21 Dry Skin Home Remedies to Add to Your Beauty Routine ASAP
Dry skin won’t go away on its own. Luckily, there are home remedies that work—and you’re probably stocking some in your home right now.
Why is your skin so dry?
“There are many reasons why people get dry skin,” says Alexander Dane, DO, of Affiliated Dermatologists & Dermatologic Surgeons, PA, in New Jersey. “Some people can inherit conditions genetically where they have a tendency to have dry, cracked skin. Others develop skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, which aren’t necessarily inherited, but they’re acquired.”
Dry skin can affect your appearance and your quality of life, and itchy dry skin can make it hard to concentrate at work and at home. These home remedies for dry, itchy skin might be just what you need. Of course, Dr. Dane reminds us that sometimes dry skin can be too severe for home remedies to work, and that’s when it’s time to see your dermatologist. Here is what your skin care routine should look like if you have dry skin.
Natural dry skin remedy: Extra virgin olive oil
This pantry staple isn’t just for cooking. When it comes to natural dry skin remedies, Dr. Dane recommends mixing a few drops of extra virgin olive oil with your moisturizer. Alternatively, he says, a thin layer of olive oil applied directly to dry skin can be used as an intensive overnight treatment; simply rinse off in your morning shower. Olive oil contains fatty acids and antioxidants that help soothe and heal dry skin. Here are 11 amazing ways olive oil improves your hair, skin, and more.
Natural dry skin remedy: Humidifier
Dry air can cause dry skin to become irritated and even itchier, experts say. If the air in your home is dry, try using a humidifier to add moisture to the air; it can help prevent an extremely dry face. Portable humidifiers or those that attach to a furnace can work equally well to make your home’s air less dry.
Natural dry skin remedy: Virgin coconut oil
A study in the International Journal of Dermatology found that virgin coconut oil had positive effects on study participants with atopic dermatitis, a skin disease that can cause dry and scaly skin. After using the virgin coconut oil for eight weeks, participants were less itchy and demonstrated better skin hydration than those who used a mineral oil treatment. Here are other genius ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine.
Natural dry skin remedy: Honey
Honey has both moisturizing and antimicrobial properties, Dr. Dane says. To take advantage, he recommends applying raw, organic honey to your dry skin, leaving it for 10 minutes, and then rinsing it off.
Natural dry skin remedy: Avoid long, hot showers
The end of a busy, stressful day seems to call for a long, hot shower. But not so fast, Dr. Dane warns: “This dries our skin out and washes away essential oils our skin needs to help retain moisture.” Instead, try a warm shower for a shorter period of time, fewer times a week; it’s better for dry skin. Here are 7 reasons you can shower less often.
Natural dry skin remedy: Milk
The next time you want to take a relaxing bath, add some milk to the tub; it will help relieve dry, itchy skin. “Milk contains lactic acid, which helps to exfoliate dead skin cells. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, so it helps the skin retain moisture,” Dr. Dane says. He recommends using whole fat cow’s milk or goat’s milk. To take a milk bath, simply use lukewarm water and add one to three gallons of milk. Soak in it for 15 minutes and be sure to rinse off afterwards. If you don’t want to soak your whole body in milk, Dr. Dane says you can put a washcloth in milk and then place it on the affected area for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Natural dry skin remedy: Moisturize immediately after showering
If the skin on your face or body is extremely dry, chances are you’re already slathering on moisturizer as often as possible. Dr. Dane says that when you put that moisturizer on is crucial. He recommends moisturizing right after you towel dry, to best lock in the moisture from your shower or bath.
Natural dry skin remedy: Oats
When it comes to home remedies for dry, itchy skin, oatmeal has been around a long time. It’s not just for breakfast; oats have chemicals that fight the itchiness caused by dry skin. Grind it up and add it to your bath while the water runs, have a 15-minute soak, then towel dry.
Natural dry skin remedy: Dry brushing
A stiff bristle brush on dry winter skin might not sound pleasant, but it’s quite effective for minimizing dry skin. “The mechanical action of dry brushing is wonderful for exfoliating dry winter skin. It also helps the body detoxify, by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow and drainage,” according to Cleveland Clinic expert Jamie Starkey, manager of the Eastern medicine program at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine. Dry brush before showering—the bristles will feel a bit rough at first—then apply lotion after showering to lock in moisture. Check out some more benefits of dry brushing, here.
Natural dry skin remedy: Avocado
Smash one half on your toast and save the other half for your face: Avocado is loaded with skin-healing vitamins A, D, and E, according to Medical News Today. That’s a nutritional trio that will help moisturize your skin and protect it from damaging UV rays. Spread the avocado on your face, massage it in, wait 15 minutes (while you eat your toast, for example), then rinse with warm water. Or try this avocado oil before bedtime. Here are some more powerhouse avocado benefits.
Natural dry skin remedy: Sesame oil
Keep a bottle of sesame oil handy—it contains zinc. This mineral helps your body produce collagen, which may help preserve skin elasticity. The healthy monounsaturated fats and linoleic acid in sesame oil make it a stellar moisturizer for skin, as well. Kerri Axelrod, a certified holistic health coach, recommends a regular warm-oil massage to keep your skin nourished and hydrated. You can use sesame oil straight from the grocer’s shelf, or you purchase smaller bottles to stash in your vanity. Here are 10 more good reasons to put sesame oil in your cart.
Replace booze with cool, clear water
If your Dry January went over well, consider extending it—cutting back on alcohol can perk up your skin, according to research from the University of Sussex. When study volunteers cut back on drinking, they found their skin improved. Alcohol is a diuretic, and that can deprive your skin of much-needed moisture; alcohol can also hamper new skin growth because it interferes absorption of vitamin A, B3, and C. If you find it challenging to drink enough water, a snazzy steel bottle that keeps it super cold for hours might help. This one comes with a wide mouth, so you can ice up your drinks with ease.
Natural dry skin remedy: lavender-infused oil and honey
Give your skin some much needed TLC at the end of the day with this combo suggested by Axelrod: Mix a cup of coconut oil, two tablespoons of honey, and a few drops of lavender essential oil—and rub it all over your dry skin. It will lock in moisture and hydrate your dry skin. And lavender essential oil has been shown in studies to relax mind and body, and even to help some subjects fall asleep easier. Here are some more tricks to send you to dreamland.
Natural dry skin remedy: Vaseline
Dry-skin solutions don’t have to be expensive, say experts at Harvard Health: If you have thick and greasy petroleum jelly on hand, you’re all set. It can seal moisture into your skin just as well as any expensive beauty concoction, say the experts. After a bath, try rubbing a little bit into your hands and then onto your dry chapped areas. Here are 26 other amazing uses for petroleum jelly.
Natural dry skin remedy: A probiotic before bed
You may know that probiotic bacteria can support a healthy environment in your gut. Now it looks like what’s good for your insides could work for your outside too: Research suggests that probiotics may be useful for a variety of skin conditions, such as dryness, chapping, and itchiness. “Probiotics work best not taken with food, so that they don’t interfere with your digestive enzymes,” says Will Cole, DC. Discover more bedtime habits your body will thank you for.
Natural dry skin remedy: Paraffin dip
Paraffin is a natural emollient, which softens skin, so a dip in a warm paraffin wax bath may be just what your cracked hands and feet need. The wax creates a barrier, reducing water loss from your epidermis—the outer layer of skin. Experts at Spectrum Health Foot Clinics advise: Dip the affected part into the wax a couple of times until it’s fully coated, then cover the area in cling wrap and leave for 30 minutes before removing the wax; repeat the treatment twice a week until the cracks have healed.
Natural dry skin remedy: Fragrance-free laundry soap
Your dry skin could be telling you to change your laundry soap and dryer sheets, according to experts at Harvard Health. Dyes and fragrances in these products remain on your clothes long after they’ve been through the rinse cycle. The waxy fragrance rubs onto your skin when you wear newly laundered clothing or sleep on sheets fresh out of the dryer.
Natural dry skin remedy: Castor oil
Grandma knew a thing or two about home remedies. Castor oil may not be sexy or trendy, but just like olive oil and coconut oil, it’s full of fatty acids. “Castor oil is great to rub into cracked cuticles and dry heels, on to chapped lips, or on any spot that needs extra moisture,” says Nadine Artemis, author of Renegade Beauty. Here are 13 more powerful uses for castor oil you didn’t know about.
Natural dry skin remedy: Hand cream
If your work bathroom is equipped with air dryers, you might want to stock a tube of this in your desk drawer. Air dryers leave hands cracked and chafed. Add commercial soap to the mix, which most likely contains harsh alcohol, and you’ve got a recipe for dry skin. A study on the most hygienic way to dry your hands revealed that your best bet is a paper towel, followed by a moisturizer like O’Keeffe’s Working Hands. It has hydrating glycerin and the skin protectant dimethicone. Don’t miss the 10 ways you’re washing your hands wrong?
Natural dry skin remedy: Lip balm
The skin on your lips doesn’t take up a lot of square footage, but when it becomes dry and cracked, the pain is real. Licking your lips makes it worse because the salvia dries quickly—plus it contains enzymes that make sting your lips. Dentist Aaron Mannella, DMD, of Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph advises his patients to keep a moisturizing lip balm handy and reapply as needed. Check out 14 more things cold does to your body.
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.