If there are people looking for treatments for oily skin, there are those who lie on the opposite side of the equilibrium – people who are in need for a remedy for dry skin. Having dry and flaky skin is not only embarrassing but uncomfortable as well. Dry skin gets worse when the winter wind bites causing it to flare up into an itchy nightmare.
If you’ve not had any success with any of the branded skin moisturizers, then resorting to a natural remedy might just be your last hope. Is there a home remedy that is cost effective, safe to use, natural and works for dry and itchy skin?
Yes there is..
The Many Essential Oil Uses
Essential oils are no only great for bath times, but are also fantastic alternatives that offer fast relief from dry skin. It is readily available, natural and doesn’t contain man-made chemicals that relieve the itch but do not really treat the underlying problem. These pure essential oils have the perfect consistency and richness that is perfectly suited for treating dry, itchy skin.
In fact, most of them are very similar to the natural oils found in the skin (jojoba oil and olive oil). Aside from this, they have a wide array of healing benefits aside from getting rid of itchy and dry skin.
Guidelines In Using Essential Oils For Dry Itchy Skin
There are certain rules that you have to remember for the proper use of essential oils in treating dry skin.
BUYING: Always buy 100% pure essential oil, not perfume oil.
Read the label and make sure that there are no additional ingredients such as alcohol and other chemicals that can irritate your skin. You can buy them from organic food stores, aromatherapy outlets, skin care shops, mail order catalogs and herb stores.
Never buy pure essential oils that are stored in plastic containers, as the plastic compounds can interfere with the oils and diminish their quality.
Storage: Store in a cool, dark place and away from children. As a general rule, essential oils hang on to their therapeutic and aromatic quality from 6-12 months so watch out for old products and expiry dates.
Application: Almost all essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil before application to the skin – they are much too strong and can cause skin problems. To start, simply add 2.5% or 15 drops of 1 essential oil or a mixture of essential oils to 1 oz. of carrier oil. Essential oils are so concentrated that just a few drops of can go a long way in soothing your skin. Perform a patch test first prior to use to make sure you don’t have any allergic reactions to it.
To apply, rub the oil mixture to your skin and massage areas that are dry and irritated.
Compared to essential oils, carrier oils are mostly cold-pressed and do not evaporate which makes them efficient in transporting essential oils for proper skin absorption. The most common and some of the best carrier oils are:
- Aloe Vera – even though it’s not actually an oil, the gel from the Aloe Vera plant mixes well with pure essential oils without that greasy feel. It is an effective moisturizer and contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It can heal sunburn, eczema and psoriasis while preventing dryness and relieving itch.
- Jojoba Oil – is actually a liquefied wax from beans of the jojoba plant, has a light texture that resembles the natural oil produced by the skin. It is an excellent moisturizer which makes it an effective ingredient for dry skin and similar conditions like eczema and psoriasis. They can also be used in acne treatments.
- Olive Oil – it’s best to use cold-pressed extra virgin for super dry skin. But, it can easily be combined with a thinner carrier oil like virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil if it’s too thick for you. This commonly used cooking oil contains many beneficial vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids that are good for the skin.
- Grapeseed Oil – has a light and satin-like texture which absorbs well in the skin without the greasy feel. It’s beneficial for people whose skin is having trouble absorbing oil.
Now that you know the carrier oils that work best with essential oils for dry itchy skin, it’s time to learn what the best oils for dry skin are.
Essential Oil Skin Remedies
Popular for its remarkable scent, this oil originated from the warm regions of the Mediterranean. Now, it is widely grown in the U.S., Australia and Europe. It contains antifungal and antiseptic properties that make it effective in treating dry and rough skin.
Other skin conditions that may lead to or may cause dry skin such as psoriasis, dermatitis eczema and sunburn can benefit from lavender oil. It is gentle enough to be used on its own but just about any other essential oil blends well with it, such as geranium and chamomile, which are commonly used as eczema treatments.
It contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits that can soothe dry and itchy spots or irritation which is very common on dry skin. It can provide instant relief for eczema, psoriasis and sunburn, all of which are skin conditions characterized by dry, flaky and itchy skin. Chamomile essential oil blends well with tea tree oil, ylang-ylang, lavender, bergamot, grapefruit and rose.
It is extracted from the sweet-smelling flowers of the Indonesia native tropical tree called Ylang-Ylang. It is very effective in balancing the natural oils found in the skin which is why it is widely used as a moisturizer to relieve itchy and dry skin. You’ll find this oil blended in most creams and combines well with other oils such as lavender, sandalwood and bergamot.
Carrot seed oil is one of the leading and quite expensive therapeutic oil used for treating dry and aging skin. It contains Vitamin A, beta carotene and carotol that improve cell regeneration, balance oily and dry skin texture, ease eczema symptoms, and at the same time, avert and reverse the signs of aging. Little amounts can be blended alone in a neutral cream base or mixed with cheaper base oils such as jojoba or sunflower seed oil.
The heartwood and bark of a 30-year old sandalwood tree go through a distillation process to derive its essential oil. You can get the best sandalwood oil from its origins in Mysore, India. It is a bit expensive but has many benefits for the body, especially for the skin. It is most efficient in inducing moisture for dehydrated skin. Also, it can relieve inflammation and itching, which are very common in dry skin types. Use it with geranium, frankincense, lavender, clary sage, jasmine and lemon, or add to castor oil (another type of carrier oil).
It is distilled from the flower of a geranium plant and is highly esteemed for its capacity to stimulate a steady production of natural oils in the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. When combined with carrot seed oil, rosemary, cedarwood or jasmine, it can be used effectively for treating dry skin. It is also expertly used for healing a number of skin problems such as eczema and dermatitis.
However, essential oils are not for everyone. There are people who are allergic to it and some oils are not recommended to be used by pregnant women. It is recommended that you consult a medical practitioner first before using any of these oils.