The aisle at all drug stores, groceries, etc. are empty of the "dry skin" products which shows companies are unaware of this problem. If you look at the ingredients in dry skin products, you'll see you can DYI most of it at a much cheaper price.
Add a drop of olive oil or vitamin E to face creams from the dollar store. Depending on jar size and if you use if to remove makeup (near eyes), you may not want to do full jar. You may want to have two separate jars, one with added "moisture" and one without.
Same goes for body lotion. Buy inexpensive lotion, usually these are generic names and add olive oil, mineral oil, or vitamin E to the lotion. Give it several days and that flaky skin will be gone or at the very least showing signs of improvement.
I love finding the Vitamin C capsules made by beauty companies. Recently we found them at the back of TJ Max. The cost of these are way out of my budget. However at that marked down price, adding it to lotion either for face or body put a smile on my face. One capsule is what was on the instructions on the jar, and I think there were 30 in this particular container. When I added it to what I already use, it will last longer than 30 uses, doing the job just perfectly for me.
Keep in mind you can put olive oil and mineral oil directly on your skin, however adding it to a lotion will help your skin absorb it, holding it in for longer periods of time. Dry elbow and feet in any winter is a problem. This winter, the wind, early low temperatures, and even snow has made it so long sleeves, socks, even boots started early. Make sure you don't always have these areas covered so they're not getting fresh air.
Making sure the area is dry also is very important. After doing dishes, if you don't use gloves (like me), always dry your hands well. Try having hand lotion right by sink, then anyone has it there to remind them to use it. Using hand sanitizer with alcohol is something I have to do, and it is very drying. Using lotion more often, helps avoid cracking skin on your hands. My lotion I use after sanitizer has much more added olive oil.
Putting Vaseline on your feet with a pair of socks helps those dry, cracking heels. If you can't stand sleeping in socks, rub in the Vaseline as much as possible, doing it right before pulling up the covers.
I have an experiment that I actually did discover on my own - wax around my nails helps with dry, hardened areas around nails, even hangnails. I love candles burning especially in the winter months. When the candle has burned down, just dip your tips of finger in wax. I just dip my nails in the melted wax, let set before it completely hardens, then I rub it into my finger tips. Works great! If you don't like candles, you can still do this. Wait until the candle has a puddle of wax, blow out flame, and dip in your finger tips. Rubbing the wax protects your nails from the cold air, also from water. I have noticed how it helps with hang nails caused from dryness.
You can do your own salon type treatment by buying paraffin, melting it in slow cooker, then dip hands (or feet) into melted wax. Once covered, take out your hand (or foot), put into plastic bag, and then put into an oven mitt. If you are lucky enough to have large rectangular slow cooker, you can do same thing with feet, use plastic bag, and wrap in towel afterwards. I do this all year long, in winter months it's amazing how it helps moisture stay in your skin. You can buy paraffin at the market, where canning jars usually are. Reuse over and over again. You can buy a slow cooker at a thrift store, yard sale, or if you are lucky enough to have an old one, bring it new life.
Giving your skin a steam over hot water helps big time in dry, cold air. While it helps your face, boiling the water also puts moisture in the air. Don't burn yourself! I just place a towel over my head staying far away from hot water. Let the steam do the work. You can do this in bathroom also if the door closes tightly, using the bathroom sink. Keep in mind this doesn't help saving on water or electric bill. I suggest using bowl and towel.
Look in the store where they sell skin and body products, you too may find those special capsules on sale. If not, no worries. Vitamin E and olive oil go a very long way toward helping you have smooth, beautiful skin all season long.
Source: Olive oil is the source for so many things (used in hair also). It even saves money if you buy this at the regular price, I just couldn't afford it. I can afford to follow my grandma's ways. Salons do wax and steam treatments, so I found ways to do at home.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
If you have dry scaly legs, try it on them and see what a wonderful job it does after a few applications. If used regularly, it will keep your skin soft and supple and will prevent breakdowns. It is well worth the cost since you use so little. I also look at it for Hospice uses it so if they keep skin from breaking down. I have learned a lesson from them that it is an excellent source of moisturizer. Give it a try, betcha like it!
By Gem from Gordonsville, VA
In summer, our skin get drier and ages more so, of course, always use SPF even if you can't see the sun. I know how damaging those rays are! My doctor is the one who told me that using towels and rubbing hard on our skin is damaging. It tugs, pulls and removes more moisture then you really want to. He recommends "air dry" but for some of us, that is impossible. We can wrap the towel around us or, like me, put on a terry cloth robe while there is still water on your skin.
The weather, no matter where you live, is hurting your skin, either by air conditioning, the difference between outdoor or indoor humidity, sun drying, or heavy fog in the air (most of the West Coast). It is something that I noticed a difference in immediately. Within a week, there was a huge change in my skin.
While you are still moist, put lotion on then. It goes further into your skin and lasts longer. I was told "no" on any perfumed lotion. One with cucumbers, berries, Shea butter or cocoa butter is the best. Anything in the lotion that isn't a natural item means your body is absorbing it. My way is if I don't know what it is or how to pronounce it, I don't use it. There are great lotions that fit my budget without perfume added. If you can't find one, try coconut oil. It comes in a hard form which is perfect for using on your body. Mine was 99 cents, works great.
Perfumed lotion on your wrists or with cologne is alright. It helps you extend the great smell and you are using less of it. Having it in your soap or lotion is what hurts your skin by making it dry, helping aging faster.
Don't forget Vaseline is your best friend for those elbows and feet If you are in chlorine, it is the same as being in bleach. We all know what that does to our bodies. Try sleeping in some socks after putting Vaseline on your feet.
My doctor and I also talked about people who twisted their hair, either in a towel or just after you wash it. Most people have done that for years. If I hadn't been told, I probably still would be doing it. Wet long hair is easily broken, Going easy on twisting it too hard or putting a comb or brush through it roughly. It breaks it faster then bleaching or over processing it. Gently use a comb right after you condition your hair. It will break less and be as healthy as your skin is going be.
Have a great summer. Enjoy it for years to come. I love my doctor, he knows I hate all the aging thing. Laughing he told me "Enjoy it and smile. You're as young as you look"! He is a dermatologist with his heart in the right place.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
I have been using pure coconut oil for the past two months. I no longer have red, cracked, and bleeding hands nor do my feet have large unhappy cracks in them. It even stopped my fingernails from flaking and splitting. I use it daily and if applying to my feet, at bedtime, I wear socks to bed. But the oil doesn't seem to stain anything. It is also a good deodorant and anti-fungal cream, thus removing unwanted odors as well. Seems to be an excellent all around product.
Source: Maw and Paws Produce in LaPorte, IN
By Mary from LaPorte IN
By JB from Cincinnati, OH
To your bath water or after shower, add few drops of baby oil to a container of warm water and pour. Keeps your skin soft and smooth.
For dry rash or dry flaky skin, dip a piece of cotton wool with methylated spirit and apply on the rash. Apply glycerine on top. Works well.
By Dorothy from Durban, KZN
I have dry skin. What can I use?
I worked in homecare nursing for years and learned that if you apply a good moisturizing lotion to the skin after you shower and gently dry, the skin's moisture will hold the lotion in to prevent the skin from drying out. It really works well. Good luck.
I work outdoors and have dry cracked skin on my hands; lotions do not repair the damage. Help?
By Ken T.
Ken, I empathize and sympathize. A couple years ago I picked up a tube of Chap-Stick - for lips - Moisturizer formula (in the KY Wildcat blue tube!) lying on the nightstand and decided to rub it on my fingertips, thinking, oh, well, why not? They had so painfully cracked and bled on the ends and around my nails for years.
The dermatologist told me I was allergic to water. I tried to wear vinyl gloves so I didn't have to wash my hands so often, but that and endless lotions and potions did little to help (I did not do aloe vera or bag balm).
I kept applying the Chap-Stick several times throughout the day, rubbing it well into the skin. I was amazed, but lo and behold, they healed! Praise the Lord. I haven't been as diligent this winter about applying it, so there's some dry skin cracks on both sides of, and slightly on, the fingertips, but no bleeding and no pain!
I still use vinyl gloves, keep my hands out of water as much as possible, and I keep a tube of Chap-Stick in my pants pocket, in my purse, in the car, around the house - and buy it in multi-packs. This has been a real blessing for me; I pray it will be for you, also.
I have the world's worst dry skin. I have used many over-the-counter products, but nothing does enough.
I have had very dry skin since birth. I experience many problems during the winter. Can you please suggest to me any treatments/products for permanent treatment for it. This is a genetic problem in my family.
By Arvind from India
By Patty Lynn
Soap is probably the worst thing you can use on dry skin, it just gets worse. I have used soap made from goat's milk and it is very gentle. You need to do some research on eczema which is a skin irritation. Sorry, dry skin does not go away and needs constant attention. My husband has flaky dry skin, he does not use soap on his face, but has used baby oil for years and washes it off. A lot of facial masks are drying, so be careful what you use. (10/24/2009)
I keep humidifiers going all the time and use the newer Jergens Ultra Healing skin lotion. I swear this is the best lotion I have ever purchased. It's mid range in drugstore lotion pricing and I often find it on sale. My only complaint is that there is the light scent of their "original" formula.
It's better then Curel (and cheaper) and way better than the Suave version. In a pinch, Vaseline's Intensive Rescue is pretty good, but Jergens Ultra Healing wins hands down.
Oh, and instead of olive oil, as I was flipping through channels the other day, landed on Dr. Oz's new talk show and they had mentioned that safflower oil has the same exact qualities of olive oil without smelling like a salad.
Anyhow, never been happier with a lotion, especially for the price, than I have been with Jergens Ultra Healing and humidifiers are a must where I live and help so very much. (10/24/2009)
It's a product that is used on cow udders to keep them from cracking in cold weather. (You can buy it in some pet stores, livestock feed stores, some drugstores, or on-line.) It is inexpensive and works well. The only problem is that it has a medicinal odor, so you may want to use it at night. I believe there is a similar product out there that doesn't have a smell. (10/27/2009)
What to do for dry split skin the your heels? My daughter-in-law needs help.
By Shirley from KY
By Robyn Fed
I find that it takes awhile for the hard dry skin to heal, so sometimes I have to shave/scrape that off so that the new skin underneath can heal and not be re-opened constantly. If I had many cracks, I would use the salve and plastic bag and socks to bed remedy, as that sounds like it would work. (07/28/2010)