The skin needs moisture to repair and renew itself. While the skin produces it own oil through the sebaceous glands, sometimes extra moisture is needed. Oily skin produces too much oil, while dry skin does not produce enough. It is dry skin that is most prone to wrinkles, lines and the visible signs of aging. Skin needs to be hydrated either internally or topically to be soft, supple and smooth. Herbs and essential oils are the best natural moisturizers for the skin.
- Apply camellia oil. Camellia oil is a sweet smelling and edible oil used for cooling in China and Japan. The oil is gentle on the skin because it has no harsh chemicals. Camellia oil has vitamin E, a well-known antioxidant that removes free radicals, which are harmful substances. Free radicals also damage the skin. One of the best things about camellia oil as a moisturizer is that it can block UVB light. The oil can be used as a sunscreen to protect against the harmful rays of the sun, which causes age spots and wrinkles.
- Use cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is a natural moisturizer made from cocoa beans. It is basically a vegetable fat with traces of vitamin E. This oil is often recommended as a way to remove stretch marks and other scars. Cocoa butter is also an antioxidant. The antioxidant property helps to give cocoa butter a natural preservative. Cocoa butter is available as a stick, lotion and cream that can last for 1 year.
- Take vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E is a good internal and topical moisturizer. This fat-soluble vitamin is an antioxidant and protects the skin from the damage of pollution and ultraviolet light. Vitamin E also helps with the absorption of vitamin A, another good skin vitamin. Foods rich in vitamin E include tomatoes, almonds and sunflower seeds. As a supplement, the vitamin is available in both synthetic and natural forms. According to the National Institute of Health, the natural version is twice as effective as the synthetic. Vitamin E oil can be applied topically to moisturize the skin and to help fade or remove scars.
- Apply baby oil. Baby oil is very gentle oil that is useful for adult skin also. It has no harsh chemicals, although many commercial baby oils contain mineral oil. There are some baby oils that are made of only essential oils. To find a baby oil that has no mineral oil, read the ingredients label before buying.
- Add flaxseed to the diet. Flaxseed is a plant that contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) that are not manufactured in the body. Eating foods with EFA, such as fish, or taking flaxseed oil supplements are the only ways to give the body these nutrients. Applying flaxseed oil to the skin can not only moisturize it, but it also helps with various skin problems, including acne. According to Herb Wisdom, “The essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil are largely responsible for its skin-healing powers. Red, itchy patches of eczema, psoriasis and rosacea often respond to the EFA’s anti-inflammatory actions and overall skin-soothing properties.”