Your skin naturally produces oil, called sebum, which helps protect the skin from moisture loss, but everyday actions — such as forgetting to put on moisturizer or washing your hands with a drying soap — can strip natural oils from your skin.
There are many ways to reap the moisturizing benefits of oils, either on their own or with other ingredients, to make a DIY nourishing mask or an exfoliating rub. Poblete-Lopez suggests that castor oil, lavender oil, and avocado oil may be good natural remedies for dry skin, again, so long as you do not have acne-prone skin.
Coconut oil is another oil you may have in your kitchen cabinet and may also be a good choice for those not prone to acne. People with atopic dermatitis — a type of eczema and an allergic skin condition characterized by dryness and itching — saw excellent results when they used virgin coconut oil on their skin, according to one randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial.
Aloe vera, a plant with natural healing properties, can also be infused in oils and used as a natural moisturizer. Per past research, aloe vera gel contains mucopolysaccharides, which help lock moisture into the skin and make this another naturally moisturizing skin-care ingredient you’ll want to try.
Use aloe vera to keep skin strong and healthy
Aloe vera has healing properties and may stimulate new cell growth. It also soothes and moisturizes without clogging pores. Using aloe vera after you’ve washed your face each day may give your skin that healthy glow.
It’s possible to be allergic to aloe vera. Test it first by rubbing a small amount on your forearm and if there’s no reaction in 24 hours, it should be safe to use.
Shorten your shower
Steam and heat can open pores and help you get rid of toxins. But running hot water over your skin for more than a few minutes at a time can strip away oil from your skin, leaving it looking tired and dull. Try to minimize your skin’s exposure to water that’s extremely hot.
You may also consider cooling down the temperature in the latter part of your shower to improve circulation, which may give your face a more toned and youthful appearance. As an added benefit, this might even boost your immune system.
Probiotic supplements may:
- boost your immune system
- improve your digestion
- reduce bloating and inflammation in your digestive tract
According to one 2014 study , probiotics can contribute to healthy hair and visibly glowing skin, too.
Eat to nourish your skinEating a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables will boost the vitamins and antioxidants in your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating healthy fats, like fish oils, and staying away from processed foods with lots of preservatives may have a direct connection to healthier looking skin.
Drink more water
Your skin is made up of cells that need water to function well. The connection to drinking water and having healthy skin is still ongoing, but at least one 2015 study concluded there’s a strong link between drinking more water and having healthier skin.
Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Avoid smoke and secondhand smoke
When you expose your skin to cigarette smoke, you’re coating your face with all sorts of chemical toxins. This ups the oxidative stress in your skin cells, leading to prematurely aged skin.
If you smoke, consider your skin as another reason to quit.
Find a cleansing routine that works
You don’t want to rob your skin of moisture by washing it too often, and you don’t want to encourage your pores to produce too much extra oil to compensate for too much washing.
Washing your face after you’ve worked up a sweat, first thing in the morning, and right before bed is typically the sweet spot for healthy skin.
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Wear sunscreen dailySugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and juice can increase body fat and stall progress on getting abs. These drinks are not only high in calories but also packed with sugar. Studies show that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to a higher risk of belly fat and weight gain. Plus, a study in 31 people revealed that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages for 10 weeks reduced both fat burning and metabolism compared to not drinking them.
Moisturize properly after washing your face
IMoisturize your skin with products that lock in moisture, promote healing, and have antioxidant properties to encourage a glowing, youthful look. Don’t exfoliate your skin when it feels dry, and don’t skip moisturizer just because your face feels oily.
Apply moisturizer to your skin when it’s still wet from a shower or from rinsing your face. This will lock in extra moisture rather than working on a surface level to make your face feel smooth.
Soothe skin with virgin coconut oil
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and healing properties But using coconut oil on your face may not work for every skin type. Do not use if you have allergies to coconut.
If you’re able to apply it without irritation, it can be used in a number of ways. You can use coconut oil to:
- take off makeup
- soothe your skin barrier
- promote dewy-looking skin that’s healthy below the surface layer
Research shows that coconut oil is a good moisturizer. Try massaging a small amount of coconut oil onto your face. Let it soak in for a few minutes before washing off with your normal cleanser.
DIY a Rich, Creamy Avocado Mask
Creating a homemade mask of avocado is another natural way to soothe dry skin. Crompton suggests pureeing half an avocado and mixing it with 1 teaspoon (tsp) of olive oil; you can also add 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of honey for very dry skin. Apply the mask to your face, leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off. Your skin should feel moisturized, but you can double up on the hydrating effects by applying your regular moisturizer as well.
Exfoliate Your Face With a Homemade Oatmeal Honey MaskOatmeal also makes a great exfoliator or mask. Mix 2 tbsp of oats with 1 tbsp of honey and a dash of water. Crompton suggests warming up the mixture, then rubbing it into your skin. You can use it just to exfoliate and wash it off right away, or leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes as a soothing, hydrating mask.
Add Your Favorite Oil to Your Bath“Natural oils are great for moisturizing the skin and helping to re-create the natural skin barrier, which is often damaged by frequent hand and face washing with water and drying soaps that strip the skin of its natural protective oils,” Dr. Shainhouse says. Aside from olive oil or coconut oil, you can test out other natural oils that are free from irritants, including jojoba, argan, and avocado oils. To use, Shainhouse recommends adding a few tablespoons of the desired oil under running bathwater. Treat yourself to a short soak and gently pat your skin dry afterward to avoid rubbing all the oil off. You can also apply a small amount of your preferred oil to your skin post-shower to keep it soft and moist.
The Bottom Line
Paying attention to your skin is a form of self-care that can pay off in skin that visibly glows. Sometimes stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances, and other health conditions can make achieving glowing skin more challenging.
Speak to your primary care provider or dermatologist if you’re concerned about the way your skin looks. Dull, dry, flaky, or patchy skin can be a symptom of other health conditions.