Dry skin, although not a serious condition, can be quite uncomfortable, unsightly and cause embarassment to some. Symptoms include a feeling of tightness, itching, flaking, fine lines and cracks that may or may not bleed.
There are many culprits that contribute to dry skin, but the most prevalent one occurs with advancing years- decreased production of sebum, the body's natural moisturizers.
Other factors include climate changes, lack of humidity, harsh chemically laden products, frequent bathing and/or showering (especially with hot water), underlying disorders such as psoriasis and hypothyroidism, alcohol and drugs, dehydration and over exposure to the sun.
Your first line of defence is to consume a healthy diet high in essential fatty acids and gamma linoleic acids. Eating a handful of raw shelled hempseeds everyday provide these exceptional nutrients.
Another very important step is to moisturize religiously!! Avoid bathing with hot water and pat gently when done. Don't buy products loaded with chemicals that strip what little oil your body produces and protect yourself from the harsh elements.
Also important, wear breathable fabrics made with natural fibers with the exception of wool which can be irritating.
Carrier oils suitable for dry skin
Hemp oil: This golden colored oil is becoming very popular in the aromatherapy and cosmetic industry due to it's high content of omega fatty acids and proteins. It is very moisturizing and a must in all skin care.
Pomegranate oil: This oil is cold pressed from the seeds. It balances PH levels and leaves your skin smooth and silky.
Walnut oil: This oil is well suited to dry, irritated skin with emollient properties. It is cold pressed and has very little scent.
Sunflower oil: Another cold pressed oil packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, B, D and E and minerals. It is light yellow and absorbs well into the skin.
Babassu oil: This oil is gently moisturizing and makes a great addition to all your personal care products. Leaves a slight oily feeling on skin.
Jojoba Golden oil This orange oil resembles sebum and is rich in vitamin E. It is cold pressed and has a pleasent scent.
It provides a satiny feel to your skin.
Avocado oil: This cold pressed oil has vitamins A, B1, B2, D, E and beta-carotene. Since this oil leaves a sticky feeling, it is best to dilute it with other carrier oils.
Apricot Kernel oil: This oil is cold pressed and suited to all skin types. It is very nourishing and contains vitamin A. Absorbs quickly.
Evening primrose oil: Another oil that is high in GLA's and suited to dry and mature skin. Due to the low absorbancy rate, it is recommended it be diluted with other carriers.
Kukuinut oil: This oil is expeller pressed from the nut. It is native to Hawaii. It is excellent for use on dry skin due to it's quick penetration and in providing protection against drying winds.
Essential oils suited for dry skin
German chamomile: This oil is steam distilled from the flowers. It has sweet, green herbal top notes. It carries anti- inflammatory properties and is very soothing to the skin.
Rose: This popular oil is either steam distilled, water distilled or solvent extracted depending on the variety. It has anti-septic properties with a sweet floral scent.
Geranium: This oil has lemon herbal top notes and is steam distilled from the flowers, leaves and stalks. It acts as an astringent and anti-septic. It also balances the skin's sebum.
Lavender: This oil is steam distilled from the flowers and has floral tope notes. It is widely used in many applications due to it's soothing and calming properties.
Neroli: Also known as orange blossom, this oil is steam distelled from the flowers. It has fresh floral top notes and has rejuvenating effects on the skin.
Jasmine: This oil has strong sweet exotic top notes and is solvent extracted from the flowers. It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties.
Sandalwood: This essential oil from the this small evergreen tree is steam distilled from the powdered heartwood and major roots. It has sweet, woody top notes and is very soothing and hydrating to the skin.