The Definitive Guide to Ending Dry Skin: Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part series on how to combat dry skin. Please read The Definitive Guide to Ending Dry Skin: Part 1 for information on the potential causes of dry skin and ways to address them. This article focuses on easy ways to moisturize and protect from the outside in. This article assumes you are already doing everything mentioned in Part 1. I’ve shared several recipes that allow you to make your own all-natural moisturizing products. I Dry Skin Helpincluded links so you can easily find the ingredients on Amazon. To find more natural ingredients you can use to make your own skin care products, please visit my Toiletry Making Supplies page.

The following items are easy to find and provide moisturizing benefits that can help alleviate the symptoms of dry skin:

  • Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:  Few oils are as versatile or as beneficial as organic extra virgin coconut oil. It can be applied to the skin, nails or lips by itself or blended with other ingredients. It makes a wonderful moisturizer! My favorite coconut oil is made by Tropical Traditions. If you have never tried their coconut oil, I highly recommend it!
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  • Organic Vegetable Glycerin:  Vegetable Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it pulls moisture out of the air down to the surface of the skin. It is a bit sticky and is therefore best used blended with other ingredients. I recommend only using organic glycerin, as the vegetables used to make non-organic glycerin are often genetically-modified and coated with potentially harmful chemicals. Glycerin has the unusual trait of warming the skin when blown on. For that reason it is a popular ingredient in many adult products. It is a very beneficial moisturizer in spite of that.
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  • Unrefined Cocoa Butter:  Cocoa Butter is a fantastic moisturizer which also forms a barrier that protects the skin against wind, moisture and other drying elements. Cocoa Butter is very hard at room temperature but melts on contact with the skin. It can be used alone or blended with other butters and oils to make a softer blend. (See recipe that follows.) Cocoa Butter smells strongly of chocolate, a fact many people love.
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  • Unrefined Shea Butter:  Unrefined Shea Butter is a fantastic moisturizer that is rich in vitamins and other nutrients known to provide healing benefits to the skin. It is softer than Cocoa Butter, allowing it to be easily spread into the skin. Shea Butter can be used alone or blended with other oils and butters. It is one of my favorite stand-alone moisturizers. It has a slightly smoky odor but can easily be blended with essential oils that will cover the aroma. I recommend only using the unrefined version of Shea Butter, as the refined version is processed to the point that most of its benefits are removed. Be aware that Shea Butter will crystallize if melted at too high a temperature. The crystals do not affect the moisturizing ability of the butter, but will affect the texture. To avoid crystallization, melt or soften the Shea Butter over the lowest temperature possible. You will find it doesn’t have to be softened much to be easily blended with other ingredients.
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  • Jojoba Oil:  Jojoba oil is an amazing oil because its chemical structure almost exactly matches the skin’s own sebum. It is actually not an oil but is a wax that is liquid at room temperature. It is considered one of the best moisturizing oils for skin and hair. Although it may feel a little oily when first applied, it quickly soaks in. It also makes an excellent massage oil and oil for hot oil treatments applied to hair.
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  • Grapeseed Oil:  Grapeseed Oil is another oil that makes a great moisturizer. it is a little bit lighter than Jojoba oil, so some people prefer it. It sinks in quickly and is known to be excellent for “mature” skin.

Recipes 

Super-Simple Cleanser Recipe

Ingredients:

To make a super-simple cleanser that will not dry the skin, blend together:

To use, massage into skin, allow to sit for 30 seconds-1 minute and rinse with warm water. Your skin will be toned, moisturized and cleansed without using harsh cleansers. Feel free to add a few drops of an essential oil of choice if you’d like to enjoy the benefits of the essential oil and a nice fragrance while cleansing. I recommend adding PatchouliLavender or Chamomile essential oils for their known healing benefits for the skin.

Super-Simple Lotion Bar

Ingredients:

Combine oils and butters and melt over very low heat until just blended. (I recommend melting the cocoa butter first and then stirring in the other butters and oils.) Stir well and allow to cool for ten minutes. Then add desired essential oil(s). Pour into molds and allow to cool. (Egg cartons or small yogurt containers make excellent molds.) When cooled and solidified, pop out of the molds and enjoy. These create a solid lotion that melts on contact with the skin. I recommend using a plastic zippy bag for storage and to enable them to be tossed into a purse or put in a pocket. If you want the lotion bars to be harder, add more cocoa butter; if you wish them to be harder, add more jojoba oil. Many nurses swear by these, as they keep their hands soft and moisturized in spite of all the hand washing the nurses do. 

 Base Graphic Courtesy of Ayurveda Samskara

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Dr. Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping people improve their health and eliminate symptoms using natural, integrative methods. She has over 25 years of experience and has helped men, women and children improve their health using a holistic, client-centered focus. She sees clients in Indianapolis, does house calls, and also conducts consultations via Skype or telephone. Please feel free to contact her or visit her Consultations page for more information. Dr. Pamela speaks nationwide on a wide variety of health topics and welcomes speaking invitations.

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