Our Dry Skin Adventure

Having dry skin is something that I have been dealing with since I was younger.  It started as light patches on my cheeks when I was about 12 years old, and was only exacerbated by pregnancy and the winter weather.  Since 2007, I have been very conscious about ingredients used in my daily body washes, deodorants, and lotions, as our son was born with severe eczema.  It was a very long process to realize that ingredients such as:
  • Lanolin
  • Sulfates
  • Fragrances
  • Petroleum
were all adding to our son's eczema flares, which lead to overly dry skin that cracked and wept daily.  This year I realized that no matter which soap (natural or processed), body wash, or lotion we used, as soon as I stepped out of shower, or a few minutes after I had lotioned down, I was constantly feeling my skin burn or crack as I bent over or moved.  Not only that, but our son's skin was ashy minutes after lotioning him down, and I was beginning to get light, dry patches at the corners of my mouth as well as on each side of my nose where it connects to my face?  It became apparent to me that I had to figure out a better way to moisturize our skin.  We were spending entirely too much money on products that were supposed to clean and moisturize very sensitive and dry skin, but none of our products were cutting it.

So, I decided to make my own body wash, and facial wash/scrub, and hopefully with both of these being very moisturizing we would not have to go too heavy on the lotion end of the spectrum.  I researched and found a few household ingredients that are very good for dry and sensitive skin, such as:
  • White sugar - exfoliant
  • Brown sugar - exfoliant
  • Olive oil - moisturizer
  • Agave nectar - hydrant
  • Lemon juice - lifts dry skin and evens tone
  • Honey - moisturizer (can be found here)
  • jojoba oil - moisturizer closest to skin sebum
  • Avocado - moisturizer
  • Argan oil - moisturizer
  • Dried basil - anti-septic
  • Coconut oil - moisturizer (be can cause drying of some skin types)
  • Vitamin E (wheat germ oil, and sunflower oil) - creates barrier to keep moisture in skin
  • Castor oil - moisturizer (should be used in small amounts...can be found here)
  • Aloe Vera gel - moisturizer, treats acne
All of the ingredients listed above should be purchased in their most raw and organic forms.  Make sure that the castor oil that you use is labeled as "cold pressed" or "virgin".

My first task was to create a great facial wash, and it includes:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of castor oil
  • 4 tbsps of olive oil
  • 2 tbsps of agave nectar
  • 2 tbsps of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps of honey
  • 3 tbsps of mayonnaise (this has the potential to cause negative effects for some skin types)
These ingredients are mixed together to create a mask type consistency, and I apply it to my dry face in the morning in a circular motion and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.  If I have time (like on a weekend) I will run a wash cloth under very hot water, squeeze out the water and place the hot cloth on my face enabling the toxins to be lifted via the steam.  If it's a regular morning, I just rinse the mask off with warm water (make sure the water is not too hot, as hot water also causes dry skin).  After using the above mixture to cleanse and moisturize my face, I use the following ingredients to moisturize and seal my face:
This mixture keeps my face moisturized and protected all day.

By the end of my day, nothing feels better than a nice warm moisturizing shower.  During my shower, I use the following ingredients to clean away my day and moisturize.
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of jojoba oil
  • 1/4 cup of Vitamin E
  • 1/4 cup of Aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 cup of Castile liquid soap
At the end of my shower, I usually place a small amount of my body wash on my face to give it a once over cleaning, and it never causes a problem.  After the shower, my skin feels very clean and is visibly moisturized as seen by the numerous water beads, and I do not lotion down before bed (it makes me feel sticky).  

A few quick side notes before starting the usage of these mixtures...
  • The portion of ingredients listed above are strictly arbitrary, meaning it may take a few mixtures for each person to decide which exact portions work for their particular skin type.  
  • I would start with the amounts I have posted and deviate from each amount according to what you feel your skin needs or is lacking after each shower or use.
  • The first few times of using these mixtures may prove to display more acne than your usual, however this is usually a sign of your body releasing the toxins, trapped sebum, and dry skin that it was not previously able to release. 
  • HOWEVER, if your skin becomes irritated to the point that you can't stop itching, you get hives, or your skin barrier breaks creating a cut, scrape, or scratch...please stop using the mixture and see your doctor immediately, as you may be having an allergic reaction.
  • PLEASE, DO NOT EAT the mixtures, this can also lead to allergic reactions, and some of these oils are not made to be consumed.
Now, I have to admit that mixing and purchasing all of these ingredients can be a bit much!  And I totally understand feeling overwhelmed with this process, and it just so happens that Oyin Handmade makes a Honey wash that I purchase most times to serve as the base for my body wash.  So, the only extra work that needs to be done in my case is adding the following ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup of Jojoba oil
  • 1/4 cup of Vitamin E oil
  • Castile liquid soap (only if you lose the lathering ability after adding the additional elements)
Keep in mind that this Honey wash may be moisturizing enough without adding the additional ingredients.  However, it was not moisturizing enough on its own for me to where I would not need to lotion down afterwards, which is why I add the additional ingredients.

When I awake in the morning, I do lotion my skin prior to exposing it to my clothing, and the winter elements.  Depending on my skin condition and the weather I may use one of the following to lotion my skin.
  • After Bath Blended Body oil - great for my entire family, but moisture wears off.  Good for summer days when you may not need so much moisture for a long period of time.
  • Whipped Pudding - great for my entire family, Good for summer days when you may not need so much moisture for a long period of time.
  • The Sugar Pomades - great for my entire family, moisture lasts all day because it has moisture sealing properties.  Great for the winter weather.
All of the above moisturizers are made by Oyin Handmade, and are made of natural ingredients.  Oyin also has a few other moisturizing lotions or creams that may be beneficial to others such as their:
Please keep the quick notes I mentioned above in mind when trying these mixtures, and if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to comment.  I will update our dry skin journey as it evolves!