Surprising Natural Remedies for Dry Skin

Surprising Natural Remedies for Dry Skin

Your skin is your largest organ and it is front and center when it comes to so many internal and external threats. In younger years, as hormones are in full swing, many teens and young adults may struggle with oily skin. However, as you age, your skin can suffer mild to severe dryness over time. 

These surprising natural remedies for dry skin are a great way to incorporate home applications which are easy and effective. Try these before resorting to OTC (over-the-counter) or prescription pharmaceutical treatments. Note: After clearing the use of one or more of these surprising natural remedies for dry skin with your naturopathic doctor or dermatologist, do a ‘patch test’ before using over the entire affected area. A patch test is testing a small, dime or quarter size ‘patch’ of the remedy on the same area for several applications to determine any potential allergic reaction.

Magical Manuka

Manuka honey is produced by honey bees feeding off the Manuka tree, primarily found in Australia and New Zealand. What is unique about this honey compared to regular store bought honey is that it contains properties not found in basic honey. It is also unpasteurized which means it does not have a majority of the enzymes and other healing compounds heated out of it. 

One major component of Manuka honey is the potent antibacterial called methylglyoxal. Applying Manuka honey to skin enables a full spectrum of healing benefits, including antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and humectant (moisturizing) properties. All these combined could result in relieving dry skin. 

According to Claire Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, “Manuka honey is a natural humectant due to its sugar component, meaning it helps draw in and retain moisture in the skin,”

Apply Manuka honey directly to the skin being sure to gently massage it in for a deep application. Look for a high UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating for optimal results. Manuka honey is not inexpensive (don’t fall for cheap brands or low UMF ratings) but could be worth shelling out the extra coin.

Coconut Caress 

Coconut oil is a unique blend of many different types of activating acids (the majority being lauric acid: 49% and myristic acid: 18%) able to offer excellent healing potential to compromised, namely dry, skin. Although effective for basic dry skin, coconut oil has been found to reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis (AD). AD is usually caused by out of control, bad bacteria and as coconut oil holds potent antibacterial properties it can be an excellent natural dry skin remedy.

Results from the randomized controlled trial, ‘Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis’, published in the journal Dermatitis, concluded that, 

“VCO [virgin coconut oil] and monolaurin’s O-SSI reduction [a baseline severity index] and in vitro broad-spectrum activity against SA [staphylococcus aureus – bacterial growth], fungi, and viruses may be useful in the proactive treatment of AD colonization.”

Try coconut oil for dry skin areas. Look for the best, most potent choice such as cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil. Be sure not to cross-contaminate by using your hands dipped into the jar each time. Instead, scoop with a spoon or pour out a little to keep the oil clean from hand bacteria. Consistency will change from clear liquid to solid white wax as temperature changes where it is stored, which is usually a room temperature shelf.

Sunflower Slather

Sunflower oil is fairly inexpensive and has shown to work wonders for some people compromised by dry skin. 

A study by researchers from the Academic Unit of Dermatology Research, Department of Infection and Immunity, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, University of Sheffield Medical School, Sheffield, UK reported,

“Nineteen adult volunteers with and without a history of atopic dermatitis were recruited into two randomized forearm-controlled mechanistic studies. The first cohort applied six drops of olive oil to one forearm twice daily for 5 weeks. The second cohort applied six drops of olive oil to one forearm and six drops of sunflower seed oil to the other twice daily for 4 weeks…Sunflower seed oil preserved stratum corneum [outer skin layer] integrity, did not cause erythema [skin redness], and improved hydration in the same volunteers. In contrast to sunflower seed oil, topical treatment with olive oil significantly damages the skin barrier, and therefore has the potential to promote the development of, and exacerbate existing, atopic dermatitis.”

Look for organic sunflower oil or skin products that contain high amounts of sunflower oil compounds.

Hopefully these surprising remedies for dry skin will encourage you to first choose an alternative to a pharmaceutical fix. Help your body embrace a natural remedy as opposed to a synthetic one.