A Cure For Your Winter Skin: A Healing DIY Cream For Eczema And Dry Skin
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As the dry winter weather rolls in so does the itchy, patchy, scaly skin for my girls. Ever since they were born we have always contended with these skin issues for about six months out of the year. They were officially diagnosed with a mild form of eczema and it has never been severe enough to require medicated ointments although I would be hesitant to use them due to their steroid content. We have been through and tried almost every over the counter lotion and cream out there running the gamut between all natural to full on medical grade and chemical laden (insert horror face here). I even made my own cream initially after reading some recipes online but nothing ever worked (and I felt guilty for trying something homemade on my girls and it not working, like I was depriving them of modern conveniences or something).
Well I decided to try my hand again at creating my own lotion after the one we had been using stopped doing the job as the weather turned colder and dryer here in the Midwest. The girls' skin at this point was about the worst it has ever been. They were constantly scratching and their arms and legs felt like sandpaper. I felt terrible and knew I had to try something. So I dove down the rabbit hole of the internet and researched natural remedies for dry skin. After a few days of reading up on the topic, I created an ointment that showed some promise. I wasn't a fan of the oily consistency of the ointment however so I tweaked the repine to create more of a cream. The results?? I am happy to report with consistent use for about three days their skin was almost completely back to normal, it was so good in fact that we even went two days without putting lotion on at all (not intentionally but it was Christmas and things were crazy) and their skin did not become problematic until the tail end of those two days.
So I’m happy to report this second attempt at a skin lotion has so far been successful for us and I hope that you find the same success with it. As I know all too well, what works for some does not necessarily work for all and if this recipe doesn’t do the trick for you maybe play around with eliminating/substituting some of the ingredients or essential oils and see if that helps. I am sold on the moisturizing effects of avocado oil and you could even try using that alone. Either way if you have come upon this post in hopes of an answer, it is my sincere hope that you find one!
Ingredients And Supplies Needed
Double Boiler or Small Glass Bowl and Skillet
Small Rubber Spatula
8 oz. Glass Lidded Jar (adjust recipe for different sized jars)
1/2 Cup of Avocado Oil
1/4 Cup of 100% Pure Aloe Vera
2 Tbsp of Bees Wax Pellets
4 Tbsp of 100% Pure Shea Butter
2 Tsp of Vitamin E Oil
16 Drops of Helichrysum Essential Oil
16 Drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
8 Drops of Rose Essential Oil
Alternative (and less expensive) Essential Oil Blend:
16 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
16 Drops Melrose Essential Oil
12 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
* although this blend is less expensive it may also be less effective for some
DIY Dry Skin Cream Recipe
In a double boiler melt your beeswax pellets on low - medium/low heat on the stove (refrain from turning the heat up too high as to avoid ruining the consistency of the wax). If you do not have a double boiler you can place a small glass bowl in a skillet that has approximately 1 inch of water in it and heat this way. Be extra careful with this method to not heat the glass bowl too much to prevent breakage. Once bees wax is melted (maybe 10-15 min) place the avocado oil, shea butter, and vitamin E oil into the double boiler/glass bowl as well to warm and combine all ingredients together. Once all ingredients are fully melted, mix together with a small soft spatula and turn off the heat.
Remove the pan/bowl from the stove and place it on the counter. Once the liquid has slightly cooled place your drops of essential oils into the mixture and then stir again with the small spatula to incorporate the essential oils evenly into the mixture. Now immediately (but carefully) pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and allow to cool to room temperature. You will want to do this sooner rather than later because as it cools it will begin to harden and then become difficult to remove from the pan/bowl. Be sure to also remove any mixture that has adhered to the back of the spatula and place it into the blender.
Once at room temperature add the Aloe Vera to the mixture and blend together until whipped and smooth. Once all ingredients are blended appropriately use a clean small spatula to transfer all cream into your container (s). You will want to try and get every last little bit of this great cream out!!
A few things to note:
- Be sure to give at least a week of use consistently before you should expect to see results.
- Put hair up prior to putting the cream on and then put hair back down once clothes are on or else your hair might get a little greasy!
- Over time the Shea Butter will begin to resolidify and you will notice granules or a gritty type texture to your cream. This is perfectly normal and the granules will melt and smooth out on the skin upon contact and rubbing in!
- This can be a messy endeavor! The easiest way to clean your blender and utensils is to first wipe them down well with a paper towel to get off as much of the greasiness as possible. You will then want to soak them in warm soapy water for a bit before hand washing or placing in the dishwasher.
Ingredient Properties & Benefits
Avocado Oil - Not only is this oil intensely moisturizing due to its high content of fatty acids and natural humectant properties, but it also helps to smooth itchy and irritated skin due to its high concentration of vitamin E and antioxidants.
Aloe Vera - Aloe Vera is also a natural ingredient that soothes and moisturizes skin. It has many anti inflammatory properties which makes it good for soothing irritated skin and also acts as a barrier for the skin to prevent moisture escape.
Helichrysum Essential Oil - This powerful essential oil rich in antioxidants has been shown in studies to act similar to corticosteroids in its anti inflammatory effects and also has the ability to stop enzymes that contribute to the inflammation process ( Sala 2002).
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil - This essential oil is also known for its anti inflammatory properties as well as its soothing and calming scent. Since this cream is something we apply at our home after baths and before bedtime the relaxing scent of chamomile is an added bonus to this skin cream.
Rose Essential Oil - Rose essential oil not only smells amazing but it is a strong antimicrobial, meaning if there are any areas of the skin that have been scratched due to eczema, this oil will help in trying to prevent any sort of bacterial contamination due to open sores (it should be stated though that this is not an absolute guarantee of bacterial prevention). Rose oil also has been shown to help increase the permeability of the skin, meaning it can help the other ingredients of this cream to be able to sink deeper into the layers of your skin instead of just sitting on the outside portion.
Lavender Essential Oil - Lavneder is seriously the jack of all trades in the essential oil world, and rightfully so. It has many potent properties but as far as the skin is concerned it does help to soothe and heal irritated skin and is also very high in antioxidants which is important for optimal skin health.
Melrose Essential Oil - This is actually an essential oil blend of clove, rosemary, tea tree and niaouli oils. This will be yet another essential Oil with antioxidant properties that contribute to optimal skin health, and in addition to this, melrose is also a skin irritation soothing oil. As an added bonus certain components such as the tea tree oil provide antibacterial and antiseptic properties similar to the rose essential oil.
Cedarwood Essential Oil - Cedarwood has been used in many natural remedies for eczema due to its anti inflammatory properties said to calm skin irritations. And just like with Roman Chamomile, an added bonus of this scent is the relaxation promoting scent of this calming oil.
Sala A, Recio M, Giner RM, Manez S, Tournier H, Schinella G, Rios JL. Anti- inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Helichrysum italics. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2002. March;54(3):365 -371