Natural Dry Skin Treatment

Mar 30, 2017

Home Remedies for Dry Skin

Dry skin, or xeroderma, is a common condition where the skin loses moisture and may crack, flake, and peel leaving you with itchy, dry skin. This occurs in places with relatively low humidity - and therefore is very common in winter - but can be caused by sunburns, excessive hand washing, vitamin A or D deficiency, reactions to laundry detergents, illness, and medication side-effects. Hot showers can also cause dry skin; while it may feel nice to take a long hot shower, it can actually dry out your natural skin oils.

Commonly occurring on the scalp, legs, knuckles, abdomen, and thighs, dry skin can be treated with moisturizing. Dry skin around the eyes and any dry skin on face features can be particularly troublesome, as your eyes may be sensitive to those products.

Natural Cures for Dry Skin

Using a humidifier during the winter and drinking plenty of fluids is a start, but below you will find popular Earth Clinic solutions for chronic and stubborn dry skin. Among the top favorites are coconut oil, coffee grounds, and honey; as well as numerous other remedies that others have reported as successful dry skin treatments. Let us know what you use to combat dry skin!

Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by Donna (Colorado) on 03/30/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Vinegar baths are amazing. You can soak in a bath with only a cup of vinegar in it or with two big jugs of vinegar in it and anywhere in between. I once decided to try using 3 big jugs of vinegar in my bath but had to stop at 2 because the fumes made my eyes water. Vinegar baths are very helpful after a long hike or any kind of hard physical activity that makes you tired but too restless to sleep well. Get up and take a vinegar bath and you will sleep like a baby, seriously! It will also make your skin smooth.

Posted by Peanut (Bowie, Maryland, USA) on 01/03/2010
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

I have very dry skin, and my feet are especially dry, heel cracked and peeling. I soaked my feet in organic apple cider vinegar with the mother at full strength for about 45 minutes or so, and then I massaged 10,000 i.u. of vitamin E oil into my feet. My feet looked and felt drastically different, just from that first soak. The next day while in the shower i used one of those pumice stones to get rid of the dry scaly skin, and then soaked my feet again in full strength apple cider vinegar and massaged the vitamin E oil into my feet. My feet were definitely looking normal again by day 2. However, as soon as I stopped doing anything the dry scaly skin returned. I definitely have to be more consistent with applying moisture to my skin on a daily basis. . Hope this helps!

Replied by Saba
Mentor, Oh

Peanut - Have you tried Castor Oil? It works great to soften your skin. It will make your feet feel like a baby's bottom.

Replied by Peanut
Bowie, Md

I haven't tried the castor oil as a moisturizer. I will try it, and let u know if it works for my dry cracked feet.. Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by Naeriyah Jo An (Atlanta, USA) on 01/11/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Another remedy that works for dry skin if your lower extrementies are having difficulty in absorbing oils lotions or resisting water when your bathing. soak your legs in a bath of acv and warm water for about 30 minutes immediately your legs will begin absorbing again. I have done both. with the legs my medical doctors told me that they were dying and a japanese massuse told me about the acv bath and to never use anything on my skin i cannot eat. I went back to the doctor and showed them my legs. They didnt knowwhat to say but told me to keep on doing what i am doing. I have not had that severity with asborption since. I have had to repeat the bathe again 7 years since i first tried it.

Replied by April
Denham Springs, Louisiana

With the ACV Bath. How much ACV do you add to the bath. And is it safe for you to sit in this bath naked or do you need to wear swimsuit bottoms? I didn't know if it was safe for your personal area. My legs have scales and my feet are so dry and cracked they hurt to walk on them. Dermetologist have told me there is nothing I can do for them. Lotion and even Petroleum Jelly do not work. If you have any other suggestions on this please help!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda  

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Posted by Ed Davis (Wenatchee WA, USA) on 06/03/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Skin Care - Dry Scaly Patches: I had some dry scaly skin on my nose and about for an inch or so on either side of my nose. I have been using a mixture of ACV, Baking Soda, and Water for a about a week and a half. I use about 1/4 tablespoon of BS and ACV till the bubbling stops. then I add just enough water to complete filling a small cup About 3 inches high, 1/2 full. I wash my face with this and leave it on for about a minute and then rinse it off. My skin on my nose and by my nose is now very soft and is no longer dry. I also found that when shaving with a razor that this mixture lubricated my skin and I did not get any cuts. I pieced this mixture together from reading about several items from this site. I love

Apple Cider Vinegar, Castor Oil  

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Posted by Milo (Orange County, Ca) on 12/27/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Castor Oil worked for me. I had extremely hard, dry and cracked skin on both my feet and my right hand. The skin split in the arch of my foot about 3/16 and I had open cracks in joints of my fingers and on the tip of my thumb. Very painful. No matter how much or what type of lotion I used, it gave me no relief.

Then I started soaking both my feet and hand in ACV for about 10 minutes at a time, 1-2 times a day. The results were dramatic within days and my skin looks normal after about 10 day. NO MORE CUTS and virtually no small cracks either.

I have had athletes foot most of my life, and the symptoms of it are also 95% gone and still improving.

Because the cracking was localized on my right hand (thumb to index finger) and did not respond to lotion, I suspected there might be something else at the root cause such as a fungus or reaction to something on my tools. (I use cordless drills a lot in my work). I heard that ACV is acidic and effective against fungus. It appears that ACV both mitigates the cause of the cracking and softens the loose dead skin so it can be easily removed with an abrasive dish pad which I would use after 1 out of 4 soakings.

My skin does seam to absorb lotion or coconut oil now, when before it seamed ineffective.

I HIGHLY recommend trying it.

Good Luck, Milo

Black Seed Oil  

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Posted by C. (Charlotte, NC) on 03/15/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Every winter I get really dry skin. Normally coconut oil helps but for the past couple of years, my hands have been very dry. Especially my right hand. Which is weird because I do the same things with both hands pretty much. The skin on the back of my right hand was so dry until it began to look scaly and like it had tiny scabs like it had been scratched all over.

A friend and I heard about black seed oil last summer (also know as black cumin seed oil or being billed as "curing everything except death". We decided to try it. Now I can't remember why except that what ever it was for, after I'd used or taken it several times, I felt like it wasn't doing anything for me. So I stuck it in the fridge.

When coconut oil stopped working for my skin, it popped into my head a couple of weeks ago that the black seed oil might help. I began rubbing a little on my hands every day, twice a day. Just enough to rub in without leaving any excess to look or feel greasy. Since then, my right hand looks remarkably better. There are still a few tiny spots where the skin still looks dry but I have to strain to see it and I think that's because I haven't used the oil in about a week.

I also began using it on my face because I noticed the coconut oil wasn't doing anything for my face other than softening my skin. It actually seemed to be leading to breakouts more and more. The black seed oil seems to be helping minimize breakouts and moisturizes well without leaving a greasy feeling.

For my face, I use it like a moisturizing cleanser. Meaning as soon as I come in for the evening, I put some on a cotton ball (not cotton pad) and use the oil to clean the day's dirt off. (Being careful to avoid the areas around and near my eyes.) I take a second cotton ball and go lightly over the same areas, to remove a little oil and any residual dirt. (Usually not much of either.) By the time I go to bed, any oil left has soaked into my skin. It looks nice and calm, feels like silk when I wake up.

If you try it, be careful NOT to get it near your eyes. The smell is slight but it causes my eyes to tear up if rubbed anywhere near them.

Castille Soap, Coconut Oil  

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Posted by Lou (Tyler, Texas) on 03/02/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I healed my dry feet by using a castille soap product with coconut oil in it. It kills the fungus that causes the dryness. Try it!

Castor Oil and Vaseline  

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Posted by Angel (Olathe, Ks) on 01/07/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I had badly calloused feet....especially in summer as I always wore sandals. I mixed 50/50 solution of unscented vaseline lotion and castor oil and rubbed it into my feet right before bed. I bought a couple of pairs of cheap terry cloth house slippers and wore those until I was in bed (we have hard wood floors & didn't want to fall on my duff .) I was just doing it to soften my feet a little, but after a month, I stepped out of the shower one day and my entire foot peeled a very thick callous practically all in one huge piece, and my feet were so soft. I 've been doing it ever since as a preventative measure. Patience is the key, but it was certainly a surprise plus for me, as I thought the skin was way too thick to make any headway as far as alleviating the callous. I was just hoping to make my feet a little softer. Hope this helps.

Coconut Oil  

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Posted by Diane (Boise, Idaho) on 03/15/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I love Virgin Coconut Oil for lots of things, most especially taken internally for soft, shiny hair, and moisturized skin from within! My daughter turned me onto it about 4-5 years ago when a colleague of hers lost weight dramatically. Asked what was her secret, she said on Oprah Winfrey's show she learned about eating a tsp-tblsp of coconut oil morning and night. It promoted inner cleansing for weight loss, and the side benefits were awesome! This is one health regime I don't forget! My hair at 66 is the best it has ever been in my life, my skin is moisturized from within, no more scaley elbows, and it helps with the feet, and some weight came off too. After reading other earthclinic. Coms comments, I now also use it externally on face, hands and feet after toning or soaking with Apple Cider Vinegar or in the case of the feet, plain cheap white vinegar. I also try and drink more water every day too. Sorry avon lady, I like the natural remedies!

Oh and I put about a tsp into my dogs food every day for moisturized skin and shiny hair/fur. No more expensive dog shampoos and conditioners. They are healed from the inside.

Replied by Sue
Northern Va

Hi. I've read here on EC that applying extra-virgin organic coconut oil topically can moisturize, but also that it can dry the skin. Does it depend on how much you use? Or skin type? And what about taking it internally -- could that also cause dry skin? I am interested in its health benefits but my skin is already very dry (I am in my sixties.) Thank you for any help, EC is the greatest!

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Sue, the only way you'll know how it affects YOU is by trying it. As far as I know, it can do no long term harm. Make sure you aren't allergic to it. A little goes a long way, no need to slather it on.

Posted by Diane (Lisbon, IA) on 07/14/2009
5 out of 5 stars

For dry skin, I have found that 1 teaspoon of Virgin Coconut Oil (vco) taken internally will hydrate the skin from within. Start with one teaspoon per day, and you may have to experiment with the dosage. Most people can simply eat a spoonful, but it can also be spread on something like a whole wheat tortilla or vegetables to make it more paltable. I was taking vco for another health benefit but had to stop because my previous "normal" skin became moist and "greasy" feeling all day long. Hope it helps someone.

Replied by Donna

Coconut oil tastes delicious in oatmeal, that's how I finally managed to get it into my regular diet. Start small though, it will detox your digestive system and you might not like how it feels if you start off with too much. It's also good for will really get you going!

Posted by Chanson (Midwest, United States) on 01/12/2009
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

Dear Dianna from Austin, TX,

Thank you so much for your great pieces of advice about using coconut oil for dry hands! I have been trying your methods and experimenting with the concepts.

I have tried the ACV (which I love for other things) and am still determining the effectiveness.

You were so right that heat helps the coconut oil penetrate. I have cold hands and live in a cold climate! Based on your advice about warm water, I have been trying microwavable hot packs. After I apply the oil, I place my hands inside the warm packs with towels over them and then the oil seems to absorb quickly. For a short time afterwards my hands feel less dry.

Have you had any experience with losing the "lotion" effects of the coconut oil after your hands touch water during routine daily tasks (cleaning, etc.)? My fingers instantly become dry after I so much as use a damp paper towel. The coconut oil doesn't seem to maintain for me, even when I minimize water exposure. I would just love to have the moisturizing effects of the coconut oil last throughout the day.

Thanks again for your kind help and thank you in advance for any other ideas you might have!

Good Health to everyone!

Replied by Jamie
New York, NY

Hi, Chanson. I too tried coconut oil for dry skin and found it didn't last very long. Two things might help you - pure shea butter and a lotion with alpha hydroxy acids. I have been using shea butter in the winter for 2 years now and it is phenomenal. Great for cracked heels too. When I visited my mother over the holidays, she had some alpha hydroxy skin lotion that she bought a natural food store. I tested it out and found it immediately cured dry skin and lasted all day, even after multiple washings. I wrote the name down but now can't find it amongst all my scraps of paper. I found a generic alpha hydroxy at the drug store and it does get rid of dry skin, but doesn't absorb well. If I can find the name of the good stuff, will post again. It made my skin amazingly silky and soft!

Replied by Dianna
Austin, Tx

chanson - glad it is helping even just a little. btw - if the coconut oil is not enough moisture you can add another oil like olive or cocoa butter or even sesame oil. i just prefer to not have to buy more oils and so use the coconut. actually, the only way VCO will help my very dry hands is if i apply it and then soak in warm water AND/or apply a small amount of it after i have soaked in a bath and i am still wet. what you want to do is to seal in the water. the oil doesn't help so much for moisturizing as the water does - it just seals in the water. also when i drink 3 liters of water a day my dry skin really just goes away... so i know with me it is really water that i need.

also, some people find VCO to be slightly drying to their skin. it is a semi-drying oil - that is why it doesn't feel greasy. so if you find this to be the case you can add another oil to your VCO or just switch to a more moisturizing oil. this is why VCO seems to disappear on your skin and not stay greasy. and i have found that the longer i use it that the less i have to use it. hope this helps.
djh/austin, TX

Replied by Dianna
Austin, Tx

if the coconut oil is not enough for your dry hands - try using castor oil. castor oil will soak in overnight and will protect your skin from drying out.

also i have found that coconut oil takes some time to work but it will eventually heal dry skin - unlike some other oils that appear to just work when they are on the skin and when you wash them off your skin is dry again.

you may also take some coconut oil or olive oil and add a little melted beeswax (melt the VCO too) and stir or mix it very well. the beeswax will add a little barrier to the skin to keep the cold and wet from removing more moisture.


Posted by Chanson (Midwest, United States) on 12/29/2008
0 out of 5 stars

I love the idea of using virgin coconut oil on my skin, but gave up after a few weeks. Here is my situation: I am in need of a hand lotion that is not filled with the synthetic chemicals of typical commercial hand lotion. My hands are dry, winter and summer; and I suspect that some of this has to do with my continual use of the commercial hand lotions for many years. It isn't that my skin is chapped, it is that my hands FEEL stiff and dry. They look fine but they don't feel comfortable. Also, my ability to grip things with my fingertips is now decreasing; things just slip underneath my touch. I have tried (on two occasions) going a couple of months without applying any lotion to see if my natural skin oils would resurface, to no avail. I do drink at least a couple of litres of water per day.

I am interested in trying again with the virgin coconut oil. Here is the problem. Even if I massage it in to my hands for several minutes and wait for a half an hour, it still has not absorbed into my skin. It is very greasy and I can't proceed with tasks I need to take care of. The oil is coming off my hands onto other things. Moreover, I need to either wash my hands several times a day or expose them to water in the course of my day, and after so doing I need to reapply lotion. So it's not working to have grease on my hands so frequently.

I don't use a huge amount of VCO. I thought perhaps I could use a towel to wipe off the surface grease, but in trying that, it seems that the skin on my hands is just back to where it was, feeling not moist. It has occurred to me that I could try applying it before bed and putting cotton gloves on, but I feel I will still need some kind of lotion during the day after I have washed my hands.

I am wondering what other substance could possibly be added to the coconut oil to make it easier to penetrate the skin? I have read that commercial hand lotions use alcohol to help their oils be absorbed. I am at a point where I would resort to that. Sadly, I have also heard that the alcohol is drying to the skin, and therefore makes you need to reapply the lotion. Perhaps this has something to do with what I call "hand lotion addiction". None of the commercial lotions I have ever used have genuinely improved my skin, in fact, I fear that they have made my skin lose it's natural oils. I am very sad that my dermatologists have recommended these products, products with long lists of synthetic chemicals, that seem to have done nothing for me other than possibly cause a sort of dependency upon them.

If anyone has any guidance on how best to use coconut oil for the skin, particularly the hands; or a suggestion for a preparation that uses VCO effectively in combination with something else, I would be VERY appreciative! Thank you very much and Good Health to all!

Replied by Dianna
Austin, TX

hi - i just wanted to say if you are having trouble with the virgin coconut oil sinking into your hands - first try wetting your hands first and putting a tiny bit of the vco on and rubbing them together. also if you massage the vco on your hands and then soak them in hot/warm water this helps it penetrate too. another thing you can do is wet your hands and rub a larger amount of the VCO on them and put on cotton gloves and sleep with it on. all and all- with vco i have found that less is more and that more (unless used by the last method) actually tends to make my skin feel drier. the massage and then soaking in warm water really really helps.hope you figure out a way to use it.

also you may try spraying apple cider vinegar diluted in 2/3 water on your hands before applying the vco. all of these methods have helped me. but the main thing i have found the most useful for very dry hands and cuticles is urine therapy - i use the first morning urine and just rub it onto my hands and then put a thin layer of vco over the top of it. then i go back to sleep and when i wake up my hands are very soft.

Replied by Jenny
Perth, Wa, Australia

Hi Chanson

I too have had dry hands my whole life and nothing seems to last until I tried pure shea nut butter. It works wonders, it does soak into your hands but does take a while. If you want something that will soak in quickly pure Jojoba oil in fantastic. It will soak into your skin within a minute or two and leaves your hands feeling so much softer. Hope this helps and good luck.

Replied by Mona
Urbandale, Us

Try coconut oil with juice of lemon

Posted by Audrey (Gardner, Kansas) on 07/17/2007
5 out of 5 stars

coconut oil=so far helped my cracked feet and under eye dark circles...I have had dry feet the last year they have severely cracked...I have been applying the coconut oil for 2 days at night...feet are healing like crazy and circles are diminishing

Replied by Nightfire
Danville, Illinois, United States
5 out of 5 stars

I know right?! Lol, I have always looked young for my years (at least what everybody tells me) , but for some reason every one seemed to comment that it never looked like I had enough sleep, no matter what. But since taking VCO (internally and rubbing it around my eyes now and then) just... OMG haha, they have lightened up! VCO is great and after I got over the dregs (er die-off symptoms) I notices a lot other neat stuff too from the VCO. WOOT! I am LITERALLY AGING BACKWARDS OUTWARDLY... Enjoy your 'new youz' pibbles and peace!

Coconut Oil and Beeswax  

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Posted by Farrelly (Traverse City, Mi) on 11/16/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Hi All, I find that the coconut oil would wash away so I put some beeswax in it. Just melt some coconut oil, (any edible oil will do), minimally hot, and shave some real beeswax onto it. Test it while it is in the melted state to see if it is the right consistancy. When to desired thickness put into containers for convenient use. The beeswax keeps the moisture in. I recommend putting on the oil and bee's wax combo on right after getting the area you want to treat wet. Dry off and immediately moisturize. Where I live this is survival in the wintertime.

Replied by Equiana
Ithaca, Ny
5 out of 5 stars

This stuff works!!! My son has had a chronic dry skin problem. He's ten years old now and ever since he was a baby we tried every kind of lotions on market, some even organic. We tried castor oil, ACV, etc. Nothing seemed to work. But after I read this post, I rushed to a healthfood store and got beeswax and made this balm and lo behold... He tells me his skin feels dramatically different! I am so thankful that somebody posted this. At first I tried 50/50 combination of oil and beeswax, but that is a little too hard to rub on skin (but made an EXCELLENT lip balm -- far better than any commercial lip balms, including those that claim organics like Kiss My Face) so I tried 2/3 oil and 1/3 beeswax combination in the second batch, which is softer and more handleable for rubbing into a large area of skin.

For oil, I used EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and some castor oil too.


Replied by Stubzilla
Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Hey, I have suffered from terrible dry skin for years and want to try this. Could you PLEASE explain how you made this balm. Did you add wax shavings to oil then heat all three? or did you heat the wax and then add it to oils? Do you have to make single batch or can you make it and then store it?

Replied by Ophelia Grey
Columbia City, Indiana
5 out of 5 stars

To concoct this recipe, I suggest the following.

For a cream consistency you'll want to take the previous commenters advice and make a ratio of 1 part beeswax to 2 parts oil. Oils have different healing properties, so choose accordingly.

If you are experiencing simply dry skin, I suggest using olive oil (does not have to be Extra Virgin ). If you are also experiencing a rash or skin peeling, I suggest using a cold pressed coconut oil. (Very effective for fungal infections). For a lighter cream, perhaps for spring and summer, I reccomend using sunflower oil.

Now for the recipe... Take 1 part beeswax and put it in a small pan. Heat on the very lowest setting, stirring with a wooden spoon regularly.

When the wax reaches a smooth consistancy, add in your oil of choice. Mix thouroughly. At this point you can also add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice. Add only a FEW drops, as essential oils can be very potent. If you do decide to add essential oils, I suggest testing a small amount of the cream on the inside of your elbow and allow to sit for a few hours to ensure you do not have a sensitivity to the mixture.

While the cream is hot, pour into a small air tight container. Your cream is now ready to use. Do not place the mixture in the refrigerator because it will harden and become difficult to use.

Coffee Grounds  

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Posted by Timvalsm (Victoria, Bc Canada) on 10/13/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Coffee Grinds cured my facial dry flaking skin. My skin was very flaky after years of wet shaving with soap based cremes. I applied damp coffee grounds to my affected facial skin, light rubbing to release the natural oil from the coffee grinds. After two applications, my skin looks new, again, with not even a sign of redness. By the way, I am also a daily ACV user after it cured a stubborn sinus infection.

Replied by Altha
Carson, Ms

Do you use used coffee grounds?