Remedies for dry skin include petroleum jelly, natural oils, such as coconut or olive oil, and moisturizing lotions. Using a cool mist humidifier inside the home can also help prevent dry skin.
Moisturizing lotions are available at discount or drug stores, and they should be applied after showering or bathing to allow the skin to absorb the lotion easily. Avoid lotions with alcohol or other drying agents. Petroleum jelly can be used to relieve very dry skin, whereas coconut oil can be used to treat cracking skin.
To use coconut oil, rub about a teaspoon of the oil between the palms to melt it, and apply the oil directly to the affected areas of the body. Olive oil or sunflower-seed oil can also be used as a remedy for dry skin. Olive oil is a heavy moisturizer that is often used for very dry skin, whereas sunflower-seed oil is a lighter oil that is readily absorbed into the skin.
Hot water and soap remove the protective oils that are naturally present on the skin. Whenever possible, shower in warm, rather than hot, water, and use a moisturizing cleanser as an alternative to soap. Dry skin can become particularly problematic in the winter months, or when the air inside the home is drier than normal. Using a cool mist humidifier can help prevent dry skin that occurs as a result of heated air in the home.