If you have dry skin, you may find yourself willing to do almost anything to remedy the problem. Making your own skin care products may be the answer. By making your own herbal skin care products for dry skin, you control what touches your skin … keeping the good stuff and eliminating the bad!
A dry complexion usually means your skin is fine-textured with almost invisible pores. It tends to be thin and sensitive and can appear dull and rough with red patches. It has less elasticity and is prone to having fine lines and wrinkles – premature aging. It may feel uncomfortably tight and dry, especially after cleansing.
Dry skin is usually caused by underactive oil glands – generally a result of heredity and/or low hormones. It is aggravated by chlorinated swimming pools and air-conditioned buildings in the summer and the dry cold winds and heated buildings in the winter. When exposed to these drying conditions, the skin can crack or peel and become itchy, irritated and inflamed. Very dry skin can become rough and scaly.
Herbs for Dry Skin
There is hope. Herbs can be used to bring back healing moisture to dry skin. Cosmetics experts and aromatherapists recommend the essential oils of rosewood, palmarosa and sandalwood to stimulate oil production in dry skin. They also recommend small amounts of peppermint or rosemary to improve circulation and increase the skin’s oil production.
Herbs, such as calendula, comfrey, lavender, chamomile, elder flowers, red clover, jasmine, Irish moss and marshmallow root, can also be used to soothe and heal skin irritations that develop as the outer layers of the dry skin flakes off. Carrot seed essential oil can be used to soothe extremely raw skin. To improve your complexion’s tone and texture consider using elder flowers.
If you have dry skin, use as little soap as possible because most soaps are drying. If you choose to use soap, choose one that has been designed for delicate and dry skin. Your best choice would be a water-soluble cleansing cream made specifically for dry skin, because it will not remove the skin’s natural oil barrier. Follow cleansing with a very gentle pat dry. It is best to use makeup that contains moisturizers and to remove makeup with a face moisturizing cream instead of soap.
Avoid the use of toners that contain alcohol which are drying to the skin. Consider instead the use of a vinegar-based toner. Vinegar will soften the skin, help it maintain its natural acidity and relieve itchiness and flaking.
The mild astringent action of aloe or glycerin helps skin retain moisture. Facial creams that are approximately half oil are ideal for dry skin. Anything more than this would tend to appear greasy on the skin and should be reserved for areas where there are no oil glands, such as around the eyes, and then used sparingly.
Using the correct herbs or essential oils and steam is a great way to moisturize your face. When steaming a dry complexion, make sure the water is not too hot and don’t steam more than five minutes, and never more than once a week. To steam bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 heaping teaspoon each of rose petals, rosemary leaves and fennel seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint leaves. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. If using essential oils, bring water to a boil. Turn off heat and add 1 drop each of rosemary, rose geranium, fennel and peppermint.
Another good option for dry skin is the use of a gentle facial massage with an herbal scrub made with a cornmeal and oatmeal base. (Recipe provided below.) With a gentle massage of just a few minutes, this scrub will help stimulate oil production and remove flaky, dry surface skin.
Dry skin is often accompanied by inflammation, generally exhibited by blemishes or puffiness around the eyes. Various studies have shown that chamomile, rosemary, lavender and St. John’s wort works to reduce this inflammation. In the early 1990s, H.W. Kreysel, MD, director of the dermatologic clinic at the University of Bonn in Germany, conducted several clinical studies using chamomile. He discovered that chamomile cream restored a smooth healthy appearance to rough and red skin better than other creams, and it reduced fine lines and wrinkles.
Basic Dry Skin Care Tips
- Wear gloves when cleaning to prevent solvents, harsh cleaning agents and household detergents from coming into contact with your skin.
- Don’t let the temperature in your home become too hot, and use a humidifier to increase the humidity levels in your home.
- Take shorter showers and/or baths, using warm (not hot) water, and no more than one per day.
- Sparingly use only mild, gentle cleansers and soaps. Avoid the use of deodorant soaps.
- Don’t scrub while bathing and gently pat the skin dry.
- Apply moisturizer right after bathing or showering. Reapply throughout the day as needed.
Herbal Skin Care for Dry Skin
Let’s look now at skincare products that you can make for yourself to assist you in caring for sensitive, dry skin.
Cleanser for Dry Skin (will post a recipe and add link)
Toner or Aftershave for Dry Skin (will post a recipe and add link)
Moisturizing Cream for Dry Skin (will post a recipe and add link)
- Facial Scrub for Dry Skin (will post a recipe and add link)
Enjoy these herbal skin care products for dry skin and you will be well on your way to a healthy, glowing complexion.