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Well-hydrated skin often equals smooth, soft, and radiant skin. Skin dryness, on the other hand, can give a dull appearance. Your skin can turn dry due to various reasons, including the weather, diet, and overcleansing the face.
It is vital to improve your skin care routine to prevent skin dryness. Keep your skin well hydrated at all times by applying moisturizers, whatever your skin type.
Moisturizing your skin daily can also help in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and in preventing skin irritation and cracking. Moreover, proper hydration enables proper functioning of the epidermis, leads to an even skin tone, and improves skin health in general. (1)
There are many kinds of moisturizers you can buy, but most are heavy on oils or chemicals that can be harmful to the skin. Fortunately, several natural ingredients have moisturizing properties that you can use to give your skin the necessary hydration and glow.
You can use various natural ingredients, commonly present in most homes, as skin-friendly moisturizers that also provide various other benefits to your skin.
1. Apply honey
Raw honey is an excellent emollient that hydrates the skin, making it soft and supple. (2) The sugar in honey helps improve the hydration levels of the skin and acts as humectants to lock in moisture, thus proving beneficial for skin dryness.
Honey is also useful as an anti-acne treatment as it helps unclog skin pores and cleanses the skin. In addition, honey is rich in antioxidants that prevent skin aging, blemishes, and irritation. Applying honey to your skin regularly can therefore help improve its health, giving it a natural glow.
How to use:
- Mix 2 tbsp of honey with 8 tbsp of water, and apply the mixture to your skin. Once dry, wash it off with warm water.
- Alternatively, apply raw honey directly to your skin. Massage in the honey after 20 minutes of application, and rinse with plain water.
2. Use coconut oil
Coconut oil is full of fatty acids that moisturize the skin. It also boosts collagen production and improves the skin barrier. Moreover, coconut oil possesses antibacterial properties that can help treat eczema and acne. (3) All skin types absorb coconut oil easily, thus providing deep moisturization.
How to use:
- Apply coconut oil to your skin at bedtime for a soft glow in the morning.
- You can also use coconut oil after a shower for daily moisturization.
- Coconut oil can also be used to heal chapped skin. Simply apply the oil to chapped hands and heels, and cover them with nonlatex gloves and thick socks, respectively.
3. Dab some olive oil
Olive oil is another excellent skin-moisturizing agent, owing to its squalene content. It is also rich in antioxidants that curb the damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, olive oil helps keep the skin hydrated for longer by lowering water loss.
Olive oil is also a rich source of vitamin E, which prevents premature skin aging (4) and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, the use of olive oil can improve the hydration level of the skin and also prevent oxidative damage, often caused by sun exposure.
How to use:
Apply olive oil on damp skin after taking a shower. You can also substitute olive oil with almond oil.
4. Use homemade soaps
You can use different natural ingredients such as shea butter, honey, coconut milk, and almond to prepare homemade soaps that are highly hydrating and gentle on the skin.
Using homemade soaps can also help clear your skin of spots, blemishes, and wrinkles, giving it an even tone and a natural glow. There are different moisturizing and nourishing homemade soaps, including aloe vera soap, shea butter and coconut milk soap, goat milk soap, avocado soap, and honey-almond-oatmeal soap.
5. Apply rosehip oil
Rosehip oil is rich in fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, that deeply nourish and hydrate the skin as they are readily absorbed by the skin. Moreover, rosehip oil can help lock in moisture, keeping the skin hydrated for longer.
How to use:
- Apply rosehip oil directly to the skin thrice a day.
- Add rosehip oil to your moisturizer.
6. Use avocado or avocado oil
Avocados are rich in nutrients, including vitamins C and E, fatty acids, and carotenoids. (5) This nutrient-rich composition of avocados nourishes and moisturizes the skin, protecting it from oxidative damage.
The vitamin C in avocados also boosts elastin and collagen synthesis, thus preventing aging signs.
How to use:
- Cut an avocado and mash it properly.
- Apply the paste to the skin.
- Rinse it off with warm water after 10 minutes.
7. Try body butters
Body butters contain hydrating properties as they have high water content. They also contain different essential oils that provide deep moisturization of the skin.
These thick body butters also help treat skin dullness, roughness, and dryness. They can penetrate deep into the skin and supply it with minerals and fats. You can use natural body butters such as shea, (6) palm, cocoa, and mango. (7)
How to use:
It is best to apply body butters at bedtime since they are absorbed in the body slowly.
8. Apply glycerine
Glycerine hydrates the skin and also locks in skin moisture, acting as a natural humectant. (8) Regular application of glycerine can make your skin look fresh and hydrated, fighting dryness and patchiness.
How to use:
- Mix 50 ml each of rose water and glycerine and store in an airtight jar. Using a cotton ball, apply the mixture to your skin and leave it on overnight.
- Mix 2 tsp each of glycerine, honey, and oatmeal to form a thick paste. Apply this paste to your skin, and once dry, scrub it off using milk. Wash your skin with water and pat it dry.
9. Prepare body lotions at home
Body lotions are excellent moisturizing agents that prevent skin dryness and roughness. The body lotions available on the market usually contain harmful chemicals. Therefore, it is best to make body lotions at home using natural ingredients. These lotions are safe and can be customized with different natural fragrances as well.
Some common homemade lotions that you can try are:
- Beeswax and plant oils: Beeswax is an excellent moisturizing agent that also improves skin elasticity. (9) Moreover, it helps lock in skin moisture and, when mixed with oils, can help in preventing skin infections. You can use almond oil and coconut oil along with beeswax for additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. To prepare, simply mix 10 tbsp of beeswax and 7–8 tbsp each of coconut oil and almond oil. Melt the mixture over a double boiler or in a microwave. Once slightly cool, add 1 cup of fresh aloe vera gel and a few drops of any essential oil to it. Blend the mixture and store it in a glass jar.
- Cocoa butter and shea butter lotion: You can make this lotion by melting ¼ cup of coconut oil, ⅛ cup of shea butter, and ⅛ cup of cocoa butter over a double boiler. Once cool, add 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel and a few drops of lime essential oil to the mixture. Blend it well and store it in a jar.
- Tea tree oil and aloe vera gel lotion: Melt ½ cup of beeswax and ½ cup of almond oil over a double boiler and allow to cool. To the mixture, add 1 tsp of vitamin E oil and 1 cup of aloe vera gel and blend well. Store the lotion in a glass jar and refrigerate for a longer shelf-life.
Tips for Moisturizing Your Skin
Besides the use of natural moisturizers, here are some self-care tips that can help improve skin hydration and prevent dryness and damage:
- Avoid bathing or showering with hot water as it can strip the skin of its natural oils and moisture. Instead, use lukewarm or cold water.
- Select moisturizers that are suitable for your skin type.
- Use moisturizers that contain SPF. Alternatively, apply sunscreen over your moisturizers to prevent sun damage.
- Avoid the use of harsh skin cleansers to prevent skin dryness.
- Apply moisturizers daily, all over your body, and not just focusing on your facial skin.
- Always conduct a patch test before full-scale application to check if the cream/ingredient is suitable for your skin.
- Consume plenty of water throughout the day at regular intervals to keep your skin hydrated from within.
Moisturizing your skin daily can work wonders for your skin health and appearance. Not only does moisturizing keep your skin fresh and nourished, but it also makes it soft and even tone and prevents the signs of aging.
You can use different natural ingredients to moisturize your skin, ensuring first that you are not allergic or sensitive to them. Consult your dermatologist if you have excessively dry skin that doesn’t seem to improve despite doing proper self-care and using natural remedies.