Dry Skin

Many of us have dry skin. It can range from a mild annoyance as we need to apply more moisturiser to a genuine pain as the skin cracks and bleeds.

I'm not discussing skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis here. These conditions need specialist advice and if you suffer from such a skin condition I would always suggest talking to a specialist about how best to treat this. In this article I am going to suggest a couple of ways to help alleviate common or garden dry skin.


If you suffer from dry skin you may have already discovered various things that can trigger this condition. A lot of people found that their hands started to get very dry during the Covid pandemic as we all started washing our hands every 3 minutes. Changes in weather can also be a common trigger for dry skin.


There are a lot of products available that claim to alleviate dry skin and if you've found something that works for you then stick with that! We are all different and react differently to products - there is no one cure that will work for everyone.


If you are still hunting for some dry skin relief here are a few things that you can try...


Gloves!

Often it is our hands that suffer the most from dryness. They are always out and always working for us. They do so much for us and we take them for granted a lot of the time.

If your hands feel uncomfortably dry then think about what you put them through on a weekly basis. How often do you wash them? How often do you use them to wash the dishes? Clean things about the house? Garden? What chemicals or other products might get on them that might cause irritation? You might not want to wear gloves for every little job, it becomes a bit impractical, but consider the job you're about to ask you hands to do and for how long - would they be happier if you could protect them with some gloves?


Oil and Salt Scrub

This is a favourite of mine. You can make an oil and salt scrub easily at home. You can probably guess what ingredients you need...

Olive oil from your kitchen will be perfect for this scrub
Olive oil from your kitchen will be perfect for this scrub

I would suggest using olive oil, the one in your kitchen will work perfectly well. Try to stay away from cheaper oils like the sunflower oil used for cooking if possible.


Coconut oil would also work well if you have it.


For the salt I recommend Himalayan Rock Salt. A lot of cooking salts that you can buy in supermarkets aren't pure salt as the manufacturers sometimes include additives to prevent clumping. These may include:

  • potassium ferrocyanide

  • calcium silicate

  • silicon dioxide

  • yellow prussiate of soda

  • iron ammonium citrate

Beautiful, pink Himalaya salt
Beautiful, pink Himalaya salt

I don't honestly know what these are but I feel I'd rather avoid them which is why I stick to my Himalayan salt. Also it is a beautiful pink colour which is fun!


When using salt for the scrub don't get big granules that you see in this picture though as that will hurt. You want finely ground salt.


To make the scrub you just mix the oil with the salt. More salt than oil works best but experiment to find a ratio that works well for you. Then stand in the bath or shower (it can get a bit messy) and scrub yourself gently with the mixture. Do this on your dry skin, before you have a bath or shower! Work the mixture gently onto your arms, legs and anywhere you are particularly dry then you can wash in off. Don't use soap, just rinse off the salt. You may still feel oily afterwards and that's ok. Air dry or gently pat yourself dry with a towel. You're aiming to keep the oil on your skin, not rub it off with the towel. If you have time, try to leave it a little while before you get dressed to allow your skin to reap the benefits. Don't worry if you do need to get dressed immediately though - the oil shouldn't transfer to you clothes.


The combination of the salt gently exfoliating and the oil then hydrating your skin should give you lovely smooth, moisturised skin. Don't do this every day, your skin won't thank you as even gentle exfoliating can be too much when done every day. I'd say try it once a week, maybe once a month, depending on your lifestyle and how your skin reacts to the scrub.