Flaky skin is a sign of damage to the epidermis (outside layer of skin) whether from external factors, diet, allergies or genetic conditions. Flaking skin is usually accompanied by itchy, inflamed, dry skin or rash and, in severe cases, can lead to skin infections if the skin it not healed and the condition restored.
Treating flaky skin at home can be as simple as trying one or more of these simple remedies using basic items from the kitchen pantry.
Oils have many benefits, especially for dry, flaking skin. Oils gently encourage the removal of dead skin cells by breaking down the adhesion between the skin cells, thereby encouraging removal, repair and healing. Apart from various other benefits, oils are widely used for flaking, dry skin. They can be applied directly to the skin and provide instant relief.
- Vegetable Oil – believe it or not, plain vegetable oil is a great moisturizer for very dry skin and provides instant relief.
- Sesame Oil – this is a gentle emollient for dry skin and is safe to use during pregnancy.
- Olive Oil – helps the skin retain its moisture, repairs damaged skin and helps promote a glowing complexion.
- Grape Seed Oil – grape seed oil has many healing qualities. It’s a very light oil that won’t clog pores – it’s ideal for sensitive skin and is very effective a healing peeling skin.
- Jojoba Oil – this has antibacterial properties which is good for very dry, flaky skin which can become infected from scratching. Because the chemical make-up of jojoba oil is so close to our own naturally occurring oil, it not only restores skin health and is a wonderful anti-aging ingredient, recent studies find that, when used on the scalp, jojoba oil can actually generate the growth of hair follicles! Good news for those struggling with hair loss or simply wishing to prevent hair loss.
- Castor Oil – this is a deep penetrating moisturizer for dry skin and can be used for various skin irritations.
- Coconut Oil – pure coconut oil is a powerful moisturizer and all-round natural healer. It not only helps to exfoliate the outer layer of dry, flaking skin, it is absorbed deep into the skin and connective tissues to restore the skin’s strength and supple qualities.
- Almond Oil – this is rich in minerals and vitamins D and E (excellent for conditioning the skin). It has natural anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory or anti-aging properties which makes it one of the best oils for dry, flaking skin.
- Apricot Kernel Oil – this is excellent for prematurely aged, dry, and irritated skin. It helps retain elasticity, clarity and suppleness of the skin.
Whether you use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, this is an old remedy for treating dry, chapped skin and works well on flaking skin too. Vinegar restores pH levels and promotes blood circulation. Simply apply vinegar directly to dry, flaking areas – leave it on the affected areas overnight and wash off in the morning. If you are treating legs, hands or feet, try wearing gloves, socks or long PJs while sleeping – it helps boost the repair process.
Baking Soda and Cornstarch
These two simple ingredients will not moisturize dry, flaking skin but it will help soothe irritated and itchy skin associated with dry skin. Baking soda also helps keep skin infections at bay caused by redness, irritation and peeling. You can use it as a sponge bath treatment, or you can soak in a tepid bath of clean water with a cup of baking soda or cornstarch for 15-20 minutes.
While you are in the rub, try adding some instant oatmeal to the water. Oats are one of the best home remedies for peeling finger tips, but works well for all dry, chapped, flaking skin conditions. You could also make a bowl of wet oatmeal and use it in the bath to ‘wash’ instead of soap. Rinse well and gently pat skin dry. Oatmeal contains an antioxidant that is not only a natural cleanser, it soothes the skin while gently exfoliating dead skin cells and flaking skin. Oatmeal baths are so effective, many companies have created over-the-counter products to help soothe dry, flaking skin if you prefer to OTC method.
Milk, Curd and Natural Yoghurt
These are all naturally soothing to dry, irritated skin. Lactic acid provides gentle exfoliation of peeling, flaking skin. These are all deeply nourishing and moisturizing – leaving skin feeling soft and conditioned.
Make Your Own Creamy Moisturizer
This creamy, green, moisturizer is rich in vitamins A, D and E – has natural minerals, oils to soften and protect dry, flaking skin and has wonderful anti-aging qualities too. You will need:
- ¼ avocado
- ½ teaspoon plain yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Mash the avocado in a bowl. Add the yoghurt, lemon juice and oil. Blend well. Massage into dry, flaking areas of skin or on the face.
Rich Night Cream for Dry Skin
This wonderfully rich night cream with lecithin helps rebuild and regenerate cell tissue. The sesame oil and citric acid (from the lemon) kill bacteria on the skin and the coconut oil seals in skin’s moisture, leaving it wonderfully smooth and conditioned. You will need:
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- ¼ cup sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon liquid lecithin (found at healthfood or vitamin stores)
- ½ cup coconut oil
Blend the egg and sesame oil in a blender at low speed. Add sunflower oil, lecithin and lemon juice. Then add coconut oil and blend well until thick. Refrigerate for 1 hour then blend again at slow speed. Store in a sealed jar (keeps up to 2 weeks).
Apply to clean face and neck (as well as dry, flaky patches on the body as needed) before going to bed. Your skin will look amazing in the morning!