Dry Skin Remedies
Virtually All the Rescue Remedies Can Be Found in Your Kitchen!
- Petrolatum\mineral oils are NOT good moisturizers due to their carcinogenic potential.
- What you put into your body is just as important as what you put ON your body… if not even more so!
- The health of your skin directly reflects your health and overall balance within your body
- Avoid sugars, fructose, grains, and processed foods. They do not work in your favor especially once your body gets under stress from hormonal changes… (as in puberty….. ugh!)
Are you still using creams with petrolatum or mineral oil?
Apparently, they might cause cancer…
While conventional advice typically includes using petrolatum-based moisturizers, I recommend avoiding creams with petrolatum or mineral oils due to their carcinogenic potential. (1) Mineral oil is also comedogenic, meaning it blocks your pores and your skin’s natural respiration process, which can lead to blackheads and pimple!!!! YUCK!!!!! DON’T like them!!!!
Remember that anything you put onto your skin can potentially be absorbed by it and end up in your bloodstream, your organs, everywhere from there. So, it is not just about what looks cool on your skin or feels good or smells sweet.
Previous research has shown that women absorb an estimated five pounds of chemicals a year just from the makeup they use! (3) UGH! THAT is a lot!
Soooo how do we combine those nice factors with health factors. We really WANT to look cool, feel good, aaaaand smells sweet, but we really don’t want to mess up our wellbeing health etc. either.
Let’s look at what we have in the house first that might really help us with some of our basic needs……
For starters there are two main areas to look at when it comes to dry skin (or really skin health in general)
- Your inside (what you eat)
- Your outside (well, your skin)
Why your inside? Well, your skin is actually so tied into the rest of your system that it really can provide a reflection of what is going on the inside of you.
Firstly, if you do not feed your body all the necessary building blocks it tends to keep as much as it can to the inside distributing it to the essential organs first. The skin often sort of loses out. So, when you do not get enough healthy oils and fats in your diet or get dehydrated a lot (aka You don’t drink enough water!) it will show you by getting rather dry. The skin is essential to protect you from your environment but it is generally treated as least essential in the immediate term.
Secondly, it is essential in the process of eliminating waste and toxins. One of the reasons why exercise is so important to your health is that it helps the body to sweat up the bad stuff, the poisons, the waste. BUT if you have a LOT of poisons constantly passing through your skin it really stresses the pores and everything else the skin is made up off. So, what you eat has a direct and immediate impact on your skin and its composition and health.
Your outside seems a bit more intuitive. What you directly expose your skin to? Too much water, sun, moisture, wind, friction, chemicals………… EVERYTHING directly getting in touch with your skin, the skin has to deal with, impacting its state of health.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly….
So where does that leave us? Welllllll….
The good news is that we can make a hell of a difference through what we put into our system. Your diet is a potent ally against most skin problems. When it comes to dry, flaky skin, animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil (if you cannot do seafood you can look into flax seed oil), can play a very important role. Besides drinking plenty of water, it may be one of the best ways to hydrate your skin from the inside out. In fact, one reliable way to evaluate your omega-3 status is to take a close look at your hands.
If they’re smooth and soft, you’re probably getting enough omega-3 fat in your diet. If they’re not, or if other areas of your skin are dry, flaking or cracked, there is a good chance you need to increase your omega-3 intake. Omega-3 fats can also help calm irritated skin, giving you a clearer, smoother complexion courtesy of its anti-inflammatory activity.
The good news is…. Some foods are particularly effective at promoting beautiful, clear, healthy skin….
- Fresh vegetables: Fresh vegetable juice is also wonderful for your skin, as are carotenoids, which give red, orange and yellow fruits their color. Studies have shown that eating foods with these deeply colored pigments can actually make your face look healthier than being tanned (1).
- Fermented vegetables (2): Many don’t realize this, but the health and quality of your skin is strongly linked to the health of your gut. Fermented vegetables are ideal for promoting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria. So, eat your Sauerkraut!!!! Or at least get some healthy bacteria through low sugar (HA! YOU thought I was going to say low FAT!… NOPE!) yogurt or just a good probiotic supplement.
The bad news is….
Avoid sugars, fructose, grains, and processed foods: Unhappily so, this is perhaps the most important step you can take to improve your overall skin health regardless of the season. If you eliminate all sugars, fructose and grains from your diet for a few weeks, you would likely notice rapid improvement in your complexion. Processed foods, trans fats, processed table salt, and pasteurized dairy products can also have a detrimental impact on your skin.
The ugly news is….
That all those goody sugary yummy foods that you are probably relentlessly enjoying these days are…. well going to make you…. uglier quicker as you get older.
Avoiding these foods will improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for overall health, including your heart health. Interestingly, recent research shows that the perceived age of a woman’s face, based on wrinkle measurements and complexion can help predict her risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. Those who looked more youthful, with fewer wrinkles, also had lower blood pressure and reduced risk for heart disease. Hmmmmmmm… sweet stuff, eh?!?
Now to get back to something good let’s switch to the topical topic (1)
Coconut Oil: For all its internal health benefits, pure coconut oil is also a wonderful all-natural “anti-aging” moisturizer when applied topically. When absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple. It also helps exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.
Coconut oil is perhaps one of the most useful ingredients you can keep in your house. For example, you can use it as a base for body scrubs, homemade deodorant, toothpaste, hand and body cream, lip balm—even bug repellent. It also makes the best makeup remover. Check out my article on The Coconut Oil Makeup Remover.
And last but not least for the topical approach – A Practical 5-Step Shower Routine for Tackling Dry Skin (2)
Removing excess skin flaking can help reveal more glowing skin underneath. The following routine can help you accomplish that without harsh chemicals
- Dry brush your skin prior to getting wet using a body brush. This will help get rid of loose flaky skin
- Avoid using soap or use the least amount possible, especially in the winter or in dry climates, as that will tend to worsen your dry skin
- Instead, apply a natural body scrub to exfoliate your skin (also apply this to your skin before getting wet, and choose one that also contains oil to moisturize)
- Hot showers can worsen dry skin so take the coldest shower you can tolerate
- After your shower, apply a heavy natural body butter or natural moisturizing oil (not mineral oil or baby oil) to help seal in moisture. As mentioned earlier, organic coconut oil is an ideal choice
NOTE: My brother had really bad eczema as a baby. He was prescribed the “Space Suite Approach”. Bath, quick ½ way towel dry, immediately followed by a coat of cream/oil slathered on best within 30 sec. Talking about a race but it cleared up an up to then unmanageable eczema apparently within just about a week for it to never to return!!!!
Have you tried any of these tips?
Done anything else that really helped you?
1. Mercola,J.M., 2011. This Popular MoisturizerApplied to Mice for 17 Weeks Got 69% More Tumors [Online]. Available: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/21/is-your-moisturizer-causing-skin-cancer.aspx[Accessed September 25, 2017].
2. Mercola, J., 2012. Why Your Gut Flora Powerfully Dictates Whether You’re Healthy or Sick [Online]. Available: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/18/mcbride-and-barringer-interview.aspx [Accessed March 18, 2012].
3. Mercola, J.M., 2013. Is Coconut Oil Good for Dry, Scaly and ItchySkin? [Online]. Available: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/11/coconut-oil-for-skin.aspx[Accessed September 25, 2017].