Dry skin is a problem many people face on a regular basis. When skin loses too much moisture or can’t keep up with its natural oil production, it becomes uncomfortable, tight, flaky, easily irritated, and sometimes red and itchy. While there are numerous products available to help with this condition, several home remedies for dry skin can be just as effective or work even better. They are also less expensive and potentially safer because they don’t include unknown chemicals or additives.
Treat yourself with our home remedies for dry skin and be comfortable again!
1. Salt Bath
While it seems counterproductive (since too much salt can cause dehydration), a salt bath can actually do wonders for dry skin. The salt draws out moisture from deep in the skin to the surface and exfoliates the dead dry skin cells. This home remedy is safe for all ages, but shouldn’t be used if you have any open wounds.
- Draw a warm (not hot) bath.
- Sprinkle one cup of sea salt or Epsom salt into the water.
- Soak for at least 20 minutes.
- Rinse skin off with clean water.
- Pat (don’t rub) skin dry.
- Apply an oil based moisturizer within 15 minutes to lock in the moisture.
- Repeat once a week.
There are numerous health benefits to eating honey, but did you know it’s a great dry skin home remedy as well? It has antibacterial and healing properties while softening and moisturizing dry skin. It is safe for any age and any skin, and might actually help cleanse and heal any open wounds or cracks. Raw and unfiltered honey is better than processed because it retains more antioxidants and nutrients, but both will do. If the honey is too thick, warm it up slightly or mix with coconut oil so it will spread more easily.
- Apply honey directly to dry skin.
- Tap area lightly with your fingertips for about 2 minutes to increase circulation and deeper moisturizing.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Apply moisturizer.
- Repeat at least once a day.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the home remedies for dry skin that has been used for hundreds of years. As one of the most beneficial oils for skin, it not only has fatty acids to help make it a great moisturizer but also has antioxidants that protect skin from pollution and sun damage. Olive oil is natural and safe but can take a long time to absorb. You can use it on its own or before a shower if you don’t like the greasy feeling on your skin. Because it is so potent, you may not want to use olive oil on your face daily because it can clog pores.
- Dip a cotton ball into olive oil and apply a thin layer on the dry skin.
- Massage the area lightly with your hands to help the oil work into the skin.
- After the oil is absorbed (around 30 minutes), take a shower.
- Apply a light moisturizer.
- Repeat daily.
4. Salt Compress
For a smaller specific area of dry skin, a salt compress can do the same thing as a salt bath. It’s also easier to use and still go about normal life. A 20-minute soak in the tub just isn’t possible sometimes! A salt compress is great for any age, but again shouldn’t be used on any areas with open wounds. This isn’t the treatment for skin that’s so dry, it’s started to crack.
- Fill a bowl with 2 cups of cold water.
- Add 4 tablespoons of Epsom or sea salt.
- Mix well to dissolve.
- Submerge a clean washcloth into the water and wring it out.
- Fold it to the appropriate size to cover the area of dry skin.
- Place the washcloth on the affected area and leave it for up to 20 minutes.
- Repeat when needed.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another key element from our list of home remedies for dry skin that you probably have in your pantry already. Some prefer it to olive oil because it smells better and leaves your skin feeling less greasy, coconut oil can also be used as a home remedy for ringworm. It is easy to use because it naturally solidifies below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but warms up and melts to a spreadable substance when it comes into contact with your body heat. There are several ways to use it to achieve soft smooth skin.
- Generously apply coconut oil all over the body before going to sleep. No need to rinse off.
- Wash it off in the shower the next morning.
- Or you can apply coconut oil after a shower when your skin will more readily absorb it.
- Repeat daily.
6. Milk Bath
Milk isn’t just a great source of calcium or something to pour over your breakfast cereal; this popular beverage is also great for your skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe dry skin while the lactic acid exfoliates dead skin cells and helps the skin to retain more moisture. Whole milk is the best choice over skim, 1%, or 2% since the creamy fat acts as a moisturizer. Unless you have a dairy allergy, milk is a safe option on the list of home remedies for dry skin for children, teens, and adults.
- Run a bath of warm to hot water (since the milk is cold).
- Pour in 2 – 3 gallons of milk.
- Continue running water until it’s reached the desired level.
- Soak in the tub for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Rinse off with clean warm water.
- Repeat once a week.
7. Lemon and Sugar
There are several homemade scrubs that require a bit of mixing but will work like magic to hydrate and soothe dry skin. Some of the ingredients have been mentioned already, but combining them can have even greater benefits. In this scrub, the honey and olive oil hydrate and moisturize. The sugar exfoliates, and the lemon juice removes dead cells (and smells great). While it’s safe for anyone, be careful with open wounds; the citric acid in the lemon will cause a burning sensation on any cracks or cuts. The scrub will keep for several months if stored in a sealed air-tight container.
- Put 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the juice from half a lemon in a small bowl.
- Mix well.
- Apply the scrub directly to dry skin and massage gently.
- Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with clean water.
- Repeat twice a week.
8. Oatmeal Bath
An oatmeal bath is another surprising (and cheap) home remedy for dry skin. The complex sugars and fats in the oats act as moisturizers, while the proteins and antioxidants reduce inflammation. Although all of the above remedies are safe for children, the oatmeal bath is often recommended especially for children by dermatologists. If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, you want to avoid getting the oatmeal water near your mouth due to the cross contamination often occurring in oats (unless using gluten free). Those with Celiac disease should use an alternate home remedy.
- Use a food processor or blender to grind 1 cup of uncooked oats into a powder form.
- Add the oatmeal to a warm bath.
- Soak your body in the oatmeal bath for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse off with clean water.
- Repeat once a week.
Coffee grounds are another natural exfoliant, removing the dead layer of dry skin. The caffeine in the coffee also constricts blood vessels which reduce redness and aids in circulation, soothing dry inflamed skin. Combined with olive oil and honey that rehydrate and moisturize, this coffee scrub is a quick delicious smelling dry skin remedy that will leave your skin smooth and glowing. As coffee can stain, be careful with your light colored clothes and towels.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds in a small bowl.
- Lightly massage over dry skin.
- Rinse it off with clean water after 10 – 15 minutes.
- Repeat twice a week.
10. Milk Compress
Again, a weekly soak isn’t a luxury that everyone has time for. For a smaller area or an easier to fit into a busy schedule option, a milk compress will work just as well as any of the other home remedies for dry skin. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or plain yogurt can also do work as home remedies for dry skin.
- Soak a washcloth in cold milk, if using yogurt apply directly to skin and rub.
- Place the washcloth on dry skin for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Rinse the milk or yogurt off with warm water.
- Repeat every other day.
11. Aloe Vera
Dig out that aloe vera bottle you keep on hand for sunburns from the back of your medicine cabinet. Aloe is another miracle from nature with similar characteristics to honey. It soothes and softens dry skin and gently exfoliates the flaky dead skin cells, making it one important item from our list of home remedies for dry skin. It may not smell as great as honey, but this natural solution is a safe, quick, and easy fix.
- Apply 100% aloe vera to dry skin.
- Allow it to soak into the skin.
- Rinse any that remains after 20 minutes.
- Repeat once or twice daily.
- Mix ½ cup of aloe with enough brown sugar or baking soda to create a gritty paste for extra rough areas, elbows or heels
- Rub it on these areas while in the shower and rinse.
12. Overnight Humidifier
While you sleep, your body is busy repairing damaged cells and generating new skin cells. There are a few ways you can help your body with this process and retain more moisture in your skin, remedying dry skin overnight. You can use a humidifier after applying one of the remedies above using one of the oils on your dry skin, and thanks to the humidifier that provides moisture overnight your skin will stay hydrated.
- Plug in the humidifier to add moisture back into the air. If you don’t have a humidifier, place a bowl of water on a freestanding radiator.
- Use one of the oils mentioned above and leave it on while you sleep: olive oil or coconut oil.
- Sleep with socks or gloves if the dry skin is on your hands or feet. If it covers a larger area, wear old pajamas to bed and use old sheets.
Before heading to the drug store, there are numerous quick home remedies for dry skin that can already be found in your pantry or medicine cabinet. If your dry skin doesn’t show any sign of improvement after a couple of weeks of trying one or more of these suggestions, you should consult your doctor or dermatologist for a professional opinion. However, most of these home remedies for dry skin should provide significant relief within the first try. Which of these has worked best for you? Which new home remedy do you plan to try?