Home Remedies for Curing Dry Skin

| Modified on Dec 19, 2023
Dry Skin Natural Remedies

Dry skin isn't just a cosmetic concern; it can significantly affect comfort and overall skin health. Fortunately, a variety of natural remedies and lifestyle changes can provide relief and enhance skin hydration.

Top Natural Remedies for Dry Skin

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Solution

Apple cider vinegar can balance skin pH, aiding in dry skin relief. Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath for a full-body treatment. Alternatively, mix a teaspoon of vinegar with a cup of water and apply to specific dry areas using a cotton ball twice daily.

2. Castor Oil

This luxurious oil is a traditional cosmetic ingredient known for leaving skin soft and supple. Apply castor oil before bedtime for overnight absorption.

3. Coconut Oil

While some find coconut oil beneficial for skin hydration, others may experience dryness. If topical application isn't effective, incorporating coconut oil into your diet might be beneficial.

4. Wheat Germ Oil

Rich in Vitamin E, wheat germ oil is soothing and promotes skin healing. It's often more easily absorbed than other oils.

Millicent from France, in her 5-star review posted on 12/04/2017, shared her experience with wheat germ oil as a skincare product. Initially using coconut oil, she found it ineffective for her skin, as it didn't absorb well and stained her clothes without improving her chafed skin. Switching to wheat germ oil, she observed a significant difference. It absorbed quickly when applied to her face and noticeably improved her chafed elbows by the next day. Millicent highlights wheat germ oil's high Vitamin E

5. Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol, a natural extract derived from the bark of French maritime pine trees, is renowned for its potent antioxidant properties. It's often used to address various health concerns, including skin health. This compound has been observed to aid in rejuvenating and hydrating dry skin, making it a valuable addition to skincare routines, especially for those struggling with chronic dryness.

User Experience with Pycnogenol

Nivchek from Rochester, NY, shared a remarkable experience with Pycnogenol. Her 36-year-old husband, who suffered from chronic dry and scaly skin without itchiness for his entire life, started taking Pycnogenol primarily as an antioxidant for other health issues. A few weeks into the treatment, he experienced a notable change: he began to itch all over his body. However, this itching led to a positive outcome. As he scratched, the previously flaky and dry skin transformed into supple, moisturized skin. For the first time, his skin started producing natural oils, providing significant relief and a surprising revelation about the effectiveness of Pycnogenol in managing chronic dry skin.

6. Honey

A natural moisturizer, honey also offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a facial cleanser or applied to dry areas.

7. Glycerin

As a humectant, glycerin helps retain skin moisture. It's available at pharmacies.

8. Lanolin

Extracted from sheep's wool, lanolin is excellent for treating dry and cracked skin.

9. Dietary Adjustments

Hydration is crucial; drink plenty of water or herbal teas. Incorporate healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and nuts into your diet for improved skin health.

10. Environmental Changes

Protect your skin from harsh elements. Use a humidifier in dry environments, opt for natural cleaning products, wear protective gloves for chores, and avoid prolonged hot showers.

Dry Skin Causes

  • Exposure to Chemicals
  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Sun
  • Dry Air
  • Dehydration
  • Frequent Hand Washing
  • Overuse of Hand Sanitizers
  • Hot Showers
  • Skin Disorders
  • Hypothyroidism

If natural remedies are not working to heal dry skin, or if other health issues accompany dry skin, consult a medical professional. An underlying health issue could be causing the skin problem. Solving a hidden health concern may improve more than just dry skin!

Share Your Experiences

We'd love to hear how you've tackled dry skin. Share your success stories and feedback with us!

Aloe, Coconut Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lou (Tyler, TX) on 03/08/2022

My hands were cracked and had small cuts in them. The doctor called it psoraisis, but I think it was eczema. It has much improved in the last couple of days. I bought some S_____ coconut hand soap at the $ store. I think Family Dollar. Then I bought some aloe Vera cream in a flat jar at CVS, made in Mexico. I also bought bag balm. I apply the bag balm once a day and let it soak in wearing white gloves. Later, I apply the aloe Vera and wear white gloves. I wash my hands when needed with the coconut oil soap. In a couple of days, my hands are almost back to normal! Try it! Don't forget to wear rubber gloves while washing dishes. The white cotton gloves are available at Amazon.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jill (Berwyn, PA) on 12/03/2021

10 mcg biotin capsule was the miracle cure for the raw splits in the skin around my finger nails. When I upgraded from 5 to 10 mcg that winter I never had a split cracked finger again. I've continued this remedy with the same results each winter.

Black Seed Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by C. (Charlotte, NC) on 03/15/2015

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

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lou (Tyler, Texas) on 03/02/2013

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 + Lanolin

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 08/12/2017

Dear Michelle,

One of my toddlers (many years ago) had very dry cheeks, and none of his siblings did. He is an adult and still has a bit of trouble with that. Anyway, back then the pediatrician told me to use Eucerin. I did but don't it helped a ton.

My current favorite dry skin solution is 1/2 castor oil and 1/2 lanolin. I melt the lanolin and stir in castor oil. The resulting oil is very nourishing to the skin and usually makes skin very soft overnight. Castor oil alone works quite well but I find the addition of lanolin to be amazing.

~Mama to Many~

Coconut Oil

8 User Reviews
5 star (6) 
3 star (1) 

Posted by Joy (Battleground, Wash) on 05/15/2013

I had the cracks on my heels for 15 years, dry skin that had to be scaped off or it would form a deep crevace and bleed and take months to heal It all stopped when I started eating the coconut oil in november/december at the height of cold weather, warm sox and shoes all day... No more problems.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Diane (Boise, Idaho) on 03/15/2012

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.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Nightfire (Danville, Illinois, United States) on 03/10/2012

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) 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...

Coconut Oil
Posted by Diane (Lisbon, IA) on 07/14/2009

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
3 posts

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 constipation...it will really get you going!

Coconut Oil
Posted by Chanson (Midwest, United States) on 01/12/2009


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.


Replied by Michelle
(New Zealand)

Did you ever find the name of the product you could not find that worked? My 20-month old has very dry skin - legs, scalp. The Extra Virgin Coconut Oil on his head does little help and work. I read about castor oil working. I will try that. My toddler needs help!! My 3-yr. old is okay so I don't know why the 20-month old is so different and has severely dry skin. Both kids eat the same, etc.

Replied by Art
2089 posts

In reply to Michelle (New Zealand),

Food Grade Vegetable Glycerin / Glycerine / Glycerol may be helpful for the dry skin issues of your infant. It is mild and commonly found in many creams and lotions. Glycerine is a humectant and can draw moisture to the dry skin areas. You can apply it full strength or dilute it down with filtered water to any percentage that feels comfortable on the skin. If you dilute it enough, you can also make a spray. You can add it to many different moisturizers, lotions and creams to improve the moisturizing effects of these. Be sure it is food grade in case your infant manages to lick the affected area.

When I have used it, the moisturizing effect seems to last all day. I have mixed it with different things like witch hazel and it seems to blend well with many others.

I just tried mixing it with castor oil and it does mix, which might be another possibility, but for adult use, adding a little lavender essential oil might add a soothing quality to the mix since I'm not a fan of the smell of castor oil. The glycerine does not seem to have a scent that I can detect.

Good luck!


Coconut Oil
Posted by Chanson (Midwest, United States) on 12/29/2008

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

Coconut Oil
Posted by Audrey (Gardner, Kansas) on 07/17/2007

coconut oil=so far helped my cracked feet and under eye dark circles...I have had dry feet 4ever...in 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

Coconut Oil and Beeswax

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Farrelly (Traverse City, Mi) on 11/16/2010

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)

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)

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

5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Timvalsm (Victoria, Bc Canada) on 10/13/2010

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.

Coffee Grounds
Posted by Teacher (Houston, TX) on 04/13/2009

Coffee grounds for exfoliations has worked very well for me. Immediately after washing my face with the grounds, I noticed a difference in my skin. It was softer and looked brighter. My family members even complimented me on a more glowing complexion. I plan to continue to use them. I have not tried the cellulite treatment yet, but intend to soon. My brother, who is a nutritionist, says that I should use organic coffee grounds because they are free of chemicals.

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