This post is copied from our older, original blog. Original post date 03/14/2013.
By Marcie Bower, Lic.Ac.
Hopefully we are in the tail end of winter…and warmer, less dry days lie ahead! I know I’m looking forward to spring, and my skin is too! Many, many of us experience dry skin during the winter months (or sometimes all year!) When skin gets really dry, it can be uncomfortable, scaly, itchy, burning, or tender to the touch. Unfortunately, most commercial skin creams are loaded with toxic chemicals that slowly work their way into your blood stream. But there are natural alternatives you can try! Read on for 9 tips/products for naturally healthy skin:
- Drink enough fluids.
This sounds like the most obvious answer in the world, but you’d be amazed how often simple dehydration is the culprit of really dry skin! If your body is not getting the water it needs, fluids are not transported effectively to the tissues. Limit consumption of caffeinated beverages, which actually increase urine output and leave your body more depleted. Try adding lemon or lime to your water, which can help with absorption in the body. You can also try pear juice – pear is very moistening to the Lung energy of the body, which controls the skin in Traditional Chinese Medical theory.
- Eat moistening foods.
In any season, dryness in the body (dry skin, dry mucus membranes, dry throat, dry cough) can be treated by eating moistening foods: spinach, barley, millet, pear, apple, persimmon, loquat, seaweed, almond, pine nut, sesame seed, honey, barley malt.
- Get acupuncture.
Dry skin is a symptom of imbalance within the body. Acupuncture works to correct that imbalance, either by nourishing the systems that regulate moisture in the body, or by helping the body to more efficiently transport fluids to the tissues. Dry skin can be caused by any number of pathologies from a Traditional Chinese Medicine standpoint – for instance, dry skin everywhere is usually related to Lung dryness or Lung energy weakness. Dry skin just on the face can be indicative with a deeper energetic system, the Kidney essence. Dry skin along a particular channel or pathway points to an imbalance in that meridian. When dry skin becomes red or has a burning sensation, it may be related to pathogenic heat in the channels. Dry skin can also be caused by a weakness in the blood energy of the body, which has the function of cooling and moistening the tissues. Your acupuncturist will determine the cause of your dry skin and treat you accordingly.
- Use Chinese Herbs.
In severe cases, internal herbs can help the body to increase fluid production and nourish the skin accordingly. Chinese Herbs work on the same principles as the acupuncture and rebalance your body’s energy systems to address your unique problems and manifestations.
- Emily Skin Soothers!
Emily Skin Soothers is a wonderful company founded by an acupuncturist to treat his daughter’s eczema. They produce topical skin products made with all natural oils and a few simple Chinese herbs. Their original and super-dry skin soother work wonders on dry, itchy, or flaky skin.
- Apply Olive Oil to the Skin.
Applying olive oil to the affected area can be a great way to treat dry skin naturally and easily.
- Use high-fat, low-chemical soap.
In other words, use real soap.
- Increase your consumption of healthy fats.
Healthy fats help your body transport fluids into the tissues and the skin. Try to increase consumption of healthy fats, like nut butters, avocado, grape seed oil, and flaxseed oil.
- Get a humidifier.
This will drastically help not only your skin but also if you are waking up with a dry or scratchy throat, dry eyes, or a dry cough.