If you suffer from dry, chapped skin, you're certainly not alone. It's a common issue that plenty of people face. And while it's tempting to go out and spend your money on a bunch of fancy products (we do love our fancy products), it's also one that you can combat with some make-at-home moisturizing skincare. Whether your skin is dehydrated because of the elements, dry from the natural aging process, or parched for some reason you can't determine, these recipes are for you.
Many of the ingredients can be found in your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator; avocado, honey, milk, and brown sugar are all wonderful for dry skin.
If you have skin sensitivities, you'll want to do a test of these recipes on your neck or wrist first. However, most of these ingredients are pure enough that most people (who aren't allergic to the substances themselves) won't have a problem. They're often a good alternative to the aforementioned fancy stuff found in store-bought jars and tubes, because those products often use chemicals for preservation that may contribute to dry skin.
Here are some things to consider in the meantime:
- Everyone's skin will have different needs. Just because something works for one person, doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. So if you try one of these recipes and find the results to be less than ideal, you may need to tweak it, or just move on to another.
- Water, water, water. People who have incredible skin tend to drink lots of water.
- Lay off the alcohol and the sugar before a big event when you want your skin to glow.
- Rethink your cleanser. If you have dry skin, use a creamy cleanser that won't strip it of oils.
- Exfoliation is key. You need to remove dead cells so your skin can soak up moisturizer or oils. But if you have redness, consider skipping anything that will tear at the skin, like a washcloth, sugar, or scrubs with microbeads (which are bad for the environment anyway). Instead, try an enzyme-based exfoliant. These enzymes (typically found in fruit) break down the dead skin naturally and won't dry out your skin any more than it already is.
The Best Avocado and Honey Face Mask
Avocado Face Masks
Avocados are particularly moisturizing. These four amazing avocado masks are great for dry, normal, and combination skin. People with mature, wrinkled, and dry skin will find them particularly hydrating.
Three of the recipes simply require a fresh avocado; the other uses avocado oil. It's best to use a ripe, fresh, organic avocado and to make sure to mash it up into a creamy pulp. When combined with carrot, honey, oil, egg, or buttermilk, they leave your skin fresh and near-perfectly moisturized.
Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the avocado. For the skin, it contains vitamin E to help nourish and soothe, as well as oleic acid to promote collagen production.
Brown Sugar Scrub
A natural exfoliant, brown sugar is the base for many wonderful facial scrubs. These brown sugar scrub recipes not only clear your skin of dry skin cells, they also include moisturizing ingredients.
From a simple coconut oil and brown sugar blend to a hydrating honey and coconut oil scrub with your favorite floral essential oils, there's sure to be a recipe here that works for you. Keep in mind that this physical exfoliator can be irritating to dry or sensitive skin types.
After you wash off your face mask or scrub be sure to apply a hydrating moisturizer or oil afterward to maximize the effects.
Homemade Milk Mask
This is a unique milk mask recipe for the face. Milk works beautifully to moisturize dry skin and its lactic acid does wonders for removing dried skin cells. This recipe makes enough for two masks and uses powdered milk, honey, aloe vera, and essential oils. It is invigorating and can help keep even the driest skin to look and feel healthy.
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that works to exfoliate the skin. Its molecule is slightly larger than glycolic acid, meaning it works a bit slower and doesn't penetrate the skin's outermost layer as easily.
Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter Moisturizer
Your kitchen holds one of the best beauty secrets and it is particularly useful for combating dry skin. Coconut oil can do the job all on its own and it is ideal for everyday use in the winter. Simply slather a little on and wipe off the excess with a damp washcloth before applying your daily makeup. It acts as a perfect foundation primer and keeps super dry skin hydrated. For added hydration, mix coconut oil with cocoa butter and olive oil for your own DIY moisturizer. Keep in mind that coconut oil is an oil, and therefore is comedogenic (pore-clogging). If you have oily skin or are breakout-prone, it's best to skip this recipe.
Cocoa butter comes from the cacao bean, which is found inside the cocoa pod, which grows on the cacao tree. Because it's rich with fatty acids and antioxidants, it makes for a great moisturizer.
Skin Brightening Turmeric Face Mask
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice used all the time in curries, but it also makes a brilliant face mask for dry or aging skin. You get all the spice's healing benefits, including antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and it can reduce inflammation. The turmeric face mask recipe is incredibly simple. You'll simply make a paste of turmeric and flour with honey and coconut oil. It not only moisturizes, it also brightens the skin and is a centuries-old trick used in Indian beauty routines. However, proceed with caution, as turmeric has been known to stain the skin (even if only temporarily). Do a patch test, and only keep your tumeric mask on for five to 10 minutes.
Dark Chocolate Face Mask
Not all chocolate is bad for your skin! Surprisingly, dark chocolate is a fantastic moisturizer when used in a mask and it's an ideal home remedy for dry skin. With just a few simple ingredients—dark chocolate, salt, and milk— and a half an hour of your time, you can hydrate and refresh your skin. To make it even easier, the dark chocolate face mask video will walk you through every step.
Paraffin Wax Treatment for Hands
Your face is not the only place that is susceptible to dry, chapped skin. Many of us find that our hands simply cannot get enough moisturizer, especially in winter or after frequent hand washing. That's where a paraffin wax treatment can help.
This at-home remedy is as luxurious as any wax treatment the spas offer. You simply dip your hands in melted wax (it's not as painful as it sounds), wait 30 minutes, then peel it away. It leaves your hands soft and supple, and works great on your feet, too. Be sure to heat the wax to the point where it melts, but if it's steaming or bubbling, it's too hot for your hands. Complete a patch test on the back of your hand to make sure the wax is a comfortable temperature.
Foot Scrub for Dry, Cracked Heels
Winter may wreak havoc on your hands, but summer is a bear on feet. During sandal season, your heels are exposed to all sorts of harsh environments, and you can counteract that with a simple, DIY foot scrub.
It's a five-step process that works its magic over a few days if you're persistent. Once you get your heels looking and feeling great, keep up the routine on a regular basis and switch between this and a quick pumice stone scrubbing.
Sugar or Salt Scrubs
The final thing we recommend in the battle against dry skin is to make exfoliation a regular habit. Dry skin cells are one of your biggest opponents because they blanket the skin and prevent moisturizers from working to their full effect. By exfoliating, you're removing those and leaving your skin renewed and super clean, ready for your favorite moisturizers.
There's no need to spend big money at the store for a scrub, either. With a little sugar or salt, some water or oil, and other beneficial ingredients from the kitchen, it's very easy to make a face or body scrub at home. The recipes vary, but most will cost you pennies and leave your skin looking great. Just keep in mind that both sugar and salt are physical exfoliators, which can be irritating for many skin types. Sugar is gentler than salt, but you should still proceed with caution. It's best not to use salt to exfoliate the face, and as always, complete a patch test before using sugar or salt to exfoliate your body.
Soleymani T, Lanoue J, Rahman Z. A practical approach to chemical peels: a review of fundamentals and step-by-step algorithmic protocol for treatment. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(8): 21-28.
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