17. To treat dry, rough, itchy skin, try these bath add-ins:
- Half a pound of sea salt and one pound baking soda. Soak until the water is cool to detoxify your skin and soothe the itch.
- Two cups Epsom salt. In addition to soaking in it, while your skin is still wet, rub handfuls of Epsom salt on the rough areas to exfoliate skin.
- A few bags of your favorite tea. The tea provides antioxidants as well as a delicious scent.
- One cup uncooked oatmeal tied into an old stocking or muslin bag. Oats are not only wonderful for your inner health, says Galvez, but provide a healthy glow on the outside as well, leaving a film on your skin that seals in water.
- Equal parts of apple cider vinegar, wheat germ, and sesame oil. Apple cider vinegar is both antibacterial and alkalinizing (meaning it helps maintain the proper acid balance), while sesame oil and wheat germ add moisture.
- One cup powdered milk with one tablespoon grapeseed oil. The lactic acid in the milk will exfoliate your skin, and the grapeseed oil will give your skin a powerful dose of antioxidants.
18. Apply ice wrapped in a towel to dry, itchy skin. A few minutes on, a few minutes off. Allow the moist cold to relieve your skin and draw warming blood to it, but don’t let your skin get so cold as to sting or hurt.
19. Smooth aloe vera gel over extra-dry skin. The acids in aloe eat away dead skin cells and speed up the healing process. Cut off an end of an aloe leaf, split open, and spread the gel on the dry area.
20. Plunk your rough, dry elbows into grapefruit halves. First exfoliate your elbows in your bath or shower, then cut a grapefruit in half and rest one elbow on each half, letting them soak for 15 minutes, recommends Galvez. The acid in the grapefruit provides extra smoothing power.
21. Hang room-darkening shades in your bedroom. They help avoid sleep disturbances or insomnia caused by ambient light. Sleep is critical to your skin’s health because most cell repair and regeneration occurs while you’re getting your z’s; if you’re not getting enough rest, your skin cannot renew itself.
22. Cook with garlic every day. A 1996 Danish study found that skin cells grown in a culture dish and treated with garlic had seven times the life span of cells grown in a standard culture. They also tended to look healthier and more youthful than untreated cells. Plus, garlic extract dramatically inhibited the growth of cancerous skin cells.
23. Go for a run, ride your bike, work out in the garden on a hot day — anything that gets you sweating. Sweating is nature’s way of eliminating toxic chemicals that can build up under skin. Plus, regular exercise maintains healthy circulation and blood flow throughout your body, including your skin. If you’re exercising outdoors, though, remember to wear a sunscreen on your face that protects against UVA and UVB rays, or a moisturizer with sunscreen protection.
24. Grill salmon brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with toasted, crushed walnuts. There, you’ve just gotten a skin-healthy dose of poly- and monounsaturated fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which studies suggest may affect the amount of sun and aging damage your skin experiences. By extension, make sure olive oil is the primary source of fat in your cooking each and every day, and try to have salmon twice a week or more.