Help Me Choose: Dry Skin

    What Is Dry Skin?

    Dry skin is a result of a decrease in sebum production, the natural skin oil necessary to keep the skin moist and lubricated. Since dry skin has a decreased oil barrier, water easily evaporates through the skin.

    Natural Organic Warm Body Lotion CandlesDry skin is a common condition that affects people of all ages.

    You may have naturally dry skin, but even people with oily skin can develop dry skin from time to time.

    Dry skin often feels tight and dehydrated and looks rough, itchy, flaky or scaly. The location where dry patches form vary from person to person.

    Although dry skin can affect any part of your body, it commonly affects hands, arms, and legs.

    Exposure to dry weather conditions, hot water, chemicals, and underlying medical conditions can cause skin to dry out. Frequent hand-washing and using hand sanitizer can cause hands to become dry. It can be helpful to apply moisturizer after each time you wash your hands.

    Dry Skin is More Common In:

    • Cold winter months and dry climates
    • Individuals with a history of eczema
    • The elderly

    For specific information on products for dry facial skin, please see "Help Me Choose: Facial Skin Care"


    Recommended Products for Dry Skin



    Signs and symptoms of dry skin might vary based on your age, health status, skin tone, living environment and season. They include:

    • Itchy and easily irritated skin
    • Skin looks rough with fine flakes and dry patches
    • Skin may appear red, or gray and ashy
    • Skin is more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and cracks
    • Sensation of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing, or swimming.
    • Skin that feels and looks rough
    • Skin has that cracked alligator look
    • Skin appears reddish on white skin and grayish or ashy on brown and black skin
    • Skin has deep cracks that may bleed



    Dry skin is often temporary or seasonal. Winter itch is caused by excessively dry skin in the winter. Cool temperatures, dry heat, and lower humidity drain moisture causing dry, flaky, and itchy skin.

    For those with normally dry or sensitive skin, it will often worsen during the winter months.

    Keeping skin well hydrated and replacing natural oils with a natural body moisturizers can help. The best time to moisturize is after showering or bathing, while the skin is still damp, to help lock in moisture.

    Learn More Blog: "8 Tips to Help Eliminate Dry Winter Skin"



    Dry skin often becomes more of an issue as people get older. As we get age, our skin produces less oil and gets drier. For women, it may also be due to the hormone changes associated with menopause.

    Help with Dry Skin



    MoisturizingIt goes without saying that the best treatment for dry skin is daily lubrication with a pure and natural emollient to help decrease the evaporation of moisture from the skin.

    The main goal for dry skin treatment is to use a good moisturizer to put a barrier between your skin and dry air in order to help prevent moisture loss and stop the itching.

    Dermatologists recommend non-water-based, natural creams or oils to restore skin hydration. Oil and rich creams have more staying power than water-based lotions and help prevent the evaporation of water from the surface of your skin.

    The best time to moisturize is after showering or bathing, while the skin is still warm and damp while the pores are open to help increase absorption and lock in moisture.

    Moisturizing is especially important to help prevent "winter itch." Keeping skin well hydrated and replacing natural oils with natural oils can help.

    Depending on your dryness level and personal preferences we have many types of moisturizers:

    Organic Body Creams: Our Whipped Body Butters and more concentrated Body Balms are super rich and moisturizing organic creams jam-packed with nourishing plant butters and oils that ultra dry skin.

    Bath & Body Oils:  Our organic multipurpose bath, body, and massage oils are made with therapeutic organic botanicals infused in skin-nourishing vegan, plant oils and blended with organic essential oil aromatherapy blends.

    Natural Organic Cuticle & Hand CreamShower Lotion Bars: These are nourishing, after-shower moisturizers made with wholesome ingredients combined in a unique formula that is solid at room temperature but easily melts on your warm wet skin.

    Warm Body Lotion Candles: Once lit, the nourishing oils and butters melt at a warm temperature that can be poured directly into your hand and massaged into the skin. Our candles are a wonderful intensive treatment for dry skin.

    Facial Moisturizers: Our organic facial moisturizers contain simple, organic ingredients that are easily absorbed and allow the skin to breathe.

    Keep a travel-size organic moisturizer, like a lotion bar, in your purse, briefcase, school bag, or gym bag so it is always handy when you need a quick dose of moisture, especially after hand washing.



    The Right Natural SoapThere are many causes of dry skin – like dry air or aging – but ironically, one of the most common causes of dry skin is your commercial soap.

    If you recently bought commercial soap from a major chain store, take a look at the ingredients on the label.

    While these artificial ingredients make your soap lather nicely and smell great, dry skin conditions are often exacerbated by detergent soaps. These soaps can cause skin irritation and dryness, especially in people with sensitive skin or who have skin conditions like eczema.

    A mild, moisturizing, natural soap is recommended for dry skin. The best is glycerin-rich natural handmade soap that contains no drying or irritating ingredients, such as synthetic cleansers, colors, fragrances, colors, or preservatives.

    Some customers with dry skin love natural soaps with extra butters, like shea, mango, and cocoa. Others love oils rich in a fatty acid called linoleic acid, such as grapeseed, sunflower, and hemp. Still, others like soaps rich in honey or coconut milk.

    Our natural Winter Survival Soap has become a seasonal favorite. The cooling, clearing, revitalizing scent of this moisturizing bar helps soothe dry, itchy skin and energize your spirit on cold winter mornings!

    See our "Help Me Choose Soap" page for more information OR when on our Natural Soap page use the filters on the left to help narrow your search for soap that are especially good for dry skin.



    Buttercream Cleansing Face WashOur Buttercream Cleansing Face Wash is such a unique product that I have put it in a category all by itself.

    It is a natural organic facial cleansing cream that moisturizes and gently cleans at the same time.

    Just imagine nourishing organic plant oils and botanical butters whipped into soft, delightful cream.

    The cream is then whipped with our moisturizing organic Aloe Soap to create a gentle cleansing and hydrating face wash! You may even feel some little bits of soap!

    • The yellowish color comes from sustainable Organic Virgin Palm Oil, one of the richest plant sources of carotenes and antioxidants
    • Organic mango butter, avocado oil, and virgin shea butter are excellent for dry, aging, or irritated skin



    ExfoliatingExfoliation for those with dry skin is very important, especially in winter.

    When our skin feels dry we too often slather on heavy creams to compensate for the dryness. But dry skin flaky skin means that you have a build-up of dead, dry skin cells. Why would you want to moisturize dry, dead skin cells? What you really want to do is exfoliate those dead skin cells away and then moisturize the skin.

    Many customers ask, "How Do I Know If I Need To Exfoliate?" A simple test you can do at home to see if you have surface dry skin cells on your skin is to take a piece of clear tape and apply it to the forehead. Rub it gently and remove. Look at the tape, and if there are little pieces of flaky skin, then you need to exfoliate!

    We have many gentle exfoliating organic Body Sugar Scrubs and Facial Sugar Scrubs.

    A great product for dry facial skin in need of exfoliation is our gentle Adzuki Bean Scrub.

    For more help see Help Me Choose Natural Skin Care For Exfoliation

    Learn More Blog: The Nitty Gritty of Exfoliation

    Things to Avoid


    Dry skin conditions are often exacerbated by commercial soaps that contain harsh detergents that wash off natural skin-protecting oils. Choose mild soaps that have added oils and fats.

    Avoid products containing detergents, alcohol, and other synthetic chemicals that can also dry skin and cause irritation.

    Synthetic fragrances have a tendency to irritate dry skin or make it worse. Check the ingredients list for the word "fragrance" and avoid soap and other skin-care products that contain it.


    While a hot steamy shower or bath often feels so nice and relaxing, hot water especially during winter can lead to excessively dry skin.

    The hotter the water and the longer you remain in the shower or tub, the more natural oil is removed from your skin. Taking shorter warm showers is the best thing you can do for happier skin.

    Since moisturizers work best on damp skin, remember to apply a moisturizer within minutes of getting out of the bath or shower.


    Stay away from lotions. Not only are they mostly water (notice that water is usually the first ingredient) they often contain preservatives and fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin. Although lotions are absorbed more quickly, they do not contain enough emollients to offer long-term protection against dryness.

    If you enjoy the application "feeling" of a lotion better than a cream, try applying a rich cream, like our organic Whipped Cocoa Butter or a Whipped Shea Butter to warm, wet skin right after a bath or shower. Wait a few moments and gently pat dry. (Do not rub skin dry!)

    You can do the same with our Bath & Body Oils. Massage onto warm, wet skin right after a bath or shower. Wait a few moments and gently pat dry.

    Since a lotion is just water mixed with oils and/or butters, a rich organic butter or oil on warm wet skin will have a similar feel.


    Natural lighter fibers such as cotton are kind to your skin and allow the skin to breathe. Some fibers like wool, although natural, may irritate even normal skin. Wash clothes with mild detergents without dyes or perfumes, both of which can irritate your skin.


    Often times the air inside can be as harsh on your skin as the air outside. Hot, dry, indoor heat and even air conditioning, can draw humidity levels down, parch dry or sensitive skin making the skin dry, flaky, and itchy. A humidifier can help restore moisture to the air in your home.



    • avoid using hot water to bathe or shower
    • keep your shower time short
    • use a moisturizing natural soap
    • apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering
    • pat skin dry with a soft towel (do not rub!)
    • avoid scratching irritated skin
    • use a humidifier
    • drink plenty of water


    For specific information on products for dry facial skin, please see "Help Me Choose: Facial Skin Care"


    Recommended Products for Dry Skin

    Frequently Asked Questions

    12 Reasons to Use Handmade Natural Soap

    Natural Organic Bamboo Charcoal Soap for Oily Skin1. Handmade Soap is Actually Soap

    Most of the soap you purchase today is a commercially manufactured chemical cocktail of ingredients. It is not natural and is not even really “soap.”

    2. Natural Soap is Made With Natural Ingredients

    The very best reason to use natural soap is the ingredients. A product is only as good as the ingredients used to make it.

    3. Natural Soap Is NOT Made With...

    • synthetic ingredients
    • artificial fragrances or perfumes
    • artificial colors
    • detergents
    • synthetic preservatives

    Our soap bars contain only the ingredients that they need—no extra preservatives that liquid body washes or commercial bar "soaps" require to increase their shelf life to years, and no foam boosters to make them lather.

    4. Natural Soaps Are Moisturizing

    Sadly many people have the misguided perception that all bar soaps will dry your skin. The problem is that most commercial bar “soaps” are detergents and not real soap.

    There are three main reasons why natural soaps are moisturizing.

    • Natural Soaps are made with Plant Oils and Butters
    • Natural Soaps are Superfatted
    • Natural Soaps retain their natural Glycerin

    5. Scented Natural Soap Provides Real Aromatherapy

    Scented natural soaps are made with pure essential oils, not fragrance oils, and offer aromatherapeutic benefits.

    6. Natural Soap Helps Maintain Healthy Skin

    The body’s largest organ, our skin, is incredibly porous and absorbent. How we treat our skin can have a major impact on our overall health as well as the look and feel of our skin.

    7. Natural Soap Provides Rich Lather Without Synthetic Foam Boosters

    People absolutely love bubbly lather. The foam, bubbles, and lather we know and love from commercial liquid and bar soaps are produced by surfactants--synthetic foam boosters, lathering agents, and detergents.

    8. Natural Soap is Economical

    Some consumers are put off by the cost of handmade soap. You probably look at a bar of natural soap and wonder why it costs more. I mean, soap is soap, right? But there are some things to think about!

    9. Natural Soap Has a Smaller Environmental Impact

    The synthetic chemicals in liquid and many bar soaps wash down our drains into our septic fields or water treatment facilities. Also, if you use a liquid body wash, how many plastic bottles and pumps do you dispose of in a single year?

    10. Natural Soaps are Unique

    For me, soapmaking is a synergy of science and art that took years to perfect. It is a labor of love. I take the time to create wholesome soap recipes that do not sacrifice beauty or scent while incorporating amazing natural and organic ingredients.

    11. A Natural Soap Company Has Social Consciousness

    While I am sure there are some large commercial soap companies with a social conscience, natural soapmakers tend to have the utmost respect for the earth and all its creatures.

    Environmental stewardship is not a buzzword for us. It is not a talking point, not a political stance nor is it about optics!

    12. You Are Supporting A Small Business

    When you buy a handmade bar of natural soap, you are supporting a small business that truly cares about and believes in the products they make. Your purchase really does make a difference.

    Before I conclude I would like to add one final reason to the question of "Why You Should Switch To Natural Soap Bars."

    The simplest answer is, Why Not?

    From its composition to its benefits for the skin and health, to its impact on the environment, natural soap is very different from commercial liquid “soap,” bar “soap,” or syndet bars.

    This list is a scaled-down version of a blog I wrote that shares the same name. For more detail please read our blog, “12 Reasons to Use Natural Soap"

    View Answer Page
    Which clay mask do I use if my skin is dry, oily and normal?

    Our face has different zones in which the skin can vary in thickness, texture, pore size and the number of oil-producing glands.

    Each zone may have very different needs and require individual attention.

    So, what happens if you have multiple facial skin issues, like dryness, oily spots, and blemishes?

    The answer is Multi-Masking . . .

    What is Multi-Masking

    Multi-masking is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of applying one face mask over your entire face, you apply different masks to different areas of the face in order to treat multiple skincare concerns at the same time.

    For more information please read our blog Multi-Masking and Targeted Application For Combination Facial Skin

    View Answer Page
    How Does a Facial Cleansing Oil Work?

    How Does a Facial Cleansing Oil Work?

    Natural Organic Facial Cleansing Oil Makeup RemoverA cleansing oil works its magic in two simple ways . . .

    • oil dissolves oil
    • skin with balanced oil production is happy skin

    1. The concept of the oil cleansing method is rooted in one of the most basic principles of chemistry, “like dissolves like.”

    Since water does not dissolve oil, if you wash with water you need some sort of soap or detergent. Think of soap as the middle-man that helps bring oil and water together so that the dirt and grease on your skin can be easily rinsed away.

    Oils are what chemists call lipophilic, meaning that they are naturally attracted to other oils, including the excess skin oil (sebum) that causes breakouts and the oil by-products found in most makeup.

    Even if you use water-based makeup, throughout the course of a day the makeup will mix with your natural facial oil.

    A facial cleansing oil will dissolve away the dirty oil and makeup from your face and replenish it with clean, nourishing oil that protects and moisturizes throughout the day.

    2. Using some good, natural, organic oil on your skin actually slows down its own oil production to maintain balance.

    There is a huge misconception that using any oil on your face only creates more oil, more breakouts and leaves an oily residue. For years commercial skin care companies have told us we need to remove the oil from our skin, especially our faces.

    The problem is that drying out your facial skin actually stimulates increase oil production--which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

    Our facial cleansing oil is formulated with a blend of organic oils and herbal infused oils that will balance sebum production and bind with the existing oil to unclog pores and cleanse impurities.

    Using pure, organic oils whether to cleanse or simply moisturize will help balance sebum (natural skin oil) production, protect skin and keep it soft, smooth, and hydrated.

    For more information please read our blog, "What Is A Facial Cleaning Oil? How Do I Use It?"

    View Answer Page

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    Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft is not responsible for any individual reaction to any particular ingredient. Each product description on our website includes a complete list of ingredients. People with sensitivities to any listed ingredient should not use the product. In case you are in doubt always try an allergy patch test and if at any time irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product.

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    The content and information on this website, provided by The Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended and should not be construed as medical advice to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information regarding folklore or health-related benefits of certain ingredients is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.

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