Skin changes with age and not for the better. It becomes thinner, loses fat, no longer looks plump and smooth as it once did. For many, dry skin creeps up and patches appear that are rough and scaly. What can you do to combat dry skin?
Using store-bought moisturizers can be a pricey investment especially for those seniors on a budget. Skin moisturizers are, however, necessary to rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in moisture. Dry skin is not a serious health problem but it can bring on complications such as chronic eczema (red patches) or bleeding from excessive itching that can lead to infection. The itching due to eczema has been shown to have a greater impact in African-American patients. African Americans are also likelier to have a more severe case of the disease and have greater treatment challenges so they require higher doses of some medications to get relief.
While some dry skin problems require a dermatologist’s care, here are a few natural and inexpensive moisturizers you can find right in your own home.
Honey is a natural anti-bacterial, so it is effective as an acne fighter, helps unclog pores and is a great cleanser that will leave your skin feeling smooth and glowy. Mix two tablespoons of honey with eight tablespoons of water until a paste forms. Apply to skin and allow it to dry, then gently wash off with warm water.
Olive oil has been used for centuries as a moisturizer. It contains natural acids and antioxidants and is known to moisturize and hydrate dry skin. Try using olive oil as a moisturizer without any added ingredients by applying it directly onto your skin. From there, you can blot off any excess oil with a towel or cloth. It may be especially helpful to use olive oil as a moisturizer after you’ve been exposed to the sun or suffered a sunburn. Be sure to choose a high-quality product that doesn’t contain additives or chemicals.
Castor oil is a wonderful moisturizer with fatty acids that quickly absorb into the skin. It’s an effective lubricant for dry patches and hydrates the skin from the inside out because its linoleic acid creates a barrier that prevents skin from losing moisture. Try massaging a few drops onto dry skin every night.
Coconut oil works wonders on acne and inflammation. Applying coconut oil to your skin can also help keep it hydrated. It has also been shown to help treat eczema, a skin condition characterized by scaly, itchy rashes. Its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties also make it a great anti-ager. Find raw, unrefined, virgin organic coconut oil, heat it between your hands to liquify and rub into your skin.
Avocados, we love eating them but they also work wonders on the skin by lubricating every layer. The yummy fruits contain high levels of fats and vitamins like A, D and E to help skin retain moisture. Eat a ripe avocado and then rub the inner side of the peel lightly on your face. Let the avocado residue sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Cucumbers are the perfect dry skin food. They are nature’s anti-inflammatory skin soothers that are packed with magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and E. Not only are cucumbers naturally cooling but the vitamins in cucumbers also work on dark eye circles and help skin retain moisture. You’ll also get a dose of retinol and silica, which help regenerate skin cells. Start small and simply place slices of cucumber over your eyes for an easy de-puffer. You can also puree a cucumber and add a few drops of honey to make a soothing, hydrating facial mask.