Winter is hard on skin. The cool air outside holds little moisture, and your furnace burns up the water vapor inside your home. These low-humidity environments lead to dry, itchy, or flaky skin.
You can combat dry air and skin by adding a humidifier to your home and drinking plenty of water (consider this your daily reminder to stay hydrated!), but we all know there’s no relief quite like a cool, moisturizing lotion on itchy skin.
Did you know that adding a few drops of essential oils to your favorite lotion or carrier oil can create even more intense and sustained relief? Many oils have soothing or astringent properties that bolster the carrier’s positive effects, and the oils’ aromatherapeutic abilities bring extra benefits for the mood and mind as well.
Of course, always be sure to dilute your essential oils before topical application. Some oils have alcohol or other components that will actually dry skin out on their own. Our favorite carrier oils for skin--and especially the face--are jojoba, rosehip, argan, hemp seed, and sweet almond. These will nourish and hydrate your skin without getting in the way of the essential oil’s aromatic and soothing action.
A favorite in medicine cabinets worldwide, Lavender EO is soothing for both the mind and body. When applied to the skin it will calm irritations and redness, while improving contentment in your mood.
The components of Geranium EO are slightly alkaline and astringent. That means that it helps to cleanse and remove oil from your skin. Although applying an astringent oil as a solution for dry skin may seem counterintuitive, geranium oil can be a great moisturizer for normally oily or acne-prone skin.
Like geranium essential oil, Tea Tree EO is a great choice for acne-prone skin. Tea tree will hydrate without pushing your dry skin all the way to the other, oily side of the spectrum.
Sandalwood EO soothes skin while lessening the appearance of imperfections, such as age spots and fine lines. Sandalwood also boasts a high count of antioxidants, which will protect your skin from aging in the long term.
Well-known for its support of skin regeneration, Frankincense EO will also help to improve your skin’s texture and evenness long-term while soothing and hydrating short-term. Frankincense is a particularly good choice if your dry skin has progressed to flakiness.
Dry Skin Special Cases:
Eczema is exacerbated in the winter and can result in irritated, itchy, painful, red, and even bleeding skin. It’s important to moisturize and soothe skin with a gentle solution that does not increase the aggravation of the skin. Essential oils are perfect in this application. The best soother for healing eczema is a mixture of jojoba or hemp seed oil with frankincense, helichrysum, myrrh, lavender or geranium essential oils.
Dandruff or Flaky Scalp
An itchy, dry and flaky scalp is no fun and can be hard to correct. Luckily essential oils can be very helpful and provide fast relief. Start with a carrier oil such as coconut, castor, or olive oil and add 1 drop of EO to 4 ounces of the carrier. Think of the following essential oils: tea tree, frankincense, geranium, rosemary, and peppermint. Massage the mixture onto your scalp and leave on for 30 minutes before shampooing as usual. Repeat this process as needed, increasing the amount of essential oil as you wish.
This painful condition can be greatly helped with the right essential oil routine. First soak feet in warm water and gently rub off dead skin with a pumice stone. Next, use a mixture of coconut or jojoba oil and your favorite foot-friendly essential oils and massage into the bottom of feet. Use peppermint oil for its cooling and soothing properties. Lavender is perfect for its inflammation calming and regenerative properties. Eucalyptus oil can also be very soothing and healing for cracking or blistering heels.