Dry, dull itchy skin, can leave your body, particularly arms and legs feeling tight and uncomfortable. Lack of humidity, coupled with winter cold can rob moisture from the skin, and the lack of proper skin care can break down the skin’s natural PH acid mantle/ protective layer. Overly hot showers, lack of exfoliation and even chemical perfume scented lotions can really dry body skin, most particularly your arms and legs.
Whether your problem is mild or severe, here are some truly effective organic remedies that will help cure dry body skin issues.
What Causes Dry Skin
Skin becomes dry when it loses it’s ability to lock-in moisture via the process of utilizing natural oils produced by the body (our perfect moisturizer!) Some of the main reasons for dry skin on the arms and legs are:
- Vata Dosha: Some of us are genetically predisposed to dry skin more than others, which is referred to as ‘Vata Dosha’ in Ayurveda. Learn what is Vata Dosha and take this Dosha Quiz to find out your skin type.
- Weather Changes: Frequent decrease in humidity in the weather outside and an increase in indoor central heating can cause rapid moisture loss from the skin.
- Harsh Products: The way we treat our skin (both mechanical and chemical) can dictate our skin’s integrity. Soaps and cleansers that are made with sulfates, alcohol and other harsh ingredients can be very drying. Such cleansers are usually designed to remove oil and dirt, however, they are devoid of ingredients that could replenish the natural oils and restore skin’s pH and moisture balance.
- Aging: As we age, our skin’s collagen-elastin matrix starts becoming fragile and the interlocked hyaluronic acid content starts to deteriorate. This causes the skin to feel dry and tighter, much faster than when we were younger.
- Certain Skin Conditions: Severely dry skin can escalate to skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Along with poor moisture content, such conditions can cause the skin to turn red, cracked, itchy and scaly. Other medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid and certain autoimmune diseases are also linked to dry skin.
Our elbows and feet don’t have sebaceous glands and hence require special attention. The skin around the fingers, thumbs, knuckles, and heels are especially very vulnerable to cracking. Regular care of the skin on the hands, arms, legs, and feet will help to prevent skin from drying, peeling and cracking.
The Power of Exfoliation & Moisturization
If you want your dry skin to feel soft and supple as silk, then these two organic remedies can create a massive difference: ‘Exfoliation’ and ‘Moisturization’.
Grainy scrubs with a buttery base can restore moisture to the skin. Our @PVO Papaya & Honey Exfolation Mask & Scrub can be used 2-3X times a week to exfoliate dry or normal skin. Honey and steam extracted botanicals and essential oils in this organic scrub nourishes and restores moisture balance. Papain (a type of proteolytic enzyme) from Papaya, Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA), Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Salicylic Acid from White Willow Bark Extract work as excellent exfoliators for deep cleaning the skin. Regular exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the top layer of the dermis, allowing followup skincare products to penetrate deeper, boosting circulation, and promotes moisturization and regeneration of new cells.
Moisturizers in the form of body creams, body lotions or body butters are designed to contain water molecules in your skin. For dry and normal skin, body butters are far better than lotions and creams in terms of thickness, composition, longevity, usefulness and even shelf life (learn more about body butter).
Some of the best moisture restoring natural ingredients for your arms and legs are: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Plant Oils (like Hempseed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil and more), Omega 3 fatty acids (from Borage Oil and Evening Primrose Oil) Antioxidants, etc.
Our Vanilla Silk Body Butter with Shea and Pure Madagascar Vanilla gives intense whole body moisturization without toxic overload. Use everyday after a shower and at night to experience renewed and refreshed skin and fight the signs of aging.
Editor’s Pro Tip: Many of us miss the fact that even our arms and legs need sun protection to not only stay away from tanning and sunburn, but also from skin dryness and photoaging. PuraVeda Organics Sun Protect SPF 30+ is packed with micronized zinc oxide that provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Oils of Jojoba, Hempseed, Sesame, Grapeseed, Coconut, Almond and many other plant oils and botanical extracts keeps skin moisturized and balanced even during the peak sun hours. Additionally, our DevaBright formula evens skin tone and removes hyperpigmentation.
Besides using our sunscreen, we also strongly advise you to use physical protection from the sun with special high SPF clothing manufacturers for added sun protection.
What to Avoid
To lock skin’s moisture for a longer period, here are some of the things that you should avoid:
- Using harsh soaps that can remove moisture from the skin.
- Artificial fragrances and colors in soaps, cleansers and body washes.
- Showering and bathing too frequently in hot water.