Either through our lifestyle habits or the course of nature as we age, our skin can lose its useful shine and luster. Using a variety of natural health practices can help you keep skin looking younger longer, without exposing you to the long-term damage of some commercial products.
Use Less Hot Water
Hot water leads to a decrease in lipids in the skin, so reduce the temperature and duration of your showers. Wash and rinse your face in lukewarm water. Shave with lower temperature waters.
Use a loofa bar, dry brush or natural abrasive like coarsely ground oatmeal to brush away dead skin cells, dirt and excess oil. Do not rub harshly or for too long; you’re trying to remove surface dirt and oil, not get under the skin when you exfoliate.
After a shower or bath, towel dry by lightly removing excess water, but not rubbing all water completely off your skin. Moisturizers absorb into the skin better if the skin is moist. Aloe vera and petroleum jelly are both helpful, natural moisturizers for any area of dry skin. Add 10 to 12 drops of essential oils to bath water. Use soaps with added fat, like cocoa butter or lanolin.
Hydrate – Inside and Out
Air conditions, such as sun, wind, cold and dry, indoor air are major causes of dry skin. Making sure your indoor time (at home or the office) is spent in properly humidified rooms will help you keep your skin moist naturally.
Some people believe healthy skin should include hydration through drinking, while others believe it’s not relevant. Most of the water you need is contained in the foods and juices you take in throughout the day. The myth of needing eight, 8-oz. glasses of water per day is a mistaken calculation which does not take into account your food intake. However, many people are not completely hydrated each day, so having that extra glass of water or two is important to healthy skin. Drinking extra water won’t add any benefit to skin care, however, says Dr. Kenneth Neldner, of the Department of Dermatology at the Texas Tech University.
Treat Acne Naturally
If you have minor acne scars, you can lessen their appearance with home exfoliation and chemical peels. Use dry oatmeal as an abrasive. Apply the oatmeal directly to your skin with your fingers or wrap inside a moist washcloth. For home peels, use citrus fruits, which are acidic. Apply the juice from lemons, oranges, tomatoes or limes and leave on your face for five to 10 minutes. Rinse gently with cool or lukewarm water. Folk remedies used as topical applications to treat acne include: rose hip seed oil, aloe vera juice, lavender oils, echinacea, Oregon grape root tea tree oil, oregano and basil oil.
Mayo Clinic: Skin Care – 5 Tips for Healthy Skin
Mayo Clinic: Dry Skin – Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Doctor Yourself: Getting into your Outside – Naturopathic Body Care