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When your body isn’t in absolute harmony, the skin is often the first place to show any deficiencies or imbalances. The last to receive vital nutrients and the first to lose them, the skin is a good indicator of your internal health. Dry skin is a problem which can be a miserable thing for many people but depending on the cause, it can be surprisingly simple to treat. Here’s a look at some of the most common causes and treatments.

The Causes

There are lots of different causes of dry skin, some come from within and others are external but the end result is the same: dry, red, flaky skin which feels uncomfortable and doesn’t look attractive either. Harsh soaps, cold weather, and hot showers can all dry out the surface of the skin, leaving it parched and in dire need of deep moisturizing. Irritants can be another problem and what causes blotchy skin on one person might cause no reaction whatsoever on another, so it’s important to understand your own body.

Although all of the above can certainly cause dry skin, the effects of these are usually fairly transient and easily solved. If you have a dry skin problem which is more chronic, there’s a very good chance is could be caused by an internal imbalance in your body. Inflammation and a lack of micro-nutrients are two common causes of dry skin and can cause quite severe problems which won’t disappear with a slathering of moisturizer. These require treatment at a far more fundamental level, and a more holistic view of your health.

    • Protecting your skin from harsh weather is a good preventative action and a moisturizer which acts as a barrier will help to stop cold weather from causing chapping. A humidifier could help to counteract the drying effects of central heating in the home during the winter months.


    • Using natural, fragrance-free products. Turning down the temperature in the shower will also help your skin to remain free of redness and dry patches.


    • To drench your skin with moisture without exposing it to chemicals or harsh treatments, try a cucumber and yogurt face mask. Gently hydrating and cooling the skin naturally, it will also soothe and rejuvenate leaving you radiant and glowing. Simply mix with a few drops of lemon juice, leave to dry on the skin and then rinse off with warm water.


    • But by far the biggest change you can make is improving your diet to increase the amount of nutrients you consume, and you may want to consider adding in supplements such as a multivitamin too.


    • Antioxidants play a vital role in the health of your skin and upping your intake can produce incredible results. Vitamins A, C and E are really important for good-looking skin, along with a lot of other micro-nutrients such as Vitamin D, Omega 3 and other essential fatty acids. You can find these in some products (which are applied topically) but if taken as a regular dietary supplement these can heal the skin, correcting the imbalance from the inside out.


  • Cranberry seed and raspberry seed are two types of oil which offer particular advantages for the skin, helping to quickly improve the appearance of dry patches while simultaneously helping the skin to become healthier too. The skin absorbs cranberry seed oil extremely well, because the blend of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is perfectly balanced. Not only does this mean it provides excellent levels of hydration, it also primes the skin to more readily absorb other micro-nutrients such as Vitamin E and antioxidants. Red raspberry seed oil is a powerful antioxidant but it also provides a natural source of Vitamin A, plus some forms of Vitamin E including y-tocopherol and gamma and alpha tocopherol. Acting as a natural sunscreen and containing strong anti-inflammatory properties, this innocent-looking oil packs a potent punch.

Treat Your Dry Skin Naturally

Dry skin can take away your glow and leave you looking tired and not your best. Give these natural treatments a try, they are gentle yet effective and will hydrate, restore and renew your skin.

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Four Simple Fitness Tips

Getting in shape doesn’t have to be complicated. If you incorporate these five simple fitness tips into your routine, you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling great.

Keep Moving

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week for the average adult. That works out to about 21 minutes of moderate exercise or 11 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. For the busy person, setting aside time for the gym might prove tricky. Chances are, though, even the busiest person can work in twenty minutes of movement.

Have a few minutes while microwaving lunch? Walk briskly in place. Waiting for water to boil? Try some jumping jacks.Keep your toes tapping and legs moving while working at your desk. For a bonus, take breaks as frequently as possible to stretch — even if it’s just raising your arms and straightening your torso. Need to clean? Turn on some music and make it fun. You’ll get your exercise in and wind up with a tidier home.

The bottom line: wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, keep your muscles moving. Even if you’re just walking in place, every little step counts.

Make It Fun

Some people like going to the gym and sweating on the treadmill or elliptical. If you’re one of those people, great. Renew your gym membership or buy some exercise equipment and knock yourself out. For everyone else, typical workouts can be a drudge.

If the gym isn’t for you, forcing yourself to go isn’t a long-term solution. Eventually, you’ll get tired of it and stop. Why not find some type of physical activity you enjoy instead? For example, dance classes, roller derby, basketball, hiking, rock climbing, or bike riding. The possibilities are endless.

No time for a new hobby? No problem. Fitness can be as simple as flipping on some music and dancing your feet off for as long as you can. Determined to make the whole gym thing work? Try spicing up your workout by listening to an audiobook or podcast while working up a sweat.

Buddy Up

The old adage “there’s strength in numbers” applies doubly to fitness. Finding a partner or group to exercise with makes it easier to meet your fitness goals. Having trouble getting out of bed and going to the gym in the morning? If it’s just you, it’s much easier to hit snooze and go back to dreaming of pizza and ice cream. However, if you’re meeting a friend, you’re more likely to haul yourself out of bed to avoid standing him or her up.

Having a fitness buddy also helps with accountability and motivation. A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that 95 percent of participants who began a fitness program with friends completed the program. Only 76 percent of solo participants finished the program. Those who participated with friends also lost more weight than those who didn’t.

Treat Yourself

You’re working hard. You exercise and you eat right. Do something nice for yourself! As you meet your goals — or just maintain them — reward yourself for your efforts. It’s okay to have a slice of cheesecake every once in a while; just don’t go overboard.

Food isn’t the only reward to consider. You could also treat yourself with new clothes or a new game, a night out — whatever appeals to you. By giving yourself a reward, you’re reinforcing the idea that you’ve achieved something. When you complete tasks and reach your goals, the reward center in your brain sends out dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.

The better getting fit makes you feel, the more likely you are to stick with it.

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