Oatmeal may be a favorite breakfast food, but it also can be used to treat dry skin. Oatmeal is a natural cleansing and exfoliating agent that won't dry your skin like harsh soaps can. It contains saponins, according to a report published in the February 2007 issue of "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology." The naturally occurring cleanser can remove dirt and oil from your pores without drying them, and it helps slough off the dead skin cells often prone to those with dry skin.
Mix together two tbsp. oats with two tsp. brown sugar for an abrasive exfoliating scrub for dry or flaky skin. If you want less abrasiveness, place the oats in a food processor and grind to a fine powder. Combine with brown sugar.
Add two tbsp. aloe vera gel, found in most health food or organic shops. The aloe vera helps to soothe and nourish dry skin while scrubbing. Finally, add one tsp. lemon juice to act as an effective toner and cleaner. Mix all four ingredients well until you've created a paste.
Wet your skin with warm water, and scoop some of the paste with your fingers. Rub onto your face in a circular motion for at least 30 seconds before rinsing away. Exfoliation helps to smooth skin by sloughing off the dead skin cells that can make your skin look dry, and it deposits hydrating ingredients more effectively for softer skin.
Triple the recipe to create a batch of oatmeal scrub for your whole body. Apply in the same way in the shower, concentrating on those areas that can be especially dry such as the knees, elbows and feet.
Exfoliate no more than once or twice per week. Any more could cause skin irritation, especially to your already dry and sensitive skin, according to cosmetic dermatologist Fredric Brandt in the website Fitness.
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Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.