonders for scaly dry skin. But make sure you know the difference between soothing plant oils and fragrant essential oils, which are harsh, irritating, and drying. When in doubt, let our online ingredients dictionary be your guide.
    • Omega fatty acids are also a weightless hydrators for dry, flaky skin, with their ability to calm and soothe sensitivity and to reinforce skin’s surface.

How to Treat Dry Flaky Skin

To heal dry skin, it’s essential to pay close attention to ingredient lists, to swap out products to those more suitable for dry and flaky skin if needed, and perhaps to change some ingrained behaviors—but your newly soft, plumper-looking, smoother-feeling skin will be well worth the effort:

  • Don’t put any fragranced products on your skin (yes, that includes lip and body products). Fragrance is the number one cause of sensitized skin.
  • Don’t use products containing sensitizing ingredients like denatured alcohol, essential oils, mint, menthol, and eucalyptus.
  • Don’t use products containing clays and starches; these absorbents won’t damage your skin, but they can be drying if your skin isn’t oily.
  • Don’t use abrasive scrubs to exfoliate; rather, use a gentle leave-on product that invisibly, effortlessly sloughs dead skin. This will allow your moisturizing products to absorb more fully and work more effectively.
  • Don’t use very hot water; we know, a hot bath or shower feels perfect in winter, but cooling the temperature a bit will help prevent uncomfortable dryness and flaking. Post-shower, apply a layer of soothing, emollient lotion. If your skin is very dry or even scaly, try a luxuriously thick body butter loaded with non-fragrant, plant-based oils and butters.
  • Don’t use bar soap or bar cleansers, even on your body Rather, switch to a hydrating cream or oil cleanser. The ingredients that keep soaps and bar cleansers in bar form can leave a residue on skin that keeps your moisturizers from doing their job.

Learn more about dry skin.

References for this Information:

Skin Research and Technology, August 2015, pages 366–372
Clinical Cosmetic Investigative Dermatology, August 2015, pages 413–421
Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Tisserand, R., Young, R., Elsevier Ltd., 2014, pages 69–98
Journal of Clinical and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, October 2014, pages 2473–2483
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, July 2014, pages 177–184
Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, June 2014, pages 25–32
Archives of Dermatological Research, March 2013, pages 151–162
Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2012, pages 20–23; and March 2009, pages 38–43

For all of winter’s sweeping seasonal highs (fireside gatherings, snowy walks, and ice-skating in Central Park), there are a few less pleasant side effects to note. Enter the onslaught of dry, itchy skin that’s currently settling in for the long haul. While switching to a good moisturizer at the first sign of chill proves helpful, the drier climate and indoor heat may have already taken a toll. Fortunately, there’s still time to get serious about a daily routine to ensure a hydrated, glowing complexion. Here, with the help of New York City dermatologist Shari Marchbein, M.D., is the definitive guide for preventing, soothing, and dealing with dry skin.

Prep Your Home

The drier the air, the drier the skin. To maximize the amount of water in the air, Marchbein recommends placing a humidifier in the room where you spend the most time, which, in many cases, is the bedroom. “A cool air humidifier increases the moisture level in the air,” helping skin’s barrier stay hydrated, she says. In addition, be sure the heat is kept on low or at a moderate temperature to avoid extra dryness in the air.

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Change Up Your Diet

With a direct connection between the gut and skin health, increasing your daily intake of fats may help with dry skin. Marchbein recommends eating a diet rich in walnuts, olive oil, and avocados (but not to sub them for a proper skin-care routine). While that extra glass of full-bodied red wine may seem like a good idea, Marchbein takes a conservative approach. “Don’t overdo it with alcohol, caffeine, and coffee,” she explains, as they are diuretics that will cause dehydration. And, she says, “drink tons of water.”

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Buff Your Skin

No matter how many serums and creams are applied, dry skin will stay dry without some light exfoliation. “Pick up a gentle scrub,” says Marchbein, “something with a mild glycolic or lactic acid to get off the dead skin.” The expert suggests swapping a gentle formula for your regular cleanser two to three times a week. For those with raw or severely dry skin, skip the exfoliator and incorporate a wet washcloth instead for a gentler option. And tailor your Retin-A usage to every other day because, while it’s surely the wrinkle-fighting hero product, it is also a strong exfoliant and “may cause extra dryness during the winter.” Now that the skin is buffed, “ moisturizers can penetrate and really get to work.”

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Slather on an Antioxidant Serum

While most summertime products get swapped out come winter, serums are the one exception to that rule. “As long as it’s alcohol-free, an antioxidant serum is perfect for year-round usage,” says Marchbein. No matter the climate, skin “gets attacked by free radicals,” she explains, causing sun spots, the breakdown of collagen, and premature fine lines. To prevent the damage, apply a vitamin C formula as a first layer in the morning, before layering on heavier products. And don’t forget the sunscreen—a daily dose of SPF 30 will keep skin covered, even on cold, cloudy days.

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Switch to a Heavy Face Cream

Perhaps one of the most important and commonly overlooked steps in the dry skin game is changing to a seriously hydrating moisturizer. “Look for creams, rather than lotions, that are made with ceramides and hyaluronic acid,” Marchbein says. Ceramides aid in the prevention of the skin’s barrier, which is “easily broken down during the winter.” For patients with severely chapped faces, pack on a hefty amount of product, she says, morning and night.

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Avoid Harsh Cleansers

Be sure to toss any face washes with drying ingredients, like fragrances or additives, in favor of those with formulated chamomile or oatmeal. “A really gentle cleanser, like Cetaphil, is a great option that won’t strip skin of its natural oils,” which are needed to protect overall moisture, Marchbein says.

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Zero In on a Nighttime Routine

Every night before bed, Marchbein recommends sticking to a routine that will ensure healthy skin come morning. After your face serum and moisturizer, apply a gentle eye cream to the under eyes and lids, like Kiehl’s avocado treatment. For extra protection, coat the area with Aquaphor. “The product will seal in the cream and prevent against redness and eczema,” both of which are common during this time of year.

While the heat from an evening shower may feel phenomenal on a chilly day, Marchbein advises to limit rinse time to five minutes or less and to use warm—not hot—water, which only adds to surface dehydration. And instead of irritating soap bars or harsh body washes, pick up a creamy cleanser, like Dove’s gentle formula. “Within 60 seconds of ,” she says, apply a thick body moisturizer. “Look for something with mineral oil, lanolin, or ceramides,” she explains, to help skin hold on to moisture throughout the night.

As a last step, Marchbein urges patients to coat hands with a thick moisturizer, like CeraVe, and dab Aquaphor on cuticles and lips before hitting the sheets. And for those who are feeling overly dry, a hydrating sheet mask may be a good idea once a week at bedtime. “Stay away from anything with charcoal or clay,” she warns, citing calming yet hard-working products should contain plenty of hyaluronic acid. Here’s to healthy, hydrated, and happy skin through spring.

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Each day, the delicate skin on our hands is put through a disproportionate share of abuse compared with other areas of the epidermis. Every chore – whether it’s gardening, cooking a meal, cleaning your home, doing laundry, washing dishes, or bathing your pets – involves using these remarkable tools we call hands. In addition to these tasks, an extremely hands-on job or a particularly handsy hobby can quickly render the flesh on hands dry, cracked, and rough to the touch. Worse still, it can make them appear aged well before their time.

What Causes Dry Hands?

Of the three layers of skin on the human body, the epidermis is the outermost layer that protects the dermis and hypodermis from the elements. This external covering provides a waterproof barrier that wards off infection from pathogens, defends against UV light, and helps to prevent chemicals and other environmental pollutants from being wholly absorbed into the body.

Dry, chapped hands are a sign that this outer layer of skin has been compromised. While the epidermis is programmed to retain moisture, consistent exposure to these elements can quickly damage the skin:

  • Water – Repeatedly getting your hands wet throughout the day – through washing or immersing your hands in water – means hands are losing moisture. Constant contact with water strips skin of its natural oils.
  • Dry Air – Though chapped hands can happen any time of year, winter is particularly hard on the skin since dry, cool air draws moisture from the epidermis.
  • Soaps – Designed to bond with oil and grime so it can be rinsed away, soap can be very drying to the skin.
  • Chemicals in Products – Routine exposure to harsh chemicals in everyday products like household cleansers can quickly sap the skin’s moisture levels.

And once the skin barrier has begun to lose its natural oils and moisture, every time the hands come into further contact with water, soaps, chemicals, allergens, or cold and dry air, it hastens the process and makes the skin on our hands dry out much faster.

10 Home Remedies to Rejuvenate Dry Hands

Quickly return your hands to their naturally smooth and supple state with these rejuvenating home remedies:

1. Use Moisturizing Soaps

Avoid washing up with traditionally made bars of soap and astringent antibacterial cleansers since they will completely dry out your hands in short order. When purchasing hand soaps, look for brands that don’t include ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic dyes, and artificial fragrances, all of which serve to dry out the skin. We recommend Puracy Natural Liquid Hand Soap since it not only avoids these harsh ingredients, it contains vitamin E, aloe vera, and Himalayan pink salt to help proactively moisturize and rehydrate dry skin.

Another option is to make your own soap from scratch. Crafting your own soap means you’ll have total control over the ingredients within. You can use a combination of naturally moisturizing and reparative things like yogurt, oatmeal, aloe vera juice, goat’s milk, sweet almond oil, and beyond.

2. Exfoliate with a Gentle Scrub

Slough off those dead skin cells by rubbing your hands with an exfoliating scrub each week. Here are four simple recipes to get you started:

  • ¼ cup of baking soda + ½ cup of softened coconut oil
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar + ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup of coarse sea salt + ¼ cup of jojoba oil

Slowly massage all over your hands in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. Allow your skin to absorb the mixture for another 30 seconds. Rinse with warm water.

3. Keep a Bottle of Moisturizer Handy

While keeping your hands moisturized to counteract dryness is a no-brainer, what types of moisturizers will work best on our tired, overworked hands?

Most moisturizers are made by balancing three kinds of ingredients:

  • Humectants draw water from the air to the surface of the skin. Examples of natural humectants include aloe vera, honey, and lactic acid.
  • Occlusives work by forming a waterproof layer on the surface of the skin to prevent moisture from evaporating. Petroleum jelly is a classic occlusive agent, but beeswax, lanolin, and candelilla wax are much better alternatives.
  • Emollients smooth the surface of the skin by filling in cracks and crevices between skin cells to improve softness and overall appearance. Natural emollients span plant-based oils like jojoba, avocado, and rosehip, Shea and cocoa butter double as emollients and occlusive agents.

Try this: 1 tablespoon of raw honey + 8 tablespoons of 100% pure and organic melted beeswax + 1 cup of sweet almond oil + ½ cup of rose water (or you can make your own rose water). Or, you can experiment with different moisturizing ingredients and ratios to create a hand lotion that works well for your skin.

Just as important as the types of ingredients you use in your moisturizer is the frequency of application. To really tackle dry hands, you should apply moisturizer every time you get your hands wet. And always keep a small bottle with you when you’re away from home.

4. Don a Pair of Gloves

It can be difficult to limit the time your hands spend in water or doing tactile tasks, especially if your job requires it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so whenever possible, wear rubber gloves when you clean, gardening gloves when you’re landscaping, and breathable dexterous gloves for when you work. During the colder months, a good pair of leather gloves can make all the difference.

If wetting your hands is unavoidable, wash in warm water rather than hot. Avoid the use of hot air hand dryers and pat dry with a towel instead. Apply your moisturizer within 3 minutes of washing to help retain moisture.

5. The Overnight Treatment

Applying moisturizer to your hands just before bed is the perfect time for deep hydration since your hands will be idle for a stretch of several hours. Gently massage your hands with lotion, allowing the moisturizer to absorb deeply into the skin. For extra suppleness, apply an occlusive like shea butter afterwards. Then slip a pair of old (but clean) socks over your hands to trap moisture within. Or, invest in moisturizing cotton gloves. When you wake up, you’ll be amazed at how soft your hands will feel!

6. Keep Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is vital for healthy, glowing skin. Aim toward drinking at least eight glasses per day to help flush out toxins and rehydrate your largest organ. Don’t like the bland taste of water? Try one of these vitamin water recipes that will help you meet your daily water needs as well as deliver important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to your body and your skin.

7. Get a Humidifier

There are several benefits of using a humidifier in the home, not least of which is a sizeable boost to skin health. Keep it in the bedroom for maximum impact whilst you sleep.

In a recent test, we identified this MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier to be the best affordable humidifier.

8. Moisturize From the Inside Out

Food is its own kind of medicine. Boost your skin’s moisture levels naturally by eating more:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish, flax, and fermented cod liver oil.
  • Vitamin E – Nuts, seeds, avocado, spinach, and butternut squash.
  • Vitamin A – Carrots, sweet potato, kale, broccoli, eggs, and apricots.
  • Zinc – Pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, mushrooms, and yogurt.

And avoid eating processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, and salty foods that can cause your skin to dry out.

9. Rehydrate with Essential Oils

The botanical compounds in these essential oils can assist in the effort to soothe and heal dry, cracked hands:

  • Lavender
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium
  • Frankincense
  • Neroli
  • Rosewood
  • Roman Chamomile

Add a few drops of these hydrating oils to your moisturizing lotions or a carrier oil – such as sweet almond oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil.

10. Soak in Some Oats

Rich in protein, vitamin E, lipids, fatty acids, and antioxidants, colloidal oatmeal is an excellent natural treatment for dry skin. When its fine particles are dispersed evenly on the epidermis, it creates an occlusive barrier that acts like a second skin, protecting it from the elements while trapping in moisture.

Pamper your hands with an oatmeal soak. In a large bowl, pour ½ cup of extra fine colloidal oatmeal and top with enough milk to cover your hands. Let them soak in this mixture for at least 15 minutes, but the longer you leave them soaking, the better. For the full body treatment, draw a warm bath and add 1 cup of oatmeal to the water.

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