8 Home Remedies To Combat Dry Skin

This winter may have taken a toll on your skin, leaving it dry and scaly. Check out these easy and inexpensive ways to keep it soft, supple, and hydrated year-round.

If you haven’t done a thorough check, there’s a good chance your skin is looking a little scaly from a long winter. Turns out, winter can be very tough on your skin. As soon as the heat goes on, skin dries up. Low humidity during the winter months, both inside and outside, enhances the drying effect, as does exposure to the colder elements of the season’s weather. So if you’re in need of a little moisture Rx, try these off-the-beaten-path home remedies!

Why Does Skin Dry Out in the Winter?

Hand Sanitiser - Hand washing

When your skin becomes cold, blood vessels that supply your skin become constricted. This reduces the amount of moisture that sweat and oil-producing glands in your body secrete. As a result, the water content of your skin is depleted causing skin cells to become dry both on the inside and outside. While you may not feel as thirsty in the winter as you do the summer, it is important to stay hydrated. A regular exercise routine will also help keep your skin hydrated year-round too.

8 Home Remedies To Combat Dry Skin

Try these 8 easy and inexpensive home remedies:

1. Potatoes

Grate 1 or 2 small potatoes and soak them in olive oil for twenty minutes. Place the potato/oil mixture on your dry hands, and leave it on for at least 10 minutes, then rinse your hands to clean them of the potatoes.

2. Olive Oil

Avocado Oil - Avocado

Dab a thin layer of olive oil all over your dry skin. This works well as a moisturizer. You can also try coconut oil, or avocado oil, which are excellent for the skin.

3. Honey

Lip Scrub - Lips honey in a
A scrub made of honey and sugar can smooth dry lips.

Honey works really well for chapped, cracked lips. Make a quick scrub by combining honey and some sugar to make a paste and apply it to your dry lips. Give them a light massage, then rinse. You can also apply honey to your lips in the evening and you’ll wake up to smoother, softer lips. Honey also helps soothe cracked heels and rough elbows.

4. Baking soda

Try adding a little baking soda to your dishwater. It is less harsh on your skin than commercial dish soap. Adding baking soda to a bath also does wonders.

5. Add Water

Keep moisture in the air by putting on the kettle!

In addition to drinking it, try putting some water on your wood stove or regular stove to help raise the humidity in your home. Be sure to keep enough water in the pot.

6. Douse While You’re Damp

Applying lotion or oil to damp skin is the best bet for retaining moisture. When you get out of the bath or shower, pat, don’t rub, to get rid of just enough water so you don’t leave a wet trail. Then rub on your lotion and work it into the skin. This will help seal in the moisture.

7. Go Bananas!

Mash a banana with a fork and apply as a thick coat on the affected area. Leave for 15-20 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

8. Think Natural

Instead of buying a moisturizer, try using Vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, or aloe vera for your hands and legs. Lavender oil is one of the best moisturizing oils, simply add a few drops to your bathwater. You can also dilute this oil in your regular moisturizers and use it. Additionally, steer clear of products containing “mineral oil” as this is a man-made petroleum-based product that’s used in many body lotions.

Oil - Castor oil

Remember when bathing, use mild soaps with natural oils and try not to bathe with scalding hot water, which can dry out skin!

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I see a question about dry scalp. For skin & hair, work in mayonnaise at the hair base. Can be tedious and probably be more successful to have someone else do it for you

Laura Jackson

Since I have extremely dry skin, when I shower I use a very tiny amount of soap and as someone else suggested, I don’t use it all over my arms, legs or torso. Using a wet and somewhat rough washcloth, I pour on a light, natural oil and rub all over to exfoliate my skin. Only patting dry to keep from dripping. Same for my dry hair, only using shampoo once or twice per week. In between, just a rinse and light leave-in conditioner.

Patricia Lellock

Never use essential directly at 100%…They need to be mixed with a carrier oil first to the percentage desired …I use olive oil or coconut oil.

victoria reformina

The olive oil you mentioned, are you referring to the olive oil used for cooking or sautéing? Thanks.

Diane Briscoe

You can try shorter showers with not-as-hot water to avoid stripping off the skin’s natural oils. Also, using less soap, i.e. less on your arms…. (how dirty can they get?) Also vegetable-based soaps.

Chris W.

When using essential oils, make sure they are therapeutic grade level. Otherwise, they are adulterated and toxic. This will cause serious effects on and in the body. I’m working on getting rid of all the toxic chemical cleaning agents I use in my home. These aren’t only drying to the skin, but are extremely bad to inhale as you clean.

Linda Estes

I have asthma but I love lavender oil it doesn’t seem to bother me. all of those are great ideas.


most of your suggestions work, just can’t use the lavendar, it closes up the windpipe, not a good thing. when my daughter in law brought essential oils with lavendar in it for the grand daughter , it was aggravating my windpipe. what is in it..lavendar they said..oh no, can’t use it as my pipe was closing i had to use my rescue inhaler to breath. not a good thing for me, because of my sensitivity to strong smells. i would advise not to use it around children or grown-ups known to have asthma

Susan Higgins

Hi Donna, good point. By all means, if you’re allergic to anything you want to steer clear of it.


looking for natural remedy for very dry scalp

Susan Higgins

Hi Judy, We ran an article on the benefits of castor oil, that might be of interest: 6 Surprising Health Benefits Of Castor Oil

Amber Stawicki

Never use essential oils neat. Always dilute to appropriate percentages for application based on age.

Betty Riordan

Don’t waste that banana skin… rubbing the inside of a a banana peel on skin, also helps when you have dry skin!

Karen Siegel

Argan whipped butter works well. Also cocoa butter is excellent. One thing to remember, don’t take long hot showers or long hot soaks in the bathtub. This will rob your skin of precious natural oil.

Carol Hansen

Does the potato really help the skin, or is it just a vehicle to keep the oil there?

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