Whether it’s caused by aging, an underlying skin condition, or environmental factors, dry skin can be uncomfortable and itchy. There are a number of treatments to treat dry skin at home, but which are the most effective?
Dry skin, also known as xerosis, is skin that lacks moisture in its outer layer. Left untreated, dry skin can crack and become inflamed. It’s important to keep dry skin moisturized, but some store-bought treatments can be expensive or ineffective.
This video examines home remedies for dry skin and looks at the scientific evidence behind the claims.
Home remedies for dry skin
There are a variety of home remedies a person can use to relieve dry skin. Most of the treatments below can be used as moisturizers unless otherwise stated. The best way to use a moisturizer is to apply it liberally to damp skin after a bath and let it soak in.
- Sunflower seed oil
A 2013 study Trusted Source found that sunflower seed oil improved hydration when used as a moisturizer on participant’s arms.
The same study found that olive oil actually damaged the skin’s barrier, suggesting not all-natural oils are suitable for use as moisturizers.
- Coconut oil
Another natural oil that works well to treat dry skin is coconut oil. A 2014 study Trusted Source found that coconut oil is as safe and effective as petroleum jelly for treating dry skin. It was found to significantly improve skin hydration and increase the number of lipids (fats) on the surface of the skin.
As 2016 research Trusted Source explains, coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids that have emollient properties. An emollien
- Oatmeal bath
Oatmeal is another natural ingredient that can help treat dry skin. Adding powdered oatmeal to a bath or using creams that contain oatmeal may help to relieve dry skin.
A 2015 study Trusted Source found that extracts from oatmeal had anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, suggesting it can help treat dry skin.
- Drinking milk
Milk could also offer relief from dry skin, but not when applied to the skin. Research from 2015Trusted Source suggests that a diet including milk could improve dry skin.
The study found that a fat contained in milk, called phospholipid, improved the skin barrier in mice when added to their diet. More research is needed to see if drinking milk has the same effect on skin in humans.
A 2012 review Trusted Source of research notes that some studies have shown honey to be beneficial for many types of skin diseases.
Some studies suggest that honey may be used as an at home treatment to relive dry skin.
Various studies have found honey to be:
These are all qualities that suggest honey is an ideal at home treatment to relieve dry skin. It is completely natural and can be applied directly to the skin.
Petroleum jelly, otherwise known as mineral oil, has been used as a moisturizer for years.
In 2017, researchers found Trusted Source that the skin barrier in older people improved after they used petroleum jelly. This finding supports the use of petroleum jelly to treat dry skin, especially when caused by aging.
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera gel may help provide relief from dry skin, according to a 2003 study Trusted Source.
A person with dry skin on their hands or feet can apply aloe Vera gel and cover the affected area with a sock or glove. People may prefer to do this before they go to bed and leave the gel on all night.
If dry skin is on another area of the body, applying aloe Vera gel liberally and allowing it to soak in may achieve a similar effect.
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