If you are a baby boomer, you might be experiencing dry skin seasonally or everyday. It can be a constant challenge to keep the skin moist and supple; especially when menopause approaches or you live in the cold north or dry desert. I am a blue eyed blond that has fought dry skin my whole life. You can imagine how I feel now that I am going through menopause and living in Wisconsin. Two out of three circumstances is cause for serious action when it comes to skin care.
I have tried many products on the market with limited success. It's hard to know what to buy out there and with all of the advertising available, it's hard to know what to believe. Lucky for me, I am also a certified Aromatherapist so I know the benefits essential oils can have on dry skin. Essential oils are natural extracts of plants and flowers. They are the pure essence in concentrated form of what scent the flower or plant really has. Some of the best oils for the skin are: mandarin, bergamot, lavender, geranium, palmarosa, ylang ylang, sandalwood, myrrh, rose and jasmine. I don't usually use them "neat" or straight from the bottle as they are quite concentrated. I like to take a carrier oil such as almond oil and blend it with several oils for my own signature fragrance. I can also do this with unscented body lotion. You'd be surprised the fantastic fragrance that can come from a couple of drops of this and a few drops of that. If you don't want to follow the crowd use the same fragrance that the whole world has; make your own scent and wear it proudly.
See what people say to you. They will know they haven't smelled anything quite like it because natural essential oils aren't the norm. These scents are used very minutely in the cosmetic industry because they are expensive. It is much less costly for the companies to put out synthetic fragrances and call it good. Read labels carefully because some will claim to have a "natural fragrance of citrus" or whatever and the natural is supposed to suck you in to thinking you are putting natural products on your body so it must be good for your skin. If there is no essential oil in the product they can't call it natural. If you use natural essential oils you are less apt to be allergic to them. Many people are allergic to the synthetic fragrances in the over the counter skin care products. Buyer beware when it comes to the cosmetic industry.
Itchy dry skin can also be from not enough exfoliation. When you don't use a product for exfoliating, the dead skin cells will remain on your body and just flake away. I use essential oils again with ground oatmeal. Mix in a few drops of some of the oils mentions above and scrub on the body for a soothing exfoliant. Oatmeal is great for the skin as you know if you have ever taken an oatmeal bath after a sunburn. Soothing and calming is called for especially on burned skin. Lavender is a great oil for assistance with healing burns so try putting some lavender in your bath or scrub as well. When you skin is properly exfoliated, the new younger feeling smooth skin is exposed and you look great.
Don't forget about your feet. In the summer your feet are exposed all the time and in the winter they are covered up with socks and shoes. Put on a foot cream of a little heavier cream or lotion with some of the same oils listed above and put some socks on as you got to bed. You can even wrap your feet, elbows, knees or more (never the face) with plastic wrap and unwrap yourself in the morning. Your skin will feel baby soft.
After you come out of a bath, quickly apply the moisturizer you made before your skin starts to dry. You are locking in the moisture from the bath into the skin for an extra boost. Try taking cooler baths instead of one that is hot and steaming. Don't scratch your dry skin, just keep moisturizing. Add a humidifier to your home if you really experience dry air.